Monday, July 21

DigiStore Content

Is your school registered for digistore?
Are you interested in testing the latest learning objects and digital resources?

(You can contribute even if you have had little experience with digital content in classrooms.)
Teacher release provided.

Basically this opportunity involves providing feedback on learning objects for educational soundness, functionality, instructional design and the overall fit to the educational purpose for which they were designed.

To register your interest in joining a user focus group, please fill out the online registration form. Once you have submitted it, TLF will contact your school principal to obtain authorization to continue the registration process.
For more information or for help filling out the registration form, please contact the Focus Group Coordinator:

Sunday, July 20

Opportunity Knocks – Be Quick

Heurisko Ltd on behalf of Microsoft New Zealand is inviting schools and school clusters to submit Expressions of Interest for funding innovative school projects. The funding available per project is $20,000 or more dependent on the project.

Expressions of Interest are due on
Monday 18 August 2008.

Funding for Pilot Projects will be for the period October 2008 to end of June 2009.
Full details are available from:
The programme is being managed and administered by Heurisko Ltd and all enquiries should be directed to:

Wednesday, July 16

Amazing Lady

I remember some-one saying that the top skill for this century will be the ability to synthesise information - combine elements to form something new and useful.
Suzie Vesper seems to be spot on with this skill. Her work models great use of ICT tools and is always practical, concise and helpful. I love her latest medley of ideas for ICT integration.
Thanks Suzie!! Check out her full tapestry of work.

Am I Missing Something? - Interactive Whiteboards vs. Data Projectors

As far as 'bang for buck' goes I am an advocate of mounted data projectors in classrooms rather than interactive white-boards.

I am interested in your thoughts.
Are you considering them ? Have you got one?

What can you do with an IWB that can't be done with a data projector and/or a marker board?
How do your use your IWB to ensure your students are active participants and not simply consumers of information?

Some of the ideas on this site were useful in challenging my thinking but enough to justify the hundreds of extra dollars - I dunno?

Tuesday, July 8

The Best of…

This site is worth a trip to your favorites!

Larry Ferlazzo, blog author, compiles a series of “The Best of ……..” lists that highlight what he believes to be the best educational websites. There are over 100 lists and they are continually updated.
Some that I have found useful include:
The Best Websites to Help Beginning Readers
The Best Websites for Creating Online Learning Games
The Best of the Best 2007/2008
The Best Online Tools for Collaboration — NOT In Real Time
The Best Sites for Students to Easily Create & Display Online Projects

Allow some -time to check out the entire directory:

Wednesday, July 2

Fresh Lesson Ideas

I always enjoy skimming through the latest Interface Magazine - the team at Interface are doing an amazing job of supporting educators with the use of ICT!!
I usually note down some practical ideas from the back section on lesson plans. In the last edition I particularly liked the collaborative story writing/musical chairs plan by Marnie Thomas and the geometric shape challenge. I was delighted to find a link to a library of all these lesson plans on the Interface site. Thanks Interface! All NZ schools should be receiving one free copy if you aren't register online.

Looky Book

I read about this online library of picture books in the June edition of Interface. Not only can you search for picture books in Looky Book but you can also embed them into your blog, rate them and add them to your personal bookshelf. A great edition to any reading programme!

Tuesday, July 1

Show Me the Money

A friend flicked me this report ‘Review of Schools’ Operational Funding – ICT Resourcing Framework – Oct 2007’ and although a hefty read I found it really useful in providing me with some background re MOE thinking in terms of funding for ICT resources.

The report recognised that:
**ICT is an area putting pressure on schools in the management of their operations grant.
**A forward looking framework for the resourcing of ICT across the schooling sector should be developed

Key messages from the report re the way forward:
• A resourcing framework for ICT would provide the sector with more support and greater certainty.
(I took this to mean more information such as that related to standards for cabling, servers, switches etc)
• Additional resourcing should be made available and used to fund ICT network infrastructure development (At present this should come from a schools property grant.)
• Additional funding should be provided ‘in cash’ to meet ICT needs and to relieve some of the pressure on schools operational funding
• Flexibility and self-management are important features of the proposed resourcing framework. Schools are best placed to make resource allocation decisions about their ICT needs.

All sounds pretty good to me. Download the full report.