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Learning at School 2011

Post Conference Presentations

N/A but please see here:
Tools to enhance children's writing
see here
Papatoetoe Central
Toolbox and ICT's for Inquiry

Post Conference reflections (3 per person)
All of our conference reflections can be viewed here:
(still being updated 10/3, will be completed shortly as we 'process')

Our conference reflections can be viewed here

Papatoetoe Central
e-leader/ Principal
Breakout/ Keynote title
Also visit our wiki for the Keynote presentation
Alex - eleader
Thinkers Toolbox, ICT's in Inquiry
I have learnt a lot about using ICT’s for inquiry during this conference. I went to a taster about building a thinkers toolbox and I particularly liked the idea about physically using a toolbox and filling it with laminated copies of thinkers tools. I know that I need to introduce each thinkers tool properly and teach it explicitly before putting the thinkers tool into the toolbox, which will be a great resource to use during inquiry and within core curriculum areas as well.

I also attended Jan-Marie Kellow’s breakout about ICTs for Inquiry which I found very useful in reminding me of a number of websites and tools to use during inquiry learning and beyond inquiry. I particularly liked that from this session we came out with a lot of practical ideas and sites. I will now use child friendly search engines such as Fact Monster, Yahoo Kids and Ask Kids and I will use our classroom blog as a tool to support inquiry.

I was challenged by Julia Atkin about deep learning, and knowledge being powerful when it can be known in many different ways. I was also challenged by Scott Mcleods keynote about the changing job market that we are preparing our students for. I intend to spend more time on the upper part of Blooms Taxonomy and creative thinking activities during the core curriculum and inquiry learning. Brett Lee’s keynote was eye opening. I am looking forward to trialling a cyber safety programme in my classroom this year. I attended an imovie breakout which was hands on, I learnt a lot about imovie and I am excited about using imovie in the classroom.

I think it is great that I come away from many of these breakouts with wikispaces that will be good resources to use and refer to. I thoroughly enjoyed Learning @ Schools and I leave feeling challenged, excited and inspired.
Angela - eleader
Thinkers Toolbox, ICT's in Inquiry and Cybersafety
I found Pamela Jamieson's break out for the Thinkers Toolbox really interesting and I can
see how I can use her real toolbox in class. Putting the 6 hats, 7 servants and your different graphic organisers into the toolbox to use once you have explicitly taught how and when to use them. We are going to purchase our toolboxes and start collecting our graphic organisers.

ICT in Inquiry was bringing the thinking about how to make the most of our searches to the forefront again. Not just sending kids off to Google but scaffolding them along the process and that there is nothing wrong with sending the children to chosen websites. It also reminded me of different publishing and brainstorming tools that I could be using with me class.

I also really enjoyed the Keynote speaker on Cybersafety by Brett Lee. It made me think about our school's programme on Cybersafety and getting the children to realise the differences between the real world and the online world. As a school we are looking into our own Cybersafety programmes and policies to see what needs to be amended or updated. Alex and I are going to look into Hector's World and SuperKids programmes to trial.
Sue - AP

Embracing a Cyber World - Understanding and Managing the RIsk – Brett Lee

I found this keynote very interesting. Cyber safety is communicating with people on line appropriately. There are dangers and these are not at all obvious to young people, probably not always obvious to adults as well. Brett likened cyber safety to using a seat belt - kids today don’t ask whether they need to wear a seat belt they just do it because it is the norm but it wasn’t always the norm. We need to make cyber safety the same, make it the normal practice for our students. I liked the idea that the teacher wandering around checking screens is sending the message to students - you are not in control of this medium - someone is making decisions for you. The major concern is that young people make decisions on line that they would not make in their ‘real lives’. They need to treat people as they would on the street. Brett asks them if someone they met on the street asked for their name, age, and a photo of them and their friends would they give it to him. Kids always answer no - so would you do it on line? What we do on line can cross over and have bad effect in our real world. Kids use the internet in their houses so they feel safe, secure and as if they are acting in privacy. They feel anonymous and in control, it gives them power. Kids need reminding ‘ the whole world may be watching’. Young people believe the ‘you get to know people on line’ myth. Brett spoke about young people needing the life skills and instincts of the adults around them.

Building a Thinkers Toolbox – Paula Jamieson
I attended both of the breakouts for this; junior and senior. I found them very valuable. As a result we are preparing to trial a ‘toolbox’ in a junior school classroom and in a senior school classroom. The purpose is to make ‘thinking’ more visible and to provide hands on tools to support the use of thinking strategies and styles. The aim is to have a common language of thinking and to build a language of thinking. The tool boxes can be purchased from the warehouse at a pretty reasonable price. It contains 3 parts, a compartment in the lid, a shelf inside the box and the box itself. The lid is where, paperclips, glue sticks, pens and stickies etc are housed. The shelf requires one side removed so laminated graphic organisers can be stood. The main body of the tool box is where the thinking tools are placed. These could be a wide variety of different tool. Eg The 6 thinking hats, cut out and linked together using a lanyard. Likewise with the schools inquiry steps, cut them up and students can use to identify which step they are doing and what is next. Question starters, people attributes, a grouping tool, thinkers keys are all sets of cards you can make and link with a lanyard to go in the toolbox. Different shapes can be used, some commercial ones are available from teachers resource centres. The idea is that thinking skills are supported by the thinking tools. The different tools are introduced one at a time and built up slowly so that at the beginning a toolbox might be relatively empty but by the end of the year a range of tools can be in use. The lower order thinking moves on to higher order thinking. I am excited about trialing the thinkers toolbox.

“What big questions should be guiding your educational practice?” Dr Scott McLeod I enjoyed the thought provoking keynote by Dr Scott McLeod -, if a tad cynical. “Thank you teachers for preparing your students for the last decade”. Dr Scott McLeod had two big messages: Our changing information landscape, Our changing economic landscape. And what these mean for our students and our teaching. This keynote was a stark reminder of our rapidly changing world. It made me think about all of the purchases, bookings and banking that I do online and the effect this has in the big picture in terms of employment. Everything that is location independent is more financially viable in the developing world, leaving future employment opportunities for our students severely limited by comparison to previous generations. Dr Scott McLeod states that most of the disappearing jobs are those in the middle of the job ladder. Jobs on the lower rung are location dependent. The message being that we need to prepare today’s learners to be creative thinkers for the jobs in research, design, marketing and innovation or they will be sweeping the streets!

Our conference reflections can be viewed here
e-leader/ Principal
Breakout/ Keynote title
Kate Clarke
1) Questioning - Trevor Bond
2) If games are the answer, what is the question - Sylvia Martenez
3) Monitoring the growth of the key competencies - Julia Atkin
4) What does self directed learning look like?
5) MOODLE for beginners
6) E for Exciting Learning - John Phelps
I enjoyed the 2011 Learning @ schools conference. I ensured that I chose breakouts this year that I wouldn't normally choose to push a few boundaries. I wanted to focus on Inquiry learning as I think this is an aspect where I need to do some learning. I found the first, third and last breakouts particularly helpful. It was good to hear Scott McLeod confirming a lot of my beliefs.

Some key learning that I did was around questioning in inquiry and across the curriculum. A big 'a-ha' moment for me was around the open vs closed question debate.

Below you can find the presentations that Michelle and I shared at the cluster meeting in Term 1 of 2011;
MIchelle Clarke
1. Questioning - Trevor Bond
2. If games are the answer, what is the question - Silvia Martenez
3. Monitoring the growth of the key competencies
4. what does self directed learning look like?
5.School libraries in transformation
6.E for exciting learning - John Phelps
This was my first Learning @ Schools conference and found it really beneficial.
I found the questioning, key competencies and exciting learning breakouts excellent. All three of these gave me ideas to try in my classroom.
Some ideas I came away with include* closed questions are good questions if they find out the information you wanted
  • Record evidence to measure growth in the key competencies
  • and some ideas about how to keep students engaged in learning
Lynn Fothergill
Joan Dalton's workshop - title fails me - will add when I find it.
Also really enjoyed the 2 Julia Atkin sessions I attended. She is a very engaging speaker/presenter
I got more out of some speakers/presenters than others. Really appreciated the opportunity to not only learn, but to share the experience with 3 other staff from school.
Joan Dalton

I really enjoyed and appreciated Joan Dalton’s workshop, particularly the hands on, collaborative and fun way in which it was delivered.

Some of her key messages were:
  • You can’t effect real change unless you explore assumptions/perceptions/evidence
  • People don’t resist change they resist being changed
  • Need to help people construct new mental models
  • listen - paraphrase - inquire
  • paraphrasing is the most powerful listening tool
  • Don’t say so what ‘I’ am saying/hearing,.... say so ‘you’ are saying
  • Try to stay at the evidence level - we so often infer
  • Can’t have skillful conversations without the right culture, a culture for learning
  • Consider the circumstances which might contribute to the annoying behaviours that are evident in your school
  • Disentangle impact from intent - we judge others by their behaviours but our own behaviour by our good intent.
  • Need to uncover both others’ and YOUR OWN assumptions
  • We need to presume positive intentions - but if it’s habitual need to do something about it.
  • Blame is about judging, contribution is about understanding.