Saturday, July 24, 2010

EduCampNZ @ Summerland Primary in Auckland

Gorgeous morning in Auckland, and a group of awesome teachers wait anxiously for the beginning of EduCampNZ. Summerland Primary School have kindly offered their school as a venue and what a gorgeous school it is too.

To check out the wealth of stuff that happened today hop along to the EduCampNZ2010 site kindly hosted by ACESNet. So first up;

Speed Geeking in Twitter Time
140 secs to introduce yourselves, a little bit about yourself, what your passionate about and what you can contribute to the Unconference.

You get 3 minutes to share with the group your cool idea, website or topic. Check out some of the topics that were shared:

Virtual and F2F: I learned that the contacts and connections I make online through Twitter and other forms of online spaces has been particularly useful for keeping up with what's happening around the place i.e #EduCampNZ. Was awesome catching up with people face to face today adds another dimension to the online connection. And always nice to put real face to twitter faces.

Junior Schools and IT:
Lots of handy hints shared in this session
*EasiSpeak Microphones: Using the microphone for recording poetry, questions and conversations.
*Engaging whānau through blogs in Junior School - feedback from some families that they prefer photos.

Looks like I have to become more vocal about what some of our centres are doing in early childhood regarding this. While services like Mahara and KnowledgeNet serve a purpose in some schools at the moment. One thing we found limiting with these 'pay-for' services was that once children left the early childhood centre and school they no longer had access to the resources and learning records they accumulated over the years. The idea of children developing life-long portfolios online through their lives was high on our list of criteria. Therefore blogs using Blogger soon become our preferred option.

When these portfolios are started the parents of the children create the blog and have administration rights. Teachers in centres are then invited as authors (sometimes with admin privileges). We have found by doing this parents and families quickly assume ownership. Therefore, they have the rights to invite other family members to become readers. Most of the blogs we develop in the early years are kept private with the assumption that once children take a stronger ownership of their blog they may then choose to make it open. (NB: CORE Education Early Years Facilitators are accredited Netsafe facilitators and offer all centres that we work with Cybersafety courses as well as workshops for families looking at the safe and responsible use of ICT).

We have some lovely examples of authentic and meaningful assessment and learning, shared meaning making with families and active engagement in curriculum by parent and whānau through the use of e-portfolios. We also have student that are now in Year 3 and 4 who are continuing their blogs in the compulsory school sector.

For snapshots of what's happening in early childhood education go along to Stories of Practice.

Right, Im off to wade through the huge mass of awesome links accumulated today.


  1. Thanks for this post Naketa. It was really nice to see it pop up in my reader as I was looking for links within a similar post I am in the process of writing. I will be linking to this post as you articulate your point of view about e-portfolios well.

    I am glad that I've had the chance to see what the ECE sector is up to with e-portfolios. The conversations with you and Tania today were great thinking points in our decision with where we are moving too. Like you, one of our main points is that it's able to be transferred across sectors easily.

    Plus I have seen a big shift in interest when the kids have true ownership over their e-portfolios. I look forward to keeping in touch with other examples in the ECE sector that we can share with others.

  2. Just imagine how incredible it could be - e-portfolios starting in ECE and traveling with the child on their learning journey through education. The opportunity for a "real" connection between whanau and school sharing the concept that it takes "a village to raise a child". We have already seen the incredible sense of ownership and pride children take in their blog posts and in comments they receive from an authentic audience, look forward to this happening throughout their schooling life:-) Enjoyed the opportunity to talk to you both and share our visions!

  3. Kia ora Amanda an Tania
    Thanks for your comments. EduCampNZ was fabulous! Really got me thinking about where to next and what next. I'm thinking that I seriously need to get my teachers presenting more as they are doing some stunning stuff that is just flying under the radar. Watch this space for some examples ...

  4. Students using Mahara can actually take it along after they leave an institution because the portfolio can be exported using the LEAP2A standard that is also used by other portfolio software providers. Thus, if a student goes to an institution that has Mahara or another e-portfolio that supports LEAP2A, it can be imported. Furthermore, Mahara offers to export a portfolio in HTML giving the student the opportunity to even save the portfolio offline.

    The export options were introduced in Mahara version 1.2. They are not entirely perfect yet, but having users report bugs and making suggestions for improvement (and hopefully also funding some of that development work ;-) as Mahara is an open source project) will make it better.

  5. Kia ora Kristina
    Thanks very much for your comment. When I trialled Mahara several years ago there wasn't the option to export, so great to hear these changes have been made. Do you know of any early childhood centres that are using this software or schools in the South Auckland area that I could perhaps visit to check out how they use the platform.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Hello Naketa,

    Mahara has definitely evolved since a few years ago. Later in August, we will be bringing out version 1.3 where you can also have RSS feeds for blogs that are public and some other features.

    I personally do not know of a primary school in the Auckland area that uses Mahara as schools do not have to register for using Mahara.

    You may want to check the MyPortfolio registration page and see if any school in the list of institutions (in the drop down menu) that use this Mahara installation for their portfolios looks familiar.

    You could also ask in the Mahara Community or in the MLE Reference Google Group that facilitates ICT discussions and implementations for schools.



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