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How to Add Events to a Google Calendar

Posted by Lois on January 25, 2014

Now that so many schools are using Google Apps for Education, teachers need to be familiar with many different aspects of Google that they might not otherwise use. The slideshow below has 4 illustrated steps to adding an Event to the Google Calendars that we have on our school intranet.

 

Posted in Google Aps for Education, How To | Tagged: | No Comments »

How to Add Video to Your Blog with Vimeo

Posted by Lois on January 1, 2014

This is the method I use to put videos from my computer on my blog.

Most videos are too large to add directly to your blog so I use Vimeo to host the video. Vimeo works in the same way that Youtube works.

I have a Plus Account for my personal videos and we have a school Plus Account for Vimeo that students and teachers share. We started with a free account but I recommend subscribing to the “Plus” account if you are going to use it regularly as it much quicker to load and access the embed codes that you will need.

Some of my favourite things about Vimeo include;

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 7.18.01 AMThe ability to choose which frame shows up before the video is played.

That you can create albums of related films and then have a widget to display those videos on your blog. You can see an example here.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 7.19.23 AM

That you can choose the “outro” of your video – I always choose the beginning of the video rather than other unrelated video previews.

The huge storage allowance – 5GB per week on the Plus Account

 

Posted in blogs, How To, multimedia, Staff PD | Tagged: , | No Comments »

Appreciative Inquiry

Posted by Lois on July 20, 2013

 A Coaching Approach

Two-people-talking-logoAppreciative Inquiry helps people focus on the positives and highpoints of their life, experiences or days. Asking questions such as “What was the best part of your day?” brings clarity that “How was your day?” might not.

This made me think of two things instantly. The first is how we encourage parents to ask their children a focused question at the end of the school day. One that highlights the positives about the best part of their day or something new that they are learning. Otherwise the parents are often bombarded with all the little things that have gone wrong during the school day such as friendship issues.

The second was that our students,who perform a live-to-air radio show each week,  nearly alway focus on the mistakes that they’d made. A simple question at the end of the show that asks them for the highlight could put a small mistake out of focus and help them appreciate their achievement.

The second article below goes on to explain how the Appreciative Inquiry approach can be used to problem solve. There are 4 or 5 steps to the process – “The 5D Approach” for which I have created a nutshell summary.

  1.  Define: Define the problem using a positive but broad approach. “How to improve on…
  2. Discover: Collect information and stories about what has worked well and people feel excited about. Analyse the data and determine what is valued and what has contributed to success.
  3. Dream: With the team brainstorm for innovative and creative ideas to move forward and accomplish the goal.
  4. Design: Decide what are the practicalities for achieving The Dream. What “systems, processes, and strategies that will enable the dream to be realized.”
  5. Deliver: This is final stage that all the team members work towards. The key is the Dream or the focus so that everyone is working toward the same endpoint. 

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_85.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-changes/201001/how-coaching-works-appreciative-inquiry

Thanks to @mrpbps (John Pearce) for the links

 

Posted in Coaching, Leadership, Staff PD | 2 Comments »

How to Create a Radio Show Riff in Garage Band

Posted by Lois on June 23, 2013

Where does this fit in the Curriculum?
Although a Riff is a very short example of students writing it could be assessed against the following outcomes in the Writing-Literacy-Creating Texts, component of the English AusVels.
Level 5
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience
Level 6
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience
Level 7
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas

Posted in audio e-learning, How To, Radio Student Hour | Tagged: , , | No Comments »

Explain Everything and Google Drive

Posted by Lois on May 7, 2013

This is a great work flow for schools with Google Aps for Education and shared iPads. Students who save their projects into Google Drive can access them from any ipad in the school or even from home.

Explain Everything and Google Drive from Lois Smethurst on Vimeo.

Posted in Apps, Google Aps for Education, How To, iPad | No Comments »

Students Making IT Happen – ICTEV 2013

Posted by Lois on May 3, 2013

Posted in Conferences, Leadership | No Comments »