Thursday, 21 September 2017

Final Digital Fluency Intensive

Today was unfortunately our last day with our digital fluency intensive we had the opportunity to sit our level one Google exam. I am please to be able to say that I passed and am now level one certified. At the beginning of this 9 weeks I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to pass the exam but over the last 8 weeks I have been taught so much about google and what is available to me and also what is available to use in my classroom. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity from my school and also from Manaiakalani. I would also like to thank Dorothy, Matt and Gerhard for all of their help and support over the last 9 weeks in getting me to becoming digitally fluent. 


I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing teachers from other schools during my time on this course as well. This really has been an incredible opportunity and I have learnt so much and know I will continue to learn more as I explore google. I am really excited to use all of these new skills and tools from this course in my classroom in the next term and cannot wait to see the results I get from my students. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Introducing new google sites

This week we have had a chance to look at the new google sites. I was a bit apprehensive to begin with because we had spent so much time with classic sites and I was used to that set up BUT it is time for change so I embraced it eventually! I am so amazed with some of the features on the new sites and what is possible, I definitely think that there are some aspects of the site which will make my life easier adding things to the site in time for a new week of learning. It is amazing that you can upload more than one image at a time and that you can move things around the screen at your leisure rather than having to set up tables and then having to be precise about how you position things. Below is an image of the homepage for my new site:


It was so much quicker and easier to put buttons in the site and make sure that they line up and look visually appealing. The only downside at this stage on the new sites is the ability to move the words which say "Kelsey's Sites" I would really like this to be down at the bottom and to the right more but I am sure this is something that will eventually be changed by google as they update the sites. I am impressed so far with what I have seen and I will be using these sites in the future perhaps for my teaching standards page. I will be interested to see all of the new things that will be added and how this will make a difference to time when adding things to the site. It is really great to now had a place where I can get to all my sites and important places with one click of a button. I think I will create an extra page for all of the websites and places I go to regularly for my teaching so watch this space. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Google Sites, Take Three!

This week in our digital fluency group we have been looking at our own class sites and how we can improve these or improve the way in which we use these sites. I have been lucky enough to have my site already created for me by Matt and the way it has been set up is great I think that it is very accessible for our learners and is appealing to the eye. The layout of the site is always one that I come back to when creating my own sites and how I want it to look. Here is what the home page of my class site looks below. 


The way that this site has been set is so that when a student opens this on their chromebook the dimensions are correct so this is exactly what they will see no scrolling necessary! It has been interesting learning this as it is not something that I would normally take notice of or even take into account when creating my own site. This week I have learnt how to create anchor points on my page which is something that I have put off learning partly because I thought it would be too hard and I guess partly because now I know how to do it I will need to remember to do this!

It became clear to me a couple of weeks ago that this is something that my students are used to from other teachers and other sites over the years. One of my students asked me why she had to scroll down to see a lesson when she should just be able to select the title and be taken straight there. This made me see that me not wanting to add this too my large to do list was actually impacting my learnings and how they access things. So by learning this today I have been empowered and I also how that the follow on effect to empower my learners! I will keep you posted and let you know how this goes! I think it will be a success for me and my students but it is making sure that I add this to the top of my priority list. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Google Sites - Take Two!

After last weeks session I had a great week looking at my own class site and seeing how things have been set up on my site and how I can make sure that everything I put on there is visually appealing and accessable to everyone who visits my site. I have been very lucky that my site has been set up for me in my team and they have shown me so much of how the site works which has made my job easier and also understanding how and why things are the way they are. This week I have been working on my PRT site with some of the new things that I have learnt. 

This week in digital fluency we got the opportunity to image map which was an incredibly great experience! I really felt empowered leaving today's session not only have a learnt how to do something cool I feel like I could do it again and it could be very useful for my own class site or my PRT site or any other site I may need to set up in the future. This is an awesome skill to be able to know and I think I will use it a lot more now. 

The picture above shows my new teaching standards sites which I have created using image mapping. Each of the different sections on the wheel are linked to be click on and go straight to that standard! I am really impressed with this page and can't believe I actually made it myself! Looking forward to seeing where google sites takes us next week!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Google Sites - Take One!

Reflection from my week. In the short couple of days before our DFI course this week I have tried to use screencastify in class as well as explain everything with my class.I have used this with my lower literacy group who are still learning english as a way for them to get milage with their reading. One of the tasks that they have to do is record themselves reading the book away from me. So I have made a small start to using some of the new things that I have learnt and will continue to do so over the next week!

This week our group met a few days earlier as there is the Manaiakalani hui on this Friday. Today we got an in depth tour of google sites which was very helpful and let us get our creative hats on! It was really good to see how to work google sites. I am really lucky I work in a shared space and we have a site for our team that was created for us by an expert at making google sites. Matt has taught me along the way how to add things on our site and how they work but it was a great chance today to see why I do it and why Matt has made it the way it is. Toady we got let loose on a google site and got the opportunity to be creative and make it in anyway we like. Because I love the way our class site is set out and how we use boarders I have used this today in making my own site. Below is the site I created which I am really happy with!


We were given the task of reading the story "The Lion and the Mouse" and then brainstorming the amount of activities that we could create from this one text. I worked in a group where we looked at year 4-6 and what ideas we could come up with. At first glance it would seem that it is just a reading activity however it is a really rich book that can be used in so many different ways. My site is show casing the book at one that can be used for literacy in my class. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to have a play and muck around with the site and not worrying that I might mess it up (which I have been told is very hard to do anyway) but was still nice to have a chance to play around. I also today learnt about a very valuable tool on blogger called blog lists as a gadget. I have added this to my professional blog and is something that I need to do for my own class on my class blog! That is definitely something I will be going home to do tonight!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Screencastify on a Chromebook

We have had a really busy day of learning today, took my teacher hat off and put my student one on. Not only have I learnt about using ipads and explain everything but also about screencastify. In my class at school we have been looking at positive blog commenting and what we should be posting on others blogs. This has been a great session because I have the ability to see why and how I should teach this in my classroom. The following video is about how to create a quality blog comment on one of my students blogs.



By being able to show how to complete a quality blog it has allowed me to see the importance of it and I hope that it will show the importance to my students as well. I am going to show this post to my class so they can see that I value this as well and is something that I use when commenting on their blogs. It has been really great being able to learn how to use screencastify so that I can use it when trying to explain work that I want to be rewindable and also be able to know the basics to teach my students. I will definitely use this in my class over the next week. I am very excited and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Explain Everything

This week  was my chance to become one of my students and really become familiar with being able to use a Chromebook. I found this very useful and important because it is a tool that my students use every day. I always refer back to the saying that students are not at school to teach the teachers how to use these things so it was defiantly about time that I learnt how to use the devices that each of my students are on so that I am not needing them to teach me!

Before today I knew the basics I knew how to turn it and the ctrl shortcuts for copy, paste and cut but that was as far as my knowledge went. This session has allowed me to see how my students are using their Chromebooks and the opportunity to see some new tools that we can be using on class with our Chromebooks.

Today we also learnt about Explain Everything. This is a term that I have heard all of the time but not something I knew a thing about! It was one of those things where if people were talking about it I would smile and nod and get about my day! But explain everything is amazing, it is definitely something I will be trying to use in my class. I have a couple of students who has just arrived in New Zealand in the last couple of terms so the reading activities on the i-pads will be incredibly helpful for them. Below is a video I have created on an explain everything and what I have learnt and how I can use this in my class.



I am also going to explore over the weekend how to use this in my maths program so that there is the opportunity for rewindable learning. What I have been reflecting on a lot at the moment is how engaged my student's are when they are working independently so I want to use this to be able to make my teaching available when the students need it and be able to look back. I think by using this as a way to record the explanation and show the expatiation will be an incredible tool and asset to my teaching. This will give students the opportunity to come back as many times as they need to hear and understand the concept.

Watch this space I will be exploring this over the next few weeks and will let you know how I get on! I am very excited to see this in action.