Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tame Iti made us run it from everywhere !

Now that I'm a week back from sabbatical the "dare to be different" model has saved my sanity. The problem is when you try something different we sometimes are forced to stick to it and sometimes we are loath to back down, and go back to what works. The change to something else needs to be tempered with what works, so analysis and gut feeling needs to take place. I have a theory I like to call the "Tame Iti syndrome".  I think that with the likes of radicals we need them to impose their outlandish ideas so that those in the middle look at the idea and think that's ludicrous but perhaps "this or that" would be ok. Those "this or thats" may well be right of center therefore Mr Iti gets a little bit of shift.
What I'm getting at is, that my week of doing the opposite has saved my sanity, kept me fresh but some of the work and ideas and things I did were fairly unproductive. 
I need to find out what I did different that was successful and build on that.
I'm likening this now to the All Blacks who in one week need to turn things around.
The All Blacks are going to be wrestling with an adventurous tactic, that failed,  will they back down ? Will they go to a "what we know" style ? Sometimes belief in what you do, needs to be paramount and belief in your team and their belief in you will get you through. 
In reality a team takes years to cultivate and this team of All Blacks is like any staff, Leadership, Tactics and Belief can get you a long way.

Monday, July 21, 2008

elearning-a serious moment ?

I was asked to write a blurb about our school and where we are at in ICT in the classroom, some information about our elearning vision and any links to what is happening. I wrote this for a group of Principals so excuse the simple sentences.

Summerland Primary School
Our elearning vision is an interesting one in that we dont specifically have a written one. Our school vision encompasses all that we do and it reflects where we want to be digitally. It is not accidental that we have only one vision but reflects how the delivery of elearning should be (integrated). A stand alone elearning vision is fine, but importantly the delivery of elearning needs to take place. Several years ago after the whole staff attended the Navcon conference in Chch I realised that it is easy to have words and talk and a fancy vision statement but “vision to action” is everything.
Our approach is full on emersion, try everything, encourage success, pile in PD from all angles, work hard and make it fun, build teams and teamwork, celebrate success and encourage life long learning. Web is massive in where the education sector is heading and we have taken many steps to make school an integrated, kid friendly, web environment that builds achievement and engagement. We are very aware of the impact of Web 2.0 in the classroom and are moving in many ways to see which parts of the web have a place for children. For every web 2.0 collaborative tool that works, there are 50 rubbish ones out there so it is a bit of steady as we go. We often see the web through different eyes as children. One thing that is important is to remember that our children are aged 5 to 11 and that the web for them is a totally different atmosphere. Adults have bookmarks, favourites, blogs, even delicious but kids have gaming sites, disney, hannah montana, rap music, wrestling, skateboarding and for me they donʼt have a “home”. We have our special places and so do they but are they doing the whole collaborative learning thing. We have worked hard at using out school site as a place for kids to go. They flock there by the thousands too, looking at each others work, leaving comments and talking to one another. By including them in the site through pictures, movies and podcasts and by kids creating the pages and content, we have captured the kids.
A few examples of whats happening.
blogs for the classroom
delicious in the classroom
visitors to our site
trash to fashion
school camp
singing video with high school
life size collages
competitions for kids
fiddling with flickr
There is heaps more on the school site with over 400 pages of stuff but the key is
collaboration and engagement, we are getting there.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

TV3 and Radio Live vs TVNZ and Radio Network

Well this is a big shit fight, Veitch has lashed out at his ex missus and the press went ape shit. I get the feeling though that the dirt was dug up by 3/Live and the two big entities have had a good old battle. Looks like TV3 and Live won the battle but it seems that the public aren't too impressed with any of them.

Veitch and the Ex, well who knows what actually happened and who cares, not me.

My question is whether he should loose his job, I know he resigned but why? 
I know teachers who have beaten up their wives, who smoke dope regularly, and who have been known to throw the odd punch. They walk into the classroom on a Monday un-judged and teach your children. These teachers area an exception but they are out there. If one of my staff was arrested or DIC or did drugs in their own time and didn't bring it to work, what grounds do I have to sack them and should they go?
In fact these guys are in every workplace, where does an employers job start and finish ? 
I'm not their bloody parents.

If punters weren't going to listen or watch Veitch on TV or radio he is no good to employ. If I had a staff member who got drunk had a fight and it was in the news, then parents would apply pressure to get their kids out of the class, it could be a nightmare as an employer. The question is, Is it news ?

Then the real questions emerge?
How bad is our press?
How impartial are they?
Is this the American Networks taking sides?
How fair will the Election Coverage Be ?

This is NZ's future it's important
It is too late though to trust the press and believe that news is news. John Campbell started the rot. His sickofantic condescending shit is a waste of 30 minutes most nights. Close up is no better, neither TV3 or TVNZ can be trusted. I know that the election coverage and the build up to this next election can be won and lost by the way it is reported, I don't know which way the channels are leaning but you can guarantee they will slay the fodder and slant their coverage for their own political gain. Impartiality in news in NZ is well dead.

Imagine being a different thinker in the political spectrum, or a small Political Party they are like shit in the tread of your shoes. Speaking of shoes, walk a mile in a maori party shoes, they get the boot by all New Zealand. 

I'm not feeling sorry for politicians I am pissed that Joe Blogs is being persuaded and dissuaded by crooked overpaid bastards who cant be trusted, ask Tony V.

Dare to be Different join George Costanza

School might be back but my mind still appears to be elsewhere, after getting a decent handicap for golf and pulling some great snapper I am really not looking forward to school. For years I have told the story of how someone has put wages in my bank, and I'm doing stuff that I love and I don't consider it work. I know that I will be in the groove quickly and I will be sweet in a few days, but I don't want to do the same stuff, that has always bored me. I have decided the best thing is to do a George Louis Costanza, when life was kicking him in the guts he decided to do the opposite in every action and decision that he would normally make. It made for a great episode and George got a job with the Yankees and his life turned to success.

George : It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat... It's all been wrong.
George : Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you were looking in my direction.
Victoria : Oh, that's because you ordered the same lunch as me.
George : My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents.
Victoria : (with a huge smile) My name is Victoria, hi!

Day One: Wear a suit and tie. 
Week One: Im thinking of making some sort of random film.
- other random thoughts -
eat sushi, no tea/coffee/hot drinks at work for a week, no lunchtimes in the staffroom
I'm gonna post some footage of week one for you.

This is how we hula dance around the leaky buildings

Shifting the deckchairs on the Titanic might result in you moving to the chairs situated next to the lifeboats. If you want to sit still and stale then more of the same is what you will get. Join me and George, drag a colleague, get off your arse, dare to be different.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Web Thr3

So web 3 is just around the corner, will this be the seize back of web from the corporate connectivity we are spiraling into with web 2.0. In our schools if you are using web 2 in the classroom you are hailed the new messiah. What about the interactive whitebaords, they are bringing web 2 to the touch and feel of kids, brilliant (not). So what will web Thr3 bring.

How about who gives a shit. In just four days in Whangaruru I have discovered that Wal is having his 60th at Ngaiotonga Marae, Ray Ray and Linda are cutting the flax and painting Warrens batch. Tutu the local jack russell died, he was one of the family at Bland Bay. The rain nearly washed away Aunty Bunny's converted milking shed where she lives.
Caribou Creek (farm) opened a local farmers market and three locals take their produce there every second Saturday. Petrol is busting through the roof, and its a 120km round trip to the supermarket, the only comment about petrol out here is that they are lucky to be away from the big smoke and the need to get in a car. The harbour is fishing well, Gary got 40 Parore, 20 Mullett a Gurnard and a stray Shark in is net the other day. Its been battered Lemon fish all round.
On the eve of the worldwide release of iphone 3g and the enormity of the blogosphere, you tube and the like, it seems to me that the slow moving world isn't a bad alternative. Local people bringing their produce together, perhaps even bartering fish for fruit. 

How will web thr3 grow the village?
Can we supply the market, cut the flax, catch the fish and contribute to web thr3?
Are we on a journey and not finding time to realise life's not a journey?

See you at Wal's.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tail still wagging the dog

So Sparc are the latest govt department who are basically inventing crap ideas then implementing them, to keep themselves in a job. On the way they pay over 100,000 to 25% of their employees. Brilliant stuff. The classic for me is that several years ago Susan Devoy toured the country looking for the reasons why we didn't win enough medals at an Olympic Games. Now we find out that her important findings have resulted in Sparc funding, and another bureaucratic nightmare.

Easy to criticise but i've had a fairly simple idea for a number of years.
How about Sports Coordinators in schools. I was a SC for eight years in a secondary school and had over 70 teams with many coaches in lots of different sports. For the job I did I felt it was a bit of a waste to have a teacher do this job. There are thousands of young kiwis who love sport and seek careers in this area. Every Secondary School has a sports coordinator now, yet Primary Schools just dont have them. Give me a guy for one day a week  and I will share him with four other schools. He can take kids all day and after school too. He can identify talent, introduce kids and parents to relevant clubs, he has TIME and a skill set.

2000 primary schools. 1 day a week 400 groups of 5 schools. 400 sports coorinators 40,000 each p/a. 16 million. Chuck in 400 cars at 8k each p/a. and 2 mill to administer and all of a sudden you have spent 20 mill. Just 2 million more than Sparc spend on a shithouse website.

An easier way is to divide 20 mill through the 2000 Primary Schools and let them employ sports coaches and coordinators and give some guidelines and let them loose.

Find a good teaching resource on Sparcs teachers section of their website and you get a free lollipop.
Find greedy pricks trying to justify theft in this article and you are on the mark.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Downward Spiral to Mud Pool

Seems the Reds are out and the Blues are in and yet they still seem to make crazy decisions. Damage control has been a feature of Aunty Helens reign but now the slippery slide is heading towards a smelly mud pool. Carter has brought in a brilliant "new idea". Try a little thinking behind this before jumping into another good idea. Compliance, teacher workload, oh and don't forget the $$$$ that this might cost. I see that the Govt is going to make this into a "web" resource,  I guarantee this will have some cool worksheets. The Govt will continue to grow their infrastructure while schools deal on the ground with bullying, and put ERO on our case to ensure there brilliant idea works. Absolutely nothing will change in my school and we will show ERO how we deal with bullying and we will get on with the job of teaching and learning. 95 % of schools will carry on regardless and the MOE will make a $250,000 dollar resource that will sit like christmas cake in the tin at the back of the pantry. 

Wake up and smell the roses this is a shit idea and follows fast on the back of another brilliant waste of taxpayer money

The argument is answered here and the embarrassment will only end at the election. Trying to fix a problem that we deal with daily with a "national solution" is pathetic and it comes on the back of Govt who are throwing money at every hair brained idea to buy votes and answer solutions they haven't addressed in the last nine years. The plasters are out but the dam is well and truly cracked.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Jimmy Coward

So Quentin Cowan (Jimmy from Gore) is on the piss and he cant handle it. Does this mean its a slow news week. If he was a decent player i wouldnt mind so much but reality is he will never ever set the world on fire, we are waiting for a few half backs to develop and  it seems fat boy from wellington is off to league so why go there. Its a drinking problem eh..... well that puts Quentin up with 100 previous All Blacks who have had the same problems. Keep him there until Moa grows up and or until Leonard gets fit. the rest of the 9's around are rubbish. But doesnt matter how well he behaves from now on, he is toast, a shit player with days that are numbered, News? NO.