I love music, can't play a damn thing but I love how it can lift a nation, create emotions, stir memories and most of all, help us learn. Although the power and effectiveness of Baroque music has been known for ages, I'm a firm believer in noisy classrooms when it comes to any music and here's why!
(Join us 7pm AEST , 9.00pm NZT Monday 20th June 2016 when we’ll be talking about flipped learning at #digitalEDchat)
The First Week of Flipping Your Classroom
My name is Joel Speranza (@joelBsperanza) and I’ve been flipping my classroom for a couple of years now. Over that time I’ve taught about 400 different students and made around 700 videos. I’ve made more mistakes than I care to mention and learned a lot in the process.
These are just the public videos!
I remember the absolute uncertainty when I was just getting started. So many questions. What will I do in class? What if they don’t do the homework? What if I make a mistake?
These are the same questions I had when I was starting out as a “traditional teacher” as well. How did I get the answers? By jumping right in the deep end and giving it a go!
So here is my step-by-step guide to the first week of flipping your classroom. Jump in and see how you go.
Frances Valentine, Founder- Mindlab with Aorere College's head students
On Monday 13th June, Aorere College was very fortunate to celebrate our school website relaunch with the extraordinary Frances Valentine of Mindlab fame as our very special keynote speaker. Frances' speech and numerous conversations with those in attendance left all of us in no doubt that here was a globally recognised edtech hero who leads with both her head and her heart and genuinely cares about people over technology. My conversations with Frances and the feedback from many other attendees emphasised to me how important it is for all of us in the digital age to have such edtech heroes not only exist but to be accessible as well. Here's why I believe we need #edtech heroes such as Frances Valentine like never before.
The hot dog leader & princesses
Most of us by now are probably aware of the #hotdogprincess sensation that went viral this past week. For those in the dark, a 5 year girl Ainsley wore the above hot dog costume to her dance class's princess day. Her dance teacher tweeted out how proud she was of this little girl and then things went ballistic. Often we find learnings and leaders where we least expect it but as in this case, it doesn't make the lessons any less relevant or powerful for young or old.
We've recently had a number of visitors through my Year 11 English classroom. Many of them were surprised at not only the confidence of these cool cats but also their academic and digital competencies. One visiting principal on Tuesday (last period no less) couldn't believe the level of engagement and energy while the students were working on their latest assignment. The more people visit us, the more I realise I may be in collaboration with the best students in the world! Here's why I believe these students and no doubt others around the world are likewise the very best.
Ian Taylor is the founder of Animation Research Limited, an innovative company based in Dunedin, New Zealand developing leading-edge graphics for the Americas Cup, Formula One, International Cricket and more. From the bottom of the world, his company has consistently taken on the best in the world and won, often. When I had the opportunity to meet him a few weeks ago, I was struck by his easy-going nature but also his fierce determination to "give things a go." He is also a fan of simply saying "don't see why not" each time him and his team are challenged by coming up to what many would see as the impossible
The UK newspaper The Guardian has an excellent article about how teachers need to care about their mental care by among other things being physically active, having strong relationships and being a learner themselves.
It's pretty cool to read in the NZ Herald about the arrival in New Zealand of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) on one of NASA's planes.
The Herald reports:
For the next eight weeks, the unique aircraft and its Nasa crew of scientists, astronomers, mechanics and technicians will make up to two dozen 10-hour night scientific flights out of the US National Science Foundation's Antarctic Program facility at Christchurch International Airport.
Just shows how important New Zealand is as a location for space exploration and investigation.
The German-built 17-tonne telescope is a "wonder of engineering", he said, able to detect a small coin from as far as 200km away.
Even if you're not into space or scientific exploration, the above is still pretty awe-inspiring and shows that the only limit to our technology is probably our imagination.
The NZ Herald reports:
Twenty-year-old Michael Topschij runs two companies and has developed 14 computer applications which have chalked up 1.4 million downloads.
He's about to rub shoulders with 5000 app developers in San Francisco in the hope of learning what it takes to create the most downloaded app.
The self-confessed computer nerd and entrepreneur developed his first app at 14-years-old and on the back of its success started his first company DV Artz three years later.
This is awesome to see the largest newspaper in New Zealand promoting tech kiwis on the rise and not just our big guns.
The article goes on:
Mr Topschij first got into developing apps when he was a 13-year-old and started blogging about then popular game Club Penguin. The blog got such a huge following that he asked his mother for $100 to buy an Apple developer's license to develop a tips and tricks app for the game.
This is a cool reference. It shows that students of any age can take their passion or hobby or make a pretty good career out of it if the effort's put in.
The more we can get New Zealanders making careers out of their passions, the better off we'll all be in my opinion.
Rex Buckley- Kingsford Primary School Principal
Yesterday my Aorere Digital team and I were fortunate to have one of our contributing schools' principals spend the afternoon with us. Mr Rex Buckley has been principal of Kingsford Primary School in Papatoetoe, Auckland New Zealand for an awesome twenty-two years, an extraordinary effort. Despite such longevity, in all the time I've know Rex (now going on nine years), he has always been incredibly aspirational and inspirational for his students and the wider Papatoetoe community. Rex, while empathetic of many of his students' challenging backgrounds has always expected the very best for and of his students. Although Rex's visit to Aorere College was to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of Aorere Digital, rest assured we learnt a lot from this leader in a very much win/win experience.
On the flight back to New Zealand from the EduTECHAU in Brisbane, it was only natural for me to reflect on what learnings I had acquired over the last few days (if any!) from my attendance at this massive edtech gathering.
It never ceases to fascinate me how one student can be ultra-engaged in one lesson yet the very next be ultra-withdrawn. Often it can be down to the student's knowledge and ability in the respective subjects and can also have much to do with the dynamic in the learning space between teacher and student. All of the above no doubt have their importance but more and more, I believe the greatest engagement factor for a student, regardless of age, race, gender or academic ability. is the passion he or she has towards their learning,