Log in

Barrie Matthews's discussion posts

  • Barrie Matthews 12 Sep 2016 3:45pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Hi Philippa.

    Thanks for your affirmation of LEARNZ.

    Kia ora

  • Barrie Matthews 01 Sep 2016 4:58pm () in FORUM: 7 principles of learning | Building horizontal connections

    Hi Everyone

    I suspect good teachers have their own ways to build horizontal connections which include activities like field trips or class excursions or visiting speakers. As a member of the LEARNZ team, I would like you to consider a LEARNZ virtual field trip as well. LEARNZ has been around for over 20 years, offering over a dozen field trips every year where a lot of heavy-lifting has been done for teachers.

    Let's have a look at how the design of LEARNZ helps build horizontal connections:

    1. Have real-world relevance. All LEARNZ field trips have real-world relevance because they go to real places and work with real people. Two recent examples embody this. The first was Love Your Rubbish - lollipop to landfill? which followed the journey of rubbish and how some was diverted by recycling while the rest went to a modern landfill. Science, social science, future focus, sustainability, community, careers, and taking action were some of the ideas woven through the experience. The second was Kererū Count - kaitiakitanga in action which looked at an iconic New Zealand bird, its importance to Māori and to our overall New Zealand identity. There was a school showing its predator trapping programme as a way of attracting native species - talking about taking action in your community! There was a visit to Zealandia which has recreated New Zealand's flora and fauna the way it used to be. There were expert explanations of two Māori cloaks at Te Papa - watch one at https://vimeo.com/180718571. And this field trip is linked in to The Great Kererū Count at http://kererudiscovery.org.nz/great-kereru-count-2016/ which is a citizen science project in mid-September.

    2. Provide authentic activities and tasks. Teachers tell us that LEARNZ field trips are authentic - and they are! Being in the field making a video about a ranger baiting a predator trap, a dozer driver working at a landfill, or a researcher gathering and recording data are all authentic real-life experiences. Watch a video with an expert about The Alpine Fault at https://vimeo.com/178165461

    3. Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes. LEARNZ field trips gain access to a myriad of experts: scientists, opera singers, engineers, environmentalists, technologists, mathematicians and programmers. All of these people feature in videos where they demonstrate their abilities and communicate their art and craft. For example have a look videos with experts on the LEARNZ Technology Channel at https://vimeo.com/channels/technologyonlearnz/

    4. Provide multiple roles and perspectives. Each expert in the field gives his or her own perspective or the perspective of the organisation they work for, or the community organisation they belong to. This happens daily in live audioconferences and in videos. Meet a professional singer - https://vimeo.com/168505702

    5. Provide the opportunity to collaborate. Teachers tell us that LEARNZ field trips stimulate discussion and students often collaborate to create questions. When they join the three web conferences for each trip, they are part of a collaborative experience. Watch a recorded web conference about Kererū at http://connect.vln.school.nz/p8zmqow1qlj/

    6. Provide the opportunity to reflect. The LEARNZ field trip teachers are experienced facilitators who continually drive the Inquiry process through the background material, their diaries, the web conferences and videos so students can't help but reflect and also think forward. Watch how Andrew the LEARNZ Teacher finishes up this video with students at Normandale School - https://vimeo.com/180850697

    7. Promote articulation to encourage students to verbalize their knowledge and thinking. Students put their own questions orally to experts in live audioconferences. Often their questions are difficult for experts to answer, as it reflects the depth of their thinking based on what they have learned from the LEARNZ material they have accessed so far. A Year 6 student asks: "Does New Zealand have laws that protect the toxicity that producers can include in new products and packaging to protect the environment? What about imports?" Listen the recording of this web conference and hear how much the expert has to know to answer such questions - http://connect.vln.school.nz/p72icxcxv22/

    8. Tasks are seamlessly integrated with assessment. LEARNZ provides informal online interactive assessments as part of very field trip. Students can repeat them and teachers tell us that students will often persist with them until they get 100%. Teachers often say they are surprised at how much studnets know by the end of a field trip. Have a go yourself at this interactive activity now - it's fun! http://activities.learnz.org.nz/gb162/a02-identifying-common-birds-of-nz/quiz.html

    9. Create polished products. We believe each self-contained field trip web site is a polished product, with multiple ways of accessing material by text, by sound, by photos and diagrams, by activities, and by videos. We are particularly proud of the videos we shoot, edit and upload each day of a field trip. Here is one about the importance of lashing on a Waka and how it relates to hauora - https://vimeo.com/161671182

    10. Provide coaching and scaffolding at critical times. Teachers tell us that because a lot of heavy lifting is done for them, they are able to work more coaching individual students and helping them with their next step. The field trip web site material also has built-in scaffolding, such as for reading - more at http://www.learnz.org.nz/support/learnz-reading-resource

    More comments from teachers about LEARNZ at http://www.learnz.org.nz/field-trip/testimonials

    Interested? LEARNZ is free and part MOE-funded. Look over LEARNZ field trips at http://www.learnz.org.nz/fieldtrips then Register with LEARNZ at http://www.learnz.org.nz/register

    Regards to all
    Barrie from the LEARNZ Team

  • Barrie Matthews 12 Oct 2015 2:28pm () in Upgrading Teacher Laptops / Issues with TELA

    Hi Everyone.

    I have a MacBook Air with a Solid State Drive. In my opinion, SSDs are one of the best things to happen to laptops in recent years. I will never go back to a spinning Hard Drive as they are slower, noisier and less robust. Even though spinning HD's tend to be larger capacity, people are storing more data in the Cloud these days so there is less need for local storage. If you are due for a new laptop, I would hold out for one with SSD.

    My machine has 4GB RAM whereas you would probably need 8GB RAM with a spinning HD. Even though my machine is an i5 processor (rather than the faster i7), creating and rendering videos is not a problem although this may also be because it is running on a 64-bit OS. The rest of the LEARNZ team who make videos are using MacBook Pros which are faster still but more expensive. My 5 cents - hope it helps.

    Barrie from LEARNZ

  • Barrie Matthews 21 Sep 2015 3:52pm () in LEARNZ Kea Field Trip

    Thanks, Jackie, for sending us these examples of your students' class work about kea.

    2015-09-14 13.53.40.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.14.11.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.13.21.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.08.30.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.08.21.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.08.09.jpg

    2015-09-14 13.07.59.jpg

  • Barrie Matthews 30 Jul 2015 2:57pm () in LEARNZ audioconferences are now enhanced using Adobe Connect

    LEARNZ audioconferences are now enhanced using Adobe Connect. This enables students to more actively participate in the field trip by adding imagery, text and chat, allowing questions that arise spontaneously to be answered on the spot by experts.

    What hasn't changed?

    • 'Speaking schools' still ask their questions using a phone connection
    • The audio stream is now 'plugged into' Adobe Connect so everyone can hear.

    What's new?

    • Adobe Connect enables us to share the written questions, related photos and links
    • A summary of the answers is added in a text area in real time to support the oral answers
    • At the start a live web cam introduces the location, the experts, the LEARNZ Teacher and the ambassadors (class mascots) 
    • LEARNZ enhanced audioconferences are now divided into two consecutive parts: 
      1. First is a formal, structured part where booked classes put their prepared questions to experts who answer out loud
      2. Second is a less formal, less structured part where classes type spontaneous questions into the chat area which are answered out loud by the experts. 

    Teachers who register with LEARNZ and then enrol in a field trip are sent an invitation to join the LEARNZ Adobe Connect web conference sessions.

  • Barrie Matthews 20 Apr 2015 10:04am () in Big classes

    Hi Lee

    Our system does not allow for two main email addresses. Your co-teacher could register with LEARNZ, then create a class and enrol them in the field trip. For the class size, you could each enter half each. 

    Hope this helps

  • Barrie Matthews 20 Apr 2015 9:59am () in Big classes

    Hi Lee

    Seeing the class was already in there, I have manually changed its size to 47 so you will see that when you log into MyLEARNZ. Any new classes added will allow a class size greater than 35.



  • Barrie Matthews 14 Apr 2015 1:10pm () in Big classes

    Hi Lee and Hilary

    We have greatly increased the maximum class size that you can set up in MyLEARNZ so 47 is easily handled now.

    Hope this helps.

    LEARNZ Project Manager

  • Barrie Matthews 27 Mar 2015 2:50pm () in FORUM: e-Learning plans/goals for 2015 (February 26 - March 26) | An Enabling e-Learning event

    Hi Nicole

    When looking at technology to enhance learning, engagement and participation, I invite you to consider the videos from the latest LEARNZ virtual field trip, the fourth in a series about the creation of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in the lead-up to First World War commemorations on Anzac Day.

    Topic include: Park design, the two entrance pavilions, why particular native and exotic trees and plants were chosen, the new Australian war memorial, moving and preserving an historic creche, the Park blessing ceremony at dawn (and students reflections), a message from Maggie Barry (Minister of Culture and Heritage), the importance of the Tangata Whenua gardens, college students' artistic impressions of war, the re-opened Hall of Memories, the upcoming Great War Exhibition with Weta Workshops (and how they got a tank inside!), and a lesson in citizenship from the Principal and a former student at a local school.

    Hope you find this useful.



  • Barrie Matthews 27 Mar 2015 1:48pm () in Digital resources for ANZAC Day

    At the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park watch a video about the Tangata Whenua Gardens.