Monday, July 16, 2007

New Phonics Posters

Over the last few days I've been updating the phonics poster section of the website. I've added 6 new posters thanks to Katie in the UK and I'm slowly working on getting some consistency of theme happening. Eventually I plan is to add my own graphics to all of the posters.

cheers

Adrian

PS Make sure you vote for my blog if you use these posters :)



Edu-bloggers Award

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Keeping in Touch with Skype

I must admit I'm a 'newbie' to Skype but in the last couple of weeks have found it invaluable. I'm currently doing some work on the Gold Coast in Queensland and used it to have a video conference with my son.

A couple of weeks ago I gave an interview on the Virtual Staffroom podcast and this morning I used it to hook up with a Kiwi E-Learning Adviser Rochelle Jensen. We discussed all sorts of stuff including: pedagogy, professional development ideas, time management, goal setting, creative processes and (on a much lighter note) the role of red wine in directing the life long learner hehehehe

A little later in the year I'll be using Skype to do a keynote for a group of teachers in Perth. I'm looking forward to the challenges that this will present immensely.

cheers

Adrian

Oh, and I guess my point is that Skype is a great tool and I'm sure you can find heaps of uses for it both personally and professionally.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Online Art Lessons & Teaching Strategies

Tonight I've been updating the Online Art websites that I use with kids. There is a mix of 'fun', famous galleries from around the world and some lesson ideas collections.

I have used this page before to have students find an artist that they like and then introduce that person and their work to the class. I try to get them to find someone that most people haven't heard of so they expand their knowledge base of artists.

During Term 2 or 3 I use this page and break the kids into groups of 3 and each group must prepare a 'fantastic art lesson' for the rest of the class. The children need to surf the website and make decisions on what to teach. They then need to look at classroom organisation, modeling, materials needed, distribution of materials, clean up, display of finished artworks, self assessment and peer assessment. I sit down with them the day before the lesson and run through their plans with them and give them a few pointers.

I feel that exposing children to Art in this way is a rather powerful strategy. It presents the teacher with many 'teachable moments' and the children have nice sense of ownership of the process. Mind you, if my experience is anything to go by, don't pull the plug after the first week. Use the 'stuff ups' as reflection so that by the end of term the kids can run excellent Art lessons.

The other wonderful thing about this way of working is that you get an insight into where the kids are at with their concept of Art and then you can plan the next term of Art to address this.

As a bonus, by the end of term you'll probably have 10 new strategies for your Art Toolbox :)

Adrian

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Flash Experiment


Award Courtesy adrianbruce.com

I was thinking that it might be nice to be able to leave little animated comments on a child's blog post, much the same way that teachers put stickers on kid's writing. So today I've been a bit 'geeky' and knocked up some animations and generated some code so people can just copy and paste the code and the animation works straight away.

I've just tested the animation code in Classblogmeister and it works fine.

If you have any positive saying that you think I should animate, feel free to send them through.

cheers

Adrian




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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My Bio Page

At the end of 2005 I won a trip to South Korea as a result of the work I do with ICTs and children.

Needless to say the award generated more than a little interest in my humble website :)

Generally... Aussies have a hard time 'blowing their own trumpets', but here is the beginning of my bio page where I'm telling the world a bit about the sort of stuff that I do with kids to empower them for the 21st C.

cheers

Adrian

PS ...and yes I was a tad nervous during the TV interview.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Science Website to Hook Kids on Science

Here is one of my collections of Science websites that I use with students during 'Silent Browsing' ie Just like 'Silent Reading' only on the Internet and with a bit of direction.

I get them to see what they can find that they think the class would be interested in. A really worthwhile activity.

cheers

Adrian

Drop me a vote if you find my work worthwhile :)


Edu-bloggers Award

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Use IT Till It Breaks


A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed via Skype by Chris Betcher for an Aussie podcast. Chris chats with ICT teachers from all over the world and his shows provide excellent insights into the minds of teachers who are leading the field.

Check out my chat with him - 'Use IT Till It Breaks' (35 meg)
or subscribe to 'The Virtual Staffroom' via the Itunes Library.

You'll love our Aussie accents :) and might even get a few ideas for integrating ICTs into the classroom.

Adrian

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Few People Like My Work

In 2002 when I first started my website, it was so I didn't have to keep making my teacher friends floppy disks of my teaching resources.
Five years later... I now give away c. 40 gigabytes of teaching resources a month. This equates to c. 29 464 floppy disks worth of educational resources each month. Now I'm a thinking that if you have any teaching resources that the world might need... you must work out a way to share those resources with those less fortunate than you.

cheers

Adrian

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

When I created my website in 2002 my plan was for it to be a showcase of my portrait and wedding photography. Hence the black and white photos and the moodiness :)

Now... given that it is 2007 and people are mainly visiting for student resources. Plus, I'm not reading nearly as much Kafka hehehe I've decided that it is time for a make over.

Today I spent I few too many hours knocking up a lighter feel for my homepage. I know it is a little big on the file size but I do feel that it has a much 'lighter' feel. See what you think.

If you have any suggestions for 'catch phrases' for the flash animation at the top of the page, feel free to send them through.

cheers

Adrian

Greater Workflow

Last week I was interviewed for an Aussie podcast that I will let you all know about when it is closer to the time of release.

As per usual, when I do an interview it is not until later that I think about a few more answers to the questions.

One of the questions in the interview related to how I get such a huge body of work from children when I only get to see them once a week.

eg Shannon's Blog

One of the answers that I forgot to give was installing Firefox 2 into the computer lab has saved us heaps of time in 'conferencing' children's writing. The biggest advantage of Firefox 2 has to be the online spell check. The kids don't have to copy and paste from a word processing document, instead they can type straight into the browser.

Check Out Firefox 2 for Yourself

The students also love the tabbed browsing (Ctrl + T) and how fast it loads.

cheers

Adrian

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