Monday, September 8, 2014

Minecraft - If I run it they will play it...

We have just completed another brilliant Minecraft competition at school. The time the focus was not on construction or building but about SURVIVAL.

Teams of 4 players this time were given Day 1 to work together to find resources, build shelters and improve their lives before the opposing team on Day 2 could begin to eliminate and destroy until just 1 team remained.

We began with 20 teams of 4 players, so roughly 80 kids. The initial battles lasted 2 to 3 days as weaker less experienced teams fell quickly. Experts or serious gamers shone through quickly and it was very easy to see who had the skill set and knowledge to quickly find the right resources that would mean longevity.

The teams continued over the next few weeks with battles lasting longer and becoming closer. Some teams got through to the next round due to the a solitary team member who was able to survive and outwit an entire team. 

The discussion and collaboration was great to see over these weeks as teams developed battle plans and ideas of how to stay safe and where to build. 
 No team was safe and we got down, finally to the last two teams.

It was a battle of experienced seniors v passionate middle school students. In the end the experience and skill set of the seniors prevailed and they were victorious. 

The students just loved the competition with absolute passion and we have already started to dream up our next Minecraft experience. 

Engagement, cooperation, collaboration, discussion were just a few of the real world skills that the students showed through this competition and if nothing else these are the positive reasons to allow students to explore this great app and have fun with it. 

Stay tuned for the next epic Minecraft update. 

Parent Portal - Should we be worried ?

Parent Portal - Is this a way for parents to be more connected and better informed about the education system or about what their child should be doing at school OR is it a government conspiracy ?!? 

What I like on the face value of the site which is still in Beta stages is the ease of access to information without the hassle of searching for what I may need. Everything is there in front of you i.e Term dates, the level of education that I need to know about etc etc.

I also like that there are ideas to help your child at home, how you can be involved. Because at the heart of the matter we must remember that educational achievement comes down to the partnership that is formed between the school and with home. It is ensuring that the home link i.e parents, grandparents are aware and understand what it is that they should be doing and what that should look like.

Lets just hold our breathe though and pause to ensure that this site is set up and will continue to support teachers as opposed to becoming a site that puts more pressure back on the teachers and schools to fix all of societies problems.

Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Real iPad fun - OSMO

Can't wait for my OSMO set to arrive.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Get Thinking

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 - Being Principal, Starting School and the year ahead.

It felt oddly strange being at school on the first day and not having a classroom to set up, students to welcome in or start of the year activities to plan. I am not going to say I missed it (not yet anyway) but it still felt weird. I felt like I should have been somewhere all day. Being principal sunk in pretty quickly when the first bell rang and the emails, phone calls and requests came flooding in. By the end of this first day I could have sworn that a principals job was to clear the backlog of emails, meet and greet new students and parents and decide how to persuade the ministry that we were still underfunded and needed more staffing and another classroom.

I love the personal interaction that this new role has attached to it. The good and the bad interactions. The other part of the job that does excite me is the decision making and the chance to try and make the school an amazing looking and feeling place for our staff, the parents and the students. At the end of the day the reason for being in this profession is simply to do right by the students. With this in mind I want my year as Principal to be student centred. 

As an old friend has always said "It's a big job, but someone has got to do it".