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. 

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

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Karakia for staff meeting

I have an unhelpful belief that I cant learn a second language. So today I feel proud that I was able to convince myself to lead the school karakia prior to the staff meeting. This required a lot of positive self-talk and positive affirmation. Given I preach these concepts to my students I felt it was time that I did something to change this unhelpful belief.

Fortunately, I also have my colleague matua Leroy who set me the goal of saying the school karakia to the staff. Without him challenging me I probably wouldn't have done it. I also found the students very helpful and ultra positive about my attempts at the Maori language. I learned how using the Maori language to Maori students can help in developing relationships and also gain respect. I was also pleased to discover my Maori colleagues being so supportive despite my mispronunciations. Anything is better than nothing as one colleague said. This will encourage me to attempt more language.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Reflection day 5 digital intensive

Today we focussed on google keep and google sites. I have had experience with both of these applications in 2017, however, I was still interested in learning new functions and understanding the good practice.

One of the best tips I gained from today were from google keep. I learned how to grab image text from google keep. I can see many practical ways this could be used, especially with those teachers new to using digital technologies in their teaching.

In the second part of the day, we looked at using new sites. I have already made many new sites over the past year and I am currently switching my teaching site from classic to new. What I did enjoy was the idea of a multi-modal site to engage learners and give opportunities for different learning styles. This is going to be in my mind when developing units of work for my learners.

This is a screenshot of a multi-modal website collaborated on today

Here is the link to the site  link

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Inquiry 2018 Re think

After much thought, I have decided to change my focus in 2018

I would like to focus on engaging whanau through student blogging.

The reason for this is that after two years of teaching at Papakura High I have a hunch that student engagement could be linked to whanau involvement in their learning because by the fact that whanau is taking active involvement student motivation to learn will increase. Visibility, as well as comments, will help drive this.

The reason for the change is that it relates to my role working in Kootuitui as a facilitator. As of this moment, I have set up 250 student blog accounts within Papakura High School. Almost all Year 9 and 10 students have a blog account.

Last week I set up a blog website so staff and students can get ideas on what quality blogging will look like. I would like to thank colleagues within Manaiakalani for allowing me to use some of the resources

Blogging website

Next week I intend to start on a staff meeting on quality blogging. I will be asking for support from some of the teachers within the school. I will attempt to tie this in with another literacy initiatives already happening.

Next term I will look to engage whanau on how they can support their children's learning. this will include how to comment and access their child's blog.

There are many people who I will need to work closely with in this inquiry and I see this as a long-term inquiry that could cover a couple of years.

Fortunately, I have a lot of models with my colleagues in Manaiakalani and I am already looking for previous inquiries to get ideas.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Reflection day 4 of Digital Fluency Intensive

Today I had my most daunting experience of the course. I had to present my Pepeha in Te Reo with my slide deck. I practiced all week. Fortunately, I had Ngaire Tauhara-White assist me with the writing. She then read my Pepeha to me while I recorded. this allowed me to practice during the week.

Leroy Paul was also of great assistance. He has been encouraging me to use Te Reo in the classroom. Over the year he provides me a word a day. I practiced for Leroy and he encouraged me and gave me tips on how to be strong with the language. No matter how poor my Te Reo is, Leroy encourages me to persist and I appreciate his influence. He is making me believe I can learn Te Reo. Here is a voice recording of my presentation

Later in the day, I used screencastify to speak over my Pepeha. As I had used screencastify a lot ofver previous years I was comfortable with this tool. Below is the video

Friday, 16 March 2018

Day three of digital fluency course

Today we spent the day creating using google drawings and slides. I was interested to see how many of the functions are transferable between the two products.

In the afternoon I created a slide presentation of my pepeha using some of the functions that we learnt. I tried to be creative and use as many as possible.

In the past, I have used slides a lot for students to create. I would like to explore using drawings more for visual creations.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Reflecting on session two of Digital Fluency course

I had another great session on the day two. I always knew google sheets would have many functions that would be useful and today I explored some of these. What I found particularly useful in the ad ons. Having Dorothy Burt share the add-ons that are useful made me want to explore more.

I feel like I need a day or two too continue to play with the features I learnt today. In particular, the formulas in spreadsheet interested me. I had come across formulas before and I feel like now I have a better understanding of how to create these.

Simple functions such as freeze rows and columns will be useful. Having used spreadsheets for over 8 years I never could work out how to do this. I didn't realise it would be so simple. Likewise creating charts is something that is so much easier than I expected

I found the 'my google maps' quite niggly. I need more practice in using google maps. Below is a road trip I created and intend on completing in July.

I could have spent hours more time exploring sheets. there is so much to learn. Right now, however, it is a Friday afternoon and it is very hot. I need to relax with a cold drink

Thursday, 8 March 2018

My 2018 inquiry

After discussion with my critical friend, I have decided to focus my inquiry on achievement and engaging my Level 2 PE students.

I have found in previous years that my Level 2 PE students have underachieved in relation to their  Level 1 results.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to consider a range of digital tools and culturally responsive strategies that could potentially raise achievement and motivation.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Day 1 Digital Fluency Intensive

I had a great day at the Manaiakalani Digital Fluency intensive

It was great to hear the backstory of Manaiakalani and the journey from 2006. Although I was working in a Manaiakalani school over this time I had no idea what was going on in the background.  I was inspired by the forward-thinking approach in the early days and it made me proud of my small involvement.

Today I learnt how to use google docs to use creatively and efficiently. With my learners, I will be using docs in a way that doesn't always involve text. By using the explore option I will encourage my learners to be more creative in their presentation of their learning.

Today I created by making a personal document with my touch Rugby team. Just tried to use all the features we learnt today. I was just trying to be creative and use the skills learnt.

I hope to help other educators out with the ideas gained next week.