23 February 2009

Samoana Online!

While working with teachers from A'oga Fa'a Samoa we came across this amazing site, an online village specifically designed to support Samoans globally, this site is jam packed withwith some very talented blogs written by those that identify with being Samoan.  Although I am Cook Island Maori & NZ Maori I so totally relate to some of the posts, and growing up in South Auckland has certainly given me an appreciation of my Samoan friends, neighbours and colleagues.

My top pic's are:

Hamo Geek Girl: This writer is incredibly talented, her writing is hilarious and very accessible, even if your not Samoan you will find this a great read. Fav post to date here

I'm a Genius: Another hilarious writer - must run in the Samoan blood! His writing is well beyond his years (raw natural talent) and I can definitely see this guy being the next Barack Obama of sorts! Fav post to date here

John @ Tala'aga Another amazing writer whose depth of writing will leave you yearning for more, seriously this guy has got game - funny, serious and inspiring. Fav post to date here

Niu Zila Life of a Samoan in New Zealand, very inspiring.  Writes with realism and offers us a political perspective to topics that arise again and again. Fav post to date here

Its very rare to find talented writers such as these and to find them all in one village: Samoana is just pure awesome! Go along to check them out, you will not be dissapointed.

Tofa soifua!

09 February 2009

Through the lens of a camera

Yesterday I blogged about how I was going to take up the "photo a day" concept.  I have now started and you can find my photos here.  Today I found this post over on Maureens blog, it leads to this site, then this site. Basically what the articles refer to is our ongoing need to document everything, and witness some of our most memorable moments through the lens of a camera.  They use the picture below to highlight their point.

Put down the camera and enjoy the moment

Recently, my partner and I attended a beautiful wedding, the bride was stunnng the groom very handsome and the thought that went into making their day original and amazing was obvious, down to the very last detail  As the gorgeous bride walked down the aisle there were at least 7 people standing and clicking taking their own photos of the brides (in some cases standing in front of the actual paid photographer), as the ceremony commenced there were more clicks and people bobbing up and down to get the best pic, after the formalities the couple with their gorgeous children stood and waited as over 15 people took photos of them.  It has never struck me more than it did on this day that we may be going a tad bit overboard with our digital recording.  Especially when you could see that the couple and their children were ready to move on and get on with the posing for the professional photographer. I wonder if it would have been better to have the professional photographer and a representative from each family take photos and then guests get a CD of the photos?

So what about those cameras in early childhood education, how many times do we as teachers leave the learning moment and participate in children's learning through the lens of a camera.  I became conscious of this a while back when working in a kindergarten, the amount of times I left the 'shared learning moment' to get a camera was frightening, only later when recording the learning through a learning story did I realise that I had missed a big chunk of the moment.  If I had my time again I would certainly pay more attention to the moments that don't necessarily need to be docmented.

07 February 2009

Photography connects us...a photo a day!

I took the time out this morning to catch up with my TedTalks and randomly chose David Griffin's talk on how Photography connects us with the world, he highlighted many points that confirm why I love photos, some of the ways photography inspires me include:

1. Photos can capture moments in time

2. Photos can provoke emotion

3. Photos can tell stories

This talk then prompted me to re-visit some of my earlier bookmarks about photography, Ive posted about photography here and here.  And I often visit the Auckland Festival of Photography site to check out new photos of my hometown, with this image by Manuel Toribio - THE FLIGHT now my new favourite.

Photo by Manuel Toribio - The Flight

I then went back to my starred blog posts from Dean Shareski about his journey of 'a photo a day' for a year.  You can find his thoughts on the topic here, here and hereWesley Fryer also appears in my starred blog posts for his discussion about the Flickr group "Telling a Story with 5 Photos for educators".  Their group was inspired by another Flickr Group "Tell a story in 5 frames" which can be found here. I actually first learned of this concept through Ewan McIntosh while in one if his sessions at Ulearn07 in Auckland.

So as you may have gathered I really like photos, Im one of those people, hoping there are more like me where photos in one way or another inspire me, especially artistic-kind-of-abstracy-ones taken by professional photographers.  Unfortunately, I'm not too good at taking them myself and dont have a fancy camera or such like to match my enthusiasm, just a cheap digital one that is always set to automatic and very rarely charged.  So in light of this mornings research/surfing/inspiration Ive decided to set a belated New Years 2009 resolution.  Ive been debating whether or not I should participate in the "A Photo a Day" concept for some time now, purely for my own personal entertainment and in my opinion a wonderful way to sharpen my photography skills (one of the benefits mentioned at PhotoJojo). Ive decided that today I will start my very own library of "One Photo A Day".  I'm thinking of uploading to Flickr rather than here on the blog so that I can streamline tag and keep them all organised.  Stay tuned or shall I say stay focussed for updates. (Pun totally intended!)

06 February 2009

Stories to tell my grandchildren...When I turned 30!

Not sure why this was sitting in the drafts folder, several months later here I am hitting the publish button.

In November 2008, I turned 30...strange I know cos I only look a day over 20! - seriously...

One of the wonderful things about having a huge extended whanau other than lots of babysitters is the 'hook-up's' you get from family.  My little cousin texted me a few days before my 30th to ask if I would like to walk around the Skytower otherwise known as SkyWalk - are you mad? crazy? Stupid? - Yep thats what every other person I told said.

Initially, I was like "uh uh, no way", then I thought hey what better way is there to celebrate my graceful entrance into the 30's - how about dinner, party, shopping spree, scrapbooking, jewellery making?..anyway I wouldnt be writing this post if I didnt go through with it right...of course not! So here goes...I did it, and I also did the SkyJump.  It was absolutely the best birthday present ever - excluding that big bar of chocolate I got from grandad on my 10th - but anyway check out my photographic evidence below. I cant speak highly enough of the crew at Skyjump/Skywalk, absolutely professional, safe, funny, safe, pleasant, safe, inspiring, safe, careful, safe...well you get the drift.

Going Wild!

Thanks to Jody I came across this cool site...have a go at going wild!


Came across the Soungle site a while ago, and have only just used it again, its a very cool site that allows you to type in words associated with sounds, the sounds can then be previewed and your preferred ones can then be downloaded FREE.  The 'baby' sounds are very cute...give it a go...:

Their description of the site
"Soungle is a free site, developed by Southern Codes, for finding all kind of sound FX and musical instruments samples on our mega online library. As different from most of similar sites, Soungle is NOT a Web search engine. It only searches in our growing monster database. Our goals are to keep it simple to use (search, preview and download) and to keep it free.

Keyword searches are performed by entering any word or phrase in a search box. The retrieved results of a keyword search are displayed ten to a page. Clicking on play icon allows you to preview a file. Download button instantly downloads the sound effect or musical instrument sample file. A short description of the sound appears on top of every sound , followed by the frame rate, duration and bit rate. Remember, all of our sound effects and samples are royalty free for downloading"


Im really digging the plain and simple interface :)

01 February 2009

Garfield Comic Strip

Another neat little online app where you can create your very own Garfield Comic Strips, have a go here.  My son has had a ball creating and printing his comic strips. The props and images are slightly limiting but a neat little activity for  Garfield fans.