Friday, 24 May 2013

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (Sorry, David Bowie...)

Week three of term two and where has the time gone? Yet again, I am forgetting the 'real' blog in favour of the micro-blogging world of Twitter and mainly Google +. I have even posted a 'I have moved to Google +' banner at the top of my Facebook page. I used to like Facebook, but can't be bothered with it any more as there is so much more of interest on other media. I am specifically interested in social networks and this makes up my Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers Academy research, specifically the use of these networks in class.
Learn, create and share is part of the Manaiakalani ethos, and I feel this term I have really surpassed myself in this. I started the term by attending the Google Teachers Academy in Sydney to become a Google Certified Teacher. Below are a couple of views from the main restaurant area of Google Sydney. Not jealous or anything, oh no.


This was an awesome experience as it really allowed me to learn, create and share with some really great educators from around the world. Thirteen different countries were represented, and the collective energy was phenomenal. I came back from this recharged with ideas, although I have to remind myself not to try everything but to focus on just a couple of items to start with! The Manaiakalani community was well  represented with 3 new GCTs added to the community (+Helen Squires and +Georgie Hamilton and I) with Dorothy and Fiona there as lead-learners.
I was 'volunteered' to speak at a #gafecommunity event in Auckland which was another positive experience. Being able to share with 250 other learners/ teachers (should be one and the same thing within teaching as inquiry). I hate getting up in front of my peers; I feel I always doubt my knowledge and abilities, and then by the end of the presentation I am usually astounded by how much people have found what I have spoken about useful or interesting. Wow.

Another change this term has been with my year 10 class. I hate marking. I hate homework. The students hate tests and homework as well. I have decided to try out a PBL unit on forces, specifically looking at the forces involved with roller coasters. Next week, we start building the paper roller coasters to try out some of our ideas. Watch this space, I hope that there will be another post following this one rapidly, with some photos to document the growth of these creations! It means putting the emphasis back onto the students to find things out for themselves- the way it should be.

This is why I chose the title. I am just finding so many ways to change the way I teach and learn. It makes things a bit more fun (I think...) and my students do seem to enjoy the way I do things, so here is hoping there will be something to report by the next update!