I’m on holiday … here’s the proof ->

When I’m on holiday there’s inevitably one thing I do that proves I’m on holiday (unless I’m travelling – oh – no – I still do it just in another format!)

I read.


In the last week I’ve read 18 books!

Most from the library but a couple were in our bookshelves. Here’s a collage of the books + the list via the library website – can you pick the two that were on our shelves?

Oh and note – no professional reading at all – all for pleasure!


I guess I’m averaging 2 a day – but given that I’ve also been watching DVDs (should make a list: Miss Potter, 84 Charing Cross Road, Chronicles of Riddick 1 & 2, Amazing Grace, The man who lost his head, Perfect Creature, Quantum of Solace, Starship Troopers 2 & 3, darn it – I can’t remember them all…) I’m actually reading more than that – kinda. And note my eclectic taste in both books and DVDs!

geocaching, photos and geotagging

thanks to a blog from a fellow kiwi today i figured out a really easy way to geotag my photos …

I read this then went to Maria’s site and read her information.

I have a Nokia 6121c – no GPS but the photo EXIF records the time the photos were taken.


I also have a Garmin GPS60 handheld GPSr that I use for geocaching.

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Strangely I had just got back from geocaching and had taken a couple of photos so decided to see if I could use the phone & GPSr & software to geotag my photos.

I downloaded “Loadmytracks” and “GPSPhotoLinker” both free programs for the Mac.

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“Load my tracks” connects via USB to the GPSr and downloads any tracks and saves them as gpx files.

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“GPSPhotoLinker” marries the track and the photos by time stamp – remarkably well.

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iPhoto09 isn’t recognising the geotags but if I use my standalone flickr uploader the geotags are visible in Flickr. When I view the photos in Preview on my mac the geotags are noted.


the flickr map shows a relatively accurate position

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and the meta data shows the gps location

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Picasa does a fantastic job of recognising the geotag online too:

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thanks Miraz for the very good idea!

A new direction?

A few days ago I read this post by Shaun a beginning teacher about his observation of a ‘digital’ classroom being run by Jacqui Sharp.

It made me stop and think.

Which isn’t a bad thing.

In fact it’s a good thing because if we always do what we’ve always done then we’re not thinking about our teaching/learning and we’re not growing as teacher/learners.

I don’t have a full on digital classroom – I have a data projector on a trolley that goes with my mimio (IWB); I have an old (very) desktop that does slow internet and slow word; an xtenda box running 3 desktops – but I can only depend on 2 working at any one time as one always craps out when we’re using them; I have a digital camera which the students use whenever they want; I also have an old iPod that I’ve put audiobooks onto (we’re going to “listen” to HP#1 next term) that I run through my speakers (mine from home). But I still feel rich in digital terms compared to what I’ve had in the past.

I’ve spent the last term getting used to having the mimio and using it (and the data projector) as much as possible (and learning tips and tricks whenever Delmer an ex-mimio rep has relieved at school).

Term 2 I want to explore some possibilities. So these are my ideas so far:

  • Desks are grouped in 5 table groups of 6
  • Students will have a “home” group where they sit for admin purposes (Roll/SSR/End of Day etc) as well as for topic – they are mixed Y3&4/boy&girl
  • Each table group will have a specific purpose during maths & reading/language time that will be the same each day (teacher, equipment, knowledge, investigation, basic facts practice for maths; teacher, reading activities & Word of the day, handwriting, writing (draft/editing/publishing), reading (buddy, library etc) for reading/language)
  • Students will be in 5 groups and will rotate around the table groups over 4 days (I think 2 rotations per session especially while we’re trialling this)
  • Students will also have a chart/poster of “other” activities they can go on with if they finished the assigned activity

This is really an adapted backbone idea but the activities are going to be varied – for instance:

  • Publishing of work will have choices in format – on paper/blog/word/photo
  • Some activities will be available via mimio and/or classroom computers
  • The students also don’t have their “own” desk to return to – they have a home group (this is made easier by the fact that they have tote trays elsewhere with their stuff in them); the big difference is that while the activities may be similar to what they’ve been doing already they are not returning to “their” desks to work in isolation and some of the activities will now be a group activity rather than an individual activity

I’m not sure how the management will go – but I will present this as a learning journey to the class – for both me and them – and one thing I want us to do is to write daily learning journals (which is a totally new concept to me – and I’m not sure exactly where I got the idea from) – initially modelling it for them but with the expectation that twice a day they will write a learning reflection.

I hope I’m not biting off more than I can chew.

Google Image search

For those of you who haven’t caught up – or for whom it is not yet enabled – a cool new feature is coming.

Google image search with a colour filter.

In the first example I searched for dragons.

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In the second example I’ve clicked on the drop down box beside “any content” and specified PURPLE

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This could be very handy if you’re searching for a specific image in a specific colour.

there’s just something about a flashmob

having been part of one (very small one) they are exciting

take a look at this one

Is this the face of homework to come?