EdTechSA Conference 2016: Seesaw and Digital Portfolios

Friday 22nd July 2016: EdTechSA Conference

Hi everyone,

Today is my first solo presentation at a state conference. My presentation is about the use of Seesaw as a digital portfolio in schools.

Here is my workshop rationale:

My workshop is about using an app called Seesaw to assist with creating digital portfolios for students and parents. It is an app that allows communication from school to home but can also be used as on online learning platform within your class. Students can select work they would like to share with their parents via notes, photos, audio files and videos. The app is free and fabulous. Come to my workshop to learn about digital learning using Seesaw. I have been using this app for the last 2 years in Year 2 but am part of an ICT group at my school to assist with the roll out of the app across the whole school. Currently we have been trialling the app with Receptions, Year 2’s and Year 5’s. I have many ideas to share with you about how to use this app across age ranges and ability levels. Parents have absolutely loved this tool to assist them with understanding their child’s learning. It is a fantastic way to track your student’s progress and communicate their personal progress throughout the year. Please come along to learn about this digital tool for digital learning.

Here is a link to the PowerPoint that I used during my presentation: Seesaw EdTechSA 2016 (1)

Video Resources:

What is Seesaw?

Why Digital Portfolios?

My Seesaw Feed: Touring the features of Seesaw

Self Assessment using Seesaw: I found this video and thought it would be great to apply this process in all areas of learning. I haven’t used Seesaw in this way but aim to implement this process next term.

How to use the Blogging feature in Seesaw:

Here is a document with resources, Seesaw reviews and links to Seesaw schools in Australia. It’s worth having a read:

Seesaw Readings and Thoughts to Consider

I hope you have found this post useful and I highly recommend you give Seesaw a try in your own class. For more information about Seesaw visit their website: http://web.seesaw.me/

If you have any comments or questions about this presentation please leave a comment.

Thanks

Jade

Digital Citizenship in the PYP 2016

Digital Citizenship in the PYP Workshop: Wednesday 20th- Friday 22nd of January 2015 (24 hours PD)

For the last 3 days I have been involved in a workshop called Digital Citizenship in the PYP.

My workshop facilitator was Nathan Pope (@Chinaheadk12), he was great at catering for a diverse group of learners and was very open to sharing resources and his presentation with us. I learnt some new things about Digital Citizenship and many discussions reaffirmed some of my prior knowledge and allowed me to share content with the group.

So what is Digital Citizenship?

This image is a brainstorm chart of my group’s definition of Digital Citizenship.

It says: Being a digital citizen means having an awareness of how to be safe and responsible in the digital community. We also wanted to acknowledge a level of accountability for individuals.

A useful resource I have used with Year 6 students about Digital Citizenship: http://www.digitalcitizenship.nsw.edu.au/

My previous post (2 days ago) was a response to one of our workshop readings, which stimulated great discussion within our group about the use of technology in the classroom. This post is an overview of the course and the highlights for myself as a learner.

Some of my highlights included:

  • Some old and new Learning Engagement strategies, I particularly loved the Nearpod poll, (http://nearpod.com/) this allowed you to see results being generated from the class live. Nearpod is a tool for delivering content that I would like to trial with my students. You can set it to class mode and run through it as a group or set it to individual mode where students can work through content and tasks at their own pace. Something worth exploring for sure.

 Learning Engagements

  • Web 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0 and learning what these were and the difference between each. I had never heard of this before but it was something I enjoyed learning about. Here is a brainstorm image from the workshop explaining this. In short Web 1.0 is readable content we can view but not edit, Web 2.0 is writeable content we can collaborate with others on and Web 3.o is executable, artificial intelligence, computers communicating with computers to share content relative to our interests. Pretty amazing stuff. Please also view the video link for a more detailed explanation below.
  • Web1.0,2.0 & 3.0
  • After learning about Web 2.0 we were asked to choose a piece of technology that we use to collaborate and identify the opportunities and threats about it. I chose Seesaw as I will be using Seesaw with my class again this year as part of our digital portfolios and starting blogs in junior primary. Here is what I came up with:
  • Seesaw
  • Google a Day Challenge: http://www.agoogleaday.com/ I’m interested in using this with middle to upper primary students to assist them with searching tips using Google. There are some skills that need to be specifically taught and refining searches is one of them.
  • Are we disconnecting by being digitally connected? I stumbled across this video whilst searching for something else but thought it was just too good not to share. It’s about the issues we have today about being connected by technology but disconnecting socially in real life. I think everybody should take the next 20 minutes and just watch this Ted Talk by Sherry Turkle, especially those addicted to their phones!
  •  
  • We also explored Digital Footprints, Cyber Safety/ bullying, Grooming and Creative Commons and copyright issues (plagiarism). I have a bit of a background knowledge on these topics already but would like to add the videos I thought were quite good in relation to these topics.
  • Digital Footprint:
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  • Creative Commons:
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  • Cyber Safety resource for students. I’ve used this with Junior Primary up to Year 6’s: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/cyberquoll/
  • Digital Citizenship Rubric: We discussed the importance of intellectual property and plagiarism. We defined plagiarism:Plagiarism is the use and copy of unacknowledged works. Works can include pieces of art, music, theatre performances, graphic designs, photography, film, published/ written works online, website content, programmes, graphs and digital representations. 
    • We then discussed ways in which we could educate students about plagiarism and how to check if their work was cited properly. This rubric can be used or adapted to suit your students, I think it’s quite good. Digital Citizen Rubric
  • Finally Policy Documents: We had the opportunity to look at policy documents from other people’s schools in the group. The big take away point was that staff, students and parents should be involved in creating the policy documents. Too often it is the responsibility of a senior/ leadership staff member to create policy documents and then they share it, ask people to read it and then it’s done. Some people will take the time to read the policies but I dare say that more people will not find the time to engage with them… So, getting people involved in the policy drafting process and then handing the ideas over to leadership or senior staff to finalise is probably a better way to go about it.
  • Resources: Here is a link to the course website that Nathan Pope shared with each of us. It has many great articles, videos, resource links and examples of policy documents. I hope you find them as useful as I do: https://sites.google.com/site/jadedigitalcitizensite/home

Final thought, we are all Digital Citizens, it is our responsibility to be great role models for our students and share our knowledge and understanding about what it means to be a good citizen, on and offline.

Thanks for reading, please post a comment.

Jade

No Computers to Be Found! No Screens at All! They’re Not Allowed in the Classroom!!!

Digital Citizenship in the PYP: Day 1 of 3

Workshop facilitator: Nathan Pope: @Chinaheadk12

Homework for this evening is to read this article:

At Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, Technology Can Wait – The New York Times (1)

Waldorf School frowns upon the use of computers and screens within classroom environments and discourages home use.

I had to go back and check the dates of this article and was amazed that this was only written in 2011… if you read the article you would understand my confusion.

The article goes on to explain that children do not need computers in education, instead this school is “focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans”.

My experience is polar opposite to this mindset.

Other points to note in summary of this article:

  • The debate comes down to subjectivity, parental choice and a difference of opinion over a single word: engagement.
  • Advocates for equipping schools with technology say computers can hold students’ attention and, in fact, that young people who have been weaned on electronic devices will not tune in without them.
  • “Teaching is a human experience,” he said. “Technology is a distraction when we need literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.”
  • And where advocates for stocking classrooms with technology say children need computer time to compete in the modern world, Waldorf parents counter: what’s the rush, given how easy it is to pick up those skills?

My thoughts on these points:

  • The word engagement is key. Student engagement should not be centred around the use of technology. I believe hands on, visual and human based interactions in learning are of the upmost importance. Technology should be used to enhance the learning experience, using the tech is not the learning experience. We are not teaching technology for the sake of the tools, we are using technology to support the learning process. If we are just using the technology for the sake of learning about a new tool we need to seriously rethink our approaches to teaching and learning.
  • The whole notion of working with children who have been raised with a dependence on electronic devices to maintain attention and engagement is frankly a scary thought! I believe that balance with devices is important and children require boundaries with the amount of screen time they have day to day. It seems that it has become socially acceptable/ tolerated for people to look at their devices at ‘inappropriate’ times, adults are just as guilty of this offence as children. What happened to the good old days of eye contact and having a lunch with a friend, or listening in a staff meeting, a friendly interaction at the grocery store with the checkout attendant, without the interruption of a mobile phone notification? I’m thinking that people need to be taught digital manners as well as digital citizenship! Working in Junior Primary I’m constantly reminding and supporting children with eye contact, body language cues, reading people’s reactions, emotions and expressions. Look up and engage with others around you! There is no need to use a device to engage a student, sometimes the tech does that but it is not the reason we use it.
  • Human interactions are of vital importance. We are more capable of connecting and collaborating with people from all around the world than ever before. We can learn from others, critically reflect on content that we are sharing and question how we could solve problems. Critical thinking and problem solving is a big part of digital interactions. We can do this in person, face to face and we can also do this digitally. Some children are better at communicating online than in person, I personally find that I’m a better communicator whilst online too! Not that I don’t enjoy speaking with people, it’s simply that I’m capable of clearly communicating my points of view after reflection and consideration whilst typing on my blog rather than in real time conversation. I’m a slow processor and appreciate time to think things over before expressing my opinion.
  • Lastly, just how easy is it to pick up computer and digital technology skills? If you isolate a student from using a computer and then introduce it to them at a later stage in their development they won’t simply pick it up and know what to do with it. We learnt about the phrase ‘Digital Natives’ during our workshop today, please visit the podcast and article: http://podcast.concordiashanghai.org/blog/2014/11/17/tech-talk-roundtable-72-digital-natives-use-digital-spears/
  • Students are not born with tech knowledge and they need to be taught how to navigate through a digital world. So much of what they will need in their lives revolves around being a digital citizen and learning the skills required to collaborate, create and critically analyse things that are online.

Another great video to watch after todays session to get this point across:

Enjoyed the reading and looking forward to sharing this post for further discussion in tomorrow’s workshop.

Thanks for reading

Jade

Effective Lesson Design: Intentional Planning

Week 4, Term 2, 2015. Curriculum Staff Meeting

Category: 1. Know students and how they learn, 3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, 5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning, 6. Engage in professional learning,

Topic: Effective Lesson Design: Intentional Planning

I presented at staff meeting this evening about a course I’ve been on recently called Effective Teaching in English & Mathematics. The course has been designed by AISSA (Association of Independent Schools of SA) and delivered by Rosemary Kadow and Desiree Gilbert. Some of the references and resources have come from their course guide. The course runs for 3 days and I still have one more day left but thought I should reflect on my experiences so far and what I have shared with my colleagues.

Our school has been focusing on curriculum alignment. We are an IB school so we have been focusing on aligning ACARA with IB, making our planning intentional and clear for all to assist with informing our assessments and reporting.

Here is the Keynote Presentation we used at Staff Meeting:

 

Attached are the handouts provided to staff from the course booklet we received:

Intentional Handouts

Things I take away from this experience:

  1. The reflective tools were useful and I have enjoyed using them with my class and other staff seemed to appreciate more strategies to try out in class. IMG_0447
  2. I spent a considerable amount of time planning out this presentation and working with a colleague of mine to really dig deep. We reflected on why we should plan intentionally and how we can improve teaching practice by starting at the big picture and working backwards by design. Breaking down the objectives and curriculum standards to teachable and intentional lessons. Here is an example of an intentional planner in Mathematics that I made this term. Intentional Planner Maths T2 Money
  3. Success Criteria. Our lessons should hold no secrets. Students should know what we aim to do, how they can achieve success and the purpose behind the task. This is all part of WALT (What Are Learning To), WILF (What I’m Looking For) & TIB (This Is Because). Shirley Clarke introduced the concepts of WALT, WILF & TIB, google her and images for each and you will find an abundance of resources.

I had some good feedback after the session from staff. One staff member (Paul Huebl) blogged about our presentation and noted the following:

  • Learning intentions must be explicitly clear for all students in the room. Intentions must be visible.
  • Learning intentions are not descriptions of an activity. They are directly linked to achievement standards.
  • There should be no secrets in the learning process –> this means success criteria must also be clear and explicit.
  • Success criteria tell kids “You can succeed at this and this is how you do it”. What does it look like to achieve the learning intention?
  • Along with WALT statements (We Are Learning To) and WILF statements (What I’m Looking For) you also need to address TIB (This Is Because) which links WALT and WILF to the students personal contexts.
  • To help with students engaging with WALT and WILF statements, these can be present on task sheets and blank work sheets. That way teachers can easily indicate how students have performed against them.
  • Students should be able to state learning intentions and success criteria. This is easier if displayed as above.
  • Don’t use the term differentiate. Say ‘make it accessible’.

If you wish to read more of Paul Huebl’s blog post please click on this link:

http://mrhuebl.edublogs.org/2015/05/12/deliberate-planning/comment-page-1/#comment-51

I will blog again about my final session and share some more strategies I have used in the classroom.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Thanks, please leave a comment.

Jade

Welcome back to school! Let’s play!

IB: Play-Based Learning in the PYP

PAC: Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th of January 2015

Presenter: Jo Fahey & Workshop Facilitator: Heather O’Hara

IMG_3523

It’s only a couple of weeks until the children come back to school and I’m trying to get my junior primary headset back and what better way to do that than to engage with play-based learning!

For the last three years I’ve been teaching in Year 6 in the MYP, prior to that I was teaching Year 2’s in the PYP and now I’m back! Very excited to be back too. My colleagues in year 6 would often say to me, “You’re such a JP teacher”, usually as I sat on the floor with my students, materials sprawled across the floor. I am generally a visual and hands on learner and I believe this way of learning is natural for myself and many children. This is also known as exploratory learning or play-based learning. Using materials, props, resources to make meaning and sense of our world.

We listened to Jo Fahey about the importance of socio-dramatic play. Research has shown that students are highly engaged and participate in an authentic and mature way whilst role-playing. These play experiences help students to make sense of their world and how it works. It also allows students to take on roles and responsibilities as global citizens.

We then went to our workshop with Heather O’Hara. As part of this course we explored the definition of play:

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We then looked at the image of the child and what was at the core of what we do as educators to meet the needs of children. Why do we teach? What is the purpose behind what we do? What do we as educators do to support and develop the child?

Great read: Your Image of the Child: Where Teaching Begins by Loris Malaguzzi

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We had some interesting discussions about the words inquiry, play and learning. Are these words interchangeable? We couldn’t come to an agreement but it was agreed that playing is inquiry and learning is a product of both.

I loved exploring learning spaces at PAC. We visited the ELC and Reception rooms. In particular I enjoyed looking at this writing space pictured below. It showed intention and purpose, involved sensory elements and tied in students prior knowledge and resources to further develop their understandings. It was an inviting and engaging learning space to assist playing with writing.

IMG_1820 IMG_1821

IMG_1822 IMG_1823

I have also been inspired by Reggio classrooms. Something I have been researching and trying to work on in my own learning spaces for the last few years.

Here are some links to my Pinterest boards regarding Reggio and Play-Based Learning:

https://www.pinterest.com/jadevidovich/reggio/

https://www.pinterest.com/jadevidovich/play-based-learning/

These images were in the PAC Early Learning Centre. I particularly liked the grass mat and wooden blocks and tree stumps. Things I have been on the look out for and am acquiring soon 🙂

IMG_1815 IMG_1810

We explored this Central Idea:

Respectful and careful consideration of space, materials and relationships infuse all aspects of early childhood instruction.

From here my group came up with these lines of inquiry:

Developing Learning Spaces
Why is it important to change and develop learning spaces?
How can spaces be utilised effectively?
How can spaces be a provocation for learning?

Materials for Engagement & Exploration
How important are materials and resources for learning?
What types of materials engage the learner?
How do we select appropriate materials for learning?
Forming Positive Relationships
What does a positive relationship look like?
Why are positive relationships important to student well-being and their development?
How do we know that we are encouraging positive connections with self, peers, environment and the community/ wider-world?
It was great to listen to and discuss our own beliefs and experiences around these. We also had time to do our own research about each of these areas. Some other groups took us outside to explore how nature and the outdoor spaces around us can be learning spaces that engage students and activate inquiry and play-based learning. Visiting other learning spaces at PAC and this group time was probably the most enjoyable part of the course. I was also able to look at my current planners and think about how to set up my class as a provocation for our first inquiry. This was useful reflective time.
I’m looking forward to setting up my classroom for 2015.
Stay tuned for pictures of playful, intentional and purposeful learning spaces on my blog.
Thanks Heather O’Hara for running the course for the last three days. It has given me time to get my JP headset back and explore ideas for including more play in my learning space.
Lets start 2015!
Action Plan: 
1. Set up my classroom with the ideas I’ve accumulated over the last 3 days. Post pictures on my blog.
2. Share these play-based ideas with my staff and encourage this to be resourced and funded by the school.
3. Keep contact with the group to share our play-based learning strategies. Do this via Twitter, Pinterest and the Wiki.

End of Term Confidence Builders

Towards the end of a term I find that many students are feeling a little run down and tired (as are the teachers!). The result of this tends to be students who are a little less tolerant of others. Small things that usually wouldn’t bother them before now really irritate them. So towards the end of the term I like to do a confidence building activity to boost the confidence of students and assists in developing an awareness of how they are interacting with each other.

Lesson Overview

Students brainstorm as a class as many Confidence Builders or (Boosters) and Confidence Busters we can. This comes from the You Can Do It Program (http://www.youcandoiteducation.com.au/)

Here is an example of the brainstorm the Year 6’s did today:

photo 5

 

Students were then given this template and asked to write a Confidence Booster on everybody else’s page in their class.

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The Confidence Booster needed to be specific, genuine and considerate. We discussed what each of these meant before allowing students to start the task.

I posted the following instructions on Edmodo for my students to direct them in the process.

photo 1

Once each child had commented on each other’s pages they could decorate their image and post a reflection on their personal learning blogs.  Some lovely examples:

photo 2

 

The reactions from my students have always been positive ones. Faces light up when they read the comments made by their peers. Each comment is genuine, specific and considerate. It makes a real difference in attitudes towards each other at the end of a busy term. I noticed students being a lot kinder towards one another after this task.

I also think it is important to participate in this task as their teacher and comment on each page. I created a page and had my students give me some feedback too. Gave me what I like to call “Warm Fuzzies” meaning a happy feeling in my heart. I too hope my students experienced this feeling today.

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So if you’re looking for something to do with your class to boost their confidence and build on positive attitiudes and interactions, you might like to give this one a go.

 

Maths Lesson: Properties of 3D Shapes/ Solids

Reflecting on My Practice

As part of my PLP (Personal Learning Plan) I identified the need for me to focus on Mathematics, specifically Maths mental warm ups and Maths lesson starters.

I did a warm up for a lesson today which I thought was quite good and I thought I would share and document it.

The lesson outline:

This was the note I sent my students on the online learning platform Edmodo: (If you want to learn more about Edmodo go to this link: https://www.edmodo.com/about)

Warm up Activity: Revisiting Properties of Shapes. 
You were given a 3D solid shape in class today. You need to describe the properties of that shape on your iPad (using the apps Explain Everything OR Educreations) and post your video to the padlet attached.
Thanks
PS. Remember to use the vocabulary we learnt in the last lesson. Key words I’m looking for are vertex/vertices, edges, faces, angles.

Below is the link to the Padlet with my student responses:

Properties of 3D Shapes:

http://padlet.com/wall/4bw0zr27be9z

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.23.49 pm

The thing I liked about this activity was I was able to quickly collect my students responses and view them later in my own time. I was then able to assess their work whilst the students were off at another lesson. I was able to give them direct specific feedback about the content of their videos and assess if they were capable of listing the properties of a 3D solid shape using learnt vocabulary from the previous lesson.

The students seemed to enjoy the task too as it was recapping what was learnt in the last lesson and applying some of their creative skills to communicate their learning in a different way.

It was a fun Maths Warm up today and I’m glad it went so well.