Friday, January 27, 2017

Edublogsclub Week 4: Photos

This blog post is part of the #Edublogsclub  -  a new topic to write on each week, post and share.

Week 4: A picture is worth a thousand words

This week requires the blogger to post on something to do with images. I have chosen to share a page from Facebook called 'The Lego Grad'. I decided last year to finally start my Doctorate in Education and one of my study colleagues put me on to this page. This cartoon appears in my newsfeed and seems to do three things: 1 - cheer me up, 2 - remind me to get on with my study, 3 - I am not alone in this study journey.

Pictures are very important and I like to use them in presentations especially if they will save on words. I'll often use them a trigger for what I want to say, so that I don't fall into the trap of reading off the presentation.
The most famous picture for this week must be the photo of in the inauguration in the USA.

Which illustrates how important image and images can be! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Microsoft in Education Community

As we are about to head into a new school year (in NZ) I thought I would share a great educational community for teachers: Microsoft Educator Community 

This is a great site for teachers to become members of  as it not only has courses, and resources of all the tools in the Microsoft suite but has a community of educators as well.

Courses and Resources
There are many courses and learning paths that you can choose to work through. These are clear step by step instructions using a variety of tools to guide you through the information e.g. video, office mix, onenote books and other tools. These courses cover tools such as: Sway, Minecraft, Office Mix, 21 Century Learning Design to name just a few. At the end of the courses there are short multi question quizzes to test what you have learned.
Each course and learning path  is worth points and badges which are displayed on your profile page:

Connecting with others
This site will also allow you to work with other teachers. A tab takes you to a page to connect with other educators and will also tell you if you are in the same time zone. A very popular activity is the Mystery Skype which connect student around the world -  see the video below:

I recommend signing up to this free community, especially if you are using Office 365 in your school.

Twitter link for this community is: #MSFTEdu

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

EduBlog Week 3 - Leadership

This blog post is part of the Edublogs Club  - a different theme each week to blog, share and read.

Leadership is the theme for week 3: #Edublogsclub

These are two quotes around leadership that I quite like. I do think that integrity is very important in leadership. I have been fortunate that I have worked with a number of people who I have felt are leaders and who have guided and mentored me through my career. 
I very much valued learning about leadership when I was at school, about Year 8 or 9. This is when I learnt about 'quiet leaders' and  'leading from behind' and most importantly 'just because you outrank someone doesn't make you a leader'. 
I think in schools the best leaders I have had have been ones which: valued others, the profession, the students, the school. They tried to lead with as much autonomy as possible and with as little micromanagement as possible.  They appreciated the person and the job they were doing. They valued ideas, let others take a lead and shared their successes: it is about empowering others. A hard balance because if something does not succeed the leader needs to take responsibility and sort things out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Edu Club Blog: Week 2

Week 2 for EduBlog: Working environment

This year for the first time in over 10 years I will not have a classroom. Currently, I am on summer holiday and I'm studying at the kitchen table. I am rather excited about sorting a small room into an office space. Below is the desk that is sort of being put together and hopefully the room will be up and running tomorrow.

This will be my home office space mainly for my doctoral studies. A place away from the children where I can keep papers etc out and where I can hopefully make some sense of what I am doing :)

My new job has the office in town and I have been in for a visit but have not yet set up a space. I am quite excited about this new venture. 

My classroom in the past has had tables arranged in groups, soft furnishings and different areas for learning with student work on the walls.

Keeping organised is key for me and I use the computer a lot for this. Often I have a Onenote set up each year for keeping me organised, along with ideas, discussions, and other information I want to hold on to. 


Yesterday, I received an interesting email from The Edublogger about an Edu Blog Club.

Edu Blog Club: Week 1 - also a bit late!
This is how it works:

How It Works
  1. Each Tuesday, check your email or the EdublogsClub blog for the new prompt.
  2. Publish a post on the prompt within the next week.
  3. Share your post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or anywhere else using the #EdublogsClub hashtag.
  4. Read through your fellow club members posts and leave comments as appropriate.
This seems to me to be an interesting way of keeping up with blogging which is always a 'New Year Resolution'. for me. 

The first post is 'getting to know you':

I left my job as Head of English at St Andrew's College, Christchurch, NZ at the end of last year  to take up a position as a Professional Development Facilitator (more on this come in a later blogpost). I am also currently studying through the University of Otago for a Doctor in Education my area of interest being curriculum design (curriculum integration and Knowledge Building).

I have been using this blog to document my teaching and learning since 2010. I had to hunt back through the archives to see just when I started! It was also somewhat interesting to read some of those earlier posts. My blogging has been about education and a way to share what I am doing or conference/workshops I have attended. I see it as a sort of professional journal which has stayed with me as I have moved teaching positions.
What I have learnt over time with blogging is not to be shy, try to have images and not to write too much!