Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Google Block Party

The highlight of Monday June 28 at ISTE had to be the Google Block Party.  The invitation had gone out during the day to sign up for the party and they appropriated an outdoor area by the Performing Arts Centre. It had all the Google hallmarks:  primary colours, great food and drink, and light-hearted fun.  The party came complete with jugglers, magician, a kitchen sink band, party games with lots of Google prizes and loot bags to take your prizes and lollies home in.
On arrival we all queued to have our photos taken for hologram luggage labels.  The principal who accompanied me got talking to Fun Productions about the possibility of getting them made at school to give every five year old one as a fun way to commemorate their first day at school.
All in all a great way to wrap up the first official day of the ISTE conference.

One of the many Google takeouts during the day was a tip shown to me by Cindy Lane. Google have recently released templates for Building Better Balloons in your Google Earth Tours.  These will be fun to use for Google Earth Lit Trips.  The layouts of the information balloons are already done for you if you use one of these templates.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Soccernomics and education

This book cover caught my eye as I was trawling the airport bookstores.  Made me reflect on rushing to print with prophecies and wish I was wearing that All White's T-Shirt  from Mr Vintage!  Australia -  king of the world's most popular sport?  History has told.
It's been a great couple of weeks of sport in New Zealand with successes in a number of codes. We can tell from the kids' blog posts that they have been captured by it, with many of them having all nighters watching sport on TV. You do have to wonder what the excitement over a series of draws tells us about the relative importance of soccer in our nation though.  The media and general public often give the All Blacks huge flak when they have had a win!  We expect them to win in style.  But our expectations for the All Whites are such that people are phoning in to talkback stations demanding a ticker-tape parade for some draws.
I know I am not the only one to draw comparisons between our expectations in sport and education.  We like to think in our Manaiakalani schools (all decile 1a) that we are not satisfied with a draw - which to us is getting our students to the national norms.  We want the wins! That's going to keep us busy a while longer.