Showing posts from March, 2015

Can an Evaluation Speak for Itself?

A small group of my Level 1 students have being having a go with Explain Everything on the iPads. They have completed their final poster designs on Adobe Illustrator and I wanted to see if we could do the final evaluation as a spoken rather than typed thing.
Blog post about setting up the template here.

Our first attempt last week was a complete disaster, as they could not read the questions and answer them straight away. It was an interesting leaning curve for me, as their teacher, as I realised that they needed the same help and scaffolding when they speak their analysis as I would give them when they type it.
The second attempt showed a really good session at writing the script with help sentences and key words, which was thwarted by wireless issues so we couldn't get the files onto the iPads.
The third attempt was today. We were ready. We had fabulous scripts!! We had wireless. We were good to go.
Here are the 3 that were completed today...
Student 1

Student 2

Student 3


Online External Moderation - The Process in Design and Visual Communication

This year, DVC sent it's first totally online external moderation away. This screen cast briefly explains the process.

The key points are :-

Make sure everything that the students have done for the project is available online.Make sure all paper work / drawn work is scanned and uploaded.Make sure all 3D work / models are photographed and uploaded.Have a central place for all the work ( I use Google Sites with my students as an online design portfolio, but individual documents within a project can be put in one folder and the link to the folder sent as evidence )Make sure all course planning work is online.Have the assessment sheet that you used to assess the students work available online.Link everything to one moderation form that is stored online, so this can be shared with NZQAMake sure everything you are sending away has it's sharing settings set to public. The process went very well this year and NZQA liked the process that I went through so much that when they were visiti…

It's the Little Things ...

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time this term fussing over the navigation of my new site.

I want this to be right because :-
Students want short sharp tasks, not long huge pages to drag through.Students need to find where they are easily within a project if they are working outside of the classroom.The site needed to be cleaner and not so "full" looking as it was confusing to find things with my last site as I had too much on show.

My old site was easy. It was all along the top with drop downs to projects.

This then led to project pages, where the whole project was on one page with a table of contents at the top, and links out on the page to other areas on the site or external sites.

This year, on the new site, I needed something different. I am trialling a new way of working this year, where the students work through the tasks in their own time while we work on skills and collaborative activities in the lesson time. Later in the year, some students will also be doing th…

Big Thumbs Up for Online Moderation ....

This year was the first year that I have submitted work for moderation that is totally online.

This is the standard form for submitting moderation - link here - and this has normally had to be sent along with physical copies of everything - the student's drawings, printouts of research and printouts of everything they have completed. This had to be put together with a paper copy of the planning for each standard being moderated.  It was a LOT of paper to send away and printing off my planning, which was all on a Google site with links to all sorts of resources, was just messy.

So in February this year, the first all online moderation was sent for DVC.
On the moderation form, the planning on my site was linked to from the standard description and the student work was all on their own Google sites, so this could be linked to from their names listed on the form. The assessment sheets were linked to from the grades listed on the sheet.
A quick check to make sure all the links worked a…

Using Google Plus Communities in a Secondary School Classroom

Come and visit our Design and Visual Communication communities ...
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3 ( this one is on trial this year )

If you want to know how to do Google Plus stuff, check out the How To site here

Can we Analyse our Design Work by Talking About it?

We had a great PD session after school today at Stonefields School. We were working together on iPad use in the classroom and I was part of a great group lead by +Michelle George. We were looking at using the Explain Everything app. Listening to Michele explain how she used the app in the classroom, giving us tips on the basics and how to share templates and activities with students using the Teacher Dashboard and the smart copy function. It was giving me some great ideas and one in particular that I want to try out quite soon on my Level 1 students.

I have set up a very simple template for analysis of design work. The students are designing posters at the moment to display the work of a famous architect, and they have to explain their design choices using design terms and elements.

I have put in a selection of questions for them to answer and a space for them to add a picture of the design they are analysing.

The plan is for them to find this template in their graphics folder, as I w…

Do Real Design Problems lead to Greater Engagement ?

"So what went right today?" was how I was left at the end of the afternoon when I had just finished having a double period with my year 10 group.
I am the first to admit that year 10 is my "nemesis" year group and I am constantly grateful for the help, support, shoulder that my fellow teachers give to me in times of need.

Today, we got underway with an activity which we had got partially through on Tuesday.
I brought up the fact that I needed a few volunteers to design some CD covers. Our HOD music had brought the possibility to me a while ago. His students are creating their own songs based on our school values of RISE - Respect, Integrity, Success and Responsibility, which they are putting onto CD's. These CD's have cases which need cover art.
Four volunteers came forward and we set to working out what they needed to find out. They wrote up a set of questions and off they went to interview their "client" - the HOD music.
When they came back wit…

Nice is not a design term!!!

My Level 1 DVC group were working on their analysis notes today. They have to include analysis of the work with all of their design developments and this is the hard part for them. We get around that by putting all the design developments up on the Level 1 Google Plus community (Link here),  and everyone makes comments on each other's design work. The rules are : - one positive comment and one supportive improvement comment. There is also the rule that "nice" is not a design description!!!
We have already had practice by analysing existing poster designs, and we talked about layout, colour, font choice, use of white space, focus of attention etc....
What we did then was start to take these comments and use them in their own work.
All of the students have Google sites for their project work. This will develop into a design portfolio over time.
They have their design developments saved out of Adobe Illustrator as image files and embedded onto their sites. We were then put…

Google Course Builder...

This looks interesting!!!

I will have to check it out!!

Having a Little Trouble Letting Go...

When we had our first Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher meeting this year, we discussed that one of the valuable things that we got out of this process was everyone being honest and open with their sharing. Good or bad.... so here is some "not so good" from me.

I have discovered recently the main flaw in my plan of working with an online format for my students to follow out of the class room. That main flaw is basically ME.

I am having difficulty letting go of what I do in the classroom, working through the projects in a set order with the students in the class. When I did the practice run last year, it was with a small group of Year 10 students while my Level 1 and 2 students were working through in my usual way. I didn't realise last year that this was going to be an issue.
The positive to this is that I have woken up to myself early in the year and will give myself a good slap talking to, and get on with it. I have been teaching for 20 years in September this year. Sur…