Friday, 25 October 2013

Data collection "on the go" using Google Drive on iPad

For Kindergarten orientation at Holy Family, East Granville, my colleague Ben Munday designed a spreadsheet that enabled us to collect data on our new cohort before they started “big” school. 

The data was added to ONE spreadsheet by teachers all at the same time using the Google Drive app on iPad.


Together with Natalie Bratby our Infant’s Coordinator, they wanted to identify students who may need extra help before starting school. This data will be used to design a series of lessons for students who need an extra hand to get ready. They have called this “Jump Up” - a customised and strategic school readiness program.

Collecting data is seamless using google drive and iPad.

The spreadsheet is enabling us to collect valuable student data at the orientation such as; letter and number recognition, vocabulary, sentence structure and much more. Collaborating with Kindergarten teachers Rebecca Sargent, Theresa Bainey and literacy leader Kim Doherty, we engaged with students at learning stations, inputting data “on the go”.



We had a meeting afterwards which enabled us to add more anecdotal information directly onto the spreadsheet.

Google tools has enabled us to collect data easily. We can also experiment and innovate with our iPads, thanks to the leadership of Principal Sue Guilfoyle, who implemented a staff iPad program in 2012. She has also empowered teachers and led our ipad initiatives across K-6.


Staff are enjoying the flexibility of their own cloud accounts, thanks to this initiative of the Catholic Education Office in collaboration with Google. Classm8 has been embraced by our team. I was very impressed by the great work and planning of my Holy Family colleagues in the Kindergarten orientation session.

Cloud mind mapping brings inquiry learning to life.

I’ve been encouraging my students to use mind mapping to expand big ideas and ask deep questions. In Grade 3, my colleagues Diane Chammas, Amanda El-Howzi and I collaborated and explored this during the Parklands topic.

Students used mind maps three times during the process.
1. Big Ideas generation.
2. Expanding and asking individual inquiry questions.
3. I created a cloud based narrative scaffold mind map. Groups used this to develop their scripts collaboratively.

Cloud mind mapping on the ipad is one approach, with students working together at the same time or remotely. I also like to use lo-tech mind mapping on paper, whiteboards, glass and chalkboards as well. If we decide to mind map lo-tech I still like to take a photo and share! See the learning pathway in this video.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Making “getting ready for school” a simple process.
My colleague Ben Munday, (a learning support and ESL Leader) and I worked together on creating a simple school readiness poster. This visual was to support the needs of our parent community. We converted it from a “text heavy” document. The information was adapted from The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health Feel free to share or adapt this resource to support our children “getting ready for school”.

Lo-tech tools still have a place in schools.
In Melbourne recently I visited a fanzine shop near Flinders Street Station. It was an artist’s co-operative that invited visitors to create their own fanzines or comics. They provided free resources to anyone and you could also purchase many varied “hand made” mini works of art. When you produced them, you could sell them through the shop and receive a small royalty. There were typewriters, stamps, different types of papers, crayons etc. These lo-tech tools have a place in schools and I would love to create a lo-tech station like this for my classes. Hand made products can always be scanned and digitised and shared with the world.

A real world application of this “new” lo-tech was the initiative of a State Security Service attached to the Kremlin. They have reverted back to creating their top secret documents on old typewriters to avoid cyberleaks!

iTeach - no app for that.
I love this birthday present from my family! It is so good. Thanks guys!