Saturday, 3 October 2015

TeachMeetNZ meets TMSydney - live blog

It's TeachMeetNZ time again and this time we have another trans-Tasman collaboration by joining forces with TMSydney!
This will be my first attempt at live blogging during the event, so please be patient with me:)

Our presenters are
+Fiona Grant on Being Cybersmart,
+Isaac Crandell-Tanner on Project Based Literacy Learning,
+Ros MacEachern on Critical Friendships,
+Hannah Dodds on her First Flipped EC Experience,
+Matthew Esterman on #TMSydney,
as usual hosted by the fabulous +Sonya Van Schaijik and +Rachel Chisnall as Twitter Broadcaster.

Being Cybersmart - Fiona Grant
Fiona is well known in NZ education and beyond for her work around EducampNZ, with GEG New Zealand and much more. She currently works as Facilitator for the Manaiakalani Trust, supporting teachers, leaders and schools to inquire into their practise to improve student outcomes.

Why do we need to be cybersmart? With the move to 1:1 to enable learners to be confident, connected and empower them to drive their learning, students are learning to become 'at home' in a digital world. It is really important that we teach our students about being smart when online. As blogging is integral to the programmes at Manaiakalani schools, students need to apply their cybersmarts all the time, not just at school, but for life. Fiona and her colleagues have found that it is vital to integrate cybersmart programmes into the curriculum and not just have it as a stand-alone programme to ensure that these skills get truly embedded.
While students are surrounded by devices more and more, students still need to be explicitly taught to be cybersmart. The emphasis is on being positive, to make good choices.

Project Based Literacy Learning - Isaac Crandell-Tanner
Isaac works at Hillcrest High school in Hamilton as English and Literacy Teacher for years 9 - 13.

Isaac has been working with a Y9 class to support them to increase their literacy skills to be prepared better as they are heading towards Y11. He reflected on his lesson designs and felt he could improve on that with a project-based approach to better engage his students and help them achieve. Using Google Docs, Isaac shared instructions and modelled what he was looking for.
Isaac found that giving students choices, providing teacher modelling and the fact they worked on authentic projects made a difference to the students' learning. A by-product of this project was developing more digital literacy skills in regards to the reliability of online courses etc.
He has identified some points that he could improve on in regards to monitoring etc. The big buzz for the students (and him) was when student letters were published in the paper, which gave them true authenticity.

Critical Friendships - Ros MacEachern
Ros joined the staff at Hobsonville Point Secondary School after 9 years at Bay of Island College (the first school I ever taught at, and I still hold fond memories of my time there). She is Learning Team Leader and Responsive Pedagogy Leader.

Critical friendships can help educators improve their own professional learning - rather than having learning done to us, peer learning puts us in the driver's seat. Critical friendships are an important part of the culture at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, Ros helped facilitate the formation of these friendships.
Putting the 'critical' into the relationship can be challenging. By having all teachers included in the design of the observations tool etc. all teachers feel ownership and are able to take part more effectively. The modelling of this form of ako to the students further affirms the philosophy of Hobsonville Point Secondary School. There are a number of schools around NZ that use this system effectively; it is helpful when such system is embedded across the school, supported by all and time is allowed for this to happen. MLEs and the approach of 'all students are our students' links in well with that for Roz and her colleagues. "It takes a village to raise a teacher" Mike Esterman - so true!
In preparation for next year and new staff coming on board, Roz is considering how she can involve the new staff into the design process so that they can own the process, too. Set up through Google Docs, it has been easy to change as it has been required so far, and changes will continue to be made to meet teacher needs.

My First Flipped EC Experience - Hannah Dodds
Hannah is a Y1 teacher in Western Australia. She calls herself a Newbie Coder and KAGAN enthusiast.

What does flipped learning look like with young learners? Hannah has adapted models she had seen to better meet the needs of her students, giving them some explicit teaching and then the opportunity to work individually. As a result, student engagement improved and their achievement increased. Hannah uses KAGAN, a model I have not been familiar with yet - you can find out more at While it was not without challenge for Hannah, by her empowering students to have choice, control and drive their learning, these students are more ready to face the future:)

What I particularly loved about this presentation is that Hannah is already thinking about how Critical Friendships, as described by Ros, could help her and her colleagues to further improve their practise!

#TMSydney - Matt Esterman
Matt is well known to many of us, not just for his work with TeachMeet Sydney, you will also find him on Twitter and many other Social media platforms.

TeachMeets are a great way for teachers to learn with and from each other. TMSydney has a lot of events with any number of participants - check out There are no leaders at TeachMeet, just teachers who have done it before so please get involved!

There are a number of Ed Events coming up in New Zealand:
Ulearn 2015 7-9 October
Check out GEGNZ for their upcoming events
#edbookNZ - watch this space!
#EduCamp Kaikoura 7 November
#scichatNZ is every other Tuesday during term time, starting back on 13 October
# CENZ event Thurs Week 1

and in Australia:
#EdCampQLD 17 October at Noosa
#TMSydney have regular events across Sydney

Thanks for joining us, you can watch the full recording here on YouTube:

Clicking on the hyperlinked presentation titles above will take you to the individual presentations, and their recordings will be added over the coming weeks.

Thanks to the lovely +Marnel van der Spuy, here is the Twitter Storify:

As always, thanks heaps for organising +Sonya Van Schaijik and to the presenters and supporters for giving up their Saturday morning / afternoon!