A little about me...

Kia ora!
My name is Juliana Treadwell and I have the privilege of being a part of the MDTA 2016 crew! During my first year of this course I will be a part of an awesome year two/three class at Tamaki Primary School with my highly knowledgeable mentor Sally Barlow. I'm super pumped for this crazy adventure and through this blog I hope you can live and learn vicariously with me and enjoy the experience as much as I am!

Friday, 28 October 2016

"The more we share, the more we have" - Leonard Nimoy

Google Class OnAir has always been a uncomfortable idea for me, no matter how confident you are as a teacher it must still be intimidating to put your practice fullscreen for the whole world to see. I have always misinterpreted the focus of class OnAir as a way to critique a teachers style and pedagogy, which is mildly scary, especially as a first year teacher.

However after todays MDTA session, I realised the focus is the incorporation of technology in the OnAir episodes as opposed to the actual teacher. I often forget how lucky we are in our cluster that technology is so embedded in what we do that it is often easy to forget that there are other schools that are just starting to incorporate technology into their daily teaching. I now realise the purpose of Class OnAir is to give teachers around New Zealand, and overseas, ideas of how technology can be used to further students thinking. Instead of using technology as a substitution for a text book actually enhancing how we view technology and how it can be used to redefine education and the way we teach our learners.

Although the video is a major aspect of the Class OnAir, it's not the only component, the purpose is to show the whole learning process. Therefore the episodes include detailed teacher notes, planning, reflection and students learning.


Now that I correctly understand the purpose for the Class OnAir, not only do I have much more admiration for the people who are creating the episodes but I can also see the benefits of being a part of a project like this. Therefore over the next couple of weeks I will be starting to plan an episode of my own and ideally by week six I should be able to film and edit. I think this will be a interesting experiment, it requires a lot of self reflection on my teaching and they way I am using technology with my learners. Stay tuned to see how this develops...

Friday, 21 October 2016

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new" - Socrates

Today we kicked off the day with an intriguing chat based around future focus learning. We focused on what direction technology was going and the effect this would have within our class. We complied a list of new technologies that would have an educational impact, and I was amazed at how close the future seemed.

Virtual reality, Google glasses, smart homes, fridges that order food, biometrics, geocaching, it all seems like classic Futurama, but in reality it so close. One of my favourite recent discoveries is augmented reality (AR). Apps such as Animal 4D, Anatomy 4D, Blippar and Elements 4D take an ordinary piece of paper and brings it to life so you can explore and manipulate different aspects.

The potential for use in the classroom is extraordinary, it makes everything easily accessible. For example if you don't have access to any fluorine or  or sodium, this app allows you to explore both of these elements, what they look like, each elements composition, as well as being able to witness the reaction between them.

One other aspect that we explored deeper is the world of coding. Coding and being able to program is becoming a fundamental skill for our next generation. We gave 'hour of code' a go and played around with the different levels of coding. It's not all HTML and complicated screeds of a foreign language it can be as simple as dragging 'blocks' that have the required code for different commands. I don't have a whole lot of coding experience but within 30 minutes I was able to make my own Star Wars game! This is something I am very keen to start in my classroom next year, if it is going to be so fundamental to society I want my learners to be prepared and capable of understanding this change. I can't wait to see how my students could explore this tool and where their imagination take them. 

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid" - Albert Einstein

Today we had the privilege of connecting with the majority of beginning teachers within our cluster. One focus of the day was to  reflect on the year that has been and to share the Manaiakalani vision for the term to come. 

The focus on visible learning brings with it many challenges, but the main one main focus is the incorporation of multi-modal learning.  After doing a quick survey of our group we reinforced what we already knew.. people like learning in many different ways. 

Often as teachers we revert back to the way we enjoy learning or what think is 'the best' way to learn. There was always the classic read the text then show what you have learnt, however the concept of text has adapted due to the advances in technology. Text can now include videos, audio, dance, music, oral, movies, written and images. If we have all these options available why would we simply rely upon one way of teaching? 

Google sites is a good platform to experiment with multi-modal learning, you can embed video, audio, songs, articles, stories, audio books and images that students can select and use a range of texts to develop their learning. I have been using google sites throughout this year with my class, however one aspect that challenged me was the student selected texts. Making sure I am giving students control over their learning not just prescribing a workload. Instead collaborate with students to discuss what types of text they want included and resources they find beneficial. This will give students some control over their learning and make sure they are not being disadvantaged by what I define as 'the best form of text'. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

"Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahiengari he toa takimano // my strength is not that of the individual but that of the collective" - Maori proverb

uLearn Breakout One: Kiwi - Iwi

This breakout was a thought provoking start to my uLearn journey, it made me question the way I view hapū, iwi and Marae contribution in our school and classroom. What do I believe their role is? Am I ensuring that there is a connection between school and marae? What should this connection look like? What is the expectation of whānau, tamariki and iwi?

So many questions. However overall I realise this is not something that I have been consciously trying to develop this year and therefore have not created these relationships.  This is something I am very keen to change and the first thing I need to identify is who I am trying to engage with and what I am trying to connect them into.

This cultural landscape tool is the perfect scaffold for starting my journey to connecting with Iwi in our community, I need to discover who I am trying to connect to, about their whenua, reo, waiata, tupuna. There are many things that specific to each individual Iwi and I need to discover these different aspects to be able to cater to them specifically.  The only  way to discover this is to go to the people, ask them what do they want for their tamariki? Engage with their leadership team, who are the people that need to be involved?

Once I start to answer some of these initial questions then I can start to think about how togther we will connect the curriculum to the Iwi. Connecting to marae run programs, connecting to specific Iwi traditions, waiata, dance, haka, legends which can all link back to the curriculum. Being able to make student learning relatable to their lives gives their learning purpose which I believe will maximise students engagement.