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With the c**p 3G connections in NZ this would be even worse:

so how misleading is misleading?

The iPhone in NZ would seem to be more of a status symbol than a useful piece of technology? Especially for the extortionate plans Vodafone have …. and for those of us who spend most of our lives in a wireless network, for most of the functionality – WHY?
An iPod Touch is pretty cool – and does most of the things an iPhone does (but no phone).

No week view in the calendar would drive me NUTS. Why not day view in portrait and defaults to week view in landscape – now that would be so Apple.

I think I’ll wait till they halve in price, triple in capacity and the plans don’t take a small mortgage.

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Interesting to think about the power of music and image.
This advert from Vodafone:

… has VERY catchy music and is a favourite in our household.

Compare that to the original version:

As David MacGregor points out it has quite a different mood and feel. You can do this with lots of songs using YouTube and searching for different versions from different artists

I am reminded of a scene I have seen linked from somewhere where Mary Poppins meets Alfred Hitchcock and just changing the music (well and some skillful editing too) completely changes the feel. It is actually quite creepy.
Here ’tis ….

Great stuff to do with kids. It is good for them to be analytical about how they are being manipulated/managed by those who produce advertising, films, etc. Also good to deconstruct segments of movies to see what methods etc have been used – shot by shot. Jane did this with our class at Pine Hill looking at the beginning of Shrek and they loved it … as well as coming away very well informed in film making techniques, etc.

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” Is it not possible that certain technologies undermine best practices?

Are we so technocentric that we believe that every technology is equivalent and dependent on either a) “PD” or b) teacher effort?

I’m sure there are teachers who could do creative things with a chainsaw. Why not buy every teacher a chainsaw?

What if the technology is just bad or unnecessary? Is that a possibility?”

ouch! …. a very good point though!!

(source – comment 13 …. and a good discussion to follow in full)

and from Sylvia Martinez:

…, I see very little evidence that they [IWB’s] are being used well in MOST classrooms. I just don’t think that the handful of teachers using them in “engaging” ways would justify the millions that have been spent on them. Most of the schools I work with are busy “looking for things to do with whiteboards”. Really, I wish I didn’t hear that phrase time and time again. In reality, People are looking for ways to justify the money they spent.

I think we have to acknowledge that although IWBs MIGHT be used well, they aren’t. The next question is whether “good” PD can fix this.

To answer that, I think you have to question the primary model and design intent of any technology, because that’s how it will mostly be used. Just because a few excellent teachers make something more out of it doesn’t justify it. The primary model and design intent of IWBs reinforces instructionist teaching practice. That they are being primarily used this way should surprise no one.

In my opinion, no amount of PD will fix this. And in fact, it’s likely that millions more dollars will be poured into PD to try to get teachers to use IWBs, and the result will by and large be in an instructionist, front of the classroom mode. I don’t think PD about IWBs, classroom embedded or not, will be able to overcome the basic nature of IWBs – that their primary function is to allow a teacher to control a presentation in the front of the classroom.

So, to me, the news that PD isn’t overcoming this basic nature of the IWB should surprise no one either.

Backs up my thinking as well. I am yet to see any classroom with an IWB where the pedagogical model was anything other than “full frontal”!

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One of the routines (our kids call it a tradition!) in our family is that I make pancakes on a Sunday morning. This is the time I also like to watch a TED talk, while I am cooking them. This morning was a treat with this one from Robert Ballard:

He is a wonderful speaker and talks with passion about our need to explore the oceans and the world within. We know so little about the world beneath the oceans. There is also an educational project that runs alongside his exploratory work that uses the whole thing as a springboard for children to research and find out about the world. And this is where the connections start….

Our next door neighbour is an expedition organiser for the submarines Ballard describes in his talk. The ones on the beginning of the movie Titanic. Peter is a fascinating guy, has a very cool job, and has done some stunning photography of the creatures found at the depths described in the TED Talk.

Our library at school has had a wonderful project running looking at deep sea vents and introducing LOGO as an extension of the idea of navigating submarines around them.

And as I have written about earlier the whole concept of the Robocup competition and this links in well too. I have three sets of the Mindstorms Lego ordered and will take a lunchtime group using it when it finally arrives. This video will be a great lead in ….

So …. just an interesting time musing on all the serendipitous connections that come out of a Sunday morning.

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I have just been playing this great new tables game from Big Brainz that I have found in my bloglines subscription to my Delicious network. It is a playstation type game that teaches kids their tables. I am usually bored VERY quickly with video games but this is really quite addictive … I can see kids absolutely loving it!
Has plenty of James Paul Gee type good learning theory built in too.
Big Brainz.tiff – for a screenshot that is refusing to imbed 🙁
FREE download from HERE.
this would have to be one of the best finds for ages!!!!

as they say ….


Timez Attack is an unbelievable, new multiplication tables game. You have to see it to believe it!!

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Behind every reality is another story ….

interesting how things come full circle and the mighty dollar comes to the fore. Time will tell what American foreign policy comes to pass. Hmmmmm.

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I spent a very fun day yesterday with my sons school teams at the RoboCup Junior competition here in Dunedin. Phillips team has spent months developing and refining a dance routine for a small robot. For those who don’t know the concept go HERE for a link to the official RoboCup junior site. There is a logo like interface where the kids can programme the robots move-by-move. Congratulations to the group Iain was working with who won the section Phillip was in.
Pricing the kits they are VERY expensive (around $500nz) but still a lot of fun and heaps of learning applications/potential. I have sent emails to a number of people who are selling the kits online so will be interesting to see what costings comes back.

and the entry that won the world champs for the dance section from YouTube:

and other dance routines HERE.

Try YouTube as well if you want to find the kinds of things people are doing with these kits, just because you can:

Semour Papert in a keynote from Australia I watched recently went to great pains to emphasize that programming is the real use of computers in education (in his view). It is in programming that children are taught to think and solve real problems in a logical and reasoned way. You can’t help but be creative in programming too as you are always solving unique and real problems in novel ways. Robotics is an area we are yet to explore in any meaningful way in schools… as the pricing for the necessary bits-and-pieces gets cheaper this is something worth watching over the next few years.

I can immediately think of a number of children at school who would LOVE this stuff!!

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Had an interesting discussion …. that continues …. the other day in staff meeting about quality and what it means for us in our school. Also how we and the children know what it is …? There was quite a lot of discussion about getting children to do their best and what they are truly capable of.
But the interesting part was when I asked/challenged if children doing their best was good enough?

Two threads of thought and discussion emerged:
1. Children have a potential and what about those who don’t have as much as others or just plain find something very difficult. Do we expect them to keep up and do as well as the rest of the children? What level of achievement is acceptable? Do we want everyone to be ‘at least average’? Is this realistic?

2. If Karl Lewis was happy with an 11 second 100m time would he have achieved his olympic successes? Don’t we want children to aim for just a bit better than they can do now? How do we share these goals and targets with them? Rubrics, models, exemplars….??

I want teachers for my own children and our school who are NOT happy with where they are now. Don’t we want children who have the same attitude to to their learning and achievement? Do adults begin this learning journey at school?

Without exception the best teachers I have worked with have been the ones LEAST satisfied with their knowledge and performance. They see a big gap between where they are now and where they want to be. This provides the motivation for them to make the theoretical and practical explorations of their practice/s that result in improved learning for children.

Fun stuff!!

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