Wallace and Grommet Maker

Here’s another avatar maker – Wallace and Grommet style.  Thanks to Mark Warner for the link (and twitter, of course)  Tip – wait for a while for it to load, it took a while for me…

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Stop with the changes already!

I like changing things. We just changed house the rooms in our house are used – we now have a study, but it’s the third major change we’ve made since moving in 9 months ago. And…I’ve just changed the template on my blog, again!

You might say I’m a restless soul but I think it’s just because I like being creative. Not in the sense that I’ll make a living in the arts (a pretty narrow view but quite common) but that I LIKE MAKING THINGS. I LOVE the satisfaction of having a vision for something and seeing it come together and I see it come out in so many different ways.

I’ve realised that this blog is something I can make and remake, over and over again…and a few people read it. Crazy.

I’ve just stumbled on the Simpson’s Avatar maker which is on their movie site. Pretty fun!

Postscript – My wife thinks my avatar looks too young and needs more grey hairs…gutted.


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Student bloggers

Who doesn’t want to get their students to find meaningful reasons to write?
Who doesn’t want to give their students the freedom to write about the things they’re really passionate about?

I’ve just started a group for blogging at lunch time.  At the Ulearn conference I went to there was a table set up that gave people a place to blog.  It was called, “The Blogger’s Cafe.”  I thought, ‘What a great idea for students!’

We’ve met only twice but have about 12 kids coming and learning from each other.  I’m hoping that it keeps building momentum but, to be honest, if there are just a few who discover a life long passion to blog then…mission accomplished.

This is a post from Edna Sackson’s blog, ‘Whatedsaid’ and it has some tips I totally agree with!

Here are some parts of the post that I totally agree with…

1.  Freedom of choice!
2.  Model great writing / blogging
3.  Allow students to personalise their blogs.
4.  Give them some motivation or skills to learn – I’m going to show a simple way to take some photos and make a basic panorama.
5.  Embed multimedia tools – We’ve just used theherofactory in class and uploaded the photo.  Youtube videos are great to embed.  Make sure you tick the ‘don’t show related videos’ button in the embed settings – that tip’s for free.

I’m thinking about having a blogger’s award for the most viewed / interesting blog.  Fun times.

Postscript (Is that what this is?):  Since posting this I got this message from @whatedsaid.
Thanks for the  mention 🙂 Glad you liked our post.  The bloggers’ cafe is a great idea.  Have you seen Henrietta’s post about that? http://www.classroomchronicles.net/2010/09/08/the-bloggers-cafe/

This post is about a teacher who started the exact same thing in her school.  Funny, there are hardly any original ideas out there.  Thanks, @whatedsaid.  Man, I like Twitter.

(Above image – Creative Commons – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramblingrovers/1310385981/)

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World’s southern most rugby game?

Is this the southern most rugby game played in the world?  Stags vs Wellington – 14 – 27.  LOVE the stag helmets.

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I took these pics on my ancient sony (8 years old) and put them together in Word – who’d have thunk…

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Indexed – communication in the new world.

This blog, thisisindexed.com,  uses graphs to tell some pretty cool stories.  The bio goes –
This site is a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math.

The posts look like this…

It’s a pity some of the posts are a bit…risky… or I’d show the kids in my class.  It does make me think about the way new media is changing the way we communicate with each – even the fact that these new ways can earn us a living.

I teach writing in set genres (and I know that is a dirty word in schools now, yet we still assess them, therefore – we teach them) like procedural, recounts and persuasive writing. 

I’d love to see us teaching methods of writing – communicating – like this… just..how.  mmmm

Incredibox – new version coming soon…

 I LOVE this site.  I found it a few months ago and this week saw that the new version is out soon.  Can’t wait!

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Creativity and Educational Change..how?

Most of us in schools have seen or heard of Ken Robinson.  His ideas about creativity and changing the educational paradigm are often ringing in my ideas.

I’m sure he’d like the adaptation of one of his speeches by thersa.org.  In this video he shows how he sees a need for schools to competely change the way we do school.

What stands out for me the most how some research that was done (a longitudinal one – added that word to my lexicon!) that showed how being ‘educated’ ruins our ability for divergent / creative thinking!  We get trained into believing that there is one right answer.

What are we doing to encourage creativity in our classes?  One small thing I use is Tony Ryan’s ‘Thinkers Keys.’  (I heard Tony give a presentation at the Ulearn10 conference this month and his blog is full of fantastic ideas for 21st C learning.)  The challenge, as always, is to reform our classrooms within a system that has certain requirements and mandates.

Who’s going to be brave enough to completely reshape our schools?  I wonder if starting a new charter school, based on a new teaching and learning philosophy is an answer?  Just putting it out there!

NB:  I just found this resource of Tony’s to use in class.  Now… to get some cash.

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