The Best Parent Workshop I’ve Ever Done

This little gem of an idea, came to the Digital Literacy Team at UWCSEA via Robyn Treyvaud, who had been visiting our school to work on the initiation of our generation safe project. Robyn’s idea – so obvious I don’t know why we hadn’t thought of it before – was to include students in the evening presentation to parents about social networking.

We created a sign up sheet for our workshop, and asked parents to outline the sort of things they were concerned about and/or what they wanted to focus on. Below is a Wordle of parent concerns.

My colleague Jeff Plaman asked which students in the class he was teaching would be interested in sharing how they use social networking with parents. He got at least 10 students who were keen to help out. I must stress that students were not pre-selected – we only asked for interested individuals, and we didn’t prep them as to what to say. Rather, we provided them with talking points to which they responded.

We scheduled a meeting at lunchtime where we shared a wordle of parent concerns, and they talked about their responses to the concerns, and explained to us the different ways they use social networking. It was fascinating just listening to them. At one point during the discussion, I thought, “We should be videoing this!” so turned on PhotoBooth (all that I had available at the time!) and listened.

Here are some short segments from that video which show the sort of things they were saying.

The following day, we had a huge turnout from parents. We sat one or two students at each table with parents, and did a brief presentation from the school’s perspective.

We encouraged parents to ask the students about their concerns and turned it over to the kids. It was amazing to see the positive body language of the parents, and see how engaged both groups were in listening and talking with the other.

We asked for some verbal parent feedback at the conclusion of the session, and received some very lovely comments from the parents. One parent said from his discussions with the student at his table, he learned he needs to trust his children more, and involve himself in what they’re doing. Others spoke very highly of the students involved, and said it was much easier to talk to someone else’s child about these sort of issues than have conversations with their own children. That said, they now felt more comfortable about initiating the discussions with their own children.

One of the most touching things I saw was one of our Grade 10 students giving the parents at her table her email address, with the words, “If you have any more questions, just send me an email.” How great are our students?!

Have you tried having students at your parent meetings? Do you have suggestions to share?

The Best Parent Workshop I’ve Ever Done

This little gem of an idea, came to the Digital Literacy Team at UWCSEA via Robyn Treyvaud, who had been visiting our school to work on the initiation of our generation safe project. Robyn’s idea – so obvious I don’t know why we hadn’t thought of it before – was to include students in the evening presentation to parents about social networking.

We created a sign up sheet for our workshop, and asked parents to outline the sort of things they were concerned about and/or what they wanted to focus on. Below is a Wordle of parent concerns.

My colleague Jeff Plaman asked which students in the class he was teaching would be interested in sharing how they use social networking with parents. He got at least 10 students who were keen to help out. I must stress that students were not pre-selected – we only asked for interested individuals, and we didn’t prep them as to what to say. Rather, we provided them with talking points to which they responded.

We scheduled a meeting at lunchtime where we shared a wordle of parent concerns, and they talked about their responses to the concerns, and explained to us the different ways they use social networking. It was fascinating just listening to them. At one point during the discussion, I thought, “We should be videoing this!” so turned on PhotoBooth (all that I had available at the time!) and listened.

Here are some short segments from that video which show the sort of things they were saying.

The following day, we had a huge turnout from parents. We sat one or two students at each table with parents, and did a brief presentation from the school’s perspective.

We encouraged parents to ask the students about their concerns and turned it over to the kids. It was amazing to see the positive body language of the parents, and see how engaged both groups were in listening and talking with the other.

We asked for some verbal parent feedback at the conclusion of the session, and received some very lovely comments from the parents. One parent said from his discussions with the student at his table, he learned he needs to trust his children more, and involve himself in what they’re doing. Others spoke very highly of the students involved, and said it was much easier to talk to someone else’s child about these sort of issues than have conversations with their own children. That said, they now felt more comfortable about initiating the discussions with their own children.

One of the most touching things I saw was one of our Grade 10 students giving the parents at her table her email address, with the words, “If you have any more questions, just send me an email.” How great are our students?!

Have you tried having students at your parent meetings? Do you have suggestions to share?

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

Technology in PYP Workshops? Absolutely!

iphone okWaaaay back in November I had the pleasure of joining the fabulous Paul Langtree to deliver a workshop on Collaborative Planning in the PYP at Seisen International School in Tokyo. I feel it was the best workshop I’ve done to date – the staff were fantastic, open-minded and enthusiastic, and Paul was so great to work with, I felt I had known him all my life!

I was determined to incorporate more technology in the planning and delivery of the workshop than the last PYP workshop I did. Since my conversion to the benefits of backchannel chats, I felt it would be a worthy endeavour!

Luckily for me, Paul was totally on board. Together we used Google Docs to share our resources  and create our workshop plan. We set up a very basic weebly for participants to use, which incorporated some of the videos we showed, and contained a wallwisher to replace the traditional burning questions chart. We set up several laptops for participants to use if they felt so inclined, but of course many of them brought their own. Phones were also welcome.

Highlights

  • Participants checking out the website of the author of an article we shared on their iPhones – they were totally on-task and used technology to further their understanding of the material covered, and learn more about the author.
  • The questions on the wallwisher were great – and many added them at home after the first session.
  • Participants accessing their planners using their laptops – this meant they could type straight onto their planners, avoiding the need for someone to type it up later.
  • It really felt as though the technology was invisible – it was just another tool for people to use if they wished, not a big deal that required a whole lot of explanation and preparation.

Next Steps

  • I’m not sure if the PYP workshop is the best forum for a backchannel chat (as engaging participants in face-to-face conversation is one of the main aims), but I haven’t ruled it out by any means. I have a workshop coming up in February, so it will give me an opportunity to explore some more options.

Photo Credit: Mastrobiggo

Technology in PYP Workshops? Absolutely!

iphone okWaaaay back in November I had the pleasure of joining the fabulous Paul Langtree to deliver a workshop on Collaborative Planning in the PYP at Seisen International School in Tokyo. I feel it was the best workshop I’ve done to date – the staff were fantastic, open-minded and enthusiastic, and Paul was so great to work with, I felt I had known him all my life!

I was determined to incorporate more technology in the planning and delivery of the workshop than the last PYP workshop I did. Since my conversion to the benefits of backchannel chats, I felt it would be a worthy endeavour!

Luckily for me, Paul was totally on board. Together we used Google Docs to share our resources  and create our workshop plan. We set up a very basic weebly for participants to use, which incorporated some of the videos we showed, and contained a wallwisher to replace the traditional burning questions chart. We set up several laptops for participants to use if they felt so inclined, but of course many of them brought their own. Phones were also welcome.

Highlights

  • Participants checking out the website of the author of an article we shared on their iPhones – they were totally on-task and used technology to further their understanding of the material covered, and learn more about the author.
  • The questions on the wallwisher were great – and many added them at home after the first session.
  • Participants accessing their planners using their laptops – this meant they could type straight onto their planners, avoiding the need for someone to type it up later.
  • It really felt as though the technology was invisible – it was just another tool for people to use if they wished, not a big deal that required a whole lot of explanation and preparation.

Next Steps

  • I’m not sure if the PYP workshop is the best forum for a backchannel chat (as engaging participants in face-to-face conversation is one of the main aims), but I haven’t ruled it out by any means. I have a workshop coming up in February, so it will give me an opportunity to explore some more options.

Photo Credit: Mastrobiggo