“Ignite” Professional Development At Your School

“Ignite” Professional Development At Your School.

When we have been working, thinking and living with a particular framework/mindset it is not always easy to view and accept the ideas of others, especially when yours are so deeply ingrained.  Others’ ideas might cause our own views to shift, be questioned and this makes us uncomfortable.

The ‘temporary’ discomfort that I sense, when people share their own learning like that of  ‘John Falino‘  in his blog, can provide new learning for me, insight, a fresh way to view a concept that could become entrenched and eventually irrelevant or useless.  I have especially been touched by his summary of what he learnt at this year’s ‘Ignite‘ session at ISTE’s 2014 conference. I’ve been to an ‘Ignite‘ here in New Zealand and it is a powerful and empowering way to learn.  I have been touched by one of John’s points – in particular point #2.

The question to ask myself, and any sojourner passing by my lonely blog, is “what does this actually mean – does my ‘digital profile‘ represent me in a way that I can be proud of, that teaches others how to act respectfully online, that provides opportunities for others to question their own views, to learn from and with each other”?  Long question – no short answer! All I know for now is that I am viewing my digital citizenship more and more as a ‘tattoo’ in progress!

Thank you John.

2) “Rebranding Digital Citizenship”: The days of sitting all students in an auditorium for a “one shot” presentation on digital citizenship are over. Instead, digital citizenship needs to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum and needs to become part of the fabric of the school. Each student is now creating a digital legacy through their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channels, etc. In effect, these outlets are now becoming the new resume. What will colleges and employers find when they search our students’ names? Or worse…what if they find nothing? These (and more) are important questions for schools to tackle head on.


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Analyzing iPad Myths in Education


Most excellent post! Thanks for this very educational, informative and real eye opening article! Richard and Steve – as teachers, your perspectives and knowledge are valuable. I’ll be sharing this far and wide. I will even do this from from iPad Air – I’m in my 50’s :-)

Originally posted on  IPAD 4 SCHOOLS:

iPad MythsAre you still trying to fight for iPads in your school?

Many obstacles that iPad cynics attempt to put in place when discussing a roll-out are based on untruths, poorly research and/or out-of-date information. I was delighted when my Canadian Twitter friend and fellow iPad blogger, Steve Lai decided to join forces, as we’ve done before, to combat this dis-information that floats around the education profession worldwide.

This Post explains how to argue a Case for iPads in the Classroom.

A collaboration between iPad Educators:

Steve Lai (@sly111, Canada) and
Richard Wells (@ipadwells, New Zealand)

Preamble: This article is to support iPads in teaching. However, it is not to devalue the benefits of a great teacher. The execution of iPads in class is only going to go as far as the passions and mindset of the teacher allows it to. In other words, the iPad will never replace quality teaching.

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How It Began

How It Began.

If you read Dennis’ blog and your heart is not touched you best ask yourself – Am I really part of the human race?  I’m inspired by stories like these where a simple action in someone’s world – across the globe from where I live could very well impact mine! This is when the internet plays an important role in waking us up to the plight of others and moving us to action…I hope!

Thank you Dennis.

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How can a blog help you learn?

There are blogs that inform – for sure!  Then there are blogs that are musings – a bit like mine when I make time for it :-) And then there are blogs that are on steroids – bombard you with so much you aren’t sure where to look first and THEN…there is a blog like this one!  I love the interactive elements that have been embedded in this.  I love that it makes me think. I love that it inspires me to add to my blog but what I love most – it helps me to want to learn more!  Visit for yourself.  Thank you Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano for caring about teaching, learning and for being connected – it is inspiring!

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The Web’s founder calls for action, so where is education?

The Web’s founder calls for action, so where is education?.

My response:

What idealistic thinking Berners-Lee has when he says: “Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture.”

This sits up there with world peace, free education for all and a world with no poverty!

Personally, I think and work with a large majority of educationalists that view the open web as open enough – the politics driving it is not a concern for many.  It’s like opening a tap and expecting clean water to flow – not thinking about how it gets to you in the first place.  I think the view of access to the internet in education has been similar to this up until now.  We need to shut the water off to suddenly discover that we need, want and can’t live without it and then ask Qs about how to get it back :-)

Thanks Bryan for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts!

Thoughts anyone! Bryan’s Blog is a great read always…

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Modern Learning Environments


Thoughtful, insightful and sobering post. It is about quality teaching and learning and its about pooling resources (things and people) and giving the best we have. You’ve expressed very well a few key points: a continuous flow of communication at multiple levels, building trusting relationships, encouraging healthy risk taking for all involved. I love your words – “if you want to grow as a practitioner, you will love the MLE” – grow you will! Kia Kaha. Thank you for letting us into your NOT 4 walls!

Originally posted on michaela . pinkerton:

I used to love my four walls. Four walls of a traditional classroom with burgeoning displays of superb student work. And a door. Appointments would be made to watch my ‘best’ lesson for appraisal. People said, “see me any time, the door is always open” and it was most definitely a metaphor.

For those of you who have yet to step inside the large open learning spaces of schools such as my current place of work, you may be wondering what I am talking about. But we don’t have walled classrooms in my current kura. The doors are see through. We never say “my door is always open” because our spaces always are, literally.

What is the benefit?

Both my recent teaching experiences and the research, suggest to me that there is one overwhelmingly positive benefit of an open learning space, where several teachers and classes work concurrently and…

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Ngā kura māuiui o Aotearoa: The sick New Zealand schools


How much more can our schools take? What will the future of our country look like if we don’t invest in our educational system and in those that invest their time, energy and knowledge with our children? It’s not just time to save our schools but it’s time to do more – investing in our future, our students, is the only option!

Originally posted on Save Our Schools NZ:

Installation by Martin Thrupp, Donn Ratana and Viv Aitken
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, March 2014

Weather permitting, the installation will be available for viewing outside the Festivals of Education venues in Auckland (Viaduct Events Centre) on Sunday 23 March and in Wellington on 29 March (exact Wellington venue to be advised).

Why this installation and why at this time?

This year the Key Government has become unusually upbeat about schools. Festivals of Education are celebrating innovations, collaborations and achievements within the sector. An ‘InspiredbyU’ campaign has been encouraging New Zealanders to write in praise of teachers who have influenced their lives. In January, $359 million of new funding for principals and teacher ‘super roles’ was announced, the so-called ‘Investing in Education Success’ policy.

This enthusiasm comes after five years of being critical of schools and teachers and often applying damaging policies. It also comes in election year, and just in…

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News Flash: Voki now on iPad!

News Flash: Voki now on iPad!.

Absolutely must consider online tool that evokes interest, engagement and critical thinking. One sure way of drawing students attention to their ideas being heard and the audience receiving their messages.

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The first School in the Cloud opens in the UK


And so the “look” of education begins to morph…learning spaces with no boundaries!

Originally posted on TED Blog:

A group of students explores a question at the Killingworth School in the Cloud.

A group of students explores a question at the Killingworth School in the Cloud, as a volunteer member of the “Granny Cloud” gives them guidance from the screen.

By Sarah Schoengold

Sugata Mitra has opened the doors of the world’s first School in the Cloud.

Located inside George Stephenson High School in Killingworth, England, this one-room learning lab is a space where students can embark on their own learning adventures, exploring whatever questions most intrigue them. Students even designed the interior of the space — which has colorful beanbags scattered throughout and (very appropriately) fluffy clouds painted on the walls.

[ted_talkteaser id=1678]On the glass doors of the lab is the acronym “SOLE,” which stands for “Self-Organized Learning Environment.” It’s a concept drawn from Mitra’s TED Prize wish, in which he offered up a new vision of education that pairs the vast resources of the Internet with children’s innate sense of…

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Teaching VS Tools

Sometimes you find a tool that makes you wonder how on earth did you ever teach without it…maybe it was a feather and ink well, a led pencil, a pencil with an eraser, a ‘Bic’ pen (with ink already in it), a computer, mobile device, your finger… And then there is this:



emaze – Online Presentation Tool

So, it is obvious to me that it is still about the teaching but having the right tool can sure enhance the learning. What you do think?

Enjoy and please leave a comment.

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