Thursday, 29 November 2018

Students reflections on Blogging and agruemenation and critical thinking

I had my students give me feedback on blogging and argumentation units we have been completing in Health. The feedback was interesting as it showed that students having a real variance in perspective about blogging and sharing their viewpoints. Whilst some students thrived and made many blog posts other students did not share any work. I am interested in more follow up to this. from teaching younger students at the Primary level I have seen how visible learning and sharing appeals. Why is this not the same for teenagers?

I have enjoyed argumentation and thinking about different viewpoints10 responses
?12345012342 (20%)0 (0%)4 (40%)1 (10%)3 (30%)
I have enjoyed Blogging and sharing my learning10 responses
12345012342 (20%)1 (10%)4 (40%)2 (20%)1 (10%)
I have enjoyed receiving feedback about my learning and my viewpoint10 responses
12345012342 (20%)0 (0%)3 (30%)4 (40%)1 (10%)
What does Mr Borland do well in his teaching8 responses
He gives us freedom of speech whilst not letting us stray off track
Explain all the information so that student can understand.
explain and demonstrate what we have to do. Finds little videos that will help. Makes us really think about the subject.
allow people to have an opinion and speak on the subjects we're studying.
teach the class clearly and shared his understanding.
What does Mr Borland need to improve in regards to his teaching8 responses
Nothing that I can think of
nothing..he is all good
um maybe stop talking so much about off topic things. check up on us now and then.
to teach the class in good ways


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Students work using Argumentation

I am very proud of one of my year 10 students who has made a wonderful blog post. In the post, he details his learning from a lesson last week. In the lesson, the students watched a political debate on legalizing cannabis. This student has considered all viewpoints, considered the source of the information presented, considered other viewpoints, and then made an informed judgement based on this evidence.

It is great when you teach thinking skills to students and they produce such great work showing that it has made a difference. One thing I have learnt from teaching in Decile 1 schools for 17 years is that you must take these small victories to keep yourself motivated and passionate about what you do.

Feel free to see the post and leave a comment.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Online toolkits

Last night I hosted my first online toolkit. This can be viewed in the video above. The topic for discussion was making an online quiz using google forms. Some interesting ideas came out of this including having students make quizzes based on their learning and then sharing that on their blog.

Having students make quizzes for other students is a great way to reflect on their own learning and it would also make for an interesting interactive blog post. The more interactive a blog post is the more likely it is going to be viewed and commented on.

I would be interested to hear if anyone has tried this already

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Using a video to promtote a High School rugby game

Eric Teloa has made a series of videos promoting the Papakura High School Rugby fixtures. He did this in his ICT class using adobe software. These were shared and promoted on the school facebook page.

Eric's is a Year 13 student at Papakura High School. His e mail address is

Friday, 21 September 2018

Working in Maori language immersion class

I had my first day today facilitating in a Te Reo immersion class at Kereru park. I was astounded by the ability of the students to speak so articulately in Te Reo. I was showing a student how to publish a slide presentation too blogger and this student made a screencast translating my English explanation into Maori. This was done in one take without any prompting. Very impressive

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Leadership reflections by senior students

My principal John Rohs is supporting sharing by having his Year 12 leadership group make weekly reflections via blog posts. I am really enjoying reading these reflections and it is great to see the students articulate their achievements via their posts.

We need an authentic audience for these reflections. Please click on the links below and leave a positive, helpful, thoughtful comment.


Monday, 10 September 2018

Waiata afternoon with the staff

Enjoying Maori language week with a staff waiata afternoon. Great to see so many staff enjoying Waiata

Thursday, 30 August 2018


Over the past term, I have been participating in a Wolf Fisher initiative called developing in digital worlds. The initiative is based around the concept of argumentation and having students evaluate a question and consider evidence. I was interested in this because of the data that showed that less than one percent of the teaching at Papakura High involves critical thinking.

What I have found most interesting is the how students present an argument, the consideration of the evidence and the classroom discussion that can come from argumentation lessons.

Here is the Year 10 Health unit I have made as a result of participating in this initiative

The cannabis debate

This unit I made based upon other PLD I have been involved in over the past 3 years. Multi-model information is evident through a range of text and video.

Discussion using open-ended questioning has been a key feature of both small and large group discussion.

In terms of argumentation, I have tried to have the students consder the sourse of information and think if that information is fact or opinion.

One of the excellent discussions we had was about the reliability of Wikipedia. Students had opinions on both sides and the debate got heated. The point was to consider different viewpoints. 

Although teaching this class is difficult I am enjoying the challenge of engaging these students and have them think, as opposed to producing work. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Critical literacy through arguementation

This is a presentation I made to the Papakura High School staff. I did this in conjunction with Mark Lendrum the Head of English. In this presentation, we detail our learnings from the developing in digital worlds PLD. We came to the conclusion that argumentation involves sharing and in the high school environment this is best done through blogging and blog commenting.

Argumentation and blog commenting is something I am going to focus on with my Year 10 Health class. The topic I plan to discuss is should cannabis be decriminalised in New Zealand. This is based on our drugs topic and a relevant issue with the political situation currently

Monday, 18 June 2018

Sharing blogging resourses with PHS staff

Today I started my blogging push at the high school

Blogging website

I have managed to cobble together blogging resources and collated them onto a website. This has now been shared with staff.

For me, I have begun blogging with my 10OTUU Health class. Today we looked at Facebook and whether it should be blocked to students during school time. There were some excellent argumentation writing by the students, many of whom had strong opinions

These blog posts can be found on this link

Blog posts

Feel free to read and add comments

Friday, 25 May 2018

Final day digital intensive and Level 2 exam

Today was the final day. It was all about the exam. For me, because I already had level 1, I sat the Level 2 exam. I had done a lot of preparation for the exam, however, I still did not feel overly confident of passing.

I found the exam draining. I only just completed all the tasks and I was not able to go back to the questions I had skipped. Carefully reading the questions were important as it was scenario based questions. The multi choose questions were really hard. It was hard to eliminate incorrect responses. I felt much better during the task questions.

I feel this course has made me understand how connected all the google apps are. If you can navigate 1 you can pretty much navigate them all. I'll never know what my score was. It had to be over 80 percent to pass. It gave me a real buzz when I got the email through.

Id like to thank Gerard and Dorothy for all their help and support over the last 9 weeks. Also Angela Gattung for giving me the time to go attend all 9 days. I think there will be a lot of skills and good practice that I will be bringing back to Papakura High and the Kootuitui cluster.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Day 8 Digital intensive reflection

Today we learnt about the new digital curriculum. I had read it before, however, I hadn't quite got to grips with it. Given that it is to incorporated by 2020 and across the entire curriculum I believe it was important to unpack and find meaning.

I found it very useful unpacking the key terms and ideas. I feel I have a much better understanding now of what it all means. I do have a concern that other teachers are not going through the same process and my hope is that all teachers seek professional development so they can be incorporated this into their teaching

Using scratch was fun. I had experience with pencil code before. Scratch was similar and I found it useful understanding the 'do this if' function. Coding is a valuable skill that I wish I had taken seriously when I was young

Binary was something I had heard of but knew nothing about. I enjoyed the mathematical element to it. I would like to pursue this more

For the next week, I plan on studying for my Level 2 exam. I would like to think Dave Winter and Angela Gattung for their time and their resources in helping me gain a much better understanding of google sheets

Monday, 14 May 2018

Day 7 Digital intensive

Today I am starting to think about my Level 2 google exam. I will be attempting this in week 10 so I don't have much time left to hone my skills. Of particular concern is sheets. I feel i dont use them often enough to have enough understanding just yet.

Fortunately, Gerhard Vermeulen has kindly supported me and also shared with me this Level 2 skills checklist. I plan to spend the next few weeks working on this checklist and to be honest, I feel quite excited to learn more.

There are so many new skills that I am learning from this course. I feel it is going to ease my workload and de-stress me. One tab is one such extension that will help organize my browsing. I also now feel much more confident in using google hangouts. I made a comment that the day will come where we can teach from our home.

I remember watching back to the future 2 when I was a child. In one scene the dad is at home and his boss appears on the TV and fires him. It feels like the future that I was so excited about is here.

I have underused hangouts in the past. Meeting can be accessed from hangouts and students and colleagues can also connect so much easier.

Here is a screencast of a hangout we were having today about the digital curriculum.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Day 6 Digital Intensive

Today we reviewed and critiqued visible teaching and learning. Most of the day was focussed on quality learning sites. This year I have been working on using the new google sites. This has enabled me to rethink how I might share, so today came at the perfect time for me.

My colleagues at the digital intensive reviewed and gave me feedback on my site. This is what they told me.


I set myself a goal of creating a visually appealing homepage with information about me and links to relevant materials. I also wanted to create a  multi-modal health webpage that will engage learners and reflect visible teaching and learning.

This is my site so far