Friday, 27 May 2016

A Practical learning process

For breakthrough this term our Hub thought we would try something different. As a vehicle to explore effective communication in our Hub, we have embarked on a collaborative breakthrough project whereby the overall success of the project requires full effort and participation from each and every learner. From roles such as project managers, case creators, location managers, administration and travel team and a fitness team to prepare us for the big day, each learner has a vital role to fulfil. As the weeks progress, learners NEED to develop their skills of effective communication in order to collaborate. 

Today in Digital Immersion at the Tamaki Campus of the University of Auckland, the MDTA cohort experimented with Stop Motion animation. I decided to create my short movie around geocaching, and more specifically, the role that the Stonefields Learning process and learner qualities can play when we find ourselves stuck in the learning pit. Although quite time-consuming, Stop-motion animation is very easy to use once the content has been planned and all props are ready to go! The actual shooting of the photos took about 20 minutes, whereas the planning and editing took much longer. I look forward to sharing this with my learners and hearing what they might like to use this tool for. Video below...

Saturday, 21 May 2016

iMovie 101

This week's highly anticipated session revolved around iMovie basics. Having never used iMovie before and having never been proactive enough to seek out online tutorials, I was thrilled to have the opportunity for small group mentoring on iMovie basics.

Not knowing anything about how the tool works, iMovie looks quite intimidating. You know what you want to do but you just don't quite know how to do it. Having some sandpit time to make a movie without any expectations of quality and content allowed us to explore and discover the many functions of iMovie, all of which were so easy to access and apply as long as you simply know how!

I was able to make the following movie within a couple of hours. The overarching theme: A day in the life of a Hub 5 learner. 

If I did it again, there are a few things I would have done differently
Putting on my reflective teacher lense, I took more than just the tangible skills away from today's session. Had we been put on the spot to create a video to be submitted for judging, there would have been more pressure on learning the technical skills and we would not have been able to put much effort into the actual content. Allowing us the time to play however, meant that we were able to build our confidence in using the tool so that when we are required to use it for an authentic task, we can focus more on the content. The same goes for my learners. When introducing a new digital tool it is important to let them play before hand so that when they are required or want to use it for a specific task, they spend most of their energy developing content rather than exerting most of their energy to learn technical skills. Definitely something I am going to be more aware of when in the classroom. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Manaiakalani BT's Connect

Earlier his week our digital immersion day led us to Panmure Bridge School, where we had the opportunity to connect with our colleagues who are also new to the digital 1-1 environment within the Manaiakalani Cluster.

Fiona led the session on learning to create and creating to learn. The first creation required us to work in groups, creating an advertisement for an idea or a product within 15 minutes. Our group chose to sell an idea, the idea of 'take the lid off'. With our teacher lenses on, we interpreted this idea as the act of allowing creativity into the lives of our learners. The following video was the result...

Our second physical creation of the day was encouraged to be a digital artefact an was to be based on our teacher as inquiry focus. I spent all afternoon exploring new digital tools - stop motion animator, animaker and trusted Ol' iMovie, and yet I was unable to decide on which tool to use, having started a project within each of the applications. I reflected on my learning and having had a late night the night before, I empathised with my some of my learners - the pressure to create with so many options, not enough ideas and not enough sleep had me feeling exhausted and in all honesty, a little bit stressed! I needed more time. Which is exactly what I had. A few days later, having had a bit more exploration time, I was able to create the following...

Friday, 6 May 2016

Snap Happy

Google Photos - Collage of Maungarei

Todays session had two elements to it. For the first part of it, we explored parts of the Cybersmart curriculum and talked about the difference between being Cybersafe and Cybersmart. The main point of difference for me I guess, was the fact the being Cybersafe has a focus on the preventative measures one should take to remain 'safe' online, where as being Cybersmart focuses on empowering the device user. A point that really stood out for me today was when Fiona Grant was speaking about creating a Smart Footprint. Her point was that when a learner is new to their own device, it is like their own private world, they are understandably, with deliberate teaching, are unaware of how visible every move they make online really is.

The second element of today was the focus of using still images and the accessibility and transfer of these from and to iPhones and Macs. We explored Google Photos and the creation of collages, as well as the ease of creating photo slideshows with Youtube. The collage is comprised of images I took of Maungarei and the youtube Slideshow...well, please view to see!

I am looking forward to utilising this new skill of creating REALLY EASY Youtube Slideshows to put on our Hub site as well as sharing this new knowledge with my learners!