Pecha Kucha – Mini Style

One thing I hate about the start of the new term is the “In the holidays, I did…..” recounts. Surely there is nothing more boring for the kids to write and for teachers and the audience to read. This term I was determined to avoid this at all costs.

Earlier in the year, we had our senior learning community camp. I had no intention of making my class write recounts of what had been a challenging, inspiring and fantastic week – it is so hard to capture the essence of the experience in this way. We instead wrote time lines that we published using Essentially we were still recounting our experiences, but choosing 10 – 15 moments from camp to explain in more depth. The children wrote with enthusiasm and the language that came from these captured their time and experiences in ways that, I believe, would not have come from if we had sat and wrote the recounts. The other spin off from this was that because it was not writing long passages but rather shorter snippets, the more reluctant writers in the class were engaged possibly due to the perception of not writing lots of lines about one thing. The experiences were seen as stand alone pieces of writing rather than one long piece.

I wanted to capture this passion for writing about our holiday experiences but wanted to try something different than what we had done previously – a new technology? But what?

Attending ULearn10 in Christchurch over the holiday period, I came up with an idea to try. Pecha Kucha (although for some reason I call it Pikachu most of the time). Japanese for Chit Chat. A presentation format based on a 20 x 20 approach. 20 images spoken about for 20 secs – ultimately the entire presentation lasting 6 mins 40 secs. Speakers chose images that reflect what they would like to talk about and then are given 20 seconds to speak on each. Tuesday evening of ULearn I attended my first Pecha Kucha and listened to 8 talented educators from around the globe talk about their passions and experiences in education. Each presenter spoke on different topics which left me taking on board a lot of information that I am still synthesizing.

Fast forward to day 1 of term 4. Knowing that the kids were eager to share their holiday stories with their peers and myself, I made the decision to run a mini version of the Pecha Kucha – 6 x 20 (6 images – 20 secs on each). We looked at what a pecha kucha was, looked at how we could find images that reflected our holidays (remembering I hadn’t asked them to take or find images throughout their holidays) and how we would present our stories.

Our WALT’s (We are learning….to…) were:
how to use google advanced image search
how to write a concise version of an experience
how to present to an audience

Our SC (success criteria) were: (co-constructed with the students)
*We can find 6 images that reflect our holidays
We can write about an experience that will be 20 seconds long when spoken
We can use interesting language to help engage our audience
We can give information that is relevant to a topic
We can speak clearly
We can run our own presentations.

Thursday of week 1 saw the first of the presentations and the students had exceeded what I had expected of them. All the students had been able to find the images that they wanted, whether it was logos, movie banners, local beaches or clip art churches.

Excited by what they achieved, I looked forward to Friday’s set of presentations. Again the students did an amazing job. Yes, there were the students whose 20 sec’s were more like 10 seconds and then there were those who exceeded the limit, but for all that, I had students who were eager to present, had (for the most part) written entertaining and informative segments and were engaged with their listening skills.

One thing that I was very proud of was one of my students who has struggled academically, working below their peers by 4 years. This student was able to find the images, write the information for the presentation and then most importantly stand in front of the class and present their writing – something that would not have happened in the past. Whether it was this format or other factors, this is a huge step for this student.

Our Next Steps:
After a successful first time pecha kucha, we will be allowing for more this term. Being a year 5/6 composite class, I already have envisioned our end of year reviews will be done in this style (if the students desire). We still need to work on getting timing right, moving away from reading directly from books to using the images as prompts, and ensuring that all our writing is entertaining and informative (not cutting off half way through a story was an issue for some students).

Four students present Pecha Kucha – Mini style
Click here to watch

Creating the Culture for ePortfolios – Erin Freeman

Teacher at Fairfield Intermediate. BYO laptop class.

Need to look at why?
Process or product
Process ongoing – shows progress
Product – finished work
SHould be a combination of both

Will this replace regular reporting
raw artefacts vs achievement artefacts
Feedback/feed forward in relation to curriculum achievement

Who is going to decide what is going to go on there? Tchr direction at the start but moving towards student directed. Evidence of achievement.
Student ownership = greater motivation and greater parental buy in

What tool to use?
Schools need to think about what they are going to use – Free vs Commercial. Pros and cons of each.
Passion vs longevity of driving force – what happens when the expert leaves?

Formative or transformative Assessment

Planned use of e-portfolios is product

Off the cuff is the process product

Implementation –

key teachers vs whole school

key teachers- who? high flyers vs change reluctant – balance needed

SLT support needed

developing schoolwide understanding of how and why?

Is it going to be a lifelong document?

Evidence of prgress and achievemtn

mixture of product and process

samples of standardised/curricuum testing, work samples, summative assessment from all learnign areas

artefacts have clear links to learning

feedback from student, peers, teacher and parents

Evidence for goal achievement selected by students

(note: similar to 3 way Learning conference presentations – goals, evidence)

Ulearn 2010 – Keynote 1

(Blogged live – excuse any mistakes) – notes – reflections to follow….
Lee Crocker – Canada
Understanding the Digital Generation
Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Terminal PP – Paradigm Paralysis – mindsets (clasp hands together and then try and do with other thumb on top). Paradigm Specific ways to do things. Are we breaking through these paradigms to help our kids to prepare for their future?

California added up global productiveit – 5 exabytes of data. 37 times the amount of info in congress library. 6 yrs later to 500 exabytes – 10000% exabytes (13 stacks of books to pluto – would de-forest the earth 12x if we were to print it…) – access to way more information then we can ever possibly need.

How are libraries going to over come the digital age? – same anytime, anywhere, anyone as ipods have given us to music

Digital books are outselling real books

Ipad marks the end of a paradigm – no more mouse, keyboard to follow soon…….

What implications does the development of technology impact on the skills that the users will eed to have?
– Access to overwhelming amount of information
– analysing information
– screens are a place to project your identity not a passive place

We face a different kind of student
(Ibrain, Everything bad is good for you, brain rules, grown up digital, rewired, understanding the digital generations)

DL – read in f pattern on page
Red/pink text on black background – digital learners
Fast info from variety of multi-media sources

DL prefer parallel processing and multi tasking
Many educatos lineair and single limited tasks.

DL – picture, sound and video b4 text
Educators – text b4 sound, pics and text

DL – playing….exploring own cognitive links
Educators – linear, logical and sequential

Dl – network with others
Educators – solo then limited network in small groups

DL – Just in time
Educators – Just in case

DL – relevant, authentic and fun
Educators – teach memorisation of material in the curriculum guide

Why I Teach…

I’ve been off school this week due to highly unfortunate accident involving running, mud, downhills and horizontal rain left me with a fairly smashed up wrist. Not fun, not pretty but c’est la vie!!

Anyway, I received letters from some of the kids in my class and this piece of poetic writing struck me with how much I mean to the kids and what they mean to me….

“I have a flower in my brain and you give it water to grow.
You are not here to give me water.
So you need to come back and give me the water to grow.

Love from Megan”

Brought tears to my eyes and as you can imagine more determined to get back to them as soon as possible. As a teacher I strive to have kids that are eager to learn and happy to be at school – this week has shown me I have achieved that.

Just something I tried…

Was directed to from Twitter and found out about As I was about to put together a presentation for my class tomorrow I thought I would try this.
It’s very basic but fairly happy with the result – next time (feedforward) would be to have a less chaotic path, but then again I like chaos!!
Struggled to upload any images, kept telling me check my internet connection – I was online at the time!!! So will try away from school and any possible firewalls stopping me.


World famous in NZ

Being a new school, with new technologies and a forward thinking vision, we have been under the spotlight. We appeared in the July issue of New Zealand’s “PC World” and that resulted in TVNZ (the state broadcaster) coming to do a piece about us for a current affairs show. There is the link to the piece HERE

It’s interesting. My phone began beeping the second the piece had aired and it was all positive, which is fantastic. The only slight disappointment I have is that focused quite a lot on the technology side of our school and not our vision for learning – not much I can do about that but still needed to be said. Would love feedback on the clip!!

New Spelling site discovery

I was introduced to this site by one of our senior teachers. is a site where you put in your spelling list and it then goes on to play a range of games (hang mouse – really cute, crosswords, wordfinds etc) to aid in the learning of the words.  After learning your list you can then be tested (reads the words out in a sentence if you like).  A certificate and report card can then be printed out.

If you join the site you can save your lists and then come back to them later or add them into the current games….lots of fun and really engaging.

Have fun and a play!!