Monday, May 18, 2015

Term 1 and 2 iLearn Project 2015 at St Bernadette's!

What a huge year 2015 has been so far!
Term 1 was filled with a huge learning experience for myself as it was my first year in Stage 3 and being the only staff member to move with the iLearn project. We also gained a new staff member to our space!
As the term progressed, we were also fortunate enough to go on school camp, and was also part of the peer review process. A huge term!
The iLearn project was a major part of the students learning throughout the year. This is the first time the Year 6's were part of the project and they were very excited when they were told that they were going to be receiving their own iPads for use at school. This meant that the Year 5's were the experts and have to encourage and guide the Year 6's with the use of their iPads. This was a wonderful learning experience for our students as we all know that one of the best ways to learn is through peer teaching.
Once our Year 6's felt confident with their iPads, it was full steam ahead!

Term 1 saw the introduction of the "Flipped Classroom" concept. This was a path I wanted to lead our students on after lots of research. I produced a range of videos, some you can find on my YouTube channel, that I emailed out to students according to the learning that was occurring within the classroom.

A link to one of my videos is here:

After introducing this concept, I found that my students were becoming much more engaged with their learning, and were emailing me asking for videos explaining concepts they found tricky. Our students were becoming self-reliant and motivated learners!
I was lucky enough to be featured in the Daily Telegraph regarding this initiative within my school.

With the flipped classroom occurring, we also wanted there to be a big focus on digital writing within our classroom. This was a direct link to the schools implementation plan for English 2015.
As part of our writing program, we wanted our students to develop creativity when writing imaginative texts. We decided to use for our students to publish their pieces of writing.
You are able to view a range of texts written by one of our students on the following link:
Students are able to publish their work and share their writing with the public. This has given our students a passion for writing, as they are able to view each others written work easily, and those from around the World!

What a wonderful learning experience this has been for both the teachers and the students!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

St Joseph's Kingswood Term 1 - 2015

St Joseph's Kingswood Term 1

Term 1 at St Joseph's has been extremely busy. We have 1 teacher on the grade that was involved with the ilearn project last year and 1 teacher that is new to ilearn. During term 1 we have had many successes and of course many challenges. We began the year with a number of issues and thought that if we share our experiences it may help other ilearn schools. 


IOS Updates
Most of our students required the latest IOS update on their ipads. This meant that some students didn't have certain apps, couldn't download any apps, some apps would not appear in the self-service app, some apps wouldn't work without the update etc. It was a challenging time. We then discovered it took at least 3hours per ipad for our IT support person to complete just one update. After many discussions and weeks of doing 1 ipad update on the day we had IT support at school we came up with another way to complete all of the updates at once.  

All students made sure all of their work was saved onto google drive in their KLA folders. We then had to delete some apps that took alot of memory eg. imovie. The IOS update required a certain amount of memory to be done and most of our students did not have enough memory left to install the update without going through this process. When each ipad had enough memory we installed the update. When the update was complete we then re-installed the apps that had been deleted from each ipad.....It sounds easy enough i know, but it took us quite some time to realise this was the easiest and fastest way to complete all of the required updates. 


Genius Bar
We set up a Genius Bar in our shared space. Every child has their name on one or more apps as an expert. When a student has a problem or needs help with a particular app they go to the 'genius' for assistance. Our Genius Bar is modelled on the Apple Store and we even have apple t-shirts and laniards for our genius' to wear while working in the bar. 

Grade Partners
This is my first term with the I-Learn program and I must admit at the beginning I felt very overwhelmed. I didn't have a great understanding of how to effectively use technology in the classroom. Knowing that my grade partner and the grade had already had a whole year of learning experiences really made me feel anxious about the term ahead. I really had nothing to worry about. My grade partner has been so patient and supportive in explaining and demonstrating what I have needed to know along the way. It really helped that I had someone with me who had all this prior understanding to guide me through this first term. As a result of this the children have been able to continue and extend their learning with a range of new apps and I have been able to follow along learning as I go ! 

Our Year 5 Kids Are Now Used By Teachers For IT support
Technical issues arise at various times throughout the school day. Teachers at St Joseph's now call Year 5 students to come to their classes and help sort out the technical issue they are experiencing. This has been a wonderful and natural bonus that has occurred due to the implementation of the ilearn program. In addition our students use the Google Drive with confidence and ease, they are also able to assist both teachers and other students within the school with anything to do with Google Drive eg. uploading files/photos, creating files, creating files within files, changing the colour of files, sharing documents with students and teachers, organising information etc.  

Integration of Apps Into One Presentation by the Kids
This term we have noticed a significant difference in what the students are producing on their ipads. We now have students going completely out of their comfort zone and experimenting with a variety of apps eg. FMM. Last year students created a presentation about a topic they had been learning about that included pictures and information. Now the presentations they are handing in have pictures, information, popplets of their workflow, voice recordings,  reference pages, collages of pictures etc. It is truely wonderful to see their creativity!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Collegial visit between OLMC and St Michael's Blacktown

On the 5th November teachers from St Michael's  had a collegial visit to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  We saw children accessing and sharing  their work on Google Drive.  Their was some samples of iMovie trailers where students persuaded others how good the iPads are.

At St Michael's students used strip design to retell the main events of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They used images from the internet and their own drawings.

Another class presented a freeze frame retell of the story ' I am jack'. They used the camera roll and story patch. A different class brainstormed ides about solar energy using Google Docs then they were able to represent ideas using any App.

Additionally, other students had to persuade others to read their favourite book using iMovie trailer. Firstly they had to brainstorm ideas in popplet then create every image using any app. Students used explain everything, drawing pad, pic collage and feltz.  They also draw images. They then shared their iMovie on Google Drive.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Collegial visit between Our Lady of the Angels Rouse Hill and St. Joseph's Schofields

Today provided the opportunity to see how technology is being integrated into learning. The children through their projects have a deep understanding of the content, they are using the app that best suits their learning needs and their intended purpose. The collaboration, dialogue, engagement and higher order thinking skills demonstrated by the children were outstanding and provided an authentic snap shot of 21st Century Learning.

We saw the skills of collaboration and communication as the students worked together on the one task through google doc. They shared their ideas and discussed how they were going to present their documentary.  The communication between children was great.

The students developing problem solving and critical thinking skills - the students had to find ways to overcome some issues whilst working in the project and they had to be critical thinkers in terms of the content they had to chose and the manner in which they present their work.

From a teaching perspective I walk away with a wealth of ideas, new ways to use apps for different purposes, I have established a link with other school in our local area, it was affirming to know we have laid a solid foundation for our students and we have made great progress on our journey this year. The discussion about children's learning, reflection on teaching and where to next have been very valuable.

Thank you for a wonderful day of learning and reflection.

Collegial Visit between St Joseph's Primary School, Schofields and Our Lady of the Angels, Rouse Hill

What a fantastic day we had visiting St Joseph’s Primary School, Schofields. It was an invaluable experience that we will take with us. It was good to realise that we are on the same track and that our students are moving towards redefinition in terms of their iPad use. It was wonderful opportunity to reaffirm that what is happening in each school is valuable and changing the learning of each child in each class involved in the iLearn program. 

We saw lots of wonderful samples of work showcasing their journey throughout the year. We found that students were using multiple apps to produce quality pieces of work. Through our journey we saw children using apps that demonstrated their strengths, children showing critical thinking when evaluating pieces of work and collaboration. It was great to have an ongoing dialogue with our colleagues. This opportunity allowed us to gain affirmation and to also exchange ideas that we could implement within the classroom. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Collegial Visits for the iLearn Project

As the first year of our iLearn project draws to a close we have decided to offer teachers the opportunity for a professional visit to a nearby iLearn project school. The students have now been operating in a 1-1 iPad environment since Term 1 so it is a chance to share the learning that has taken place.

Teacher Modelling iMovie Trailer
 Collegial visits provide a reciprocal opportunity to visit another iLearn classroom and exchange teaching resources and ideas. Collegial visits are NOT concerned with professional critique or judgement nor teacher appraisal. They will be our main professional learning opportunity for the teachers for this term. Over the course of a school day, each school team will visit another Year 4 iLearn classroom in a nearby project school and also host a return visit in their own learning space.  Each classroom visit will be followed by an hour long professional conversation led by the Teaching Educator and a school leader. It will incorporate shared reflection on the student learning observed, in light of the SAMR framework and identified 21st Century learning skills.

Clear protocols have been developed to ensure the visits take place in a spirit of mutual respect and trust. A simple observation tool is used for data gathering and reflection to support the professional conversations. The Observation Tool will then be used to support the professional dialogue. We hope this will be a wonderful learning opportunity for all.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Technology Word Wall and WorkFlow Displays

Hi Everyone,

Not only have the students been working hard at St. Bernadette's in Lalor Park, but their teachers have also been busy creating displays that will assist the students with their learning.

We have created a technology word wall with definitions and pictures to assist students with learning the new vocabulary that is in the world of technology.

We have also created Work Flow Posters which assist the students when working with particular apps. 

Can't wait to see all the work others have been doing in their schools!

From the St. Bernie's girls