ULearn 2009

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search


Wednesday 7th November: Gary Stager

Paraphrased/badly remembered quotes:

  • "The best way to stop students from being destructive is to give them ways to be constructive"
  • "Using the internet: searching for truth or finding 5 facts about cats."
  • "Some of the most sloppy educational work has been done around designing educational computer games."
  • "Stop protecting computers from children."
  • "When will we stop providing computers when all children have internet access on their person."
  • "Bill Gates has forgetten those important learning experiences when they design products that children today use."
  • "Do the children programme the computer or does the computer programme the child?"
  • "Because knowledge is a consequence of experience, the nature of that experience (and how computers can enhance/create this) is imporant.

Conference notes

1) Write a novel.

  • Get rid of large IT departments- pointlessness if regulating (over-regulating) computer/internet access.
  • The internet is about access to primary sources.
  • Google earth, tinkerplots, fathom, mathematica, inspire data

2) Points on:

  • using multiple sources has always been important (anti-wikipedia sentiment counter-argument)
  • Student - "I'm Done." Gary "What is done? School has taught students this idea of being something being done. There's always something more to learn!" - How to promote this kind of understanding at school? Especially in an assessment driven course! Hrm.

4) Computers as tools to exercise imagination What can/are students doing with computers?

  • The tools students are using on computers will (in some ways?) dictate what they are learning.

The best way to stop students from being destructive is to give them ways to be constructive - yay for computers! If they're being used in a thought-out way. Re, Gary's point about computer games and education; "some of the most sloppy educational work has been done around designing educational computer games." - or something like that. (unengaged student challenge a gritty reality here though?)

Lots of potential with educational game design - need to find tools that don't take too much time to learn? - Although, in his "personal computing and me" bit, Gary talked about teaching all kids how to program games...

5) Design a video game- not just consume them. Microworlds.com. GTA sell more copies in an afternoon than there are teachers in North America

6) Build a killer robot. Arduino? Schools are the only place where you group people by their incompetence.

  • 5 year old girl using programmable lego materials to make a ballerina spin.
  • Anaesthetising the teddybear to make it dance and sing. Using programmable lego blocks.
  • Reinvented a phonograph in a teenage prison.

Implications for Wednesdays

  • Wednesdays we have determined the proposal and presentation formats. We need to give students more control.
  • Another prisoner invented a temperature recorder over night. Make private thinking public- reggio emilia
  • If he can make a scientific instrument he can conduct scientific experiments.
  • -Ways to make modes/methods of proposal and presentations more flexibile while still requiring students to reflect on learning.
  • >Does this reflection need to place at least every week? This reflecting on learning does not necessarily need to be long, but does/has (so far this year) will take some practice. As has been pointed out already, the rigour/proof of IP's being worth while is in the students reflecting (not exhaustively and painfully but naturally, reflexively, succintly and specifically) on what they've learnt and how.
  • Staff expertise and previous experience is important here. Have we tapped into this enough previously? Also, our ability and decisions to engage in an area students are right into that we're not necessarily knowledgeable about. The relationship between already existing staff expertise and an area students discover they are passionate about/interested in that we don't have particular expertise in is important. Given the fast, machine-gun nature of Wednesday's, it can be difficult to slow down enough to genuinely engage with what students are doing, especially if it's an area we're not already familiar with.

7) The was a week in maybe 1987 when the school had better equiomnet than you did at home. It was a historical anomoly.

  • "Less us more them."
  • Always ask "Can I give more agency to the learner?"

8) Direct a blockbuster.

Two rules of film making:

  • Your video should be shorter.
  • It should be edited at least one more time.
  • "If I had more time, I could have written a shorter letter."
  • Film making should mirror the writing process

9) Compose a symphony Using software, all students have the ability to compose music. Music is such a powerful influence on young people. Missy Higgins had access to a digital recording studio, but everyone has now via software on computers.

10) Change the world. Political empowerment.

11) Gopher-cam

Exit requirement for school should be that if you see a hole in the ground or the the vast sky ahead or the world around you, you should be able to possess the skills to be able to begin answering questions.

Things you can do with a computer:

  1. write a novel
  2. share your knowledge
  3. answer tough questions
  4. make sense of data
  5. design a video game
  6. build a killer robot
  7. lose weight
  8. direct a blockbuster
  9. compose a symphony
 10. change the world
 11. be a mathematician, or scienctist, or enginerer, or luthier...

Thursday 8th November: Derek Wenmoth

Topic: The future's not what it used to be!

Notes by: Raymond and Hamish

  • Exponential increase in world population forecasted and its potential impact on human life. There will be many new challenges.
  • So, what do we want for our young people? Reference was made to the new NZ Curriculum and its underpinning philosophy.
  • Made the point that things are changing radically and more quickly now than they were 100+ years ago. How does this impact education?
  • Big rise in population in developing countries. Veeeery steep climb in world population after 1960. 9-12 billion by the middle of this century.
  • Gave examples of authentic use of technology (digital cameras etc) being used by students as part of and enhancing learning.
  • Showed a cool video of primary students appealing for an expert to help them with blogging. Suggested that it was cool to have students guiding the shape of learning in their own schools.

Horizon report - identifies 6 technologies that are presently impacting, and likely to impact schools in the short term and medium term future. 1) mobile internet devices. 2) cloud computing and private clouds 3) virtual, augmented and alternate realities-open up new ways to literacy and 3-D thinking. Derek gave a historical background on the Virtual Learning Network of NZ. Three teachers spoke about their involvement with Far Net Schools and Young Enterprise

Donald Clark, the CEO of the "Karen" organization gave an insight on where NZ currently is, with applying technology to improve productivity and what needs to be done in the future.

One year or less to adoption

  • Mobile internet devices
  • private clouds

Two to three years

  • Open content - ability to access resources. Creative commons! Ace. Wayne shared his passion about WikiEducator and Open Education Resource. Mark Osborne, a dynamic young VP at a new school, shared his experience and passion on how he guided his school to "push into the clouds"!
  • Virtual, augmented and alternate realities- Mark's video using the Layar app. I heard it as WikiEducator?? Dave Smith shared his experience on how to apply mobile technology to assist learning in remote locations and environments for the tourism industry.

Four to five years

  • Location-based learning (young people thinking in 3D)
  • Smart objects and devices (a device that knows where it is. Somehow connected with its environment.) Showed video of cracy block computers the recognise each other, but are also connected to a cloud (boggle type game, constructing words from blocks, which then check the dictionary to see if the word is legit - Pretty cool!


Geocaching for beginners

Ulearn notes - breakouts

Itroduction ot Geocaching

Trudy Brentnall.

Ultranet coach in Victoria

username on Geocaching.com: boxerdog

wherigo.com (GPS enabled adventure games)


Programming for the Xbox using C# and XNA Games Studio

  • Adrian Jansen, Melbourne High
  • Using gmae programming to engage kids.

MS Dreamspark Visual Studio

Creators' club online- upload your games to a community site

The pro tools are only sold by MS to game dev companies for $10K because people will write viruses for it.

About $150 per annum to share your games with people.

Cybersafety: Educate or block

Westley Field MLC, Sydney 1:1 for 14 years westley@mac.com skoolaborate.com

Blocking is preventing experience Experience is developing skills Authentic learning David Ford (lawyer) spoke to Westley about cybersafety. Podcast available when Westley stops travelling Policies: harm to others, doesn't harm the school name or reputation Intermapper Get busy Show the logs to students cyberbullying.info bullying.co.uk

Gary Stager : The Best Educational Ideas in the World


  • The constructivist consortium
  • Constructing modern knowledge .com

Best ideas:

  • FAB
  • Reggio emilia
  • OLPC
  • Generation yes
  • 'El sistema'
  • 826 Valencia- Eggers

Quotes: "The ideas are more important than the tools!" "Every problem has been solved somewhere." "Bad ideas are timeless, but good ones are incredibly fragile and difficult to maintain." "School has always reflected the technology of the day." - It should be expected that a dominant technology will drive the way we teach. "Making things is better than being passive. Making good things is even better." On defining a project: "A project is just something you want to share."

Powerful ideas - common principals:

  • Respect for each learner
  • Authentic problems
  • Real tools and materials
  • Expanded opportunities
  • Learning is natural
  • Urgency
  • Commitment to social justice and democracy

These Educational ideas powered by:

  • Project-based Learning
  • PERSONAL computing
  • A belief that things need not be as they seem.

Common principles:

  • Respect for each learner
  • authentic problems
  • real tools and materials
  • expanded opportunities
  • learning is natural
  • urgency
  • commitment to social justice and democracy.

Idea 1: Fab and Fab labs Fab: Personal fabrication.

Neil Gershenfeld - The How to Make Anything course. Originally thought it would only attract engineering students but heaps of people enrolled in it.

Gershenfield suggests that people making their own products will be a reality soon! Stager used the example of getting plans for a watch and combining the features from another one and make it. Ace.

Alan Alda on a video for Fab Labs. Shows an example of a bicycle that was emailed to a 3D printer.

Implications for education. His daughter uses a water jet cutter in art class, made the point about the coolness of the blurring of the boundaries between traditional subjects. Also, that it's only in the last century or so that we've decided you can be either an artist or a scientist.

Moved onto to muse about computer programming and why it's generally considered a job thing and doesn't have the same aesthetical consideration that arty pursuits do. Why not program for pleasure? Why is knitting considered a more viable passtime than knitting? Lols. -->Creative computing.

Make magazine takes Creative Computing one step further.

Making things is better than being passive Making good things is even better

Sim Middle Ages.- Microworlds

Idea 2: Reggio Emilia

  • Not a system, but an approach.
  • Authentic "deliberate" materials and tools.
  • Authentic problems.
  • Appointments not schedules.

The role of documentation - complex. Could be a form of assessment, could be a form of public relations BUt more sophisticated than this. Teachers recorded students conversations and then got together later to talk about it. Sophisticated use of documentation - making the private thinking public.

The are clever about how they shift agency to the students.

Pedagogista - A teacher who helps other teachers understand how the students think. An actual role with the Reggio Emilia approach (I think?)

Authentic problems - something you can actually sink your (or the students can sink their) teeth into. Not too big (solving world hunger) not too artificial, not too pointless etc.

No piece of paper should go home if it has not been constructed by the student. Create a picture of the school and the teacher write come to parents night.

Respect what the students can do: particularly when it comes to technology.

Students in prison were offered the opportunity to attend university and spontaneously decided to gather their work together into portfolios. Intrinsic motivation.

Elements of an effective project:

  • Authentic purpose
  • Time
  • Personally meaningful
  • Complex, including serendity
  • Connected
  • Shareable
  • Access to abundant constructive materials

"A project is something you want to share"

GenYes.com pedagogically aligned technology support from students

An Artist's Aesthetic: (evaluating student's work through a different lens)

  • beautiful
  • thoughtful
  • personally meaningful
  • sophisticated
  • shareable with a respect for the audience
  • moves you
  • enduring

Showcase to the Future- the New, the Wild and the Wacky! By 7 presenters

  • Social Networking (Roger). The value of on-line learning not well understood by teachers. On-line conference available to teachers to raise profile of on-line learning. Learning Spaces 09.ning.com. Any NZ school is welcomed to join this community site through sending an email. A new concept. On trial in S. Australia. Four themes: Learning Spaces-special interest groups are popular.
  • Darren Aitken (Physics teacher)- LEARNZ takes you there....Virtual Field Trips. Taking students/teachers to highly remote spots in NZ. Make short video clips whilst there. Talk to experts live/on-site. Operates a Web Board for question/answer, 1-month before and after the trip. Schools are invited to send an Ambassador. Experiences are focussed mainly on Science but has expanded into Social Science, Technology and the Arts. Learnz has been running for the last 10 years. Typically 20-24 trips planned for each year.
  • OERNZ(Wayne)- Open Education Resource, NZ. Hosted on WikiEducator. Provide free training to people who wants to join. www.wikieducator.org Reference made to recent President Obama's support to an open-source clearing house.
  • Livescribe (Jane) . U-tube video clip shown on pulsesmart pen (Currently costin $500 in NZ). Needs dedicated physical note book
  • Bento (Matt)- database, eg student information. Provides a link to original files and help to organize them in "one area". Latest version. Bento 3. allows 5 users to view data concurrently.
  • Fiber Network Connectivity (Peter)- Virtual Education Networks Ltd. www.virtualeducation.net.nz. Internet, Cloud Computing and Virtualisation- over fibre
  • Ultra Low-cost Computing for Education (John from NComputing)- Maximize your investment on PCs by sharing their excess power with many users. X-series Kit for education, X-350 and X-550

Italic text

Presenters: Tony Bryant and Amanda Prosser

Note takers: Hamish and Raymond

Bryant from Silverton Primary School in Greater Danenong, ~370 students. Low socio-economic status. A challenge to get kids to come to school before school philosophy change.

Open Plan design with 4 Flexible Learning Centres. (Similar to ASHS concept?). High level of trust given to students (with minimal teachers' supervision) for access to school facilities and equipment and students have demonstrated themselves to be worthy of that trust. It took about 5 years for them to achieve the current level of responsibility and success with the Open Plan Concept.

School is considered as "cutting edge" in IT application to learning and teaching. Students undertake interdisciplinary and project based work Authentic learning experiences are emphasized. Their experience has shown that it's easier to change the physical environment but harder to change teachers' minds. Teachers sent overseas to do research.

Have they talked about anything we're not doing yet? It shows how progressive ASHS is!!!

-ICT compulsory in all units - Eeek! Does this always lead to modular, inauthentic teaching though? Maybe not... -ICT goals a compulsory component of all performance appraisal goal setting for staff. -Mentoring system between staff members.

Silverstone's Expectations (ICT): All curriculum planning documents must incorporate ICT. ICT peer coaches appointed to work with teachers. Teachers may use students as ICT experts. In doing so, teachers should not feel threatened.

ICT Resources- a wide range is available at school including IPOD Touches, Nintendo, MP3 Players, Robotics, FM Radio Station(real life learning experience), etc.

7 Keys to the Future of Learning and the Digital Revolution

Gordon Dryden - The world's biggest-selling non-fiction author

Talked about global curriculum guidelines. Likes the term interactive technology, rather than long winded ICT terms, hehe!

He spoke about his book, "Unlimited". He's very positive about cutting edge stuff NZ schools can potentially achieve in the future

Learning by doing - talked about his background, left highschool and decided to do correspondence.

Some ideas from Silicon Valley:

  • Crossing the Chasm- 2% are Innovators, 13% Early Adopters. The 1 2 3 model for crossing the chasm- simply excellent, simple,
  • 25%-How big?, 25%-How simple?, 25%-How fast?, 25%-How managed?

He describes himself as a:

  • Dreamer
  • Dropout
  • Simplifier-"whoever simplifies the digital revolution will change the world"

Talked about innovation in learning vs rote learning.

Martyn Weatherill's workshop at an intermediate school in Howick- Gave out a cd with 27 awesome e-learning tools. How to get a copy of this?

iPropose: we accept the challenge from the minister AND that actually we already are these things:

  • No. 1 in 21st century innovation; aim to be the first in cloud platforming.
  • No. 1 in 21st century creativity; the Peter Jackson model (not quite sure what he meant by this?)
  • No. 1 in 21st century literacy

Gordon thinks we should go further than this though:

  • No 1 in 21st century science
    • The scientific method of bold, creative thinking
    • nano, bio, neuro, digital, digital science.
  • No 1 in 21st century democracy; world first in open source philosophy
  • No 1 in 21st century mathematics; world leader in creative games technology.
  • No. 1 in 21st-century national exams- Now: to learn it, do it ans show the results. The Nanyang Poytech in Singapore was quoted as a good example

What we don't accept:

  • No simple, flawed assessment system. Gordon is strongly opposed to standardised testing!
  • "teach to test" and learning by memorization

Designed unique template for his latest book. Two tiered: 1) TV story board, 2) text. Made the point that digital technology in the new few years will enable books to be more like this, interactivity with visual and auditory mediums.

Gordon spoke about how books will be designed and written in the future. underpinned by the digital revolution.

He went on to talk about the 7 key principles to the future for the education world:

That different future:

  • 1-5 years: key building blocks (detail argument he'd had with Gary Stager) Talked about not divorcing the details of areas and contexts, talked about teaching children phonics methods.
  • Global primary curriculum (not a syllabus) Gordon thinks the curriculum is still a bit complicated for primary. Referred to IBL primary curriculum.
  • 50% high school courses too
  • 50% of subject courses online. Not divided by year levels though, figuring out skill level divisions instead.On line design makes it available to similar interest groups, around the world
  • Personalised approach

A Clear lesson for Education:

  • "First, Break All the Rules"- book by Buckingham and Coffman. (Suggest ASHS Library to acquire this book).
  • Everyone has a talent to be great at something. The trick is to find it. Hehe! It's not if you're bright but how you're bright.
  • Then develop that talent
  • Link up multi-talented teams and then learn from each other.
  • Keep reinventing! The Overseas School in Singapore was cited as a working model. Model state high school in Christchurch in NZ
  • Learn anything, anytime, anywhere

Key 2: Talked about performativity. Key 3: It's global, web 2.0 Key 4: Its Instant Key 5: It's mainly Free. Linux: the core of computer operating systems, Netscape, Google, Skype Key 6: It's easily shared. Eg. YouTube, MySpace, Cyworld(Korea), DoCoMo(Japan), Facebook. The Big Challenge: Students as multimedia journalists. Need to reinvent education now!

Vital changing role for teachers and leaders: inverting the pyramid.

Gordon's Book: Each chapter has been designed as a PI discussion. Let's read his book

The 6 ethical values of the digital citizen

Andrew Church Intro Internet usage increasing internationally - 225 million websites - lots of information. How many cell phones? 3.3 billion. Namibia - haven't bothered with hard-wired phone lines, just gone straight to cell network. lots of phones in NZ Flickr - 3 billion photographs - see some of the best photography in the world! 13 hours of video uploaded to youtube every minute.

Went on talk about how electronic devices are changing the way we think.

"Computing isn't about computing anymore, it's about living." - Nicolas Negroponte

What does this mean to education? We discussed this for two minutes.

What does this mean to education? Walked round finding out what people do.

Colosseum and Roman times - 3 categories of people. Slaves, citizen of occupied Rome, Roman citizen. Varying levels of rights and responsibilities.

"We have all of the rights and all of the advantages of living in a digital world... but we must also have some of the responsibilities that go with this."

3 points: Respect and protect yourself Respect and protect others Respect and protect intellectual property

Respect and protect yourself Told some horror stories of people putting silly things on facebook and getting in trouble. Also mentioned online names issues.

Showed the "Sarah" video we've got on the intranet at school.

More horror stories. Be careful!

Respect and protect others Talked about cyber bullying. Showing respect by not visiting certain sites Reporting abuse.

Respect and protect intellectual property Apparently google books is scanning all of the books not printed in the US and putting them on google books!!! Eeek! Church suggested that Google consider these books all out of print.

www.dhmo.org - Awesome! Hehe.

Waded into the wikipedia debate.

Then talked about copyright, itunes, piracy etc.

Creative commons!

Had some good links to sites he uses for images etc at the end.

Innovative Integrated on-line Teaching

Presenters: Team from the Correspondence School (Breakout No. 4) Notes by: Raymond

  • Some terminology related to E-learning was introduced: Augmented, Blended and On-line processes. Synchronous(real-time) tools like video conferencing versus asynchronous ones like the wiki (24/7) access were mentioned. The latter tool, with 24/7 access, helps with student-centered learning.
  • One of the speakers spoke about Google Docs as a powerful tool for communication and collaboration. That's us!
  • Some basic programmes/equipment were suggested for schools to own: Skype, Open Office, Adobe Reader, Handybits, Google Earth, Shockwave Player, Webcam
  • Web 2.0 Tools and related sites were introduced: voicethread.com, animoto.com, mindmeister.com, wordle.com(it was reported that President Obama used this recently. Cool!), photostory 3, New Mind Map (useful for brainstorming. Example was shown of how students used this for a project on the recent H1N1 pandemic. We can make our students aware of its availability for their Impact Projects)
  • Students need to develop skills to evaluate websites that they would use. www.bbc.co.uk/skillwise is useful for this purpose.
  • One speaker introduced Creative Commons through a video clip. It is a non-profit organization to help people share their works so as to increase creatiivty and help them deal with copyright issues legally. More info available on www.creative.commons.org. This website has links to FLICKR.com, YouTube and soundboard.com

Teacher Professional Learning and Development

Presenter: Prof Helen Timperly, University of Auckland (Breakout 5), lecture style

Notes by: Raymond

1. Why do we need PD?

  • knowledge is changing
  • student composition changing
  • job requirements changing
  • "learning from experience" is no longer enough

2. Four Foundational Understandings

  • student learning is strongly influenced by what and how teachers teach
  • teaching is complex and so effective PD can't be just be an "add on". Instead it should be proactive and planned
  • effective PD is responsive to the ways teachers learn
  • professional learning is shaped by the context in which teachers practice

3. What does work for PD?

  • like students, teachers would also need Formative Assessment. Teachers should have ways of identifying their needs and monitoring their success and also have some control of the process.

4. What is it that teachers need to learn to make a difference for their students? Some proven ideas were suggested

  • focus on valued student learning outcomes
  • worthwhile content. Knowledge and skills developed by teacher should be effective in achieving valued student outcomes
  • integration of knowledge and skills
  • assessment for professional inquiry (PI)
  • like students, teachers need multiple opportunities to learn in a trusting and challenging environment
  • approaches used are responsive to learning processes
  • provide opportunities to process new learning with others
  • provide knowledgeable expertise to challenge existing assumptions and develop new knowledge and ideas.

Creating an Interactive Classroom

Presenter: Steve form "Iteach Interactiv" (Breakout No. 7)

Notes by: Raymond

Using an interactive whiteboard to engage students: Watched a video clip on how digital learning engages students.

  • soft touch board. So finger touch can be used
  • can be either interactive mode or whiteboard mode- stuff written on board will be saved in this mode
  • Tools used by teacher to interact with whiteboard/laptop were shown.
  • In the interactive mode, the whiteboard can function like a huge mousepad. Teacher can write on existing maps, pictures or other information downloaded on line.

Demonstration on "Easy Teach" system (UK) which can be used on interactive whiteboards.

Demo on how to use powerpoint on i-whiteboard effectively.

Question to ask is: How i-whiteboards can help engage my students? Our current students- Generation Z!

Web 2.0 Tools- some specific examples were shown and all can be acessed from the i-whiteboard

Effective use of the i-Whiteboard

Blogs- watched a video clip on what they are (communication tool- sharing news and info) and how thay can be used for learning at schools. Teacher can allocate individual space to each student of his class.

Wikis- editing of content is allowed. Wikipaedia is probably the most well known public wiki

Other software that can interact with whiteboard- 1) Whiz Teach for learning maths, english 2) Easy Teach 3) Qwizdom- for setting up interactive quizzes.