On the move…

January 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This blog is on the move. This is the final post that will appear at this address.

From now on you can find teaching at the end of the earth at:

 

http://teachupsidedown.narelo.com/

 

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

Cheers

Nathaniel

Living with vision problems

January 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I wrote a post on the parenting blog that my wife and I have. I thought it was useful for educators also so am linking it here.

Living with vision problems

Learning spaces

December 20, 2011 at 12:00 am | Posted in Education | Leave a comment
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My wife and I were watching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition the other day. On this episode the design team built a school room in a house for two home-schooled children aged 6 and 8. These girls had an immune deficiency disease so they could not go to school due to the high risk of infection.

It was, as it usually is a lovely episode, but what got me was the school room. It was a great room with the latest technology such as laptops, an interactive whiteboard and video conferencing unit. There was science gear, art supplies and so on. What got me though were the two individual desks in the middle of the room with a laptop on each for the girls to work at. All I could think of was that it is so cliche to have school desks like this. Yes there was a table for doing art together, but those desks made it look like that was the place where work is done and done on their own.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I think individual desks should not be allowed in classrooms especially children of this age. They don’t encourage interaction between students or collaboration. The video conferencing unit was great for them to interact with other students from around the world (fantastic!), but what about interaction with each other in the same room. Yes, I know it will still happen, but is it the same?

Modern classrooms should be built with this in mind. We should be encouraging interaction and collaboration. This is normal behavior in a work place, so these skills should be developed at school.

I like hearing about the learning spaces at places such as Albany Senior High School (link to Steve Wheeler‘s blog), or the different classroom layout that Andrew Churches (link to Andrew’s blog) has at Kristen School. These are just a couple of examples and there are many more. There is also probably no perfect classroom, but it’s so important now to ensure our learning spaces promote students building the skills they will need in later life.

Monday Mentions – 19 December 2011

December 19, 2011 at 12:00 am | Posted in Monday Mentions | Leave a comment

Favourite blog posts from the past week (in no particular order):

  1. From The 12 Most – This one is self explanatory: 12 Most Innovative, Inspiring, and Unmissable TedTalks.
  2. For all you bloggers out there (and those who want to get into blogging) here are some good thoughts for writing blogs also from The 12 Most: 12 Most Standard English Rules to Break When Blogging.
  3. Something to think about from The Innovative Educator: Could the key to teacher effectiveness mean dropping certification requirements?
  4. A look at Digital and Global Citizenship from Educational Origami.

Quiet in the house…

December 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Education | 3 Comments
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Anyone who has kids (we’ve got five!) knows that when it’s quiet in the house, it’s time to check up on what they’re doing.

My wife (@daikininz) and I have had this happen a few times lately. Our youngest who is nearly 2 has disappeared a few times recently and been very quiet.

Where has she been? The first photo will answer that…

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She has found my wife’s iPad. She has undone the clasp. She has opened up the case, pressed the button to wake it up… Slid her finger across to unlock it… Found the app (usually a game) she wants and started to play.

Did I mention that she is not yet two?!

While I was taking these photos she decided to reorganize the iPad in its case by getting it to stand up on its own. When she managed it she pumped both arms with satisfaction (see photo).

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I know iPads aren’t the cheapest device, and there is often controversy around their use in schools however, they are so simple to use, and great for motivating students. All my children love using them, and they are much simpler than standard computers. We need to seriously consider their use (or other tablets) in our learning environments. We need to give our students access to the technology or similar technology that they may be using in the future – they need to be prepared!

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