Coding on iPads – Beginner to Pro

Fear! Fear of failure, fear of looking silly in front of our students but the fear that should drive us is the type that we’ve not given our students every opportunity to advance their learning! Thank you for showing us that coding no longer needs to be so scary! Interestingly, what this has really highlighted is the fact that as teachers we are preparing our students for a future that we don’t even know what it will look like! I know that when I went to school, a very long time ago, I can vouch that what I was given and had opportunity to explore has benefitted me to this day…will that be the case for my students?

Let’s be prepared by learning from each other, just as this blogger is doing for others and pass on useful tips, ideas and encouragement so that you and I don’t freeze in the fear of the educational unknown.


Code and programming may not be the most important topics on the planet but it is an area of study that sufferers two major problems. one: an industry with millions of unfilled job positions and two: a world where not enough teachers feel confident to run programming projects. The iPad can offer a solution in these situations.

There’s an app for that (and a generation)

Fortunately, the world of code education is getting easier and more self-sufficient every month. When I say self-sufficient, I mean such that having an expert in the room is not longer a requirement. Thousands of children, some as young as four, are teaching themselves to program and make apps and games . They are using, apps, YouTube, gadgets, drones and robots, all available at home. This generation are also becoming experts at collaborating online.
Initially, many code teachers in the world were skeptical about whether the…

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Integrating technology into learning

Using technology in the classroom and integrating technology for learning are two different things. The first is something that any teacher can do without much thinking, but to truly integrate technology into education takes a great deal of imagination, thinking and planning. Embedding technology so that it becomes transparent is clearly an aim to which…

Amen Steve Wheeler! I think you have the power to read minds now!

I’ve often felt that fear of using tech, amongst some, is fear of having to reflect on teaching practice. Re- examining what you’ve done is a humbling experience and I believe, personally, that teaching through tech has potential to highlight pedagogical weaknesses – more to come on this in another post.

I’d like to get rid of the ‘e‘ and move forward with the learning, where tech is the ‘invisible helper’.

How does tech influence your thinking and practice as a teacher and what impact does it have on you as the student?

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Helpful for teachers and students too!

Short post…finding this blog was like finding a treasure box! Ideal audience = teachers BUT students or anyone trying to get their head around Google Drive will love it!

Why boast about this blog? Well, they followed mine first and that’s important to acknowledge AND short, sharp, useful teaching videos that actually teach – well that’s worth mentioning!

Enjoy, follow and thank – online etiquette is important.

PDI Blog | Online Courses and Free Teacher Resources

Thanks for following.

Remember your footprint ( or tattoo) and what does it say about you!!

Photo taken by KP (family member)


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reflections on e-teaching and e-learning

reflections on e-teaching and e-learning.

I can really appreciate that this blog and the writer share a raw honesty and that both are also founded on sound pedagogy that drives that passion to be the ‘best’ teacher that one can be!

Essentially, students want and deserve learning spaces and content that suit their pace of life, learning and that engages deeper and creative thought. Some institutions and teachers have a more traditional and perhaps less adventurous mode of working, as the writer of the blog clearly points out.

I believe that the thought provoking evidence provided from student voice  in the blog impresses on me that ultimately, we the teachers, need to be prepared to learn, stretch and question our thinking – for NOT to do so may mean that our students are NOT prepared or able to engage with the ‘media’ tide we are all experiencing!

Let me close with my picture narrative:

The car is not an invention that in and of itself suits any grand purpose other than to transport but you make it an ambulance, a taxi, a mini van full of kids going to soccer, then and only then, the car has found its true purpose!  Technological devices, spaces and those that are in them – just like the car have no real purpose but upon reading this blog I am so glad that this writer is developing a real sense of purpose for learning for students. We can all learn something from this!

Car of the Future?

Car of the Future?

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Resources for Developing Online Interaction

Resources for Developing Online Interaction.

A gem to keep and refer back to! Thank you Debbie Morrison (

How often do we (as teachers) search the web for helpful sound information to inform our teaching, to support the learning of our students online, only just to feel frustrated that you are met with tons of advertising, promotions and gimmicks!

I have found that the key to less useless trolling and more guided focused intentional pedagogical treasure hunting comes from my selected social networks! I have tried to build my network with others who are as interested and passionate about teaching and learning online as I am. Others who have tested and researched the pitfalls and advantages that technology can afford our learners are the ones that I have chosen to follow and learn from.

Take the time to think about how your social networks can not only inform your practice but create better connections, workflows and a way forward for your own PD (professional development) at a time when institutions are cutting back on outsourcing this type of needed ongoing learning!

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The Mindset of the Maker Educator

Decide for yourself – Are you a Maker? How would you shift your pedagogy, thinking and practice, in order to ensure the needs of your students are being met and does technology play a role in that shift? Does it need to?

I think that giving students ownership, collaborating and cooperating in the teaching and learning decisions that happen should be common place and not out of the ordinary. The Maker Movement enables this to happen.

Please share your experiences and stories – I love to hear them!

User Generated Education

Here are some graphics, Thinglinks, and the slideshow I created for my Mindset of the Maker Educator Workshop:

perfect storm



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Google Forms adds short URLs, randomized questions, more

Often a new online tool pops up and in a flurry I need to play. I’ve discovered that these ‘fly by night’ apps and tools are not the ones to get excited about.

This blog points to the way in which Google has again listened to their users and made improvements to a product that has potential to not just gather data but that as a teacher/learner can assist me to engage with others to better understand concepts, activities and more.
Thanks for a @ChanceHMiller for providing this neat and useful blog post.

Time to play with the new features – maybe embed it in my blog 🙂

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Video newsletters = easy and awesome! Thanks @shareski

The voices of our students are potentially the most powerful tool for learning, their own and especially ours as their teachers.

I admire how Stephanie allows her students to show how her teaching is having a positive impact on their learning. Stephanie is able to feel that there is no need to prompt or script her e-newletters and as you listen to these intelligent little individuals you will realise that there is a genuine and honest truth sounding loudly!

The main message here: we love to learn and want others to know that we are learning!

Great role modelling of what it means to learn and teach in the 21st century, to impress the skills and attitudes and values that will propel these learners into the future and in fact to create it!

Teaching the Teacher

Writing newsletters is one of least favourite chores. I’m not sure how many parents actually read the newsletter, moreover the production of newsletters takes time away from the things that matter.

Could this old-style communication become more effective?

Enter Dean Shareski.

One of his suggestions from the recent Singapore Google Apps for Education summit was the idea of instead of sending out a text-heavy newsletter video could do a more effective job of telling what is going on in classrooms. People get to hear tone, voice and realise that yes you are a person not just a teacher.

I decided to have a go at producing a video newsletter for my year group.

During a non-contact period I pulled 3 children out of each of the Year 4 classes out. I asked the group what they’d learned in school for English, Maths and Unit of Inquiry. Each child talked a little bit about what they had…

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iMovie trailers – A Fun & Easy Icebreaker!

What more can be said – watch the video and decide for yourself…our online presence can be real, funny, innovative, creative and engaging. Thank you Stephen for your dedication to teaching, learning and fun!

iMovie trailers on iPad/iPhone/iPod touch

Here is a great ice breaker activity for you if you have a few iPads to use in your classroom.

You will need around one iPad per group of 2-6 students. Or, if you only have one iPad, create a trailer as a class.

iMovie trailers is a very fun and easy way to create awesome short videos. Your class will probably be able to finish within one to two hours.

Note that you don’t need to worry about any spoken lines. Have your students fist choose a theme, then figure out the written parts either before or during filming.

How to film, step-by-step

Have groups of 2-4. Students should take turns filming and make sure each person is featured in the movie.

1. Open iMovie on the iPad

2. In the Projects tab, tap the + sign at the bottom. Select “Trailer”.

3. Choose…

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11 Major Teaching Mistakes to Avoid

Reflecting on mistakes are the learning jewels we all need to accept and I believe that if you can accept ‘educated’ risks as a partner to mistakes then you’re able to shape your learning for life!

Educational blog to follow! Thank you Mark Osborne for your insightfulness and refreshing way to blog – makes you think!

11 Major Teaching Mistakes to Avoid.

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