Blogging Meme

This is my blogging meme, thanks to Marnel, @1MvdS, who tagged me for this meme.

The blogging task includes:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
11 random facts about me:
  1. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
  2. I love to surf!
  3. I taught my niece last year – Y10 PE & Health!
  4. I have a cool scar on my leg from surfing.
  5. I am not a big fan of rugby or netball or cricket (although I played cricket for years when I was younger).
  6. I have a degree in Commerce as well as PE.
  7. I will be doing a crash course in Python this year, as I have to teach it!
  8. I am really keen to learn a lot more computer science.
  9. I am a third kyu in Seido Karate.
  10. I think I have a Raspberry Pi waiting for me at school (fingers crossed!).
  11. I love being in shorts and sandals!
My answers to Marnel’s questions:
  1. What Inspires you?
    Colleagues and the kindness / generosity of others. Colleagues from near and far.
  2. What are you reading now?
    The Luminaries
  3. If you weren’t a teacher, what would you do?
    At this moment in time I think I would like to be working as a developer in a local company (dreams are free!)
     Others times – photographer, surfer.
  4. If you could change something about the education system, what would it be?
    I would like to change the assessment structure in secondary schools.
  5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
    I can’t remember, so ages ago – although because of the nagging of my wife I send birthday cards.
  6. Android or iPad tablets? Why?
    Have always been a Mac person. Love how they look and work. Saying that though, have not used an Andriod tablet.
  7. What do you find hardest to teach your students? 
    To see things from different perspectives.
  8. What will you be doing differently this year? 
    I am aiming to not use a paper workbook in junior health. I want to have all content up online.
  9. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why did you choose this language?
    Spanish – want to go back to Spain and be able to communicate. Also my sister-in-law is Cuban, not the same but similar.
  10. What is your favourite way to waste time?
    Watching crap TV!
  11. What is your life motto?
    Not to worry about what other people think of you, be who you are and be strong with who you are.
Phew! Third time sitting down writing this post! Thanks Marnel for tagging, it is been intriguing writhing this post.
I would like to tag … 

Here are your 11 questions:

  1. What was the best thing about 2013?
  2. What is your favourite sport or physical pastime?
  3. Who do you look up to within education?
  4. What is the best moment you have had as an educator?
  5. WordPress or Blogger? Or something else?
  6. How much time do you think you are ‘connected’ every week?
  7. How do you spend your lunchtimes during term time?
  8. How do you ‘chill out’?
  9. What would be your most favourite holiday?
  10. What would you be doing if not teaching?
  11. Would you rather be hot or cold?

Cyber PD: TeachMeetNZ, Google Hangout, PENZ

A wee while ago Tim Gander asked me if I would be interested in being part of a TeachMeetNZ for physical educators. I had heard of TeachMeetNZ but had never made the time to sit down and watch one live and the idea of presenting something in a short time frame appealed.

The theme was ‘Innovation in PE for 2014’ and being a reader of Tim’s blog (NZ TEACHnology) I straight away thought that something to do with Google Apps would be cool, so decided on a Google Apps script called Doctopus that I have been using this year.

On the actual day, just before the hangout (NZ TeachMeets are conducted using Google Hangouts) I was getting quite excited and nervous! As this wasn’t quite a ‘normal’ TeachMeet as one of the participants (Julia Breen) was at the PENZ Learning Conference in Auckland, so there was a room of people watching the hangout as well.

We started at 3.30pm on the dot. I was the third to present (after Aaron Mead) and probably went a bit over time. It was a bit odd not being able to see the people I was talking to and this threw me a bit. However, the technology worked fine, presentation went well and I was buzzing afterwards.

I was buzzing about the experience for the rest of the day. How cool to be in Wellington and be presenting alongside others from around the country (Paraparaumu, Gisborne and Auckland) and streaming live to who knows how many via Google Hangouts and YouTube (Google hangouts can be steamed live through Youtube as well). The Youtube recording is also on the TeachMeetNZ wiki.

Twitter was also very activity during the hangout – #TeachMeetNZ & #PENZ.

As I mentioned my presentation was about Doctopus, which is a script that automates functions within Google Apps. I first found out about Doctopus from Stephanie Thompson at EducampWLG in May, who uses it and others scripts with her students.

I had been stressing out about how I was going to explain Doctopus in a few minutes until the night before when I did a Google search and found this post – Let Doctopus unleash the power of Google Docs. Thanks to the power of Twitter I asked and got the okay from JR Ginex-Orinion to use parts of his Google presentation. I think it is a good visual representation of something that isn’t easy to explain without actually running the script and seeing it in action.

So, it you use Google Apps and want a easier way to manage documents with students, have a crack at using Doctopus. Also, have a look into the other scripts that are available to help you with your management of Google folders, and documents – Top 10 Google Apps Scripts for Education. Google+ Communities – gClassFoldersApps Scripts for Education – Builders and Users.

On the TeachMeetNZ PENZ page you will find the YouTube recording as well as links to all presentations.  Here is mine presentation, the last slide has a few links to videos and ‘how to sites’ for Doctopus.

Here is the Google Hangout link.

Thanks to Tim for the invite and to Sonja van Schaijik (@vanschaijik) who organises and coordinates the TeachMeetNZ sessions. If you ever have the opportunity to participate in either a TeachMeet or Google Hangout, I would highly recommend it. It was great to be part of something new (ish), learning focused, technology based and exciting.

Content Curation Tools

Awhile ago I was asked to do a presentation for our schools Wine & Pedagogy pd sessions. These session were set up as an informal way for staff to share cool things with other staff. We have had some great sessions this year, including the first student presentation to staff.

I thought it would be useful to run people through what content curation is and why they might like to use a tool. So, below is my presentation. I have just work through different tools that I have used and there are some examples of how teachers in school have used some as well.

Twitter for Teachers

Awhile ago I posted about how useful Twitter is for me and was trying to show how teachers use it in education. Today, on Twitter, there have been quite a few tweets about an infographic called “twitter-for-teachers” from USC Rossier Online

I really like the graphic that have made as it outlines Twitter simply and clearly – it might even start making sense to more teachers!

This reminded me of “The 14 Day Twitter Challenge” that the PE Geek (@mrrobbo) posted awhile ago on his blog. Next month I maybe doing a pd session on Twitter at school, so thinking I might use his 14 day challenge and tweak it.

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.