In February 2010 the some of the Lead Teachers and management committee went to the Learning@School conference in Rotorua. Below are some of the experiences that have had and they would like to share.
Dave Thorp TBHS
Here's my write-up of a couple of break-outs I attended. More coming soon.

Breakout 1
Creating a Highly Effective ICTPD Cluster
Paula Jamieson is the facilitator at the Te Whakatipuranga Hou ICTPD Cluster which is in the Tauranga district. Her workshop consisted of group sessions where particular questions were asked.
1. "What is effective PD?"
2. "Who should this PD have the most impact on?"
3. "What skills and attributes MUST your facilitator have?"
4. "What role will your Principal's play?"
5. "Where will you turn for support?"

Most of the people there were in a cluster or about to begin so the discussions were interesting and animated. Notes were taken by every group and these will be placed on the workshop wiki (coming soon)
One really good thing to come out of this workshop was getting access to the following two wikis: the first is a list of cluster wikis that have taken place in the last few years and the second is Paula’s own wiki of the cluster she facilitates.

Breakout 2

Developing New Ways of Thinking about Student Learning

Gregor Fountain is the DP in charge of teaching and learning at Wellington College. In 2009 he won a Wolf Fisher award which allowed him to travel to the UK and USA to study some new ways of thinking about student learning. He also talked about the journey Wellington College is undertaking with teaching and learning – despite having good results at the top end, it is still a fairly conservative school and he outlined some of the initiatives that have been implemented in the last couple of years.

John Cabot Academy:
• This school has played with timetables (longer periods) and has a seminar/tutorial system similar to Alfridston in Auckland.

• They don’t have form classes but break the whole student body in groups of 12 or so and each group is led by a Learning coach (coaches are drawn from every available adult on site – Senior Managers to support staff).
• JCA has an inspirational head of e learning, Chris Baker. Check out his blog and links to other e learning sites

Bristol Brunel Academy, England
• A very honest blog from this principal who is trying many different things.

What’s happening at Wellington College?
• School decided to survey teachers, parents and students to find out who the Wellington College learner was and what they wanted from an education (in the spirit of the key competencies)
• Using Google apps for teacher, student and parent online surveys – apparently worked very well.
• Wine and pedagogy – using small groups who volunteer for teaching and learning discussions after school. Wine supplied and professional learning groups follow through with a project for a term.
• Curriculum wall – this is something Gregor saw in Scotland and would like to try in WC. A large section of staffroom wall is sectioned off and each learning area writes down the skills they will be working on at any particular level. It can help limit too much repetition of activities (research and graphing for example) and can lead to skills such as essay writing across the curriculum having standardised rules/ approaches.

• School has moved to a moodle intranet which has really improved student involvement.

Martin Kane (Craighead)

Learning at Schools Conference 2010
Disengagement rife in NZ, Australia, USA, GB, Canada.

Breakout 1 – Developing 21st century thinkers (Karen Boyes)
The best thing I gained from this was the need to contextualise learning for students. Connect learning to real life. Also consider “Kids will know” and adding in “Kids will be able to do…” Problems first, teaching second.
Kids have SEEN the world, they need to learn to interact with it.
Kids must experience failure at a young age so that they have the skills to deal with it later.
Cup on top of computer for problems, rather than hands up.

Breakout 2A – Assessing 21st Century Skills using Student Journals
Poor presentation. Americans have 21st century skills synonymous with Key Competencies. Student journals are equivalent of an evaluation form at the end of a topic.

Breakout 2B – iPod Touch in Education (Stuart Hale)
This was a filler-in as breakout 2A was only a (thankfully) taster session. I had been to Stuart’s mobile-learning presentation in 2009 and was blown away by it. This year again he was singing the praises of the iPod Touch (even over the iPad!) for students in education. Five iPod Touches for the cost of one laptop. He admits different uses, but Why use a HUGE laptop and a HUGE cost to access basic Internet and Email when an iPod Touch will do it beautifully. Also commented on schools still requiring a decent Wireless infrastructure. BOTH the Australian Horizon Report for 2010 AND Derek Wenmouths Top 10 education lists have small mobile wireless devices as Number 1 for 2010 in school IT developments.
He suggested Bump, Icanwrite, qBook and iPhonewzealand as worthwhile investments from local providers for schools. He also believed that staff need to feel these things in order to become hooked. He cited schools which were partially subsidising staff purchases.

Breakout 3 – Assessing digital content


Breakout 7 (Earlybird – TKI)

Keynote 2 (Alan November, USA)
We need to teach three things – the last two are How to deal with too much information and the other is to be self-learning. To do this, treat every student as a teacher and every teacher as a student.
Kids design their own rubrics; creating podcasts since they have an authentic audience because they’re creating for other students. Building Learning Communities is the job of current teachers. (Wayback machine – follows history of website) (personal website which includes bogus information) (Kids vodcasts teaching maths)
“BTW Inquiry teaching and facilitation leaves too much to chance”

Breakout 5 - Eleadership trials and tribulations
Insight into one cluster’s journey.
Kids get locked into the digital world and forget the other world around them.
Consider E-learning as “enhanced learning, explore-learning, Empathy-learning, Eager-learning, Engagement-learning”
In PLGs – Acknowledge people’s abilities in the room. Their job was to investigate the use of ICT in their subjects and present to the cluster. Principals were pushed to provide resources. Encouragement was the big thing.

Breakout 6 – Room 19 voices (Erin Flemming)
“Getting tricky with Wikis” is a great site for special features of wikispaces.
With e-portfolios: Decide whether you want process or product. Teacher feedback is essential. She is given one day a week to manage and train staff in e-portfolios.

- Glogster
- for surveys
Tutpup for basic facts
Newspaper Clipping generator

=====Helen Vear TGHS


Ten trends to watch for regarding the use of ICTs in the NZ education scene in 2009 - Derek Wenmoth from Core Education
1. Changing role of teachers and learners
Once they were consumers, sat, copied, read, listened
Now they are creators, contributors, communicators, collaborators, coordinators
Teachers bring coherence to the process
2. Internet capable, mobile devices for learning
List of countries by number of mobile phones in use
Gartner forecasts phones will overtake PCs as the most common for web browsing
With the exclusion of computers used mainly for administration, there is, on average, five primary school students per computer and three in secondary schools.
Despite this, the majority of computers in schools are used mainly by students: 60 percent in primary, 59 percent in secondary and 51 percent in Māori Medium schools
Computers in schools are most commonly PCs (89 percent secondary, 87 percent Māori Medium and 71 percent primary) and the most common operating system used is Windows XP (89 percent secondary, 76 percent primary and 72 percent Māori Medium schools).
3. Globalised learning
Increasingly globalised
More interacting across cultures towards the concept of international citizens
Phenomenal growth in world’s population – 1 billion mid 1800s, 8 billion 2024 – growth mostly in developed countries
4. Ubiquitous learning
Use our devices anywhere, anytime, any device

Introducing the computer
Drawing down from the net
Social networks

How do your programmes of learning enable students to continue learning outside of the classroom and school hours?
To what extent can staff and students go online anywhere in the school environment?
What expectations do we as a staff have of this?
5. Cyber citizenship
Digital citizens will adapt their existing knowledge to face new challenges
Will make their own decisions about how much risk they will expose themselves to
o Sharing personal information
o Inappropriate content
o Piracy
o Social networks
o Cyber bullying
o Functioning effectively in a digital world (skills, knowledge, integrity)
o Being discriminating
o Social participation?

6. Digital literacy
The range of skills, knowledge and competence required to operate effectively in a world immersed in digital technologies
7. Open education resources

  • Free, automatically updated, kids can get them at home (free), something about virtually everything
  • FHSST – free high school Science texts
  • DOAJ – Directory of open access journals
  • CCOTP – more free texts of many different subjects
  • The GIMP – photoshop
  • Inkscape – creates vector graphics
  • Scribus – desk top publishing
  • Blender 3D – 3D modelling programm
  • Solarium – astronomy
  • Wikitude – mobile global travel guide
  • Pligg – social networking
  • Koha – library management system (5 star rating system)

8. Cloud computing
  • Storage, backup, updates, maintenace, disaster recovery,
  • No infra-structure services, servers etc
  • Expert support
  • Automatic software updates
  • Backup and fail cover
  • Ubiquitous access
  • Collaboration potential
  • Albany Senior High School has all this for $125 per month
9. Advanced networks and school loops

  • Dial up connection 50 kb/s
  • Broad band anywhere between 256kb/s and 2 mb/s
  • Advanced network fibre 100 mb/s from the Karen network
10. Assessment practices

  • Purpose should always be explicit
  • Best interest of progress for students
  • Integral part of learning process
  • Information shared with students at the time of the event
  • Assessment should reflect content, aims etc
  • Takes into account different language styles and cultural expectations

Joy O’Connor (TGHS)
My best breakouts were:

Tools for Schools: voice recognition, text to speech & word prediction products. Melanie Holland works as a technical advisor for MOE. She compared product capabilities of commercial and freeware programmes designed to help students with physical and/or specific learning needs. This was a hands on workshop where we were able to try out many of the programmes ourselves. My pics of the freeware we trialled were:

Microsoft Vista and Windows 7 which is a voice recognition programme that can be used to input text and/or operate the computer totally hands free (after the computer is turned on) Vista has a vast array of voice commands not only to manipulate text within a document but also to move between documents, open windows, write emails & to operate your whole computer. It would be great for someone who has normal cognitive function but limited dexterity.

I was also impressed with Wordtalk which uses a windows operating system and embeds into MS Word. Wordtalk highlights text when read, has a talking dictionary, saves to MP3 and wav. It recognises a question mark by raising the voice at the end of the question and it is easy to use.
We were also given a 30 day trial of two word prediction programmes Texthelp & Kurzweil 3000.

Principal IT Tools to Make Our Lives Easier
presented by Mike Malcolm and Patrick Polland.
Mike & Patrick both use OneNote and Outlook to manage their files, emails, meeting agendas etc. They had lots of tips and challenged the breakout attendees to trial their suggestions. Their notes on using OneNote can be found on

Enhance Your Learning Programme with Free Resources and Offerings from Microsoft presented by Mark Woods
This session was great but unfortunately it was only a taster. We were given a brief look at Virtual Earth, Worldwide Telescope, Autocollage, Pivot, Photosynth and Moviemaker. The demonstrations were inspiring and possibilities for student learning were seemingly endless. It was great stuff and if I ever get the chance to go to a hands on session so I can explore the programmes in more depth then I would definitely take it.