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Interface Article - August 2012

Written by David on August 31st, 2012.      0 comments


Interface Magazine

The latest issue of Interface Magazine has just been published and in it is my latest contribution to this excellent magazine. You can read my article on storage solutions for schools here. Alternatively you can subscribe and never miss out on another issue ever again.




App of the Week - DocScan HD

Written by David on August 22nd, 2012.      0 comments

The app of the week this week is DocScan HD.  The app comes in a free and a premium variety.  It is such a simple tool, but it has fantastic potential in a classroom for students to, capture, share and annotate their learning.  I will be introducing this tool and the lessons that I have devised around the app, in to the schools that I am working with that have iPads in the coming weeks.  For those of you who want to see the app the video below is a good introduction.  Want to know more integration ideas for elearning? Please contact me.




Let the writing begin - Hunger Games update

Written by David on August 8th, 2012.      0 comments


Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin


Having spent term 2 reading the book, The Hunger Games, the Yr8 students at Waiau Pa School have now embarked on their writing of their fan fiction variant of The Hunger Games.  To remind you about the task I have designed.  The students had to plan a 10 chapter book.  They had to write their own version of events of the Hunger Games from the perspective of Gale as he watches and experiences the events unfold via the screens back in the Seam.  I intended this to be a collaborative project and so to make it so the students in room 14 had to write the odd numbered chapters and the students in room 16 had to write the even numbered chapters.  To make this work the students had to agree on all the features of the book before they started writing and in addition the story arc had to be agreed upon, ie what would each chapter cover.

The teachers actually running this project have created a fantastic wiki where the students are sharing the resources they have created and as well as that the students’ conversations have been captured by the teachers.  The intention was that each chapter would be no longer than 1000 words each.  However, I was back at Waiau Pa School last week and caught up with the students and the teachers.

The reaction to the project has been overwhelmingly positive.  The quality of the writing that the students are producing is amazing the teachers, the work is way beyond their expectations.  Daily they are blown away with the range of debates around the text each group is creating and quality of the final written product as it emerges.  In addition having spoken to both the students and the teachers, who initially had reservations about the 1000 word limit as a goal too far, the students all think that this is too low and want to write more for each chapter.  Other anecdotal evidence is coming to light, that illustrate the level of engagement that this long term collaborative project has had upon the students.  Several parents have commented that the project has encouraged their boys to not only read a novel for the first time, but be so inspired by the book that they are now reading other novels, all of which will have a spin off into their writing.  The principal of the school has also said how pleased he is with the engagement, the quality of the work and the overall attitude of the students to their writing work.  This work is not seen as a chore and when the writing sessions end, the students do not want it to end, they want to continue.  Simon, the principal is now concerned how we will follow this work up, or even contemplate returning to a more traditional writing programme.  A nice problem to have!

The work has yet to have a title, but it is scheduled for completion in week 6 of this term and for publication in week 8.  There will be an official book launch, to which I have been invited.  The book will be available from the Kindle Store for $0.00.  Once it is published I will let you all know the link to the book, I will also promote it via my Twitter and Facebook pages.  We will also be publishing to http://fanfiction.net which is a fantastic writing resource for students and teachers alike. So please visit the wiki as the project unfolds and prepare for the launch of this book in a few weeks.  On a final note, the teachers at Waiau Pa will be presenting on this project at the upcoming Ulearn conference in Auckland.  I will be there to support them too, so if you want to find out more, be sure to book your place in their workshop in breakout 1.

Incidentally if there are any schools who want to run a version of this project as a collaborative one with other schools, please let me know and I will marry you up and happily work with you to ensure that the project is as successful as this one.



App of the Week: Educreations

Written by David on August 7th, 2012.      0 comments

I have decided to do the app of the week post differently from now on and this post marks the first of this new format.  The app of the week this week is Educreations.  I love this app, check out the video below.




David has been a specialist in the field of elearning for over 12 years. He has presented on elearning at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His consultancy work includes education and business clients. READ MORE


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