Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Fun with the Fun Theory

After interest generated from a video on my previous post  The Fun Theory.  I thought I had better make it clear the source of the awesome videos.  I came across them in my feed on Facebook.  Followed links back to the original source and came across the Thefuntheory.com.
Their description:

This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, just so long as it’s change for the better.

I can see huge potential for children in schools to come up with ways to make a positive difference in our world.  I'm going to be setting the challenge to my own children to see what they think :)  In the meantime, take a look a the world's deepest bin,.  Which, by the way did actually encourage more people to put their litter where it's supposed to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Organise your meeting online with ease

WhichdateWorksImage



I've been trying to organise a night out with a group of friends for aaaaagggggeeeesss!. We have all been friends since high school and always have great fun when we get together. We regularly email, chat, text and FaceBook. The problem is we hardly get to catch up Face to Face, our lives are so busy with kids, work, community commitments, church, sports, family etc. Its taken us 3 days to come to any conclusion on when we should catch up I just about gave up.  Well not quite! But you get the idea. Then I found this awesome tool that's just made organising our event that much easier.

WhichDateWorks allows you to Create an event and choose the people you want at your event. They then receive an email with a message asking them to choose the dates that work and don't work for them. Once they've done that, I (as the organiser) find the date that suits everyone and let them all know.

WhichDateWorksCalendar

The Fun Theory!

Pasifika Education - NZSTA Conference Reflections

Pasifika Success - Leading Change by Lesieli Tongatiʼo



Much of the information presented I have seen at other Ministry of Education Fono, the statistics taken from the Pasifika Education Plan: Monitoring Report suggest that the education system is failing Pasifika learners. As a Cook Island/Nz Maori mum, aunty, board member, teacher, and community member the words "Pasifika children are failing" rings in my ears like nails scratching along a blackboard.

So what can we do about it? and What are we doing about?

The Pasifika Education Plan released by the Ministry of Education in 2008, has the following suggestions (these are my summarised notes and interpretation of workshop content rather than word for word of what was said):

- View Pasifika learners as central to the system.
- See the world of your school from the eyes of the child.
- Hooking churches around schooling could be a strategy to promote learning for Pasifika learners.  97% of Pasifika children belong to a church (couldn't find source for this statistic).
- Learning that works outside of the classroom.
- Pasifika delays in NCEA can be fixed by encouraging children to attend high quality early childhood centres.
- Pasifika boys are the lowest achievers.  What are we doing about it?
Some of the initiatives aimed at Achievement for Pasifika children
- Reading together
- Leadership - Lead the change (PD for teachers, evaluator from University)
- Kelston Primary School - Homework Centres
- Happy Hours - Fun with your kids

Most important initiative is working with teachers and providing quality professional learning i.e.setting high expectations.
Effective teaching + Parent/Whānau relationships = Achievement

Overarching Principles and Goals
ACHIEVEMENT
ENGAGEMENT
PRESENCE

In summary, I found the key points useful for my context.  The challenge however is to ensure these principles are inherent in everything we are doing.  Teachers CAN and DO make a difference.  I would love to hear stories of authentic learning experiences and/or strategies that others have used to ensure success for Pasifika students.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Green Screening made Easy with iMovie 09

Just having returned from Ulearn09 my mind is buzzing with opportunities and things to action. One of the things I definitely wanted to explore more was the iMovie09 software. I attended a workshop facilitated by Dean Rogers from RED on this topic. Check out how easy green screening is now!

Did You Know 4.0