Snow Day doesn’t stop the connection.

As the snow came down the schools closed sign came up and it was Snow Day so what to do?

  1. Text parents… “School is Closed”.
  2. Set up iPad and take Time Lapse of making a Snow Man with the girls.
  3. Upload to Class blog with photos of school with lots of snow to show the disbeliever (Yes it really is snowing at school).
  4. Text parents again “New Homework bonus challenge – make a snowman and email the entries in to me”.
  5. Wait and see what happens, but will add al entries to this post tomorrow.

My entry and students motivator is…

Snow Day Snow Man from Dukelyer on Vimeo.

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PLN + Google Apps = Collaboration that knows no boundaries and Ubiquity

Time Zone is no longer a Barrier.2522623_a776a0c9

Distance is no longer a Barrier.

Language is no longer a Barrier.

Big walls and other barriers like fences, rivers, marshland, tidal estuaries and hedge rows are no longer barriers.

There is a word that I have heard within New Zealand education for the past 6 months – Ubiquitous Learning. Now I do not grasp new educational discourse quickly and usually ignore it until it slaps me on the face, but a friend commented on Twitter last night about the #NZSchoolTimelapse project and mentioned the word. The light went on in my head and I truly grasped the meaning of Ubiquity (and google searched a bit to make sure I was right).

Part of the Wikipedia entry on uLearning (as I am an expert that is what I will call it now 😉 ) is…Twitter Chat

  • Shifts the classroom from a traditional to non-traditional context.
  • Prepares and encourages students to become lifelong learners.
  • Prepares students for “real life.” New technologies have become a part of our lives, and students need to learn how to use these technologies in order to prepare for their future careers.

…and is that not what we want for our students and is that not how we learn ourselves.  I know that my learning is within a Ubiquitous Environment – my PLN, the blogs I read, the devices I have at my disposal to learn on the go and in places of my choosing.  My next challenge is to make sure that the way I learn is emulated in my classroom and, while with my year 3s and 4s still need a lot of scaffolding and I have technological restraints, I know where I am heading and know that it will benefit my students.

Finally the inspiration for this posting, other than Anne’s ‘Ubiquity MAGIC!’  comment, the New Zealand School Time Lapse Project that organically grew from a twitter chat, involved 13 schools, 16 teacher and thousands of students through out New Zealand and a few other countries and was so much fun to edit together.   It was completely managed through Twitter and a Google Doc and not an email, phone call or face to face influenced it – although a cuppa and a chat with all of the contributors would have been fantastic.

Ubiquity in action and the start of something big!

Creative Commons Searching for Images and Audio

I am at the moment trying to find the right music to fit the NZ School Time Lapse Project and it is not easy. My problem is not that I am unable to find Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 4.27.28 PMmusic that I can use, but that I am having trouble finding music to suit as there is just so much music available through websites such as Jamendo.

I have trained my class well and they are very aware of using images and audio that they have the right to use; they will only use media that have been found on CC Search (if you don’t use it with your class or something similar then you need to as it removes the issue of copy write).  CC Search allows you to search many different data bases depending on what form of media you are after – Flicker and Google for images, Jamendo or SoundCloud for Audio and so on.

Now in my search for audio that would suit I have discovered that aside from simple tracks in a genre there is also artists who have recorded entire albums that are designed for use in documentaries and they have even been sub categorized by the style of documentary or theme that you have in mind. In many cases all the artist asks for in return is that you give them mention in the credits of the film. To me that is just too cool! So click here to get to a sample and click on the image above to get to CC Search.  If you do not already use a search with copy write in mind and if you allow your class to use what ever music or images they wish then maybe it is time for you to provide them with a different and legal option and help them to become better digital citizens.

Collaboration on the fly – #NZSchoolTimelapse

Yesterday morning, with only 30 minutes before the bell went I had some students playing, and we all know that kids learn through play, on the iLapse app. A few days previous Stephen’s (@PalmyTeacher) class had time lapsed with some letters the proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and over the holidays a collection of teachers collaborated on the #NZTimeLapse project; we never talked and it was all co-ordinated through twitter and a Google Doc.Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.45.42 AM

So I sent out a tweet, sent my class off around the school to time lapse busses arriving, classes beginning and waited. Then the messages came in, a Google document to coordinate was requested and the project began.

As I post there are classes around the country, and even some distance learners through the correspondence school, trying to capture moments of their school day. Stephen’s class have already created the opening title sequence and there are already a couple of clips completed and ready to be edited together.

If this works, and I am sure that it will, there is already talk of future collaborations – pass the story, pick a path stories, retelling of stories or plays where each school takes a scene and performs it in a style of their choosing  (Much like the Star Wars Uncut project).  The big learning here is the process and connections of schools and teachers – who knows what will happen when we allow the students to take over.

Collaboration through connections made on Twitter

Collaboration through twitter has been a fantastic learning curve for my classroom and I over the past year. I recognise all tweets as being a collaboration with either a specific or unidentified audience, but sometimes it becomes a bit more.

poplet

Initially there is that tweet to share a resource or idea, followed by the tweet to find or answer a question. A step further you have that focused conversation around a prearranged topic and set of questions followed by those interested with a Hashtag; I find this a great way to find like minded educators or education heroes that inspire you.

Next step in conecting is that project like Quadblogging or the Travelling Rhino, which is about to visit my classroom next term. These projects really provide the opportunities for classes or teachers to connect.  A shared purpose and goal with the connectivity or modern technology means that distance or time zone is no longer an interference to connecting nationally or globally.

Last year through a blog share we connected with a class in Hamilton through Skype.  Although in the same country our lives were so different. We shared our skis and ski boots with them, they showed us how they could do 180 spin jumps of wooden blocks and then discussed the issues with having a giraffe as a class pet. The connection was not great internet wise, but the connection of thoughts and ideas was beyond worth – my children could not understand that there were people in the world that could not ski, let alone had never seen snow.

The last collaboration that I have discovered through Twitter is Friendship, people who you may never have met, but you build a professional relationship first, then relationship of trust and if you are lucky enough a friendship.  Then I have discovered that when you go to a course or conference you always seem to know someone in the room and the conversations are much longer than 140 characters.

Below is a collaboration between 4 teachers using time lapse technology; 8:30 until 9am on the same day all over New Zealand.  We hope to create another with more participants later in the month.

#NZTimeLapseProject

The timelapse was co-ordinated by @Dakinane and has footage from @Dakinane @Zoopita @MsBeeNZ & @Dukelyer