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If you missed Breakfast Bytes this morning, you missed learning about tools to organise your daybook electronically. Here's a skelton outline...

Fiona showed how she uses OneNote, incorporating her timetable, year folders, general resources and link discoveries all in one place. Within individual year folders, she has her lesson plans laid out - including activities and links to resources to be used within each lesson, so that there is no need to be constantly searching for PowerPoints, video clips or audio resources - they are already linked within her daybook. In other words, her programs 'live' in OneNote.

Fiona has her OneNote daybook open most of the day, and it is therefore also ready for easy followup reflection on class activities, and can be edited to make changes to future plans. She also has templates of class activities to share with her classes, helping students to organise their information and classwork.

OneNote is part of the MSOffice suite and can also be used as a shared platform for group planning (used extensively by some JS staff).

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Evernote is another program which can be used to organise your daybook, while incorporating many electronic advantages for planning, tracking and reflecting on day-to-day classwork.

Leanne showed how she too has her lesson plans 'alive online', well organised according to class and year groups, with similar facilities to edit and track the progress of her class activities. Rolls can be marked electronically, and again the transfer of information digitally enables the organisation of links and resources for easy use within lessons. Content can also be printed or stored where required for registration purposes, and it is easy to provide information to others (e.g. absent students) via email, etc.

One major advantage of Evernote is the ability to sync across many different devices, so any changes or additions are reflected wherever you are - on your laptop, smartphone or tablet device. Being constantly available allows for great opportunities for reflection and review as well.

For more information (inhouse only) Fiona and Leanne would love to help, or guide you to other experts, who could sit beside you in the initial setup.

 
 
More Breakfast Bytes - and the chance for others to share what has worked for them. Step forward to let us know if you can share with others the things you have discovered. (Or contact Fiona or me about things you would like us to present for you. Times are open to negotiation, too - and may include afternoon sessions...)

Continue developing your PLNs - dig further into Twitter, Diigo and other tools we introduced last year.

Attend a TeachMeet - This is where teachers gather informally to share inspiring and engaging ideas. You can attend for free, present ideas which have worked for you (in 2 or 7 mins presentations**), or simply go along to learn from others (and network).

There will be a huge gathering (maybe record breaking?) at the  Sydney TeachMeet at Australian Technology Park Eveleigh on March 2, 5-8pm - details here. And St Paul's is also hosting a TeachMeet for Western Sydney/Blue Mountains educators on March 13 if you prefer to start with a smaller gathering of local teachers.

See this video for a quick explanation of TeachMeet:
** 7 mins - just as Fiona did at 'Communications' one morning last term.

Look forward to sharing more soon. Linda
 
 
As Fiona has indicated, there was lots to take in over the past few days. Some of it was reiteration of things many educators are well aware of - the exponential growth of all things IT, the production and reinvention of many new tools, and the expectations of students to have access to many different types of tehcnlogy in all aspects of their life - both in and out of school. 

Other elements included sharing a new and different ways of teaching and learning - an offering of some of the tools which have worked effectively in the classroom.

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Key elements from my notes captured in a Wordle
As indicated above, one of the key focuses was on students (naturally). This included the workshops where students presented details of the classroom experience from their perspective: e.g. Day 1- 'Student created web content' - flipping the responsibilities of teaching and learning in the classroom. 
3 students also spoke to us all from the heart, about 'What works for me and how I like to learn'. They conveyed that while they see the need for more traditional structures in lessons, they value connectivity with their peers to discuss and review school after hours. (The connectivity and delivery FaceBook offers seems key.)

Some demonstrated new and innovative programs like 'Values Exchange', uses for Google Earth, and the integration of several programs and/or websites to engage students using IWB activities. 

'Values Exchange' is built to share and collate student reponses to current issues - and in a way that has them consider and justify their viewpoint, and in comparison with others. It is the social, and potentially, international sharing of opinion which is reflected here.

Also shared were views on using iPads, effective web 2.0 tools, recommended apps, and the importance of developing your PLN (including Twitter and Google+). All of this with an emphasis on connecting meaningfully with the 'connected generation' - not just for the sake of using new and different tools.

Activity on Twitter was at times frenetic, as participants agreed, echoed or questioned what they were hearing. Everyone will take time to absorb what they heard and shared, some of which is collated for further viewing at: http://aisitic11.wikispaces.com/Home. Conference tweets can also be reviewed on Twitter at: #aisitic11


 
 
I thought I'd share with you what Linda and I have been doing this Thursday and Friday at the ICT conference organised by the AIS and held at Knox Grammar this year.
Firstly, for all you tweeters out there, search for and follow the conference hashtag #aisitic11 on Twitter. This is a great way to 'virtually' attend the conference and get access to some of the best ideas, links and discussion generated by the conference attendees. Also, have a look at the conference wiki to get a whole range of resources that are available to anyone.
This morning's Keynote was given by the fantastic Mark Scott - the Managing Director of the ABC. He was a wonderfully engaging presenter who spoke about how he worked to transform the ABC from a traditional broadcaster to and innovative digital media leader. 
The first workshop I attended was given by Megan Bennett from Abbotsleigh. She spoke about how staff are using video conferencing facilities to enrich their professional development. By doing some PD in this way, time and costs are greatly reduced when compared with traditional PD delivery. This could be a great thing for St Paul's staff to investigate and be a truly international school. Here are some of the ways they have used video conferencing:
  • whole school staff meeting with expert educator (international)
  • collaboration between schools
  • teacher librarian conference (AIS)
  • development office fundraising
  • IT managers meeting
  • K-12 team meetings

I also attended a workshop on collecting student feedback to enhance and shape learning activities in the classroom. This was given by Thea van Os and Peter Ellis from St Joseph's College. Using things such as Poll Everywhere and Twiducate teachers can get immediate feedback from students on how they are learning and whether they are understanding and what they think. It encourages student voice, especially those who normally are too shy or scared to say anything in the classroom. This was a really good reminder for me to ask for feedback from students (it's usually not that bad, despite what we might think!).

Lastly there were 'Sandpit' sessions that were open to anything people were interested in. Most people opted for learning about iPads in the classroom but as that's not an option for me, I went with a small group to learn more about OneNote. One of the people in the group shared how he is using the program and it has really inspired me to explore the capabilities of OneNote much more! I think there is a Breakfast Bytes session in this :)

So, after lots of chatting to former colleagues, twitter friends and current colleagues; along with tweeting, listening, thinking and a very long train journey there and back; I am quite tired after all that! I will share what I learn tomorrow and hopefully you will find something that sparks an idea that you can use in the classroom.
 
 
Wow, it all went so quickly! A big thanks to all of you who managed to attend, contribute and engage with what we were saying this morning. Please do let us know if you have a suggestion for future Breakfast Bytes sessions or if you'd like to present something. We love passion!
To summarize what I was saying this morning about building your own network of professional contacts, learning and resources, here are a few tips:
- Make your PD more personalised. Read blogs (your new Twitter friends should have one!)
- Attend a TeachMeet
- Find ways of sharing resources - Dropbox, wikis etc. How can YOU contribute? Think globally, not just within your own staffroom (but that helps too).
- Be open to new ideas and be willing to try something new in the classroom.
- Start your own blog - can be reflective or a place to share lesson ideas.
- Have a go at presenting something at Breakfast Bytes or a TeachMeet. We are all on a learning journey.

I'd encourage you to keep adding to the list. What inspires you? What have you found challenging? Continue the discussion...
Fiona.
 
 
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As our inaugral meeting of 'Breakfast Bytes' draws near, we are looking forward to lots of sharing of ideas and examples of using technology in education. To start, we hope to dig into the fabulous PLNs out there which we could link into, sharing the collective wisdom of other professionals both locally and around the globe.

The response to this intitiative has been great so far (well done, Fiona) and we will be adjusting as we go to meet the needs of interested teachers. Please let us know of your needs, ideas and questions you have so that we can develop this to suit YOU.

 
 
As I think ahead to Tuesday, I am excited that already there are 15 people who have said yes to coming! I consider that to be an excellent response and I'm looking forward to sharing with you all.
I think we should get a hashtag started seeing as how we will be talking about Twitter. Any suggestions for something memorable and apt? Have a look at the contacts pages for our Twitter accounts and get in early and start following! Fiona.
#spgsBB?
 
 
What do you think of our mini website? You and your students can make them too with Weebly (a Google app). I hope you find the Breakfast Bytes sessions useful and you are inspired to use more ICT in your lessons. Hope to see you on Twitter! Fiona.
 
 
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