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Karen Mills's discussion posts

  • Karen Mills 01 Nov 2011 7:50pm () in What should be in your e-learning kete? | November Challenge

    Karen Mills - Facilitator of iTeam Tauranga Cluster (Tauranga Primary, Tauranga Intermediate and Greenpark School). I have been a Mac user since I was 18 (OMG, thats over 20 years). I bought an iPhone 3G two and a half years ago and couldn't live without it. I have a special interest in ePortfolios.

  • Karen Mills 11 Oct 2011 7:59pm () in Managing ipads

    We are going to have 8 pods of 8 iPads next year. You will probably find that while having 2 in a room is OK having a pod of 8 is more beneficial.  We think 8 is the magic number as most teachers have 8 in a group thus being able to use them as part of their literacy or numeracy rotations. As long as the IT person is not controlling what Apps I would keep it like it is. It is just one extra job for teachers and an added expense if they are all wanting to download separate Apps on separate iTunes accounts.

  • Karen Mills 03 Oct 2011 7:18pm () in Creepy Critters

    Hmmmm.... it sounds you'll need that Griffin multidock to manage the 10 ipads you need for all your Apps. One iPad for Literacy Apps, one for Numeracy .....lol Kiss

  • Karen Mills 01 Apr 2011 6:19am () in Can the effective use of ICT tools improve student outcomes in writing?

    Across our cluster there are teachers who are undertaking Inquiries into this topic. This discussion is for them to share their thoughts, ideas, findings and practice.

  • Karen Mills 14 Jun 2011 11:43am () in Helping those who are amazing teachers but "don't have time" to learn ICT

    Julia also refers to the 'Guru loop' which is pertinent to this discussion especially as many 'technophobes' are in this loop. Basically, she says that at the lowest level, learners think that someone else has the answer so they are constantly asking an 'expert' to show them. They never try and figure things out for themselves and when they are shown something they don't see how this can relate to something else. Moving teachers out of this 'Guru loop' is very difficult.


  • Karen Mills 15 Jun 2011 6:20am () in How to help the 'technophobes'...?

    I have heard this analogy used in relation to a schools ICT/E-learning journey.

    Think of a speed boat used for water skiing. The speeding boat is full of early adopters. The waterskiiers are being dragged along but most are happy to be there. Sometimes a water skiier will fall off. If they put their hand up to be rescued, rescue them. If they don't put their hand up, they don't want to be rescued so let them drown.

    So how many drowned teachers would there be in your school? Do we spend most of our time on the drowning teachers who want rescuing or those who don't?

  • Karen Mills 12 Jun 2011 1:11pm () in How to help the 'technophobes'...?

    Hi Kellie, I think to answer to all your questions is, "YES". Just a classroom teacher attempts to cater for all these learning needs, Faciliatators of Professional Development must attempt to cater for the different needs of attendees/staff. I learnt last year that it is called Angragogy.

  • Karen Mills 12 Jun 2011 12:30pm () in How to help the 'technophobes'...?

    For me, it doesn't matter whether you are an early adopter, technophobe or a lead teacher. It is all about the Professional Development opportunities you provide (if you are a Facilitator) or attend.

    I had to write a Literature review last year for an E-Learning paper I did at Waikato Uni. I chose, What are the features of an effective ICT Professional Development programme? as my topic.  Not wanting to bore everyone I have posted my conclusion which sums up the main ideas.

    ICT professional development as a social learning activity must be a priority by school leaders and facilitators. Environments that encourage collaboration and collegiality will be a key determinant in how effective the professional development will be. The facilitator in any professional development also has a huge impact on how effective a session will be. They need to be technologically and pedagogically knowledgeable and create an environment where teachers feel both supported and challenged, an often difficult balance to find.

    Until further research has been conducted, the recommendation by most would be to conduct ICT professional development sessions in the ʻrealʼ world. While some benefits have been identified for creating online or asynchronous learning environments, there is not enough evidence to suggest these should be a key feature.

    Teachers need an ICT education as opposed to ICT skills. They need to know how to, and be prepared to, integrate any new skills and knowledge into their existing pedagogies. Creating dissonance has been identified as an effective way of doing this. By challenging teachers existing philosophies in a supportive environment you will be more likely to transform outcomes.

    An effective ICT professional development session should involve a variety of learning activities. While it may involve listening to an expert, a passive activity, it should involve discussion and hands on learning as well. Again, the importance of the facilitator to create these opportunities is paramount. Finally, teachers need to be involved in ICT professional development that occurs regularly, over a long period of time. Vince Ham's video below was a great starting point.

  • Karen Mills 29 Apr 2011 6:39am () in App Sharing

    This would be a good place to start Tessa.


    I Can Animate is now avaialble for the iPhone and iPod Touch as well. Love the time lapse feature.


  • Karen Mills 01 Apr 2011 6:31am () in Can the effective use of ICT tools improve student outcomes in writing?

    I worked with a Teacher Aide yesterday who had a couple of boys who struggled with the physical aspect of writing. This is a situation where ICT can support these students. Often, they will have lots of ideas to share but if they stuggle with writing it becomes frusrating for them as their hand can't keep up with their brain. A blog is a great tool for these students. By embedding a range of Web 2.0 tools, these boys will be able to share their ideas with an authentic audience on a regular basis, while being supported by their teacher aide. My prediction is that the older boy will become more willing to write for this new audience thus improving outcomes. Being a shared blog for the two boys, they will also be collaborating, negotiating, mentoring (one older, one younger) and creating.  See the Blog here.