Friday, 27 February 2009

Crazy Talk in Schools

Year 8 have been investigating the facial animation software, Crazy Talk.

What ways do they think Crazy Talk could be used in an educational context?

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Wind of Change?

In a blog post last December, leading HK ICT Consultant Paul McMahon talked about the wind of change blowing through the Hong Kong education community, ironically after a visit to Kellett School!

Paul's position enables him to visit and run workshops in a variety of contexts and I was interested to read his upbeat take on progress within the region.

For those of us who remain impatient with regard to curriculum change and aspects of 21st Century Learning it can be easy to forget the changes that have occurred during the past couple of years. At the time I read the post it was rather cold in Hong Kong and I remember feeling that it wasn't so much a wind of change I felt, but a chilly draft! The chilly draft of change doesn't quite have the same ring about it.

Two months later and my sceptcism about his post may be beginning to waver somewhat.

During the past few weeks there have been a number of developments that indicate that the pace of change is beginning to pick up. Maybe Paul is right, and the draft I was feeling is much more:

As a result of sharing work at our Scratch seminar, some like minded teachers have got together and are planning a joint project. Initially this will be a case study of work carried out at Kellett, Chinese International School and Yew Chung International School, but there is a chance that this could be the start of something much bigger, hopefully in the way of student collaboration or mentoring.

Hong Kong will be thrust into the limelight of the technology in education world when it hosts the 21st Century Learning Conference in October this year. Around 500 educators will be attending this event to look at how learning and teaching might look and feel in the current technology rich environment we live in. I'm delighted to be helping out on one of the steering committees and I'm looking forward to a stimulating and challenging event.

Kellett has it's first class blog! It's really exciting that we are continuing to forge ahead using technology, giving real purpose and audience to our students. It will be fascinating to see how our P1 pupils use their blog and the interest it provokes in the community. Please visit and comment here.

We are currently looking at the ISTE Guidelines on the use of technology in our school with a view to implementing them as support for staff and students alike. To allow interested parties to contribute to the discussions a number of staff are collaborating on Google Docs to formulate ways in which Kellett can take advantage of these guidelines. Members of the Senior Leadership Team have also begun to use Google Docs in this way. This is a great development as it allows teachers to work in a more efficient way and helps to overcome the never ending problem of endless e-mails with amended documents attached. Well done to Year 7s for being the pioneers with Google Docs. They have set an example for staff to follow.

None of these developments or ideas were in place six months ago, but they may soon become part and parcel of what we do on a regular basis.

As I've said before, if you think things are fast now, just hang on as it's going to get faster.

Wind turbine image by Brentdanley

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

No posts!

Not much activity on here recently, so does that mean nothing's going on? Of course not, just that there's a few too many 'schooly' things going on! It comes with the job!

Lots to consider and discuss in the next few weeks, including our annual Digital Photography Competition, preparations for the HK 21st Century Learning Conference in October, interactive camp using Google Maps and some great new web sites to consider.

In the meantime, here's our Alphabet Challenge winner. Well done to Saffie! Her technique was not what I was expecting, but she is likely to be called into action for end of year reports next term! (Joke).