uLearn 09

Most of the Team

On the 7 - 9 October 2009 nine teachers from the cluster attended uLearn09 in Christchurch.
The teachers that attended were: Ruth Trevathan, Angelique Wendzich, AnthonyWright, Linda Lehrke, Steph Latto, Nicola Talbot, Cheryl McLeod, James O'Brian and Ginella Webb

This group has decided to work together to form a Professional Learning Group.

During the course of the conference the following topics were raised.
  1. Sharing of trends in learner achievement, health issues and behaviourial issues across the schools.
  2. Systems explored to share technical knowledge in ICT and ICT systems in the schools.
  3. Systems set up to share ICT Skills and knowledge across the schools.

During the debriefing on Friday afternoon conference delegates shared the following highlights from the conference.

James O'Brian:
Fiona Grant’s - Five stages of imbedding ICT (on tki software for learning) useful for reflecting on practise and next stages.
We have many tools we know about
Did we take it back and use what we have done since last year.
Learn and play with the tools to be able to change pedagogy.


iTunes - many things like iTunes U, smart playlists...Lots of cool tools. Great way to teach the use of data bases.

  • 19 voices (http://19voices.wikispaces.com ) this wiki shows 13 different on line tools that could be used in the classroom. It has a link to each tool and an instructional video (made by kids) to show you how to use it.
  • Web 2 4 U (http://web-2-4-u.wikispaces.com ) this wiki is a step by step guide on how to create a wiki, add cool text and create avatars.
  • Online resources (http://dakinane.com/blog/resources ) This is a list of over 70 different online resources you could use. It contains links to all the resources with a short blurb about each one.
  • Making Learning Visual This workshop looked at putting brainstorms into wordle and using pictures to create movies (in imovie HD) to help children think visually. http://www.squared5.com is a website where you can convert movies so that they can be played on iphones & portable electronic devices.


  • A key comment from a keynote speaker, Gary Stager http://www.stager.org/ was that schools need to try and stop putting pd before and after school not penalizing those of who have before and after school commitments. It should be considered important for the improvement of student learning and therefore be placed during the work day. There is some merit to this, however, the practicality of this is what has probably prevented it from being done in the past.
  • I enjoyed going to Lenva's workshop on e-portfolio and wiki's it was really interesting to see how she has developed this area at Bucklands Beach Intermediate....I am looking forward to doing more in this area towards the end of this year and into 2010. Getting Tricky With Wikis
  • I was intersted in the conversations about identity and the protection of students when they are out in the Cloud. This made me think about what do I need to be doing in my class to help students negotiate this potential mine-field. What do we have at Somerville?
  • One of my highlights of Ulearn was meeting the teachers from Point View and Willowbank and talking with them and hearing about what they do. The highlights and barriers to their e-learning journey.
  • Going to Ulearn09 has reaffirmed my belief in the path I have chosen, and that whatever the resources just keep on battling on and do the best for the students that I can with the resources that I have.

- Gives students pd and send them back to spread the word. Has student 1.5 hours a week and then teaches the class the next week

It was great attending U-Learn to collaborate with other enthusiastic educators, to gain new ideas and to enhance your knowledge and skills regarding e-learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops that I attended and gain great resources to share with teachers at Point View. It was wonderful to get to know the staff of Willowbank and Somerville in a socialable environment and we collaborated a lot because we were a smaller group at U-Learn that forced us to move out of our comfort zone and mingle with others. U-Learn was great although I froze to death of the cold in Christchurch.


Games programming

Gordan Drydon talked about creating books with ICT tools. (Something like the moving pictures in Harry Potter) This made me think about creating a digital backpacks for my term 4 year 8 students to take with them to college.
Here is what My students have done so far: http://sisdigitalbackpack.wikispaces.com/

Some thoughts for next years first Teacher Only Day for the Cluster
Mixture of skills and practical session.
Possible speaker: Karyn Boyd’s - habits of mind.

During the year
Run mini conference between the schools where workshops would be run.
It was suggested that workshops would be advertised without presenters names.

Random Observations.
Cheryl is the twitter king - she needs to teacher us.
Did you know that "Twitter sheep" makes a wordle of all the people you follow.

We are only in the first year of the of the contract. We have teachers moving at different rates.
Comparing against others is not best practice. Teachers need to look at how they have moved along the continuum.

The Plate Debate
There was much discussion on the placement of bread plates. They should be placed to the left. All eventually agreed that this is the case in New Zealand. However there is a global variation. (Russia goes to the right. Information not from wikipedia-we found a primary source.)