Gagging teachers

Just a short post to ask a question – and hopefully get some answers!

What control do you think a school principal/management/BOT should have over whether a teacher is allowed to use twitter or blogger or other social networks to express their opinions on teaching, education etc.?

(This would be on well established personal accounts.)


Kids can totally blow you away …

Yesterday we used a blog to facilitate our SODA (start of day activity based on Tony Ryan’s Thinkers Keys). The students worked in their groups to come up with their ideas. Then they commented on the post to record their ideas.

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All the groups worked well and came up with fantastic ideas. I have developed a sheet that sets out exactly how to do their commenting.

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Then I showed them the process I went through to moderate their comments (and incidentally demonstrated why I wanted the particular layout in the comments) and published their ideas.

Then last night when I was doing some more work I happened to notice that there was a comment awaiting approval. When I checked it out I was totally blown away.

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While we have been learning about critiquing (voicethread) I’ve not talked at all about commenting like this in blog posts. This was totally student initiated – and Drew is a 7 year old, Year 3 girl.

It’s so inspiring when you see your students starting to respond independently like this.

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!

Learning @ School 09

It’s hard to come up with that the absolutely best thing about #lats09 has been but one of the best is actually getting to meet all the people I’ve been tweeting with and blogging about for several years (PLN).

Sitting around the table at the Bloggers Cafe in real life instead of just virtually is fantastic.

It’s also been a great time to add new people to my twitter friends list; to watch people sign up and start tweeting during keynotes or sessions at the Blogger’s Cafe.

One of the cool things is to meet people like the keynote speakers online via their blogs or tweets and then to talk with them during the conference.

One of the other things is going to conference with colleagues and you see another side of them – and you also have amazing professional discussions at all times of the day and night.

I’ve discovered that I can access our entire twitter stream that we hash-tagged and take another look at our conversations –

Another of the great things about L@S09 was the collaboration. Not just through twitter feeds with questions and answers flying thick and fast; but right from the first keynote when @heheboy opened a collaborative document and 8 of us took notes together – and then opened another one so some more people could take notes. People helped others tweak their presentations, suggested content, loaned equipment, shared the load. I’ve already posted the blogger photo of 12 of the conference bloggers/tweeters who enjoyed the chance to meet f2f. But perhaps the very best example of collaboration can be found on @NZchrissy’s website and on a youtube video – planned by @Allanahk it was a kind of flashmob event where those of us in the know (mainly conference tweeters) invaded the front of the auditorium at the start of Wes Fryer‘s keynote (note that he joined in as well) and while @Allanahk‘s collaborative video was being shown on the screen we were doing the dance – and @NZchrissy was dancing in Bangkok – international flashmob!

The Winnie the Pooh Guide to Blogging

If you haven’t read this blog post you really must go read it!

Lesson 1: “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

You’ll have to go to the actual post to read the rest!

New Year …

I’m always excited at the start of a new year. There’s something about a new class full of students – the challenge to get to know them and their quirks; the challenge to inspire and excite them about learning; and the challenge to stay creative and forward-thinking in my teaching.

I spent 5 weeks in the USA – Montana – over the holidays and had a blast! I even managed to fit in a couple of school visits which were very interesting. Kiwi teachers would find US classrooms/teaching practise very different in many ways.

I’m heading off to Learning@School in a week or so – and am very excited to be able to meet up with some more people from my twitter and blogging lists. I was there in 2007 and met Allanah, Chrissy and Simon. I’ve since met Andrew, Suzie and Rachel at another conference. This time I hope to meet Erin, Heath, Amanda, Toni and some others at the Bloggers Cafe.

I’m also watching the bushfires very closely at the moment – my brother lives in Pakenham which is south-east of Melbourne and south-ish of the Bunyip fire – what an horrific loss of life and property – and I , like many teachers, have been thinking of the schools and the children who have been lost – and when they are able to start up the gaps in classrooms.


A great post from Sue Waters led me to a nifty solution for my blogroll – using Google Reader’s builtin blogroll gadget.

Thanks Sue

further to life on the edge

i’d like to add marsedit to the pot … sometimes you just need to blog without the hassle of loading your browser … perhaps mars edit will be the ultimate tool?

whether or not i’ll be able to upload pictures etc is another matter …

Coastlands by night

the bonus about mars edit is that i can connect to flickr to insert any picture i have there

technorati tags may be a little more difficult … at the moment i use a form from the landmark project to create them – which means running the browser!

will have to think about how i can get around it …

Technorati Tags:

new stuff – life on the edge

ok – well – i’ve been playing with some new STUFF over the last few days/weeks …

Twitter – kinda like a giant online global conversation

Flock – new kind of browser that integrates all sorts of social networking stuff – blogging from within flock is quite seamless – especially if you have multiple blogs

Diigo – bookmarking on steroids – i previously have used for bookmarking

Cellfone – heh – i got a new cellphone (Motorola RAZR V3X) and have been playing with camera and video functions – and mobile posting of pictures to Flickr & Photobucket and mobile posting of videos to Youtube

(notice how i like the word stuff … and dragonsinger?)

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