Wednesday 27 March 2013

Several weeks on...

It is really hard to find the time to sit, reflect and then write a blog. There just aren't enough hours in the day as a teacher. My students get every other Friday to reflect on their learning in my class mainly using Google Sites, although this is very much something that we have started this year, so there is not much on most of them just yet. It would be nice if management within the school were able to give teachers one or two lessons per week, timetabled for reflections, when we can update blogs etc. and just generally think about what we have been doing. Not really feasible, I know, but in an ideal world...

What have I been doing? Why am I so busy? The list grows daily... Part of the reason why I have been so busy is because I have applied for the Google Teachers' Academy held in Sydney in May. This actually gave me an opportunity to stop and reflect on my practice as I had to promote this to the people running the GTA, or Google Apps for Education ninjas as they really are. My video had to be one minute, and I made use of Windows Movie Maker to create my final piece, which was mildly ironic, but I was pleased with the finished thing: for this actually gave me a chance for reflection on my teaching practice as well. I'm glad to say I was successful in my application, and will be one of three teachers from within the Manaiakalani cluster that are going to be in Sydney for this. Not to mention Fiona Grant and Dorothy Burt who are there as leaders.

Another thing that has taken a lot of my time has been the Envirogroup, which has grown out of all proportions this year. We are entering teams in several large competitions. The group student leader is Jake and he has started getting quite an environmental profile. He has been selected for the Sir Peter Blake Environmental Trust Youth Enviroleaders forum in Christchurch later this year, as well as being MC at the Auckland Green Jam Youth Sustainability conference AND a student leader at the MAD Sustainability hui!

I have been playing with some new e-tools recently; Google Keep appeared properly this week, although it was noticed briefly in Drive last week and caused a stir on various sites and blogs. This comes on the news  of the imminent demise of Google Reader which has had many people concerned. Keep allows note-taking across the web and is being thought of as a challenge to Evernote, although it does have nearly half of the functionality of Evernote (yet).
I have also played with putting a sliding title on my site as well as including my lessons as docs in a folder making them easier for students to find. The slider was just for visual appeal!

At least I feel I can appease my sense of guilt that nothing has been written by me for weeks.

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