Friday, 18 May 2018

DFI - Keeping our learners and families empowered!

At todays workshop Dorothy talked about another one of our four Manaiakalani kaupapa words: 'Empowered'. We use the word 'empowered’ now instead of the word ‘agency’ because our community tends to associate the word 'agency' with negative experiences.

As educators we tend to take this word 'empowered' for granted. We have access to information at our fingertips. We have a variety of choices and have the resources available to us to select if needed. However many families in our decile one community do not.

Empowerment is about choice and about having the ability to choose. Unfortunately far too many of our families are disempowered because they have little choice over what they can do in many areas of their lives.

The fact that we can now help our learners to become more empowered is huge. Our students now have much greater choice over how they access and share information to improve their learning. Each child who has access to a device and is connected online, can have access to unlimited information and resources like never before. The visible nature of our class sites and blogs ensures that families know what their children are learning about too. Hopefully this shift in enabling our communities to become more 'empowered' will result in more positive outcomes for the families in our communities.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

DFI - Google Hangouts

Last week on Friday during our DFI workshop we practiced learning how to use Google Hangouts. I have used Google Hangouts before with my class but I don't use it often enough. One of our tasks for our homework this week was to book in a Google Hangout with either Dorothy, Gerhard or Fiona and take a quicktime screen recording of it. I managed to complete a hangout with Dorothy, but I filmed it using a video camera as I know that I need to fix my sound. Here is my hangout with Dorothy that has been edited to shorten it a bit.

I even had a quick hangout with my friend Fleur from the DFI workshops the following day. Unfortunately the sound didn't record so I really need to get that sorted asap.

Friday, 11 May 2018

DFI Workshop 7 - Managing Workflow

During our Deep Dive section we looked at a Google extension called: OneTab. It collects all open tabs and puts them into a list with a timestamp. Useful for when you have too many tabs open.

We also looked at managing our Email workflow.
If you go into your settings then you can click on the tabs to see where you can make changes to improve your workflow. 

In Calendar we looked at how we could use shortcut keys to access the different views (e.g. week or month) quicker. We also used Calendar to create events as reminders to ourselves or as invitations to events with others e.g. meetings. There were lots of useful tips and tricks that will help me manage my workflow.

Manaiakalani Cluster tweets

Manaiakalani Cluster tweet - every time a child posts something on their blog from our cluster of schools it appears on our Manaiakalani twitter feed. There are almost 200k tweets! Amazing!

Our schools twitter feed appears on our school website. It only shows work which has been posted by our students so it's great for our parents and community.

DFI Workshop 7 - Being Connected

Today's main focus was about improving and managing our workflow. We also looked closely at one our Manaiakalani kaupapa/sayings which is about being 'connected'.

Harnessing the power of the internet to make us more connected is powerful, but face to face contact is also important so that the digital connection is powerful.

Our Manaiakalani cluster of schools is well connected, but now that there are outreach clusters, the learn, create, share pedagogy has spread out even further across the country.

Having a shared language is important. Our Manaiakalani pedagogy is learn, create, share. Our kaupapa is the four elements: connected, ubiquitous, empowered, and visible. Each one of these elements cannot work well without the other.

Friday, 4 May 2018

DFI Workshop 6 - Visibility and Evaluating Sites

Earlier this morning Dorothy presented the idea of making teaching and learning visible.

Why is this important? Here are some key reasons why:

1. Children who have access to their learning via an effective class site are more likely to achieve better results. Children need to know what they are meant to be learning and why.

2. Sharing of teacher inquiry online helps other teachers to improve their overall teaching practice. Therefore the quality of the teaching profession overall is boosted because of the sharing of quality ideas, resources, exemplars and learning.

3. Barriers are removed so that families/whanau can access/view children's learning.

In 2013 famous rapper and musician WILL.I.AM visited our Manaiakalani community of learning because of our visibility and high profile online. He donated $100k to support learning in our Manaiakalani schools.

Goal 1: To make my site more visible. I went incognito online to double check that all my documents etc were visible as some were not.

Goal 2: To make my site more multi-modal: I am planning to include more images and movies etc with less text to make my site more appealing for my audience.

During our 'Deep Dive' session we looked at many different add on programmes that can support our teaching and learning. I think that I will explore 'Sandbox' a little more to see how it can support movie making at our school.


The next thing we looked at was evaluating sites for leading learning. We looked at each others sites and used a google form to evaluate each site. It was quite nerve wracking to be assessed by my peers but surprisingly I received quite a few positive comments. It was interesting to see what others have done with their sites. The main thing is that we need to make it appealing, visible, and easy to access.

I spent a little bit of time working on improving my class site.

Friday, 20 April 2018

NZEI National Pasifika Fono 2018 - Day 2

Here are my notes for day 2 of the workshop

Fa’anana Efeso Collins (Auckland Councillor) was the MC for day 2. 

Keynote Speaker: Gilbert Enoka - Smoothing the Waters

'He is internationally renowned for his 18-year history with the All Blacks, first as their mental skills coach and now as All Blacks Manager - Leadership. He has been with the All Blacks for over 200 tests and during that time the team has won back-to-back Rugby World Cups, one Laureus Award (for the best team in the world), 14 Bledisloe Cups, three Grand Slams, seven Tri Nations and five Rugby Championships.' (Taken from NZEI Pasifika Fono site)

'Great to Great' - A Personal Story
  1. What one word or phrase would you use to describe where you and your role in your work currently stands - today?
  2. What does next level of performance look like for you and your role in your work?
2011 & 2015 - All Blacks back to back world champs
Strong lessons for those who are chasing great and pursuing greatness:

  1. Set the challenge high! Vision needs to mobilise the heart and spirit. Aim: to be the most dominant team in the history of world rugby. Set vision high, pull current reality up to meet the vision. 
  2. Get the right Mindset. Above the line (open, curious, committed to learning) and below the line (defensive, closed, committed to being right). Below the line - different belief, negative. Above the line - listen deeply, creative, innovative, location - where am I? most people go below the line
  3. Having a clear mind. 
  4. Be deliberate with your energisers. All Blacks played overseas (France) - had to energise staff and players. Did pig racing (not real pigs), whoever wins gets paid money. Releases brain chemicals, releases stress. All Black groups had a task to take a group photo in front of iconic things. Energisers allow to release stress and grow. 
  5. Coming together as One Force - a surging mass of Black. Black Jersey defines us. AIG (had to have this company coz a few All Blacks associated with it , Silver Fern connects everyone to this country. Uniting energy to understanding. Video of Tana Umaga leading the haka. Coming together as One Force - a surging mass of Black. ‘Vision, Belonging, Environment, Values’ - If split on a triangle, 
  1. Sense of Belonging is at the bottom of the triangle. Need to feel that you belong. Use peoples names. Sense of belonging is huge. 
  2. Environment is second. Reinforces persons sense of belonging. Environment is shaped in a way that connects what people have to do. 
  3. Values.
  4. Vision. 
Person who has a strong sense of belonging is more likely to adhere to values and vision of a company, school, job etc. 

6. Fear is okay. Can’t have courage without fear. You have permission to get the jitters, the butterflies, the fear. Feel it…move through it…just don’t get stuck…..keep moving! Willie Apiata - ‘Fear kept me alive’. Richie McCaw was a great leader. 

Gilbert Enoka - Jan 2016 - NZ order of merit award. Grew up in a children's home. 
Greatness will always be up to the choices we make and the opportunities we take. 

Journey with Joshua Iosefo - Workshop 1

Ice breaker - important to know the world the kids are from
23 yrs old
Samoan/Niuean AUT graduate

Joshua is well known for his spoken word poem 'Brown Brother' that he wrote when he was only 17. He also spent some time working at our school in the Intermediate block with students back in 2013.

Purposeful Currents:

The Chosen Current
* Joshua pulled out of a high decile school to attend a decile one school. Noticed that there were obvious differences e.g. many kids had not lunch. Finally believed he was smart. Developed more empathy towards his peers. Current changed for him as he became the top of the class student.
* Inquiry learning. Kids were protesting about an issue and realised that they were agents of change.
* Noticed that older kids tended to drop out of school by Year 11.
* 'Listen to the whispers in your life' - Oprah

Unwanted Currents
* 'Can you not' currents
* He struggled to make friends in high school
* Felt disconnected to his peers
* Important to build resilience in students

Conflicting Currents
* 'Crap, I didn't think about that' current
* When entering Tertiary study, students feel most vulnerable and most anxious
* Some subjects chosen at college are not suitable for Tertiary study in some areas
* Pressure on students to juggle study, sport, family, commitments, jobs etc

Currents - What’s your current situation?

I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop. Joshua is an engaging and energetic speaker. He did really well to remind us how we need to recognise and understand that our students live in a different world to when we were students. We were asked to reflect on our current teaching situation and think about where our 'waka' is in this current situation. 

Keynote Speaker 2: Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
“Pushing the Boundaries”

Epeli Hau’ofa - ‘Our Sea of Islands’ 1991

“We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands, but by the greatness of our oceans”

Sia Figiel - ‘Where we once belonged’ and ‘Freelove’

‘Caught between Cultures’ - Jemaima Tiatia
Received some support and backlash. Discussed issues e.g. church, financial commitments etc

Racism: As a 17yr old, experienced some racism. was not considered academic material. pushed her to prove them wrong. 
Need to be open to diversity. Allow youths to follow their own path. 

Dealt with youth suicide and Tongan youth. Worried about working with Tongan communities. 
Approaches to suicide are different for different cultures.

Suicide - 20 years experience
  • Connection. disconnection is where we lose our youth, ethnic identity, racism, social support, 
  • Mental health literacy - schools, need to get better at identifying signs of depression, withdrawal etc
  • Not just a health focus but a sociocultural approach
  • Access, cultural competency
  • Gay community + messaging - need to get safe messages out there
  • Showing vulnerability, ok to show weakness, ok to grieve
  • Pacific resilience isn't built - how do we frame this resilience? what is it? kids who are leaders, responsible etc…that's resilience
  • Pacific frameworks - normalising/be the mainstream
Way finding through her work. Uses model of the waka and the roles of people in the waka
  1. front of the waka, Stroke, the researcher
  2. Caller - research teams, advisors, university
  3. 4&5 - Engine Room - family, values, spirituality
  4. (6) Steerer - Youth, communities - they get a complete view of whats in front of them. Youth are the ones who should have the solutions for suicide
Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction - on the panel, 6 on the panel. 

'Diary of a Mad Brown Woman' - Vasa Fia Collins
Workshop 4

Lack of diversity in workplace
Still a long way to go for our PI students
Lack of PI leaders in schools

Cognitive Heuristics

Can't just have a gender mix, need diversity mix too
Increased Creativity and innovation needs diversity and diversity of thought
Everyone has cultural capital. How do we ensure that peoples talents are utilised
Important to have leadership buy in
Diversity is powerful
 - images, visual mihi, stories about our life, cool ice breaker, 

Cognitive heuristics is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgements quickly and effectively. Not always fair or accurate - biased

People are bad at recognising their own biases.

Cognitive Heuristics and Leadership
5% of decisions are made consciously and the rest is made unconsciously
Blind Auditions: US Orchestras. Likelihood of selecting a female improved by 500% previously made up of white males
Lots of bias in names too. 
iceberg model - conscious mind = tip of iceberg (choice), rest below = unconscious bias (beliefs, emotions, habits, values etc)

Critter State (basic needs, are we alive or dead?) vs Smart State (thinking outside of the box)

Brains feel under threat by Difference
harder for different/diverse people to share ideas in a group coz ideas are not always accepted. 

By age of 5 kids have already developed stereotypes. Doing something ‘like a girl’ is sometimes viewed as an insult.

Cognitive heuristics - empathetic response was higher for people who viewed faces of same race compared to faces of other races.

Invest in relationships with people who are different to us.

Overall Reflection: 
I think that the selection of speakers and workshops at the Fono was fantastic and I only wish that I was able to attend all the workshops. The two MCs Karl Vasau and Efeso Collins were awesome, full of island humour and kept the Fono running smoothly. I valued the fact that I was there with a couple of work colleagues (Andrea and Sally) so that we could bounce ideas of each other. The lunches provided by Waipuna Hotel were delicious. 

I can't wait to attend the next Fono. My only suggestion would be to provide some workshops based around the use of digital technology and possible career paths for our Pasifika students in either the Tech Industry or in STEM based industries. 

Actually I would also love for there to be a Pasifika Fono for Intermediate and/or College age students (Year 7 to Year 10) where they can be surrounded by other like minded peers and Pasifika role models in a wide range of industries: Sports, Media, Arts, Tech, Science/Medicine etc. Teachers can only do so much to encourage all of our students to succeed, but our students need to believe in themselves too, and have access to the support systems to help them to succeed.