Angry Birds & Education – it doesn’t have to be about Math!

October 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Education | Leave a comment
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This is going to be short and sweet. Angry Birds is often discussed in terms of mathematics and projectile motion, however in this blog post Dan Meyer takes a different view. This post is well worth a read if you want some good, quick and simple tips about teaching and instructional design.

Check it out: Five Lessons On Teaching From Angry Birds That Have Nothing Whatsoever To Do With Parabolas

Critical elements of e-learning: presentation

June 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Education | Leave a comment
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As part of my study this year I had to write an assignment about the critical elements of e-learning.
I decided to share my learning with my colleagues in a presentation. It is included below.

Keeping our kids safe online

March 26, 2011 at 10:18 am | Posted in Education | Leave a comment
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I was privileged enough to go to a short talk from ex Australian detective, Brett Lee, last week talk about cyber safety. Brett spent a lot of his time as an online detective in the search for cyber criminals – particularly paedophiles. He was once asked if he would see one cyber criminal online when he went online. He said that he would see 30.

Brett had a very simple message – we need to educate our kids about the dangers of the internet. He said that they are the same dangers that you face by walking down the street. We teach our kids about stranger danger – not to get in someone’s car, not to talk to strangers etc, but we aren’t so good when it comes to the internet. The same applies when talking to strangers on the internet. People (children/teens in particular) have a strong sense of anonymity on the internet that they feel safe. But these criminals know what our children need or want to hear. They know how to ‘groom’ a child.

Brett showed one of the chats he had with a ‘stranger’. Within moments he knew he was dealing with a paedophile, however a teenage boy or girl may not be aware. They do not have the life experience and the adult instincts that adults have. They cannot know the dangers unless we teach them.

Brett normally runs a two day workshop, and I imagine this would be excellent. I only attended an hour-long talk and was really impressed.

Brett’s website is

Christchurch earthquake – a teaching resource

March 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Education | Leave a comment
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My colleagues and I have set up a WikiEducator page about the recent Christchurch earthquake (February 22, 2011). We are collaborating with scientists, teachers and students from around New Zealand and the world. It is only in it’s very beginning stages, however the plan is that this resource will help lead students towards achieving the New Zealand NCEA Achievement Standard 90955 Investigate and astronomical or Earth science event. There is of course no reason why this resource could not work towards other qualifications around the world.

A big aim of the resource is that it will answer some of the questions that people have about the earthquake. A common question for example is, “What is liquefaction?” Hopefully, also, a resource like this might help people to be prepared for another disaster of this kind (if you can ever be fully prepared).

If you have something you are able to add to this resource, please do so. It is exciting to think we can collaborate on a project like this. Like I said before, it’s only in it’s beginning stages. It needs to have some structure given to it, but the hope is to have something prepared as quickly as possible – within the next 2-3 weeks.

Looking forward to the collaboration and the opportunity to work with a variety of different people!

Here’s the link:


Our thoughts continue to go out to those affected by this tragic event.

“Don’t force it … it will break!”

January 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Education | Leave a comment

Pulling the Legs Off a Spider

Growing up I often heard the phrase from my parents, “Don’t force it … it will break”. I was reminded of this recently while reading the book, “Making the Move to eLearning” by Kay Lehmann and Lisa Chamberlain. In it they discuss the problems of pushing teachers into facilitating online classes. Often if a person does not want to become an online teacher/facilitator they have good reasons – usually they are just not comfortable enough with technology. Lehmann and Chamberlain point out that those who vocally speak out against teaching online probably should not be pushed into the role. Forcing them into the role of online teacher/facilitator could make them more upset causing destruction to the teaching/learning or further drag them down or their students down.

Teaching online is not for everyone. We need to ensure that we don’t force teachers into teaching this way. They may be very comfortable and good teaching in front of a class, face-to-face, but this may not be the case through technology. I think they can be encouraged to use it, but we don’t want to force them into a position where they break, or their students break in whatever way this might be.

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