Thursday, 29 June 2017

Google Certified Educator Level 1

I passed the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam!
This morning we were challenged to put our knowledge to the test. After 2 hours of hard work and confusion I submitted my exam and was relieved to discover I had passed. Thank you Dorothy and James for all the knowledge and wisdom you have imparted over the last term. 

I have also received my Digital Fluency Intensive badge which I am proudly displaying on my blog.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Our Penultimate Digital Immersion Intensive Session

We are almost done with our Digital Immersion course for this term. Next week we will be sitting the test to become Google Certified Educators - Level 1. I am almost feeling ready!

Today Dorothy started our day with a session on Empowerment. We discussed how students need to be empowered in their learning, and this can't happen without the other 3 words in the Manaiakalani ring: Ubiquitous, Connected and Visible. I found it interesting to think of how many members of our local community feels disempowered by so many facets of their lives not really being under their control, and therefore how important empowerment really is to our students.

We moved on to the NEW Google Sites. It was so easy to play around with and create a pretty page in no time. It did however feel limiting in how much of a personal touch you could add to it.

I spent some time training up on my Fundamentals in preparation for next week's test. Hopefully I'll finish the remaining units by next Friday.

Finally, after all that, there was more to learn! Dorothy has been showing us how to green screen in preparation for next term's Manaiakalani film festival. I am nervous but also really looking forward to making my first film for this. I had a little practice removing the background from a student's photo - of course his curly hair presented some challenges.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sites, sites, sites: connecting with the world.

We have been exploring sites at today's Digital Intensive session. It has been great to see how different teachers at different schools present their lessons to their students.

Dorothy began the day by reminding us of the importance and power that comes from the connections we make, be it through blogging, our public sites, our Google+ community or professional development days like today.

I have really enjoyed having the time to fix up the little things that have been bugging me about my own site. Here is the criteria we came up with for what makes an effective site:

User Experience
Using space effectively
Keep it looking basic not busy
Following conventional layout rules eg white spaces
Commonality- Reading/Writing/Maths

Interconnected pages
Engaging (resources)
Learning is easy to find
Main elements are obvious- landing page has important info

Do you think my site reflects these?

In my own practice I have definitely been improving my visibility and connectivity with the world through my class blog, and encouraging the children to blog on a much more regular basis.
Please feel free to check them out here and leave your comments.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

HTML fun!

Today I felt a little out of my depth at Digital Intensive, but also really enjoyed building a site using HTML. We were fortunate to have Matt Goodwin in to assist us with this.

Dorothy started the day by reminding us of the importance of Visible teaching and learning, and the role sites play in this. We also looked over the draft version of the new Professional Standards for the Teaching Profession.

This all came together in today's task, to build a site to showcase how these new standards are evident in my own teaching. Take a look!

I really enjoyed picking up some skills to improve my site layout, keeping it clean and organised. I now feel confident to go back to my existing class site and see what I can improve and tidy up. Maybe I'll even attempt Image Mapping again!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Learning about sites!

Today has been a site-building day at Digital Intensive. We have been collaborating and planning a unit around the PM reader Magpie's Baking Day. It has been a real confidence boost to make a site for the second time as I am feeling much more like I know what I'm doing!

Check out the site I built today!
We also talked earlier in the day about being CyberSmart and the importance of allocating teaching time to deliberately teach the subject. Thanks to Fiona for sharing her knowledge with us.

Maths Testing Fun!

I have really enjoyed the last week in my class. Aside from our exciting museum trip, we have also had a real love of learning in the classroom.

I designed a simple addition Maths test using Google Forms. The children did this for the first time on Monday, and then again Tuesday and Wednesday. I was pleased at how easily they could fill in the form using their i-pads and loved how quickly I could mark and compare their results using Flubaroo in Google Sheets.

It is great how the one test caters to all the children in my class. I give them 5 minutes to complete it and stress how I just want them to get 1 more correct than they did the day before. My lowest improved from 2, to 6, to 9 and my highest from 44, to 53, to 57 (out of 57!). They are actually excited to take the test and enjoy the change from the usual Explain Everythings.

We have also started simple animations on our i-pads which I look forward to sharing on their blogs.