Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

GAFE 2017 Day 1 - Morning Sessions

Session One:  Experiencing a Student Led Classroom - Today! - Richard Wells

"Teachers struggle with modern learning environments" - headline in Stuff just last week.

"Students must have strategies for meeting challenges" - NZ Curriculum, Managing Self
The curriculum encourages all students to reflect on their own learning and use self-assessment. so students are able to assess how they are doing.

The key word for student-centred learning is: negotiate

How can we equip learners to do the things we need?  They may not be the 'normal' tools. Learning tools come in all shapes and sizes.

This Key Competency image, created by Richard Wells:


Ideas for learning using the Key Competencies

Operate classrooms like a sports field - the coach steps off the field for the match so the players need to know all their moves in different situations before they take the field.  How can we empower our learners to be this way in the classroom?

Session Two:  A-Z of lesser known Googley Goodness - Kimberley Hall

I really love Kimberley Hall sessions and once again this one did not disappoint.  So many great ideas and apps to explore.  

The full list is here and  my blog post will focus on my favourites or ones that I'm really keen to explore and use in my classroom or personally.

A great way to start a session - Google Feud which is fun and engaging.  You need to remember that it is based on world answers, not just New Zealand.

androidify - the ability to  personalise the character which will play on presentations, websites or can be used in character animations to help with writing.

Boomerang for Gmail - ability to schedule emails or boomerang the email back to your inbox as a reminder.  New feature for Boomerang, how likely are you to get a response?

Explore Function in Drive (Slides, Docs, Sheets) - in Slides it will suggest layouts, allow you to research or suggest charts based on the data that is in your sheets.

HelloSign for Gmail - add a signature to a contract or document digitally.

CraftyRights - automatically shows you images which are free to reuse

Audio Library on YouTube - a great resource when movie making or for background music

Autodraw - very brand new!  It will give suggestions and draw for you

No formatting button - this button will clear the formatting of anything you have pasted into your doc/blog/sheet/slides.

Piktochart chrome extension - great to have this as an extension rather than using an alternative website.

The Great Suspender - suspends activity on every tab except the one that you are working on.

Zoom feature on a Mac - enable under Mac Accessibility feature and then can use Ctrl and two fingers to zoom into where you mouse is.

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