Introduce your students to SuperClubs Plus

SuperClubsPLUS is an educational online learning space where students aged 6-14 years can connect with other students and learn about safe online behaviours, including working to achieve their ‘Safe Online’ Star Awards.

The Department, in partnership with Intuitive Media, has made SuperClubsPLUS available free to all Victorian Years 3 and 4 students in 2012.

Superclubs rules

The following short video is from Spring Gully Primary School. Have a look at how they are engaging students through SuperClubs Plus to support online learning.

 

Join up to SuperClubs Plus here.

 

 

Welcome back to a new school year.

Looking back over last year we can see Global2 has increased in new users fivefold. With over 61,000 comments across global2 blogs last year we can look forward to a bigger blogging year to come.

Global2 has many great teacher contributors and this year we would like to encourage your students or whole class to guest post on global2.
To get involved simply email global.teacher@edumail.vic.au your chosen post to be included. We look forward to reading about your class observations, start up projects, affirmative action or even solutions to unanswered questions!

Global2 is very excited about the latest and greatest updates from Edublogs so have a look around your new dashboard and explore!
I have included some of the important changes from as discussed by edublogs below :
1. A new dashboard look


This will be the first thing you notice if you haven’t already. Everything is still in a familiar location, but the look and feel is a bit more polished.
As you explore the made over dashboard, you will find several improvements such as better search for themes, easier ways to sort posts and pages, and other little tools built in that should make blogging a bit easier.

2. The Admin Bar
Across the top of your blog you will find a new Admin Bar which will help you navigate around your blog and our site.
You can turn off this bar under Settings > Admin Bar in your dashboard if you would prefer – but we find it handy to quickly add a new post, login, or go back and forth between the site and dashboard.

3. Custom Menus
Under Appearance > Menus you will find a brand new area for customizing the order and layout of your menus.
The drag-and-drop menu creation allows you to add links to any site on the web, specific categories, and more.
Adding custom menus is easy, and detailed directions on how are here.

4. Blog and User Creator
*This feature may not be available depending on how blog and user management is handled on your site.
We took some of the complexity out of creating new users and blogs that we had before by rolling everything into this new and improved creation tool.
You will be able to more easily create additional blogs, student blogs or accounts, and set it up so that you can manage them right from the get-go.

Global2 Gallery

The Global2 Gallery is now available. The Global2 Gallery (http://student.global.vic.edu.au) highlights classroom blogs from DEECD and CEO schools across Victoria.
If you would like your classroom blog included on the Global2 Classroom blogroll please email bowe.louise.f@edumail.vic.gov.au to be added.

screen1

Global2 blogs are growing and we would encourage you to spread the word to promote global2 blogs in your school and across your personal learning networks.

Using Technology in the Literacy Block

This week’s guest post comes from Kelly Jordan, a teacher from Leopold Primary School, Victoria.
g2device

This is my eighth year of teaching and in that time I have taught Grades Prep, One and Two. I am currently teaching a Grade Two class.. I endeavour to learn all I can about Literacy education in the Early Years of schooling and I believe my students benefit from my explicit and innovative approach to teaching the foundations of reading, writing and oral language.

A couple of weeks ago Kathleen Morris and I were busy preparing for a presentation we’re giving to our staff next term. The message we are trying to get across is

The illiterate of the 21st century will be those who can only read and write across traditional platforms.

In our classroom we integrate technology into our daily Literacy program to cater for our students. Technology is not an “add-on” and we don’t feel pressured to include one-off ICT lessons. Our lessons are designed to include technology. Our planning sessions always involve us brainstorming how technology fits into the lesson focuses. We find websites, web 2.0 tools, apps, stories and activities that help our students achieve their individual learning goals, in both Literacy and Numeracy.

We are lucky to have access to some great technological devices and our students are reaping the rewards while being engaged with their learning. Here’s a snapshot of what you might see if you wandered into our classroom during the two hour Literacy Block.

iPod Touches

- The iPod is the “Listen to Reading” component of our Daily 5 program. Students listen to stories (we like Story Home on iTunes) and write/draw a response.

- Students complete listening/following instructions activities, such as origami, which has proved very popular. We like How To videos on HowCast (through iTunes).

- Students test their comprehension skills by listening to a podcast or watching a video. They then complete a follow up activity, such as sequencing activities (eg. correctly sequencing the steps in a recipe). Again, HowCast has some great videos for students of all ages.

Classroom Computers

- During our Reading Groups, we have a computer group each day. This is the “Work on Writing” component of the Daily 5. Students write a blog comment on our blog, reply to a comment or write a comment on one of our blogging buddies’ blogs.

- The focus of the computer activity is that the students carefully read the post they are commenting on and respond. They need to include questions in their comments and editing their comment is crucial. We often read these comments as a class during share time.

Interactive Whiteboard

- When we incorporate the interactive whiteboard into our Reading Groups, we use it as the “Word Work” component of the Daily 5. Check out this post I wrote recently for some word game ideas students enjoy.

iPads

- We have two iPads in our classroom and we’re experimenting with how to best use them. We’ve used them in Reading Groups several times, taking advantage of some great free apps for young students. We’ve used word games, stories etc and the students have also watched videos/shows with a particular literacy focus.

- Recently, we’ve been focussing on having the students ask questions during whole class sessions. For example, after we watch a BTN episode, rather than asking questions myself, the students come up with questions for the class about the episode. They’ve been encouraged to do this after watching a show or episode on the iPad too. It’s a great way to tune them in, develop their metacognitive skills and keep them engaged and focussed on the task.

Netbooks

- We are very fortunate to have recently received a bank of 20 netbooks in our classroom. Our students were so excited when they started using them in the last week of term! Kathleen and I are completing an “action research project” with the netbooks and we’re excited about the possibilities.

- Our new student bloggers have been using the netbooks to get started with their blogs.

- When school goes back we are going to train up a few students who will become ”techxperts”. They will help troubleshoot problems, assist students with difficulties with the netbooks etc.

- We’ve had the students use the netbooks for publishing stories, completing research and looking up definitions of words while reading.

- I set up a Livebinder which had the websites our students would need for the week. This is a good way to save sites and students can easily access them during the Literacy Block (and also for Numeracy).

- We’re also helping the students improve their typing skills. We had a session in the last week of term where the students used a few online typing activities, including Dance Mat Typing, Keyboard Climber and Type for Gold, and the room was absolutely silent! They were so engaged and keen to develop their typing skills and speed.

- We are looking forward to having our students work on projects and use a variety of web 2.0 tools on the netbooks next term. We have a great opportunity with these netbooks and we can’t wait to see what the students learn and create!

************************

This is just a brief overview of how we incorporate technology in our Literacy program. And, it goes without saying, our students read “traditional” books every day and regularly write with paper and pencils. Our priority is providing our students with a Literacy program that includes texts across all platforms. We are making them transliterate learners, that is, helping them to become literate across multiple forms of media.

We teach ICT skills explicitly and incidentally every day, and it is so rewarding to see our students’ using technology to further develop their reading and writing skills. As we often say, we’d be doing our students a disservice if we didn’t integrate technology into our program!

Creativity and Education part 1

This weeks guest post comes from Kynan Robinson

shutterstock_80185060I’m a teacher at North Fitzroy, I’ve been working their as the Music Specialist for the past 9 years and have taken on the role of ICT Coordinator in the last 5 years. When it comes to children’s music I am a huge believer in encouraging composition, demystifying the role of the composer and getting all kids to have the self belief and skills to do it.

Taken from illegal harmonies…music and ICT education

Currently I am involved in a fantastic project titled PLP Connect U a joint project with the Department of Education and Powerful Learning Practice. It is a fairly open ended project designed around creating better learning and teaching practice through the development of networks and communities of learners. The approach seems to be a fairly organic one where outcomes are not set in stone but are variable dependent on where the groups push or pull them. This approach creates some fairly messy as well as interesting discussions as well as generating confusion. Confusion is one of my favorite states and a state I thoroughly endorse when it comes to teaching practice as it seems to allow for new models of unexpected thinking to push through. I was recently at a conference where clarity was the buZZ phrase. Students must have total clarity of the desired learning outcome at all times to better enhance their learning ability.

For me that is a method that while having some merit some of the time is not necessarily something that will lead to new thinkings within the students mind so therefor has it’s limitations.

I am part of a group within the PLPConnectU Project entitled Creativity and it is full of great thinkers trying to deepen their students educational experiences and allow for a more creative approach to learning. We were recently asked to comment on the subject of what we were wondering about and I replied with the following.

I am wondering about the following things I’ve read recently. While sounding esoteric they might actually be relevant in a group with the title creativity,

The first is a short statement by Arthur Rimbaud a French Poet

“I say a man must be a seer

Make oneself a seer

The poet makes himself a seer by a lengthy, massive and deliberate disordering of all the senses”

1871

Secondly a statement which follows similar lines found in a book called The Art of Looking Sideways.

“Creativity is a compulsive human urge which demands ritual actions or routine responses and is valid only when one is trading beyond experiences.

The word creativity is frequently appropriated to enhance the mediocre or justify the mundane. That ceaseless and frenetic activity -easy to mistake for purposeful action – which without anything new to say only produces noise and aggregate. No new thoughts no magic moments just more activities in which process becomes product. The true creative act is something else it produces something which never existed before. Whether of small consequence or great significance. A glimpse of the blindingly obvious ignited by the heat off the wires caused by short circuiting thoughts. Insight is unreasoning.

Of course what might appear to be a spontaneous thought may well have been a long time cooking in the unconscious.”

I think these two comments make powerful statements about true creativity requiring alot of work and space and dedication and support to allow it to find it’s way through because to “deliberately disorder all the senses” is a courageous and difficult thing to try. Reordering of the sences is talking about realigning meaning to everything or reassigning different meaning to things.

This is something I personally do alot of and it is something that has come to influence almost all of my art practice. I know how difficult it is to do and the consequences of doing it are sometimes very confusing. Sometimes by reassigning meaning you actually rub up against society and the norms of society which can be very powerful things. But generally out of that confusion comes a moment of absolute inspiration. This is the creative thought. This is the new thought, this is what allows me to percieve the future and this would never have come to me if I had been told the intention of the lesson. Confusion can be a good thing and I wonder how much of it do we allow our students to live in it. Creativity is so much more than providing an art lesson or finger painting or whatever other process based work you would like to see an outcome to.. it is about a commitment to original thought and the difficult process that actually is.

Feel free to comment, these are just thoughts I am trying to better formulate in my own mind when it comes to teaching practice.

Have You Signed On For the Challenge?

  • Are you looking to extend your understanding of the possibilities offered by the Global2 campus?
  • Are you willing to share your blogging expertise with others?
  • Do you want to further explore the nexus between the Ultranet and Global2?
  • Are you just up for learning more about learning with ICT?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above then you should sign up with the Global2 Collective Knowledge Construction Challenge which has begun today. Sign up for the challenge via the Global2 Collaborative Space ID 114652913 or by going to the Global2 Collective Knowledge Construction blog.

global-challenge-badge