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Teaching in action – examples to share

Learning @ WVS 2016


Learning at WVS 2016

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On arrival at Waitaki Valley School at the beginning of Term 2 I was met with 30 Chromebooks in their boxes.  These were quickly taken out of the boxes, set up our system and ready to go!!

But . . . it’s not always that easy – how do you integrate them in meaningful ways within the classroom?  They started off by being used as additional machines for what I refer to as the consumable user (not the creative thinker!!) – for the likes of Mathletics and other interactive websites.

My teachers have been very receptive to their use though and are now using them alongside Hapara in order to have students creating and responding to each other’s work through Google docs.  This has quickly become a wonderful way to engage previously disengaged writers.

30 iPads and 30 Chromebooks (as well as a number of PCs) seemed adequate to me for our little school of 110, however the demand for the Chromebooks as a teaching and learning tool is quickly increasing over our Yr 3- 8 classes.

I’ve spent a bit of time recently looking at the various ways that we can continue to use the Chromebooks in valuable ways to increase learning opportunities.

Here’s a few things I have come across:

  • Google overview and educational apps for chromebooks here 
  • NZ Chromebook Classroom on You Tube

    Google Classroom on You Tube

    Google Classroom on You Tube

  • Benefits of Chromebooks
  • Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Chromebooks – Kathy has been around for years!!! I remember referring to her site when I was studying at the turn of the century!!   Some really good background information, as well as tips and tutorials, links to classroom practice and international sites

Where have I been?


I am attending a Principal’s Google Day and Rob Clarke is discussing the values of blogging.  This has made me wonder – how long has it been since I last posted to my blog??  OMG – 10 months!!  I have gone from being, at times, a daily blogger, collating resources for myself and anyone else who was interested!  I used it capture my thoughts and reflective thinking, and I’ve used it as a spot to celebrate and share new learning.

So where have I been?  I have been learning . . . I have been collating resources . . . but I haven’t been blogging!!

Term 1 – I enjoyed a 6 week sabbatical – investigating the aspects that successful schools of BYOD were implementing.  This learning is posted on my wikispaces page.  (It isn’t all organised – but it is there).

Term 2 – I have started a new role as a Principal at Waitaki Valley School in Kurow, and this learning and reflection is put away on a google sites (I won’t link to this as it also forms part of my appraisal) but it does look like this:



My start to Principalship has been a very positive one.  Waitaki Valley is a wonderful wee school in a great wee community. The school is well resourced and is a purpose-built new build of only 4 years ago.  We have things to work towards as a teaching team, however my team are all responsive to the direction that they are taking.

Maybe I should be blogging our journey!!

Watch this space . . .

Hearing what BYOD can do for students


I love the messages in this video – from students, teachers and the Principal. While these students are using Chrome Books, the philosophy behind this supports any model of BYOD.  What a lucky school to have the support of this trust to enable this to happen for their kids.  The benefits are obvious and the school and it’s community are appreciative of the backing of the trust in order for this to happen.

Social Media and Professional Lives


I have started working with new teachers at the beginning of the year and working through the process of making them aware of their presence on Social Media sites. This is becoming an increasing issue that teachers (and any other professional) needs to be aware of.  The NZ Teachers  Council have put together some great resources for supporting these conversations (and I use them in an ‘activity’ based way).

Teachers council social media


And while we can be specific to school based settings and Social Media it is important that ALL teachers (both young and old!) understand the implications of their own digital footprint.  Once upon a time you could have a professional profile and a personal profile, but the clever people at the likes of Google and Facebook are now able to put the connections together and often merge the two together for you!!

This is a really interesting article that discusses the implications of your Social Media profile.  Article here

This is an interesting article



I can see the potential for something like this Rocketboard ap to be quite exciting –


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Tomorrow is an auspicious occasion at OIS – our first day of BYOD. This has been a three year plan – putting the reliable infrastructure into place, ensuring systems in classrooms are set up for teachers and students, as well as the informing and education of the parents.

BYOD is implemented in different schools for different reasons. This little video sums up our approach simply.


Here too is a simple little summary by our Year 8 Team leader Frances

While there has been a lot of planning going on in the background now the exciting part begins:
How will this change teaching in classrooms?
How will students respond to having their own device in class?
What challenges (pedagogically) will teachers have?

I’m going to look to post updates here in order to record our journey.

I’ve also been collecting resources – some I’ve used, some I’m still to view – but there is a wide range of material on my wiki

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Where are you at?


This is an interesting post to evaluate where you are at with  your school IT infrastructure.  A simple way to evaluate where you are at and where your next move might be?school it

Embrace the Adolescent Brain!!


I love this wee video about the development of the brain – for those of you teaching adolescents, or living with one (or more!!) then this will answer a few questions!


The political challenges we face


It has been a LONG time since I posted (quite a tumultuous time in our family!!) however I have read this and have a need to share it!!

Politics out of educationI know that most of my teaching colleagues will be nodding while reading this – I’m not so sure what the general public think.  This is one reaction (which scares me!!)  How can we get the professional focus across to these people?

Reaction to Politics out of education

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