Let the tour begin!

I am soooo tired, and soooo pleased. I am here in New Zealand travelling with a group of exceptional educators. The conversations we are having are ‘worth bottling’! We talk about what we are seeing, what we are doing, and what we are dreaming.

The clever three are on this tour. Watch out world…here comes Jo McLeay (left), Sue Tapp (right) and Al Upton !!

Our visits today included Papatoetoe High School (an amazingly large school with the most multicultural mix I have ever seen) to see how they are managing ICT within the exponential growth of the school; Next Space to learn about 3D graphical communications technology, and Buckland Beach Intermediate School.

I was particularly thrilled to have the chance to see Lenva Shearing at her own school, and to be able to meet her staff and see the creativity, energy and robust pedagogy that these students (Years 7-8) are involved in every minute of their day. I wonder just how a Principal like this has time to blog. Thank goodness Lenva does blog, because she shares her knowledge, her wonderful Web 2.0 finds, and models to us exactly what she would have her students learn.

Web 2.0 is completely embedded into the curriculum. Their learning management system Knowldege.net is just a jumping board to a plethora of Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, voicethreads, and more. Each student has an electronic portfolio that is interactive and so enriched by metacognitive thinking, and reflective practices that our heads were spinning trying to absorb the extent of the ‘revolution’ taking place at the school. Each student’s electronic portfolio is accessed via a self-tailored entry page following the school template which students are now doing in Glogster. The kids run their own radio station; have a sound studio (they interviewed Tony Brandenburg our tour leader with the aplomb of seasoned reporters) and all take part in audio visual learning opportunities as part of the daily work.

Each student’s portfolio has the following key elements:

  • My Goals
  • My Competencies
  • My Learning
  • My Achievements
  • My Videos
  • Parent Feedback
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • More About Me
  • Archive

Here is Al talking with Year 7 students, engrossed in creating their Voicethreads.