(09) 889 2375


zeald blog header
Email me when new posts are made to this blog

Storybird - tutorial

Written by David on April 20th, 2015.      0 comments

Storybird is an epic tool and is one that should be part of every teacher's elearning armoury.  We have just created a comprehensive tutorial covering all of the key features of this tool.

Massey University Post Grad Teacher Training Lecture

Written by David on August 22nd, 2014.      0 comments

Recently, I was asked to once again, deliver a guest lecture for the  post grad trainee teachers at Massey University's Albany Campus. Today was the day that I delivered that lecture. 

"Pop up" Collaboration with Titan Pad

Written by David on August 13th, 2014.      0 comments

Ready to try out student collaboration, but not quite ready to commit to Google Apps? Then you and your class should look at Titan Pad. Titan Pad is a great tool for the classroom. It allows anyone to create “pop up” collaborative writing opportunities.


Puppet Pals

Written by David on August 6th, 2014.      0 comments

Puppet Pals.  What's not to love about it?  This app is one of my all time favorite apps.  But you have to get the right one.

Creating a Sustainable e-Learning environment

Written by David on July 30th, 2014.      0 comments

Learning walks are expensive to fund when students are in school.  Walking through empty classrooms does not really allow a teacher to fully demonstrate her class in action.  So how can we best share our evolving e-learning pedagogy to our peers?


Written by David on July 23rd, 2014.      0 comments

Educreations is a great 'generic' app for learning across the entire curriculum.  It is one of my core "digital stationary pack" apps that I recommend for every classroom.

Pond - Help Yourselves

Written by David on July 17th, 2014.      0 comments



Written by David on July 10th, 2014.      1 comments

I have dipped my toe into N4L's Pond...

WPA Catch Up Day - Presentations

Written by David on May 16th, 2013.      0 comments

I have spent the day in Hamilton at the WPA Catch Up Day conference.  The WPA is the Waikato Principals' Association and they have a day such as this once a term.  Today I was asked to present two sessions for the Principals.  The day was well attended with over a 100 delegates attending. 

In the first sessionI wanted the Principals to reflect on student engagement and elearning's role in facilitating this.  I wanted to make the point that it was Mohammed who moved to the mountain and not the other way round.  I illustrated how almost every facet of our society has undergone massive change precipitated by the Internet.  The traditional methods, avenues and controllers of information have all undergone a seismic shift, all except education.  We have access to more and varied information from a wider range of sources, we have almost unlimited access to music, we can create and publish content online and have audiences of millions.  But education alone is still bucking this trend, we continue to deliver learning in almost the same way as we did 30, 50 even a hundred years ago and we wonder why we find it harder and harder to engage students who live in the multimedia, multithreaded world of the Internet, to work in the linear paper based world of learning.  

In the second session I spoke about the importance of intellectual property in relation to elearning.  I highlighted some of the strategies I have developed and implemented in different schools to induct new staff into school, to raise the base level of competency with elearning for existing staff, the importance of tutorials to teach a consistent skills set and how teachers can capture their own good practice to help others learn and observe how elearning is being integrated and managed in other classrooms.  Finally I spoke about how important it is for schools to mandate elearning reflections and to share resources, lessons, activities, exemplars etc to a common source such as an LMS or closed wiki so that all staff can grow from the collected knowledge of all staff in the school.  The last element of this complete and managed approach to building a sustainable elearning environment in a school was a managed exit strategy for departing staff.

You can see both presentations below:

Presentation 1:

Presentation 2:

Planning for Blended integration of E-learning Tools

Written by David on April 19th, 2013.      6 comments

Over the last couple of years I have been creating a suite of resources to help teachers to integrate elearning tools and activities into their classroom plans.  The purpose of these tools is to provide teachers with ideas to get them started with elearning in the classroom, links to web sites and software programmes that can be used to deliver the learning, apps that also facilitate the same outcomes and finally a growing suite of interactive tutorials with which teachers can self train or provide support to their students to enable the elearning workflow in the classroom to be as smooth as possible.

One of my most popular breakouts at the Ulearn and Learning at Schools conferences was my 90 tools in 90 minutes presentations, a rapid romp through 90 free elearning tools available to teachers to use in their classrooms, this presentation included a brief overview of how I had used the tools in classes at differing age levels.  Although popular, this presentation on a practical level for teachers only really provided them with a list of tools that could promise elearning potential, it did not provide them with the additional support they needed, which is why I have abandoned that presentation and have been concentrating creating and providing resources for schools that support and guide teachers, it is after all what they need.

I have been developing my support tools further, but now creating exemplars and in class support materials for teachers, to provide a whole package of elearning support. Below are some screen shots of the kind of work flow I am providing to schools from lesson plans to outcome exemplars via tutorials, classroom management strategies and support materials.  A one stop elearning shop service.

In the screen shot below you can see the 7th activity planned around the topic of weather, using elearning tools.  The teachers can use these ideas as a springboard into a direction of learning that the class wish to follow or they can use the ideas to scaffold them through the continuum of lesson plans.  Each activity illustrates what apps, computer programmes and websites could be used to facilitate the outcome dictated by the initial learning intention of the school curriculum document.
planning screenshot sml

I also produce documents to help teachers provide a scaffold to the students so that they can focus on the learning rather than the mechanics of producing content with elearning tools.  The aim of this resource below is for the students to focus on the content each broadcast should have, the structure and the duration.  Once the template for the storyboard and the characters, see the video at the end, has been created, this scaffold below is designed to focus the students on content and the production time should be short, less than 20 minutes, meaning that this activity can easily be a daily event for the duration of the topic.  In addition the requirement to create content quickly, creates a model and system that can be applied to other learning areas throughout the year.
content plan sml

And finally I am now producing exemplars of what the learning activity could look look like, using the continuum illustrated above and supported by the interactive tutorials that provide just in time support to teachers and students alike.


Digital Body Language

Written by David on March 18th, 2013.      1 comments

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 8

I follow the social media guru, Linda Coles on Linked In.  She is always sending out notes and information and today she sent out a post talking about 'digital body language.'  I read her post today and  immediately wanted to share it via my networks as the content has a significant resonance with digital citizenship and how students should behave online.  I really liked her use of the term 'digital body language.'  You can see her check list of appropriate positive body language actions below:

  • Do use a greeting and sign off with your name included.
  • Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice and always use the other persons’ name when addressing them.
  • Don’t use all capital letters; it’s the digital equivalent of shouting at someone.
  • Respond to connection requests with a brief “nice to meet you” message just as you would if meeting someone offline.
  • Do get back to those that have made the effort to reach out to you digitally. You wouldn’t ignore them in person.
  • Watch your spelling and grammar. It really is your digital body language so make it top notch.
  • Avoid lots of exclamation marks, you look angry !!!!!
  • Use the smiley face icons to help the reader understand your tone.
The list is simple and if we all take time to reflect, common sense, but in the instant world of social media and the Internet, it is all too easy to dash something off and offend the recipient, even if we did not intend to do so.  Linda's advice is timely for the business professionals that follow her and also very pertinent to our students who need to develop much more finely attuned 'digital body language' in order to thrive and succeed on the Internet of the near future.


Cross Posting

Written by David on March 15th, 2013.      0 comments

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 8

I have been having a dialogue with Jacqui on her blog site about how to maximise the learning potential of iPads or tablets in general in  a classroom.  As a result of this collaboration Jacqui wanted to cross post one of my posts so that her readers to could see what we have been discussing.  You can see what she has to say and what she wanted to post of mine here:


Fuel to the Fire - Launched

Written by David on September 25th, 2012.      0 comments

The red carpet was rolled out, the camera crews were there, the TVNZ reporter held a copy of the book in her hand and interviewed some of the students.  The collaborative fan fiction novel “Fuel to the Fire” was launched by the students of Waiau Pa School.  Their book was inspired by their study of the Hunger Games.  You can download their work and read it for yourself and give them the support and feedback they so richly deserve on their wiki.  You can also download the book from Amazon, just click on the image.



App of the week - Paper

Written by David on September 24th, 2012.      0 comments

I do not think that I have got more excited about an app more quickly than this week’s app of the week - Paper. It is a really simple app that has so many potential uses and can be layered with so many other apps that I am buzzing to get back into classrooms to showcase its potential to students and teachers alike.  It is the kind of app that is completely addictive, well at least that is how I have found it.  It has many similarities with the Moleskine app, but is more like a real note book than the Moleskine app is.  You can use this app as a series of notebooks for ideas brainstorms sketches and jottings.  Each notebook can be decorated, named and have as many pages as you want.  This feature alone makes it a dream for collaborative work on one device.



Hunger Games Update - Fuel to the Fire

Written by David on September 24th, 2012.      0 comments

With all the furore in the last week over National Standards, one project I have been working on can demonstrably prove an increased engagement with writing and reading by boys.  Not only that the attainment of those same children has improved in reading and writing.  Over the last two terms two year 8 classes at Waiau Pa school have been writing their own version of the Hunger Games.  You can view all of the previous posts on the development and progression of the project here:






These two classes have been collaborating in their planning, character development, story arc and editing, to the point now where they have written and published their book.  Fuel to the Fire.

The key to the success of this work has been developing a scheme of work that was seen as being authentic and engaging to the students.  There is no secret to this, all we have to do as teachers is be reflective practioners. We need to look at our planning, we need to look at our classes and recognise that often there is a gulf between them.  We need to adapt what we do to engage the students in something they see as authentic to them, when they do, we see the kind of results that we are seeing in reading and writing at Waiau Pa.

Tomorrow this wonderful project will be the subject of an official red carpet launch at the school and this will be covered by Breakfast TV host Brooke Dobson live at the event.  The book itself is to be published as a Kindle dowload and once I have the link I will let you all know.



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


All copy, products, tutorials, workshops and services on this site remain the sole copyright and intellectual property of dakinane limited.


Phone. +64 9 889 2375
Mobile. +64 21 100 5087
Email. david@dakinane.com
pf twitter pf linkedin pf youtube pf facebook