All posts tagged: new zealand


Bridget Crooks: Can You Change Your Presentation Style? Challenge Accepted!

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand Part of my teaching job is presenting workshops to staff and students. Each term I typically run two sessions a week – covering everything from using Outlook effectively to using social media in the classroom. I try lots of different things to attract teachers and students to these workshops – and admit that towards the end of the term I get tired and run out of energy to impart the amazing things that technology can do in our classrooms. I was thinking about how better to reach my audience this year when I saw a challenge laid down on Yammer. Asking us to reconsider how we interact with our audience and think about presenting outside of the square. I am aware that sometimes we all need to reinvigorate what we do – not only for our audiences, but to re excite ourselves also. So this term I have started to use three different presentation ideas – ideas that have seen engagement rise and my work load lighten …


Bridget Crooks: Creating a Student Technical Team

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand I am a great believer in collaboration and co-construction. As a teacher I am only one part of the education equation. So, when our school was undertaking the change to WiFi and byod, it seemed axiomatic that we should share some of the leadership with the students. It took a bit of searching to find out what form this would take – but we settled on a team of student experts – who would bridge the gap between the staff and the student body. I was looking for a group of I.T Ninjas. Students who were users of technology, students who were able to work with others and students who were keen to give something back to the school. These students would be part of the communication in regards to the technical direction of the school – the student voice that is so important in 21st century education. The Application Process and Selection I started the process six months before the roll out of the WiFi and …


Bridget Crooks: Being a Connected Learner

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand I stumbled upon the above quote last week. Well, it came up on my facebook feed – shared by a wonderful teacher I know. And it really made me think. I live in a small town and work closely with one other colleague who teaches the same subject I do. What do I do when the answer isn’t in the room with me? What do I do when I don’t understand a concept? What do I do when I need inspiration? I turn to my PLN – my Professional or Personal or (my favourite) Personalised Learning Network. If you are not familiar with the term PLN it is using social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues. Or “a system of interpersonal connections and resources that support informal learning” (Trust, 2012). There are two main tools for building your PLN.


Bridget Crooks: Redefining My Classroom in 2015

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand Redefining – to change the meaning of something or to make people think about something in a new or different way. I am sure most of us have heard of the SAMR model for the integration of technology into our classrooms. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, this model (see image above) shows a progression (or ladder) that teachers often follow as they use technology in their classrooms. What I like best about SAMR is that it supports teachers to design, develop and create innovative learning opportunities in the classroom. It aims to transform learning experiences – which ultimately result in better achievement for our students. Image the creation of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D. What excites me the most is redefinition. But remember – it doesn’t mean that you are doing it wrong if you don’t reach redefinition, some tasks just aren’t made for it and great learning can happen without redefining what you do in the classroom.

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Ruby KL Huang: It’s in the Sway you say it!

Steve Martin, Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand- In my first blog entitled ‘There are no rainbows without rain’ I outlined the intention of sharing the story of a group of teachers within the Science Department who are building success through technology. What follows is an inspiring article written by Ruby Huang, a second year teacher who is also a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert at Howick College. The Conjugation of Sway: I Sway, You Sway, He Sways, She Sways, They Sway, We Sway By Ruby KL Huang Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand “Hey, have you seen the latest Microsoft programme called Sway?” “Sway? No, but it does sound fancy though, what is it?” This simple conversation would be the start to my obsession with Microsoft Sway. Through a bit of clicking and trial and error, I managed to discover the effortlessness of creatively designing a webpage presentation. When asked a few days later to present on the topic of “Collaboration” to my colleagues at work, I decided that I must show them the amazing capabilities of …

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Bridget Crooks: The Student Voice- Top 5 Tech Tools for 2014

It is very easy to see the value in a tech tool as a teacher. We see the learning in our classrooms clearly. We are very aware of the learning that needs to take place and the movement we have to take to get there.

But sometimes we forget to actually ask our students what they like to use. And most importantly what adds value to their education; what’s easy and intuitive to use; what fits their learning and their lives.


Bridget Crooks: AKO- Teaching and Learning Together

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand AKO is a Maori term from New Zealand. It is about recognising that both teachers and learners bring knowledge into the classroom – and that powerful learning grows out of these shared experiences. I’m Bridget. I teach Drama and Performing Arts Technology in Kerikeri, New Zealand. Every other Friday I will be posting about what I am doing in and around my classroom. What I have shared with my students – and what they have shared with me. Technology is exciting – but sometimes we overlook the experience our students have. That’s why I am going to share my students’ voice. Looking at their responses, ideas and experiences with using technology in their learning. As well as teaching and supporting staff in the use of technology in their classrooms, I also oversee a group of students who work as technology experts at our school. These ‘I.T Ninjas’ work with staff and students to offer support and give a student voice to the use of technology in their …