Thursday, 27 December 2012

challenge learning

I am a digital technologies teacher and always trying to figure out how to get my students out of the classroom. Over the years I have meet a lot of people in the industry, and yet they like the outdoors, not for the scenery but for the challenge. Whether it be mountain biking, or rock climbing. Which starts off todays post. I have been talking over the last couple of days with family and what there kids are getting up to. One is interested in computers, and yet spends a lot of time playing computer games on the xbox, why, problem solving, he also went on holidays and enjoyed the challenge of puzzle world in wanaka and the clip n climb. Why, because of the challenge. I have thought about this for a while, and it would be an interesting experience for my students to experience this type of problem and challenge based learning. So now I am on the lookout for a clip n climb in my city.
What year level, my year 13 students :)

What can students learning from rock climbing about programming

EOTC - online PD Modules

New online modules can help educators to further their professional learning development for EOTC.

Special online self-paced learning modules (SPLM) have been developed to help people further their professional learning development (PLD) for Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC).

The modules can be completed at the time and pace that suits each individual, free of charge.
Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ), in partnership with the Ministry of Education, has created 10 learning modules to develop and support the understanding and implementation of the EOTC Guidelines: Bringing the Curriculum Alive (Ministry of Education, 2009).

The modules are designed to lead participants through the EOTC Guidelines, providing examples and opportunities for self-review and planning.

They are suitable for all teachers and leaders of EOTC, sport and EOTC coordinators, school leaders, providers, and Board of Trustee members.

Creating authentic learning experiences
The EOTC Guidelines: Bringing the Curriculum Alive is a foundation document, acknowledged as accepted best practice for schools and other educational organisations.

The EOTC Guidelines clarify schools’ legal responsibilities and provide guidance on the delivery of EOTC to meet safety and learning outcomes.
EOTC provides learners with authentic learning experiences, which bring learning alive. EOTC can enrich teaching and learning across the curriculum.
Learning beyond the classroom can develop a learner's sense of identity and connect them to the community, land and environment.
EOTC provides opportunities for learners to become lifelong learners and enhances the ability of all learners to realise their potential.
EOTC provides opportunities to develop positive relationships between teachers and learners – a key to engagement in learning and education.
When staff are confident and competent, EOTC opportunities are more likely to be positive, high quality, safe experiences for learners.

One thing that I have found out when enrolling in the course is that the modules have yet to be finalised. 
I have found an pdf that was sent out to all schools that informed schools that the modules would be available from November...

The Ministry of Education is also creating online, self-paced learning modules to build understanding and use of the EOTC Guidelines. These modules will be available from November 2012.

Considering a number of teachers would use the time over the holidays to work through the modules and do some PD I thought would have been the perfect time.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

projects for 2013

I would love for a student to develop the press cup competition that we started this year with the year 13 students.

Motion using kinect

Radio Station, design, software, the ability to play remote playlists and the website to display information about the project. Possibly remote radio station as well. SMS messages from students request back in.

stream monitoring program

aerial photography

ardunio design

school visual display - digital signage
From a tweet- Having heaps of fun with @xibosignage! Hacked together some widgets for a metro lo


Raspberry PI and concerto 1.9.3 Digital Signage system

@xibosignage The python client is great. Definitely the best project I've found for the price!
source available at though there is a v2 available

Html5 design for student info - mobile app
Daily prayer
Student info
Access to daily notices

MAME box

Minecraft server for nz school education

Monday, 24 December 2012

Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy update

The finding of the submissions have been released

Government welcomes report on 21st century learning

Wednesday, 19 December 2012, 10:57 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

19 December 2012
Media Statement
Government welcomes report on 21st century learning environments and digital literacy
Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed the Education and Science Select Committee’s report on the inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy.
“I recognise the changes happening in the education sector as a result of access to new technologies and greater access to online learning. The way our children learn today, let alone the classrooms children learn in, are very different to the classrooms many parents learnt in and they will continue to evolve and change. We want all our kids to be leaving school with the skills they need to reach their potential in a modern economy. 
“Our Government is aware of that and that’s why one of the first things we did when we came into Government was to invest in ultra-fast broadband infrastructure which will allow our schools to be connected to the best online resources in the world.
We are investing nearly $200 million over five years in connecting schools to ultra-fast broadband. By 2016, 97.7 per cent of schools will receive ultra-fast broadband connections enabling speeds of 100 Mbps. The remaining schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high speed wireless or satellite connection.
“We have also set aside up to $400 million over the next eight years to support the Network for Learning, a dedicated managed network for schools, which will run over the ultra-fast broadband infrastructure. The intention of Network for Learning is to provide schools with affordable, safe, ultra-fast internet access as well as a range of online content and centrally-procured services.
“We recognise that parents want to be able to participate in their children’s learning using these technologies, that’s why in Christchurch we are in the process of setting up digital online communities so communities can be more involved in the education renewal programme there.
“I am keen that more work is done to ensure that our education system better reflects 21st century learning and that children and teachers take full advantage of the digital learning opportunities and resources available to them. 
“I appreciate the time spent by the Select Committee in preparing this report, and the work and energy that has gone into it over the last eight months. I will now consider the report and the contribution it can make to our digital literacy work and respond in due course.’’

Friday, 21 December 2012

bugs in programming

I have decided to try something different next year and also take a leaf out of the software industry. I am going to pay for bugs in the programming textbook that we use. I am going to use the bug Bounty guidelines that Firefox have put in place
This will be my own bug bounty, but instead of money, I will be offering the rare chocolate fish as payment.
I have been working on twitter to find a supplier of chocolate fish, and the best I have so far is 40 for $25.

General Bounty Guidelines

Head Geek will pay a bounty for certain bugs, as detailed below. All bugs must follow the following general criteria to be eligible:
  • Bug must be original and previously unreported.
  • Submitter must not be the author of the buggy code nor otherwise involved in its contribution to the DTG project (such as by providing check-in reviews).
  • Students of the DTG course and its subsidiaries are ineligible.
Head Geek reserves the right to not give a bounty payment if we believe the actions of the reporter have endangered the security of the DTG.

If two or more people report the bug together the reward will be divided among them.

Payment will be a chocolate fish.


Please file a bug describing the bug. We encourage you to attach a "proof of concept" testcase or link to the bug that demonstrates the code fail. While not required, such a testcase will help us judge submissions more quickly and accurately.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

git and ncea

I have been thinking about this for a while and this year proved an issue when students were doing

there python assessment. Some students could have been using a versioning tool to help assist there development. When something went wrong it went wrong and the students were modifying the master file.

I get my students to save versions as they code, test and debug as a matter of course. I have tried to train them in this from level 1 through level2 and hoprfully they have the message in level3. Get a small part of program coded, tested and debugged and saved as version 1. Then save same code as version 2, and add in next bit. When debugged, save as version 3 and then add in next new bit. Means they always a good version to fall back on, if added bits crash their program. It''s just a technique I have tried to train them in.
have not used any specific software for version control.
I also try and get them to save on the school system as well as their USB so have a backup.... not always done though.....They learn the hard way.

Could something linke github be a good way for students to develop and get used to developing programming.
Now github has organisation accounts that we can apply for under our school login, this allows for 2 year accounts where students can develop and handin what they are doing. This would be long enough for students doing level 1 and level 2.
The micro accounts allow for 5 repositories, will this be enough for my students, through thinking about it, one for the tutorials and one for assessment each year only really looks at 4 repositories required in the mean time and one for them.

update: looks like i am ready for 2013, thank you github.
Hi *****,

I've gone ahead and upgraded your organization account to our Gold plan, giving you 50 private repositories for your students.

Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Spread the word -- We love giving free Micro accounts to students! Send them to:

update 2:
i have also been and applied to wingware to have there ide, they were a main sponsor of the pycon conference in dunedin. I found out that they have an education

Classroom Use

Wingware provides free licenses for students when Wing IDE Professional is being used to teach a course at a non-profit educational institution. For professional and corporate training courses, we can offer discount codes for attendees but not free licenses.

So i now have a number of licenses for the school and 6 month licenses for the students own BYOD so they can use it ask well.
I am also looking at wingware because it supports git, this is something that I want students to become familiar with. I just need to find out how to use git with github and private repositories based in a organisation.

cs4hs christchurch

I have been lucky enough to spend time for the second year with a great bunch of teachers looking at the emerging new standards around computer science in New Zealand. With the new Level 3 standards being made available in 2013 it is a chance to get together and talk about the new standard and what it means as well as looking more indepth at the topics that students can investigate.

Computer Science at year 13/level 3 looks at

  • Graphics and Visual Computing
  • Formal Languages
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Network Communication
  • Software Engineering
  • Complexability and Tractability 

Students need to be given a broad introduction to all of these areas, we will then investigate three of these and students can choose two of these to delve into and provide evidence for. this should provide a good avenue for students to get when looking at possible courses to do at University.

There are a number of videos that will be made available when they get them online. This will provide other teachers a way of seeing what we have. Though there are some which were not recorded. I would like to say a huge thank you to Jack for organising such a wonderful event.

There is the beginnings of a field guide being created to assist both students and teachers. Also it may look that I may have to delve into maths a bit more looking at matrixs.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

development of electronics

Earlier in the year I received a tweet about students using mindkits fun in a box.

More than a little excited that three  s and a  inventor's kit arrived from . Happy little hackers around here.

Form this tweet I investigated a bit more and found them available in New Zealand -

Now this have been fun and exciting, since I have a raspberry pi I want to get ardunio and RPi working together to develop an interesting project for a student.

Since ordering the kit I have been following @mindkits on twitter and also tweeting each time I complete one of the projects in the book. Although the projects are already pre coded it is interesting just building the circuits. I will get more into the programming later on I think.



Binary Counter

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

school radio station update

When the seniors are away, I will play...
I have been working on getting the radio station more up and going as time has allowed me, since the room is locked and I don't have a key, I managed to obtain one for a brief period of time, enough to patch a network cable in, setup remote desktop and turn everything on.

This has worked extremely well. Until 3am this morning, when windows updates restarted the computer. Have now turned off install updates.

I have also got two programs running, itunes is currently on random selection and playing, also windows media player has a 20 minute look where it does what is required under the broadcasting act, in which it puts out the radio station ID.

I have been modifying a number of things, but what has me at the moment is the computer only have 512Meg of RAM, we need to put more in and that we have an issue that the devices that students bring into school don't have fm receivers on them.

Now, why operate a radio station then... Well we do have outdoor speakers that we have running during lunchtimes, we do have a 2km broadcast radius, we do have a number of students that live around the area, in one case I want the students to go out and tell me where the fringes are and map these, we are not broadcasting on the internet, this is at the moment going to be only through the school wifi that students will be able to connect.
Now this has been the biggest hiccup, how... 
How does one broadcast a stream of the radio show?
Looking around I came across a radio station in auckland, called 95bfm, they have links on there page which allow a user to connect to there stream and listen. Something useful, looking at there .m3u file in notepad, I was pointed to which allowed me to listen to there 32kbps stream. Now going back a directory I came across a bit more information... an IceCast 2 status screen.
Now going back a bit, I had come across a icecast server before, but thought that I needed to access it through a webhosting server, and then I stopped investigating. However, I can do this on an internal server setup, yay. 
So looking at there setup, I can see four streams
32k, 95k, 128k and 112k with a mixture of aac and mpeg.
It also gives me the number of people listening to each stream.
Administration looks as it is done through a web interface?
And it gives me a icecast version...
Now why am I going through this? I tested it earlier today using my itouch and it started playing through the safari, this allows me to broadcast within the school :)

Do I need another computer to encode all of the data?

I see icecast, but what is it an how do I get a copy of the XP version,or do I push a linux box? or however it talks about reading the instructions about the lame_mp3 encoder....

this afternoon, I have been given a computer to setup the encoder and streaming software on, it required  a new windows xp image and at last count 117 updates. But hey, this is a awesome achievement. Using the installs that were downloaded last night for icecast and edcast? they were easy enough to setup and get running.
Setting up the software required some passwords to be changed so the authentication between encoder and streaming could work, and I have renamed the stream from stream.ogg to stream128. However, it seems that I can only encode one stream on the computer.  Also required was changing the name of the stream and details under the YP tab.
Once setup and running, I asked myself a question, should I use port 8000 or change it to port 80, however trying this I encountered a issue that I think maybe related to port 80 but changed it all back to port 8000.
Now thinking about it, I need to run a web server to allow the students to populate information and graphics to allow students easy access to the stream. Now running windows xp, I don't have a webserver running that would be able to do php/mysql.
I am now looking at WAMP being installed. However the computer only has 1 gig of RAM available, so I am in two minds, create a a streaming server only, though I don't know how many streams I can have concurrently. But in the mean time WAMP maybe a good fit.

Now that I have it working through the testing, tomorrow we can put it into its operating environment and hook it into the tape out ports of the mixing desk. 3.5mm to 2 rca will be all that is required, just have to make sure it gets plugged into the correct port on the back of the computer.

It also needs to go through the school wifi, that is the main function of this, so a static port maybe needed, this will require the student to request a static IP from the tech.  This maybe why I may have to put the web server and the streaming server on one computer, as I am only going to get one IP.

Now that I know it can be done... it is certainly a credible project, be its one component of a bigger project next year.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Schools reports

School reports and having to marks in for attitude, work ethic and effort. Are these now old school? The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 now has key competencies, should we not be reporting to parents on how there child is meeting these competencies?

Key Competencies in New Zealand
The key competencies are described in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) as 'the capabilities people need in order to live, learn, work and contribute as active members of their communities'.
The curriculum identifies five key competencies. These are:
-using language, symbols, and texts
-managing self
-relating to others
-participating and contributing

Now there is a message that we should be giving these a star rating or a value on we're they are. Instead they should be a part of the students report, providing examples of how the students have provided evidence.

I am now wondering what other schools are doing in this area?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

pycode update

Issues running python 3 code have caused a lack of development within the moodle course this year, however, fear not. There has been some work going on in the background. The following sandbox has been found that meets the requirements of what we need.

I hope to have some more details over the next couple of days, as I want to explore this more next year, we need to be developing our students thinking and problem solving skills, plus I want to give them homework :)

What is a sandbox?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Junior DIgital Technologies Curriculum

I am busy working over the two teacher only days at school both on Junior Curriculum as well as senior course design. This has allowed for some real searching of the NZ Curriculum as well as Technology Achievement Objectives. I was sent a copy of a junior course back in October, however with canteen being the focus and out of school I put it on the back burner.
Today I had time to work through it, printed it off and made written notes, these have now been incorporated and I must say For Level 5/6 of the curriculum I like it. The challenge and the projects.

This morning was sitting down with the DVC department and listening to what ideas they were looking at providing students and how they can use what they do at level 3 and work backward. I must say I miss this collaboration of ideas, it is very much what was happening at my previous school. Though I am thinking about publishing my course development and ideas as there are a few single person teachers that are in the same position that I am in.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

reflections of moodle

I was asked on a group I belong to:
Subject: Are you using moodle?
 I am looking at our student learning platform and wondered if you could let me know....

1. Do you use Moodle?
2. if yes - who hosts it and is it well used?
3. if no - do you use another learning platform? If so which one?

I am really interested in what people are doing out there? I like Moodle and have many of my courses written in Moodle. However it costs and my school is looking at the cost. I can see this being an area where they will make some savings! Am looking for alternatives or a cheap way of hosting it.

Many thanks to you all.

my response

The school I am at uses moodle through the watchdog moodle in schools implementation. We are beginning our Learning Management System journey as this is the first real year we have used it. Last year was implementation and constant interruptions.
We have started a PD journey introducing staff to how and why they would want to use it, as with earthquakes, who knows when, and if there will be anymore, plus the three day snow day doesn't help, we need to continue students learning as exams don't move.

How do I use it, all students projects and assessments and other evidence of assessment are handed in on it, that way I have a final copy of the students work, the work is graded online and results are feedback with any issues mentioned in the feedback to feedforward. Students are able to login at home and access their results, as we did not have a student portal running. However it doesn't transfer the results into the Student Management System.
I had the students hand in a PDF of their final external assessment in case it goes missing in the post and am requested to provide another copy. 
I also have students do pre and post testing for my juniors through moodle using a number of quiz functions, this provides me details of students learning and am able to incorporate this into my teaching program.
Photos of my whiteboard are put up after lessons so students can refer to them at later stages, especially needed when students missed taking notes or where away, has been useful for the mysql top 6 commands needed. 
We also have a moodle install with python being able to run to test students programs against test data to make sure that there programs are robust, this enables them to have a competitive environment which has raised students understanding of programming. I teach at a boys school. As well as getting them used to other competition environments.
Being able to drag and drop resources from my folders directly into my courses now has made the process so much easier.
My year 13 class this year was driven out of the multiple levels of students, the units were made available so students could work at there own pace, in some cases this enabled the competent students to complete all work half way through term 3, while others worked at a slower pace and aimed towards University Entrance. 
I have all my resources created available to use next year in one easy place.
Students tell me what works and what doesn't and I make changes to my teaching and resources based upon these feedback.
It has become a phrase in our school, "It's on *********", with BYOD now becoming more and more part of the environment we are now allowing students to access the school file storage network, so where are they going to access the resources from in the future?  

We have a number of textbooks for other departments made available under their electronic licenses and will make particular use of these next year in mathematics and science, chemistry and physics.

Moodle is our portal for students to go off to other areas, Single Sign On is used so logging into moodle authenticates other services, see for a number of these.
We use Google Apps,, myportfolio as well to support students learning.

Why are we not hosting it ourselves, time, expertise and cost. We don't have to have our own server, we don't have the technical expertise, or time to even manage it all. If something goes wrong I can pick up a phone and ring and someone else gets to fix it. Backups are done and checked, we get acces to the moodle updates and security fixes as part of our contact, and don't have to pay extra for it. 
Downsides, we don't get to add our own plugins that we find, these need to be security checked.
I would love to get a turn it in or alternative up and running as this will help students, they are going to hit these at tertiary level and getting students to authenticate that the work they are handing in is there own helps students with the values and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Year 11

This is a course which students integrate data from two application, word and excel. It requires students to gain knowledge in both. This is a simple start to the year and develops the students basic skills into something that they understand. Students need to look at design of the document. A number of students struggle to realise the potential of what this unit offers them, and a number stuck to the common wordart and centre. It is something that is difficult to break. I need to focus on style sheets for this, as this prepares them for level 2.
I developed the external this year and used the exam slot for students to write up there report, however I need to focus on operating systems sooner, so they can develop all four sections. I look forward to the results coming back and will reflect on how the students do next year.

Image editing and HTML and CSS. this is a course that I need to develop a bit more. I want to get students taking more of there own photos so they can develop there work, rather than using google images. Students enjoying developing websites and getting them linking to each other. However, I need to work on developing and extending the students that know how to do this already. Small movie making could also be a factor as we develop next year, things like mashups could add different factors and small movie could provide a different element for students.

Scratch programming, this is an interesting course that is working well, it provides four units of work, looking at students input, output, if statements and loops. Though a couple of students did not like the scratch environment and would have rather developed there solution in python. This raises the question of since we do scratch at year 9 to develop gaming, should we use it in a programming content or do we move to another environment,.

Overall the course suits the students, it is interesting and develops students understanding of digital technologies, however some students this was a course that bored them, these are the students that have interacted with computers for years and developed websites and programmed computers using a variety of different environments.

Year 12
The year 12 courses were developed around the students who were in the classes at he beginning of the year, now due to timetable issues a couple of students were moved and these students felt disengaged with the class as it was not the one that they wanted to do. Now talking to one of these students at the end of the year, he was annoyed when this happened, however he now has an interest in web design as we covered it more with notepad++ and codes rather than using a WYSIWYG.
The courses this year were supposed to be around 18-22 credits, however due to the fact the courses were first time courses as well as getting my head around the teaching of what was required and intepreting the new standards  and the students learning needs these were reduced. I realise that this has an effect, and i will look at the courses around these next year for workload and what is required and will modify as needed, but the students were informed along the way that we would not be completing the full course.

Digital Media
This programme looked at aspects of digital media, included Database with Microsoft Word/Publisher integration. Digital Media looked at a variety of aspects including Flash and web design incorporating HTML5 and CSS3.
This programe needed to have jQuery aspects built into it as well.
The students, some found the work an easy build up from what they did last year, however, students that did not do the course last year struggled to build up the level of skills required as well as missing the prior knowledge. Incorporating flash into the course also caused some issues as they did not understand why they were doing it. Needed to build more SLO around this to show the students it was around building knowledge of digital media. I felt this class was too social. I think having access to a webserver off school would have assisted the students int he development of there site as it would have given a real world experience rather than the contrived nature of developing it in class. I did not have the server setup as I normally did at my last school and this hindered some of the development path that I normally do.

The programme looked at two aspects, information and programming. Missing from this course was the computer science strand again, this is something that I need to come to grips with. The information built a lot of skills around linux, putty and mysql and php, this was a huge amount of information that the students had to understand and those that did not take notes of the first day struggled to develop there understanding and knowledge of mySQL. There was also a lot of confusion on the list server about what was required for the standard which added to my confusion, also doing two different lots of databases at the same time between the two classes caused issues between the two classes, one did access, the other mysql. Integrating the data from the mysql caused issues when introducing php through html. Although the students were taught html last year there was a sense of lostness within the unit. The assessment was way way way to big, 700 survey responses and the students working to get the information in, there was no way that they could verify their data. Each student had different numbers, trying to keep track of what survey they were up to and how were tehy going to display the result.
The second part of the course was the python programming, this was interesting as the build up last year was scratch, student had to work with the IDLE interface and get used to working to develop there own knowledge. The development work that I had put into the course and how to work on assessments I did not use, due to the fact it was for python 2.7 and not for python 3 that they were using and the university of otago book, It wasn't worth getting them confused. The assessment for them this time was simple enough, however it was difficult to work out how a student could get Merit.

Year 13
This is the last year that this course will run, a number of students were enrolled in the course without prior knowledge and reflecting on this there needed to be two courses running in the class, a level 2 course and a level 3 course, however with students passing level 2 they were not interested in obtaining level 2 credits. Should a student be able to do level 3 credits if they have not done level 2 credits and cannot show competence in using the program to the ability required? I am hoping that with the reflections of change that I have done this year with the practical computing course will help fix this issue. having a combined level 2 and 3 course where the students are working there level, if the pass level 2 then they have the opportunity to step up to complete the level 3 credits. Back to the course, students were offered to do databases, spreadsheet and word processing and they select the order for this, All the lessons had been broken up and placed into moodle for the students to work through and the next lessons would open up once the student had handed in the exercises. This worked well for a number of the students, however others found this a barrier as they did not want to do all the work before being offered the assessment, they wanted to do one part, skip another. These students struggled to get into the course and instead developed behaviours that were not suited for learning. I had to find other ways the get these students through the assessment which was offering them an alternative assessment which the other members of the class were annoyed at as the alternative assessment had an interesting aspect to it. The next assessment was databases, some students in the class had issues with the same aspects as the spreadsheet unit. However pairing them up seemed to work, though the students work pace reduced as more social aspects came into play, trying to get the students to work on a friday afternoon period 5 when they had period 6 study turned out to be a nightmare, and then there was the tuesday straight after lunch food rush and wednesday morning sleep in. The timetable kept hitting me at all angles. This class I felt disengaged with.

I think one of the biggest things that I struggle with in my job is that I can't modify my classroom. It is stuck in a design that does not benefit me as a teacher. I can't do the group development and peer work that I wish to. Yes, i can assign seats, but there is not space to spread out a students work and develop the technological knowledge and practice that is required of the students.

I want students to develop an understanding of other operating systems next year.
I also want to make a focus of the externals next year.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

te reo ict vocab

Audio file
kōnae whakarongo

hoki whakamuri


CD / DVD player
pūrere kōpaepae

Compact disc (CD)
kōpaepae pūoru


Computer room
whare rorohiko

Computer screen
pouaka whakaata

whiriwhiri rorohiko



pātengi raraunga

putunga hōtuku

tohu aunoa

Digital Camera

Digital media collection

Directory folder
rārangi kōpaki

Double click


karere rorohiko




pūmanawa kimi

floppy disk (is this one outdated now?)
kōpae pīngore

flow chart
mahere ripo



hard copy/printout

hard disk drive
kōpae matua

pūrere rorohiko



internet web page
whārangi ipurangi

papa pātuhi


rorohiko matua


rārangi mahi


rorohiko iti




mp3 player
taru paoho


kōnae ipurangi

kōhao tūhono

print preview
tiro tānga


program /
raupapa tono

quit – ctrl + q






shut down

single click



pū manawa pūngakupu


start up

tool bar
pae paraha


username login
ingoa rorohiko

video file
kōnae whakaata

video game
tākaro ataata


world wide web

te reo phrases


Tau kē!
How awesome!

Ko koe a runga!
You are simply the best!

Kei reira koe!
You got it!

Kei whea mai nei!
Well done!

Kīkino kē nei!
Wicked! Fantastic!

Koia kei a Kevin!
Kevin rocks!

Taputapu kē!
Fabulous! Fantastic!

Ka wani hoki!
Spine tingling! Great!


E mea ana koe!
You bet!

Koinā te hāngai!
Right on! That’s the one!

Koia pū!
Absolutely! That’s it! Bang on!

Koia koia!
That’s right! Yeah I’ll say!


Me tū mārō!
Be staunch!

Give it heaps!

Mō te hemo tonu atu!
Go hardout, till the death!


Kua puta te ihi, te wehi, me te wana!
Awe inspiring! Magical!

Kua takoto te mānuka.
The challenge has been laid.


Kōtore whererei Absolutely shocked, surprised out of your skin
Tūmeke katoa! Stunned! So shocked!


Kua hiki te kohu
I understand now. (The fog has lifted)

Kua taka te kapa
The penny has dropped.


Kei te pērā tonu
Same old story

Kia parea ki rāhaki
Put aside, get rid of

Mea rawa ake
Nek minute, consequently


Kātahi nā te tino mate
That's the real problem

Kia tūtakarerewa!
Be alert, be on guard

Tuahina mai
C'mon, out with it, no holds barred, be straight up!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

back onto BYOD

Found out tonight that we have to jump back into action mode. Straight after the seniors have left today, I am back in an office talking and discussing the next moves. We have parents ringing asking about devices and what information are we giving them.
The first part was going back through a newsletter article that I wrote in August, once we found this we started copying and pasting ready for it to go online for students and their parents to find. Once we had gone through this and started to find the link for the agreement, I was amazed to find out that it was already up. So we have a place to inform parents.
Now for some changes to be made, like stating its for all students, changing a few words here and there.
Once that will be complete tomorrow we will inform year 9 students through email some of the plans as well as invite them to be a part of the class. It will be an opt in.
When I got home and settled down, I opened up the computer and did a search for what other schools are developing, one that stood out for me was the work work that epson girls grammar have done. They have a partnership with cyclone computers to offer a number of devices for parents, something similar to what I am looking for. The best thing was that they had a meeting for staff today in town, so jumped in the car and went and had a chat with them over the next step. Also contacted someone at eggs and asked about the programme and they were supportive about it. Will look forward to the conversation tomorrow.
But they did ask one question that I am not too sure about, should we offer microsoft office on the device, or ask for it?

How to embed elearning?

From an email:
"I am currently trying to embed ICT learning across all curriculum areas in school, but it's not an easy task. There are many unanswered questions at the moment such as how to evidence the use of ICT and how to assess it. Any ideas will be very welcome."

Best response I have seen so far:
Teaching as Inquiry. If the teachers embedding ICT practices are using a inquiry cycle to do this - beginning with a focussing inquiry that establishes what's important and what the students need to know/do (not ICT skills), a teaching and learning inquiry where they establish the best mix of ICT tools and strategies to support the learning, the teaching and learning (trialling of strategies) followed by a learning inquiry which may involve: talking to your students, observational data, surveys, pre and post-testing. I wouldn't actually focus too much on assessment and quantitative data because it is near impossible to link improved "grades" to the tools. Informal and ongoing feedback from students about if/how and why/why didn't the ICT tools and strategies increased their level of engagement and/or supported critical thinking processes is way more powerful.

Friday, 2 November 2012

nz open source awards

Its a busy time and I was amazed to see the New Zealand Open Source Awards nominations finals list appear, 

Looking at a number of the projects that have gained finals status
  • Government: Central Agencies Shared Services use of Koha Library Management System, GNS Science for GeoNet Rapid, Piwik.
  • Business: Fulcrum, Piwik and Totara LMS.
  • Education: the Catalyst Academy, Manaiakalani, Warrington School for the Ubuntu Room.
  • Arts:the Big Idea, Daniel Reurich for the Open Source Organ Refit, Whisper Down The Lane.
  • Software Project: NIWA for Cylc, Piwik, Sofa Statistics.
  • Open Source Contributor: Michael Kerrisk, Grant McLean, Simon Welsh.
  • Social Services: EQNZ for the Christchurch Earthquake Ushahidi, SoupHub, Wellington City Council for Housing Computer Hubs.
  • Open Science: Computational Evolution Group for BEAST, GNS Science for their GeoNet Data Policy, NIWA for Cylc.
However, the ones that have interest for me are the education ones,
Warrington School for the Ubuntu Room -

I hope I have the right links...

Will be interesting to hear the results,

Now, some may be wondering why the post, The school runs there radio station on Open Source, that is what I am thinking about, as well as the opportunity for creative commons music. Now to start thinking of the brief to give the student next year to be able to do this with our station.

The results, the Manaiakalani project won the education category.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Under the radar

I got told today that "I was one of the boys"in reference to the students at school. It seems that I do things under the radar. Ok, I do. This one has been a fun one.

Since the quakes and the shorter day we have had some of the activities at school stop, plus it hasn't helped when one of the building that held some equipment is now to be demo'd.

B Radio
B Radio Logo
The school has a radio station which has been developed over a number of years and has all the gear to do something great. I looked at a similar setup at my previous school and it was looking to be over $10,000.

With building being demo'd we have been allowed in to recover equipment, in this case an amp, cable and outdoor speakers. These were sitting in a garage at school when I saw them while working on a fundraising cause. I then thought that at the beginning of the year we were looking at getting the station back up and going, but things change pretty quickly and roadblocks get created.

Radio Room and some
of the gear
So, in a quick chat with one of the staff, we talk about cleaning up the radio room, and the next step, this took a week to organise. The end of the year stuff is painful as the students suck so much out of you as they realise that they have credits to obtain and needed to have worked smarter through the year.
The second step was the location of the receiving equipment. The location suggested would require setup and packdown each day that would cause a number of issues with the room, so that was out. It was then suggested using the outdoor speakers on the hall, asking the right people and a quick check on what is there and how we could connect it up, a couple of days later we have developed a 50m extension cord to hook up the speakers from the old amp cupboard to the clock room 50 metres away with a cat5e cable. This allows for us to not have to enter the building again.

Receiver and connection

The amazing hookup
cat5e to speaker cable
Though it did raise the question of wether you could connect the equipment up through cat5e cable, a quick internet search and some ideas, it seems like you can, I have use a pair for each feed, so two pair for each speaker.

The station has a large collection of nzonair cd's which have been digitalised. This allows for a better mix as well as we can automate the station if needed.
So far 36 cd's have been stored, we have a couple of hundred to go, but this could be a project for a student as part of next years class.

Hopefully we will go live tomorrow and I will take some photos to add to the information here.

I am looking for different opportunities for students to be involved in activities at school.

Friday, 26 October 2012

What did you do in school today?

I just saw another teacher post what they did in school today, So I thought I would do the same.

Arrived at school and put some of my gear away,
Sat in staff briefing and listened to what is coming up as well as some information about what is happening during NCEA exams.
Period One, prepared to do some marking and update Learning Management System, got ready for period 2, today I was going to take an extension lesson for year 11 Digital Technologies so they could finish their external reports, also listening to a podcast around the #MSDWTF, got sidetracked trying to test the school network on a student account with the new windows 7 image. Managed to find a security hole where I had a the images username and password.
Got an email to take relief period 2,
Period 2, went to take relief and get setup to watch the clickview video, however the speaker wire had been cut, rang for new cable from technician. Spent rest of the period in workshop making sure the students were operating in a safe manner.
Had to send year 11 students that came for extension period back to class as I had a relief.
Interval, went for a cup of coffee and the social club raffle draw.
Period 3, Year 9 Digital Media class working on portfolio work, had year 11 students turn up to do the extension work. Also finished year 11 marking of assessments, posted results up on Learning Management System.
Period 4, Year 11 Digital technologies, had students complete their external work, and print and also submit a PDF of their assessment to the learning management system. Had students test there program for errors, show students how to test there work before handing it in. Resit on Tuesday,
Lunchtime, went out to watch senior house touch and take photos with new lens, 75-300mm :)
Period 5, Year 13 students trying to catch up on there work they have had all year to complete, as it is the year 13 last period one a friday they became silly.
Period 6. Year 12 Programming students trying to complete there python project, some good results, though they need to realise if it is not working, check there indentation. Some year 11 students back to try and complete work, also had another class sharing the classroom to complete work on computer.
Had Detention after school, this is for students who don't complete there homework during the week. An hour long session, number of students only had 10-20mins work to complete.

I feel like I have had a pretty good day, though getting the relief and detention caused a bit of a headache for me to manage my workload. Need to get junior reports completed.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

social bookmarking

I am still thinking about some of the applications/services that we could look at for our students and there byod programme.

Albany make use of a number of services. Could we look at the same.
Email | Calendar | e-portfolio | Documents | Intranet | Library | Wikieducator: Staff/Students | OurBookmarks | OurTube | OurMicroblog | ETV | ParentPortal | Careers | Alumni | Helpdesk (internal)

Monday, 15 October 2012

raspberry pi ships with 512Meg of RAM

I wondered what was happening, was just about to place a classroom order on and noticed 512Meg RAM and thought... haven't seen this announced. two minutes later your site updates. I am happy that you are keeping the price the same. It will certainly make some of the students more happier. Currently thinking MAME project to create a link between Digital Technologies and Manufacturing for the cabinet to house the equipment. Thank you.

kinect to scratch

There are a number of ideas on this site to help assist the motion project that I have an idea of, it seems like it is simple enough, though may take less than the time I thought. I think a student could have this working within a week.

mobile development

I had a great tweet from a colleague who has been watching my developments, I am struggling for a framework to develop a mobile site for school.

I was put onto

A unified, HTML5-based user interface system for all popular mobile device platforms, built on the rock-solid jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. Its lightweight code is built with progressive enhancement, and has a flexible, easily themeable design.

This allows me to download a framework that I can put onto a server and develop then publish. It also allows me to then use the published development

Thursday, 11 October 2012

developing an idea

With all the demolition at school at the moment it has been a busy time recovering different items that we can use to develop and enhance life at school. Some of these items have been used in the past to provide some enhancements and need to be reinvigorated. We have new students starting every year so some of the ideas may seem new to them, yet the year 13 students may have encountered this before.

Items recovered:
two outdoor speakers,
speaker wire

Now this may seem weird, but our school has a special asset, we have a working radio station. Something I would have liked at my previous school. What a way to get students interested in radio broadcasting or sound technician or even an interest in music.

Now with this, the radio station is a mess after the painters were in earlier this year repairing earthquake related issues. Now, if the radio station needs some work in getting up and going again, how long and do we wait. Or do we look at other alternatives. How could be deliver music to the school. Using the gear and the students itouches, we could hooked up a 3.5mm cord and link it in, however do I want students to be able to do this, will it cause issues. However, we could use a fm radio transmitter hooked up to a itouch and tune the radio in, but this could mean multiple devices trying to play to the same frequency as there is only a limited amount on offer with these devices.

Using airplay could be an answer. But it would require a apple airport extreme to be able to connect up.
First question is, could you hooked up a device to the amp without a ethernet connection. This has taken some time and also trying to source a device.

Open trademe and start bidding.

Done, wait till delivery.

Now test and try out at home, plug in, why is it flashing amber, reset configuration to be able to access this device as it was setup for someones else network.

Create my own network and attach...
Done, now Airport utility is accessing device, why it is showing 3 errors, ok, no internet connection, no DNS and no IP Address - ignore all three errors.

Light goes Green :)

Hook in a old pair of headphone, find wifi network on iphone, and now find music and push through airplay. Add a password on airplay connections to stop other students from pushing there music to it.

Now to find out the range and try out at school.

Should be an interesting monday at school lunchtime.

Now there is another question, can I push the music from that is going through into a stream so that students can connect to the school wifi and listen through there headphones, as the itouch and iphone do not have a fm receiver built in.
Could this be part of a students technology project next year?

A possible way to install icecast server on Ubuntu

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Quote I like

Who are we most likely to learn from? Those who DON'T have the same world views as you- those who push you, challenge you. #gafesummit


Sunday, 7 October 2012


I posted a while ago that i would like to do a project that used a human as the input, using kinect. There has just been an ad on tv that looks at motion and sound and using it as a v motion project. This is something I would love to challenge my students to create.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Schools need to change

today's parents are looking for high schools that will extend their children's ICT skills. are they finding them?

Nope, that because secondary schools are still stuck in at adage of English, maths, science. Technology doesn't really come into it. Schools are letting these students down and until changes within school management take place schools are not going to change. I look at schools and who are the senior managers, they are English and social science teachers. 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

subject selection .9c

I have been meaning to get this update done for a while now, I suppose waiting until the last two days isn't good enough.

I have updated the level 3 selections to use the year 10 code to lock subjects down to option lines, I can't believe that I did not realise that I had this already programmed in, I have taken the code from line 1 in to the year 10 code and put into the year 13 code and applied the optionline of 1 in the database.
Easy fix to include RED3 and THS3, that way students can choose there preferred option

I have also included the MAS3 and MAC3 subjects in year 12 so students that have done accelerated maths can choose these subjects, although it is available for everyone, I don't think this will matter.

Sunday, 2 September 2012


While at the kiwi pycon conference, I decided to use some of the downtime to update the pycode moodle site. As the developer has been making some changes lately and presenting it, I felt that I had to use the latest code.
Mistake Number 1, updating just after you started your students on it may not be the best idea. As the changes that have been made are to directory structures and the naming of the project, the name of the folder  needed updated as well. Now this stops all previous half submitted work from running.
Mistake Number 2, not realising that that is the case. As with the changes the developer had changed the folder name which I did not realise and just copied the files straight into the folder. This then made all the unit tests fail.
Mistake Number 3, thinking that the work was in python 3.1+, all the sandboxes at the present are 2.7. When is the community going to update?

I also updated the auth/guath login, this now locks it down to just the google apps domains that we want to allow and not everyone having access.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Teaching the teachers

We have been asked lately to provide professional development to staff on various tools, but I had one teacher ask, can you teach me how to teach the tool to the students.
We spend so much time being taught how to use a tool or in this case concepts that we are learning how to use it. But does anyone think about how they are going to teach it back to the students.

We have just been though various concepts of computer science being shown to us, and we are now thinking that this could be a class, computer science 101, however thinking about this more now, the class title could be, teaching the fundamentals of computer science. as this is what teachers are after. We need the same for how to teach relational databases, some of this stuff I was taught over 10 years ago and now have pushed to the nether regions of my mind never to make a come back. How was I taught relationships for databases, what is normalisation, yes I had to good that one. how to get to the third normalisation. Things that were so easy when you were a student. now....

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy

Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy


The term ‘learning environment’ suggests learning happens in a place and space such as a school, a classroom, or a library. However, while much of 21st century learning takes place in physical locations, in today’s technology driven world, a learning environment can also be virtual, online or remote. The purpose of this inquiry is to investigate and provide recommendations on the best structures, tools, and communities, in both rural and urban New Zealand, that could better enable students and educators to attain the knowledge and skills, such as digital literacy, that the 21st century demands.
Submissions are available
I wonder when they will release the findings?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Programming is not algebra

A while ago I created a post on how students got confused with some of the problems that they are given in programming, they seem very algebra based, a = 0; b = 3, a = b; and this gets some students absolutely stuck.

In this post we talked about the number of generation of rabbits 

and reading Andy's blog the other day, made a lot of sense.

The Simple Things

People who have been coding for a long time forget that their variables and equals signs are incompatible with algebra. My friend might have passed the sheep test if her “beginner course” had taught her only these basic definitions:
not like algebra
a sequence of instructions to be executed in order
a name which can be assigned a value
Assignment (a = b)
an instruction to assign to the variable a the value of b
Looking at this has made me want to change my practice in the classroom and wanting to get the students to think about programming as Program, Variable and Assignment, rather than the focus being on the maths at present.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Facebook in schools

It has been interesting the conversation on whether to allow Facebook at school. For one we have boarders on site and should they be allowed Facebook to communicate with home. The other is we have students that are requesting Facebook for in class work.

Now, I have found a really good response, which I will put forward to our ICT Committee -

Rangitoto College has a fairly open policy in terms of filtering and initially allowed students access to Facebook, but that has now been stopped for two reasons – Facebook traffic was taking up too much bandwidth, and also to give students a break from the addictive nature of Facebook, says Hastie.
This has to be one of the best response's I have seen, it talks about the addictive nature of Facebook. Schools are now giving students a break from an addition, the same as xbox, minecraft and a number of others.

I wonder how that statement will go down at school. Maybe we need a Facebook Anonymous group?

Friday, 13 July 2012

culture shift needed in schools

Its been amazing the last couple of days, for one I have been reading a book that I just cannot put down, and tonight completed.

The other has been #nethui,
I find it amazing when I cannot attend a conference that I can still enjoy it online, twitter is a great conference tool.

I had this one tweet come through

We need a hacker culture in schools. You don't get that with iPads. Need open technologies, circuit boards, Raspberry Pis 

I totally agree with this, and continue to fight technicians in schools to open up the networks and computer to allow students to get a touch of such an exiting part of computing.

One resource I find interesting is hacker high school, this is a excellent example of how hacking could be taught to schools students.
the other is the raspeberry pi project. Years ago we talked about people bringing in devices to plug into networks that were small and could sniff a lot of data from the network. This has all of that, an ethernet port, small profile and a power cable that looks like it is for a mobile phone. Thinking about that, you could probably get a raspberry pi to fit into a old mobile phone.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


This starts with a tweet,

10 crazy IT security tricks that actually work

Now looking at this, I wondered, yes it has the things that you would normally do, rename the administrator account, get rid of the global admin entries, use non default ports. But one of these caught my eye, and it is around the use of honeypots.

Now I have just come back from a trip to the North Island where I have been in discussion around getting equipment into schools and the talk of preparing the students for the next wave of Digital technologies through the New Zealand Curriculum. 
Now getting back to it, the guy I spoke to talked about the use of honeypots to test systems and the patching and security of it, now the thing about these systems is that they are open enough to let people in, however, everything they do is logged, so you have the opportunity to go in and see where they went. There was one of these open in the 1990's where on IRC groups the publication of the IP address and username and password was made available, it was up to you to get to the next step, the competition for root access.

Now getting back to the article, looking at these systems
Innovative security technique No. 3: Honeypots
Modern computer honeypots have been around since the days of Clifford Stoll's "The Cuckoo's Egg," and they still don't aren't as respected or as widely adopted as they deserve. A honeypot is any computer asset that is set up solely to be attacked. Honeypots have no production value. They sit and wait, and they are monitored. When a hacker or malware touches them, they send an alert to an admin so that the touch can be investigated. They provide low noise and high value.
The shops that use honeypots get notified quickly of active attacks. In fact, nothing beats a honeypot for early warning -- except for a bunch of honeypots, called a honeynet. Still, colleagues and customers are typically incredulous when I bring up honeypots. My response is always the same: Spend a day spinning one up and tell me how you feel about honeypots a month later. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to try one.
Now the thing is, I have The Cuckoo's Egg and its 11:00pm at night, and I can't stop reading it. And the question I have is, should I get my students to read it. One book I already get them to read is Cory Doctorow, Little Brother. 

top trends for 2012 - Data engagement

Looking at the core education blog I see that they have identified the top trends for 2012- Data representation.

One of the trends is Drivers

There are many innovations that drive these changes in the extent and ways that we can create and engage with data. Some examples are:

  • Increasing sophistication of personal devices such as tablets and mobile phones which allow users to create, access and manipulate data anywhere and at any time. Many people now use their devices for navigation using the GPS function, and apps have been created allowing images and videos to be tagged with their location and shared. An interesting example of GPS use is Geocaching – a form of treasure hunting that relies on the use of GPSdata to find hidden objects. Geocaching is increasingly used to create interesting and authentic learning opportunities for students.
This was a project that I developed and ran as part of Project 72 - an initiative at the school I was at.
This involved students using technology to do different things, in 2009 I wrote up how this project would work, this also ran at the end of 2010. It is amazing to see such a project now being seen for its advantages and difference.

Thanks Core.