Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Imperial Lane in the CBD has great coffee and free WiFi ... ANZAC weekend done and dusted, I can start plowing through the 1st assignment.

This is a unit plan - I could just write one from scratch but it may work out more efficient to annotate one someone else did. Hunting resources:

PamHook has a bunch of SOLO resources from all over. Looks like commercially sourced materials.
There is always stuff like: agregating overseas lesson plans to pour over.

I kinda like the idea of a practical unit like the egg drop lessons - the link goes to a 3-lesson plan for US students. May be a bit short - but can be extended to multiple trials to refine the designs. I was sketching out one of these in class as the assignment was being explained.

Saturday, 23 April 2016


Going over the materials from the last week and making hand-written notes for the 1st assignment. Bioclock woke me up at 6:20am...

Friday, 22 April 2016

TER: Day 5 Reflections

Last F2F Day at Epsom;
Activity: Bus stop ... getting kids to draw on each other's posters still feels like something for the more disciplined or I risk a cock-n-balls on everything, or tagging. Found:

... maybe year 10+ or where more than one teacher is available or when I can film the students.
The TKI lesson plans look like that to me.
... "divide the teachers so there is at least one per bus stop".

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mini-Simon make things go boom!

What I used to get up to in High School ... I think this was 1984.
This was pretty much on the edge then and probably illegal now. I didn't get any assessment credit either.

TER Day 4: Reflections

I am slammed. Outside life keeps demanding attention ... I have to get this sorted before practicum starts and deal to the first assignments, which I have yet to work on outside class.

Lots of time setting up IT systems - interacting with IT help staff was interesting exercize in communication... they know about the servers and the network setup, but not gnu/linux. Considering digital divide issues in many schools, and the use of free/open source in addressing this, it seems surprising but still... once tech support understood that expertise could be shared, we were able to collaborate to something of a solution. I'd like to do this faster but without scaring people so much.

It's been a while since I looked at the software re learning. I know a couple of strong MS advicates are in class ... I heard that a basic licence for windows and the basic tools for students (word, excell etc) comes to about $400 ... to be paid periodically in most cases (unless they have access via work).
Since many schools don't seem to directly pay for their IT this could be a hidden impact on students later.

However, commercial products should be seen as the alternative to free/libre offerings ... and many schools around Aotearoa/NZ (practise official language) are seeing things that way...

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

TER day 3 reflections

Inquiry approach applied to teaching... most people followed something like this.
I feel this sort of thing is a strength - after all: it's scientific method with less rigour.
I have a few examples of the others, where they differ, which I'll upload later.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

TER Day 2: Reflections

Today was dull ... I've always been able to modularize things and tend to get into trouble for thinking out of the box so todays "turn you ideas upside down" stuff is just some expert telling me to do what I've always done. This is making me a bit nervous though - I'm not used to being mainstream.
I guess, if you sit still long enough, everything does come to you ... to paraphrase Sidartha.

Some cute stuff - jigsaw reading as a way of getting students through a wall of text. I've seen it before, but not so dynamically expressed. Reminds me of the times I jigsawed (thank you for the term) practical classes in biology and chemistry: dividing up a lot of experiments so they could all be done in one day, then having students do presentations on what they find. It's a preferred mode of teaching but I'm reflecting I could make it more dynamic too.

Kahooter - interactive app: are phones the new "calculator"?

The Curriculum work feels like the 90's stuff - explaining levels and years and achievement outcomes etc. To avoid going to sleep I had to engage with the others who were more confused by all this language that was new to them.

One of the vids resonated: it has to be OK to be "wrong".

Frustration: it took just over an hour of travelling to get to the course. Surely that's not right!

Education Blogging

The catalyst for my re-emergence from blogger purgatory (also known as social media - facebook and g+ yes yes I know... but at least I have resisted the pull of twitter) is the start of the TER course ... so I am seriously ditching acting and getting a hair cut and a real job. What can I tell you, I'm getting old.

Anyway - this means I will need someplace to use as an online portfolio. That will be here for the near future ... which means the posts will lose a lot of their more daring dodgy edginess for a few months. Post above this line will be "suitable for a more politically sensitive audience".

People visiting from the Education World should be pretty unshockable: they all work with children after all - however, they should be warned that below is a wide range of topics, some more on edge than others. Most in the name of good fun but some serious. Explore with caution, you may learnm more than would be strictly healthy.

And what have I been doing in the meantime?
Believe it or not, I've been slaying dragons and rescuing damsels in distress (well, helping them rescue themselves). I've also been studying ethics.

New Computer

Actually a couple ... a wee while ago my beloved hp envy 14 died the final death. This is a shame because the graphite and magnesium case is a work of art I may frame it. What I would love is a laptop form-factor that has exchangeable insides ... I'd be prepared to spend a lot on a very nice case and never mind the razor thin look ppl seem to want. Ahem.


As a quick and dirty replacement I bought a hp probook with Ubuntu pre-installed off Albany Sen College and hated hated hated it: what have they done to Ubuntu?? Then the battery stops charging so now I can only use it on AC ... OK, so, new machine ... luckily for me, Dick Smith decided to go belly up so I grabbed a 1/3rd price whatever was left after the mad stampede. I felt a bit giddy walking out of the store without my usual meticulous research so fingers crossed...

This one is an Acer Aspire E15 - come with Windows 10 and the new UEFI/EFI boot stuff.

The last windows I had any real familiarity with was Win98 ... so I not have no feel for how windows works at all. The new boot system means I have to go through windows to reconfigure the computer for a new OS ... i.e. in order to get out of a deal with the devil I have to make a deal with the devil.
It was a drama - the dozer struggled and screamed and warned but now I am in the process of installing brand new state of the art Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon. The installer is online happily downloading language packs.

I was using the cinnamon desktop to make the Ubuntu installation more palatable - with luck, today will be the last time I need to use this piece of junk.

I have a big paper about the benifit of Open Source to Education someplace, I may link to it.
And yes, I am getting back into education. See next post.

Resurrection Day

I'm ba-ack...