Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Longevity of The Essay

This very short video of Professor Welby Ings from the AUT University was shared with me by my family members. It is entitled, "In 15 years: Death of the essay?"
He is talking about the death of the essay as we traditionally know it, and a sound bite relating to the discussion above caught my attention:
 "Sometimes moving academic conventions is like trying to move a cemetery".

In the teaching and learning space his comment that, "Schools will have to move beyond limited ideas of reading and writing as literacy" will resonate with most of our teachers who are fully immersed in digital environments.

The 3rd-party Add-ons for Google Docs will play into this significantly. We already were seeing the affordances that the simple Research Tool was creating for writers. Direct integration of this range of apps and media into any given document has now exploded the range of possibilities for those of us engaging in every kind of writing. 

It will be interesting (and probably frustrating) to see if the Universities are able to make any moves towards acknowledging this.

With our MDTA programme well underway and the academic workload mounting for the 30+ Manaiakalani Teachers who are either working towards an Honours or a Masters degree, some interesting conversations are emerging.  

Of interest at the moment is, "What constitutes academic literature?" when writing a Lit Review. This is particularly significant to the many of our teachers who are exploring highly innovative research areas and much of the 'literature' is in videos, podcasts, blogs and other online material.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

So what ARE we doing?

The Manaiakalani Programme has entered it's seventh year and for those of us who have been there from the beginning it is amazing to see what has come from those initial dreams.    We have been surprised by and grateful for the interest that people outside of our cluster have shown in our programme and our learners.  In recent times the media have also picked up on the name Manaiakalani and we have sometimes been disappointed by the 'easy soundbites' that have been inaccurately used to described the Manaiakalani Education Programme. 

So we made this slide to include in some of our presentations to be very clear about what we are NOT!

For the second year in a row the research report from the Woolf Fisher Team (University of Auckland) has noted in detail that one of the strengths of the Manaiakalani programme is the coherence seen around the goals and aims.

Check out here what we are about!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Innovative Teachers

I have the privilege of working in a community which encourages innovation amongst our teaching colleagues. Every year a fellowship opportunity is funded for Manaiakalani teachers to apply for. The Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers receive 12 days of paid leave throughout the year to focus on a teaching as inquiry project they have developed in their own classes.  They come together once a term for a professional learning group and to have their inquiries challenged by their peers.  The MIT teachers this year range from teaching 5 year olds to 18 year olds.

These teachers all follow the same "Learn Create Share" framework that our young learners use.  So you can follow their progress as they share publicly online.

I recommend checking out the 2013 cohort at this link.  They have shared their inquiries publicly and at the end of the year each made a very short video reflecting on the outcomes of their inquiries.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

6 Years of Film Festivals

November 13th, six years down the track, our Manaiakalani Film Festival expanded to two theatres over the 12 hours. 3000 children visited during the day and our extravaganza at night was packed with parents and supporters.  It was fabulous to have a Manaiakalani alumni, Peni Peleti, as our MC in the evening.

This year Sommerville Special School and Stonefields School attended and showcased movies.

Be sure to visit our webpage and check out some of the movies from the schools.

Manaiakalani Film Festival 2013 from SchoolTV on Vimeo.
Thanks to Andrea Tele'a for this video

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Google Video

In June this year we had the amazing experience of having a team from Google led by Robin Morgan come to Pt England School to make a video about our community of learners.

Today we heard the news that it was ready to air and we are so pleased to see our young people and their whanau being showcased on YouTube.

The professionalism of the team made this experience special for our community. We all learnt heaps from watching how Anna Brent, Jeremie Battaglia, Karen Mackenzie and Zara Balfour worked together to create the film. Even the weather in the gloomiest part of the year gave us a break for the filming outside.