Sketching for a Better Educational Product: A Workshop for Teachers

Great post! Will be very useful for digital tech.

peak 5390

PyCon logoI am a teacher by profession, but I have always programmed for fun.  I went to PyCon, a conference for people who use the programming language Python, for the first time this past spring.  Throughout my career as a teacher, I have noticed elements of the programming culture that would benefit educators.  When I listened to the talks at PyCon, I saw opportunities everywhere for teachers to learn from how programmers and their colleagues work to create high-quality products that many of us use on a daily basis.  One of the areas we can learn from relates to visual design.

The Problem: Assuming students have basic design skills

As teachers, we often assign projects which require students to lay out and organize information.  Many of these projects require an understanding of basic design concepts if students are to do a good job. But who teaches students…

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Pasifika Education – It’s a shared responsibility

Pasifika Education Plan Presentation

Our staff meeting today was a presentation from Anton Carter, who is the Programme Manager for the Pasifika Unit from the Ministry of Education. 

Below are links to the MOE pages and plan:

MOE Pasifika EducationPasifika Education Plan 2013 – 2017 page

Pasifika Education Plan 2013 – 2017 pdf

A couple of things that stood out for me were:

“New Zealand’s education system must work better for Pasifika Learners”

And the five focus areas –

  1. Parents, Families and Communities
  2. Early Learning
  3. Schooling – geting NCEA Level 2
  4. Tertiary – completion
  5. Education Sector-Wide

The plan seems quite comprehensive and it will be exciting to see how we can implement the Schooling aspect of it.

Another bit that stood out for me were these comments:

English is a mechanism to connect knowledge, rather than being the most important language.

“Your a genius because you can speak two languages.”

“Student tested in English, poor result, tested in Tongan, off the chart.”

Other resources:

Talanoa Ako: Pacific Education Talk link to site

Talanoa Ako July 2013.pdf – the Pasifika education newsletter.

Down the Back of the Chair – MOE Resource Catalouge for books

Individual Education Plans – TKI

Effective teaching for Pasifika students – TKI MOE

Effective governance – Supporting Pasifika success – BOT resource

Engaging with Pasifika parents, families & communities – media gallery

Quote from Anton’s presentation:

O tu, aganu’u, ma aga’ifanua a le tamaititi o le a le mafai ona ulufale atu i le potuaoga;
sei vagana ua fa’atauaina ma fa’aulufaleina muamua i le loto ma le agaga o le faiaoga.

The culture of the child cannot enter the classroom until it has first entered the heart and consciousness of the teacher.

The Power of Twitter – use in secondary schools

It is Tuesday evening and with with work that I am doing with another colleague about Twitter use at school, we were trying to find secondary schools where teachers and students are using Twitter for teaching and learning.

Quick search on Google and not much comes up. Few tweets out using hastags and handles (people) and get retweets, suggestions of who might be able to help and these:

Otaki College Hamlet Project 2013 – click on Twitter Feed.

Paraparaumu College – Twitter use

Some sites on how Twitter is being used around the world.

Teachers first take on using Twitter as PLN:

Podcast about Twitter / The best PD you’ll ever get! / Create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) / Use it with your students

Billy has used it in the past with his Y13 PE class. Tweeting things like ‘Remember your PE gear tomorrow”. Click on the above podcast link.

I love Twitter! It can be so powerful if used in this way! Thanks PLN!!

PS (PLN = Personal Learning Network)

Update 3 Sept: just been looking at @alleyperry‘s tweets and found this link, some good ideas on ways students can collaborate using twitter.