Friday, 24 June 2016

PLG - MDTA Interview Video - Part 2

Today we had the goal of finishing our interview video that outlines our first six months in the MDTA programme.  I was amazed that a lot of the skills I had learned previously in regards to iMovie stayed with me and I was able to able to get this version of the video finished.

Upon watching it back, I started to notice things that I had missed and began to critique the video.  We shared our videos with each other to get some feedback and I was ready to restart the project.  It was not until I was driving home that I realised that like my learners, I needed to give projects a go and be determined to learn from this process so I have made the decision to show the first cut of the video here.

Things I learned while undergoing the process:

The Power of Preparation - I do not feel the quality of my speaking reflects my passion for my position (I blame part of this to doing this at 11pm at night) so will do an updated version towards the end of the term.  I tried to go off a script and this is why at times the speech does not sound very nature.

Video as a form of Reflection - It can be daunting recording yourself however I do see the benefit of using this as a form of reflection.  I can only get better with practice.

My Passion for Collaboration - This was the first thing I started to note down when brainstorming and it got me thinking about one of my placements last year where I was able to collaborate with two of my fellow student teachers on the design and of execution of a joint weekly block.  I really enjoyed the sharing of ideas and how we used our different perspectives to design outcomes suitable not only for our different teaching practices but the needs of our learners.  Like I mention in the video, I am fortunate that in my current role, I get to do this on a daily basis and I am really enjoying the dialogues and outcomes our team are creating on a daily basis.

I need to update my camera or stick to one filming device - It was not until I uploaded the video onto Youtube and played it that I realised that I could see the difference between footage that I shot on my camera to the footage that I shot on either my phone or iPad.  Consistency is key with filming especially as I do not want the quality of the film to detract from the message from the video.

I hope you enjoy this video and I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback on it if you have the time!

Friday, 17 June 2016

PLG - MDTA Interview Video - Part 1

Our next task is to create an interview with ourselves on our MDTA journey so far.  We have been given some prompts to help create a video which can be shared with others.  The first MDTA cohort did their own videos and we were shown these as a guide on how to structure our own.

I decided to head down to school to get some video of the school itself as I did not have much footage of that so far and it was a great day outside.  I even went up Mount Wellington to get some footage and this step of the process really helped me jumpstart the thinking behind how I wanted to create this video.

Getting out of the lecture room really helped put into perspective why I chose to go into teaching and why I chose to take part in the MDTA so I went back to university all keen to begin to storyboard and plan out the rest of the video.  The day was full of some insightful dialogue with everyone but I wanted to especially thank Latai, Danni and Clarelle as our conversations helped me better articulate what I was thinking and what the next steps are going to look like.

I now have the next week to map out the rest of my video, take any remainder footage and edit and prepare the video to share with the rest of the MDTA cohort next week.  It is going to be a very busy week!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Assessment Reflections

With mid year reporting approaching, I have spent a lot of time with my learners one-to-one with testing in order to gather evidence to make mid year judgements.  This has been a great learning opportunity for myself with me having to learn and incorporate the forms of literacy and numeracy testing methods into my practice.

A wondering I had how we use this data from testing to inform a decision and it was not until we had a PD session where I was introduced to the following image:

This really helped me identify that while it is important to test against National Standards, this is only a part of my overall judgement and I should value the relationships and interactions I have with my learners equally if not more so.  A test can capture a snap shot of a learner's ability however that is a snap shot at a particular time or place and I need to be reflecting more on the daily encounters that I am having with my learners.  Otherwise I may miss opportunities such as:
  • A learner beaming with a huge smile as they can understand and utilise a specific strategy for adding two double digit numbers - something that they did not feel comfortable with at the beginning of the year.
  • A learner seeing the output of their determination to become a more confident reader and rushing out the door at home time to tell their parents that they have moved two reading levels.
  • A learner who told me at the beginning of the year that "they hated planning" but can now have conversations with other children about the importance of planning in their writing process.
The past few weeks I have learned a lot about my capability as a teacher however I think it has given me far more insight into my learners and how to plan for the remainder of the year.  Some of the conversations I have had with them while testing has opened up different ways of thinking for how to design this learning and with the skills I am building each week, I am now looking for ways in which to support them to their next goal and/or challenge.

Friday, 10 June 2016

PLG - Screen Casting with Quicktime Player

I found out a new word today - glossophobia.  This is the fear of public speaking and quite relevant for today's post.

For our PLG today, we were introduced to screen casting via Quicktime Player and given the task to use the tool to share an element of our learning.  Screen casting is a great way to demonstrate to learners the steps required for learning as you can walk and talk them through the process.

Storyboarding is key to screen casting success I discovered as I found myself tripping over my words and I had to do several takes.  It was also here where I started to analyse (more OVERanalyse) my words and became very self-conscious of how I was using the tool.  I spent about two hours practicing with the tool to get the "perfect" shot and then came to the realisation that I needed to include authenticity in this presentation.  I feel my learners would make a stronger connection with this tool if I could show them how I struggled with elements of the task and how I was able to overcome it.

An obstacle I had to overcome was finding a space that was quiet enough for me to record - here is where I ended up!

Having done this exercise, this made me reflect on how well the teachers in the Google on Air programme are using tools like screen casting to demonstrate their practice!  This made me reflect on not only my practice but the way in which I am communicating and how I can make improvements.  While I do have a slight fear of public speaking, I know that I can using tools like screen casting as a way to reflect and improve.

Screen casting is a fantastic tool to activate rewindable learning with learners.  They can use these resources as references or prompts to help support their learning and will empower them to stretch themselves further.  I already have plans to use screen casting with some elements of my teaching in the couple of weeks so look forward to practice these skills more!

Friday, 3 June 2016

PLG - Google Hangouts and Manaiakalani Google Class On Air

Today we were fortunate to have Matt Goodwin come along to share what he and four other teachers have been achieving through the Manaiakalani Google Class on Air.  This initiative is where these teachers are recording their lessons while they teach and making not only snippets of the video available online but the lesson plans and reflections.  You also get access to select learners blogs and work to see how the learning is transferred and absorbed.  The great thing to see is that four of these teachers are graduates of the first MDTA cohort and have really taken the share part of our pedagogy to the next level.

I applaud these guys for being so confident to put themselves out there as I still find it daunting being observed, however, this will be an assignment task that myself and the MDTA cohort will be undertaking later this year.

In preparation for this, Matt showed the tools of the trade and the process he undertakes when preparing and filming these lessons.  Each teacher has been tasked with recording 20 lessons in a school year and Matt showed us how he used the recording function of Google Hangouts to achieve this.  A cool and efficient aspect of the record function is that it can upload directly to Youtube and then you can use the Youtube Editor to make adjustments.

I can see this tool being used for rewindable learning however I would need to ensure that I am comfortable with the tools firsthand before bringing them into the learning space.  We got a chance to experiment with Google Hangouts later that day and it is quite an adjustment to recording yourself and then editing it in iMovies however I can see the benefit of being upload to Youtube instantly and being able to use that footage while learning.

Once again, I count myself fortunate working in a learning community who are willing to put themselves out there and I look forward to having some of the tenacity transferred to me as I grow more confident in this space - bring on Heath's Class on Air!