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Gamification books

Further to my webinar via the Connected PE Online Conference this evening, here are books I have read on Gamification:

Actionable Gamification by Yu-Kai Chou

Gamify Your Classroom by Matthew Farber

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl M. Kapp

For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business by Kevin Werbach

The best of those is easily Actionable Gamification. While it wasn’t specific to education, it did the best job relating the game mechanics to real world scenarios. Definitely check it out if you want to know more on the topic! His website is pretty fantastic too!

NZPETeachercast Episode 5 – The sound byte generation


A throw back to PENZ Conference 2016 where I had my very first podcast interview with the one and only Garry Carnachan, Executive Director of the NZ Secondary Schools Sports Council. We talk about the Sport in Education programme, whats driving our youth away from physical activity and a brief discussion about a project called The Teachers Games.

NZPETeachercast Episode 2 – Modern learning environments at Tarawera High School

In episode 2 of NZPETeachercast, we have our first guest with Kelly Ross from Tarawera High School. Kelly is the Curriculum Leader of Health and PE and is doing amazing work within a modern learning environment thanks to a $14 million rebuild.

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Episode 2- Modern Learning Environments at Tarawera High School
Duration: [00:15:55] Carl Condliffe: Hi everyone and welcome back the NZ PE Teachercast for the second episode and our very first guest interview. Today we feature head of Department from Tarawera High School out of Kawerau and beautiful Bay of Plenty. Her name is Kelly Ross and her team are doing some very cool things with modern learning environments. The school has seen some considerable changes in the last few years with a 14 million dollar rebuild that really allowed them to completely change their approach to learning. Kelly discusses some of the school and department wide changes that have been implemented and how they've gone about insuring a successful transition into modern learning environments. I hope you enjoy it.
You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
[00:01:00] Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers and their students. Check it out now at
Kia Ora everyone, I'd like to welcome Kelly Ross head of physical education and health at Tarawera High School. Tarawera have been in the media quite a lot over the last years recently on the Sunday TV show exploring the amazing new facilities they have there. Kelly, welcome to the podcast.
Kelly Ross: Kia Ora, thank you.
Carl Condliffe: So we're here at PENZ 2016. What's been your best takeaway so far from the conference.
Kelly Ross: I think with PENZ it's always really cool just to hear what other schools
[00:02:00] and other people are doing. Even if, I think if you can just walk away from each workshop or each presentation with one little thing that you could take back to your school or your PE class that's awesome and there's been a lot of this year as last year as well. So yeah, it's great.
Carl Condliffe: I think it's really cool as a learning area we can come together and just network and talk and meet and see all these other fantastic practices that's happening in our learning area because we just don't do it enough, I was mentioning that to you before. So that's really good. Can you tell me a little bit about your teaching experience, a bit about the school and I guess a bit about the area that the school's located in?
Kelly Ross: Yup, so I started off my teaching at Newlands College in Wellington and then I headed overseas and did a bit of teaching in London. Then have come back and decided to base myself in the Bay of Plenty just to be closer to family. That's when I applied for the job out in Kawerau, so that's where Tarawera High School is located.
[00:03:00] Had never been there before, so drove out for my interview and it's absolutely beautiful, it's such a beautiful place. The maunga Putauaki has been very creatively designed in the middle of our school. So the building's kind of set by the side of it and it's a massive feature when you walk into the school. Every day it just takes my breath away. So yeah, pretty cool place to be. So yeah, I've been at the school now for two and a bit years and watched it grow from, as a brand new school, officially opening at the start of this year.
Carl Condliffe: What differences between the U.K. and New Zealand curriculum. How do you find that?
Kelly Ross: Quite different. To be honest I didn't do heaps of teaching in the U.K. and I felt a little bit out of place at times. I think
[00:04:00] it was kind of disconnected from the students, I think that's why it was nice coming home to feel like you can get on with the kids, you can relate to them a lot more than being over in the U.K. Like I said, I only kind of taught for five months and it was just supply teaching so I wasn't at any one place for any length of time.
Carl Condliffe: Was all the exposure that Tarawera High School's been having in the media, we've heard a lot about, or seen, I've seen and watched Helen Tuhoro, your principal, she seems like a really amazing principal to work for and I've had in my past, the first school I started at we had a very similar principal who was, who seemed very straight up and hard nose and really good for the students. How have you found working for Helen and having her as your principal? Has she been pretty cool?
Kelly Ross: Yeah. She has been. She's pretty inspirational, very dedicated to the school, it seems like she's always there and you kind of want to go into her office
[00:05:00] and kick her out and send her off for an awesome weekend or something because she's just so dedicated to the place. But no, she's been great. From my experience I can walk in and have a chat with her or catch her on the way past and ask a question or I think that's what's great about Tarawera is the whole senior leadership there, they're just people, they're willing to, if you can go with them with an idea, a solution to a problem they're really willing for you to run with whatever it is.
Carl Condliffe: I imagine Helen's got a lot, excuse me, a lot of mana in the community, really pretty well, held up in high esteem I think.
Kelly Ross: Yes, absolutely. Yup.
Carl Condliffe: So what I'm really here to talk about with you is this concept of a modern learning environment. So in your own words for those of us who are really sure what a modern learning environment is, can you explain what that --
Kelly Ross: Yup, I would say that it's like a big fuddy [00:05:56] (?) with all its walls kicked out and knocked down.
[00:06:00] And lots of, it's lots of different types of spaces and it's, yeah it's open. They use these doors that divide student spaces but they are always opening and closing and--
Carl Condliffe: What's an example of a space? What would a space look like?
Kelly Ross: Okay, so a space, our main commons for example, they're just completely open. So it'd be like the main space we'd call and then we'd have a cave which is kind of tucked away in the corner and the kids like going in there and being in the dark almost. It's just small and there's bench seats. We've got another couple of other spaces which are like, I kind of just naturally call them breakout spaces where you can go in with a small group and close of the door and do small activities and make a bit more noise than you would in the main area for example.
Carl Condliffe: If we're talking modern learning environments, it's not just limited to physical spaces right, it's also the time table and the roomings, the teaching approaches.
[00:07:00] Does that all come into play as well?
Kelly Ross: Yes, it does absolutely all come into play and I think that's what has taken the longest to happen, there is modern learning practices and modern learning approach because it is quite easy to stick to your traditional based teaching just within this open space and there's just more noises and more distractions and things like that.
But as we've gone on we've got technology and brought that into, we're changing the way we teach, more student directed independent learning and less chalk and talk. We have run workshops for example which we can do in those closed off spaces while other kids are working in the open space and working independently and quietly.
Carl Condliffe: We heard from Sophie, was very keen outdoor ed teacher at your school and the amazing things that she's doing with almost flipping the classroom in a sense, using those Google sites for student's to access
[00:08:00] information and content and then repurposing that classroom time better.
Kelly Ross: Yeah absolutely and that's one thing that all is been driven from our senior leadership team is for every teacher to set up a Google website for our courses.
Carl Condliffe: That's really cool.
Kelly Ross: Yeah, it has been really cool. Big challenge and it has harder for some staff but it's--
Carl Condliffe: Are the student's embracing it? The students actually access the sites and use them?
Kelly Ross: Yeah, they are. Yup. I know in PE and in outdoor ed every day they're on the website, they're using them and that's how we structure our lessons I guess, go to the website, use it.
Carl Condliffe: Are there any barriers to that in terms of being a small, is it quite rural there?
Kelly Ross: It is, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: Are there any barriers around internet access and access to devices?
Kelly Ross: Yes, there has been. We're really lucky, our school has invested quite heavily in the technology and this is because of the socio-economic background
[00:09:00] of the area I guess and that reality our families can't afford to have a device in their house or Wi-Fi. So our school have just invested in the technology and invested in really good Wi-Fi which we've had this year and we've had any problems, which has been amazing.
I have a work collogue, Sam Gibson and he's managing a trust, Te Aka Toitū and they are looking at getting devices, affordable devices and free Wi-Fi in the community so kids can access their mahi at home. So yeah, that's the kind of next project to get up in the community.
Carl Condliffe: That's almost, internet access is almost a necessity now. I don't know how we can expect our kids to succeed if they can't access the internet.
Kelly Ross: No, absolutely.
Carl Condliffe: So you've been through this big redevelopment and it's not just a physical one either, the process that your school goes through to arrive at a point where
[00:10:00] they've not thrown out but they've brought in almost a new completely new staff, new facilities. How do you make sure you get the most from those new facilities I guess, from a pedagogy standpoint? How do you insure success in that transition? Do you go out into the community and you get student voice? What's guided you to the point where the school is at now?
Kelly Ross: Yeah I think it's a lot of that. We do a lot of student voice, we've done quite a lot of work with the community. I guess it's, it's a little of, what's felt that for me I guess a bit of trial and error, we trail something, if it doesn't work we get back and try something else. We've had a few initiatives that we're working on within the school and we just keep at it and we just, yeah I guess we collaborate, we talk it and we have had some failures, things haven't worked so we try something and we really just work together as a staff and yeah, just
[00:11:00] keep going. I guess that's, yeah that's what it's felt from my point of view.
Carl Condliffe: I think it's really cool when you can have a staff that can, that is cohesive and works together well. It says a lot about, well it say a lot about leadership and a willingness of staff to be able to reflect and use all the inquiry process and stuff like this to better themselves and with the end goal of delivering awesome lessons to our students.
Kelly Ross: Yeah, absolutely.
Carl Condliffe: How has this changed the way you deliver PE? Like what's the difference from say your experience at Newlands to have a modern learning environment Tarawera?
Kelly Ross: Yeah, it's completely changed the way I deliver PE. Especially this year. So we tackled our senior year levels with we've built this website, we're using way more technology. A lot of PD around that too, going to iPad workshop at the PE Geek and
[00:12:00] purchasing equipment from iPad stands to Go Pros and investing in apps and all of those kinds of things. That's a lot different from how I used to teach PE.
We don't have pens and paper anymore, it's all on our digital devices, so that's different in itself and I'm really trying to teach it as practically as possible as so the kids can access that website, access that theory knowledge and apply it in their practical lessons but they can access all of that whenever, wherever and at their own pace.
Carl Condliffe: That' the thing with, that's what I like about that approach is in a traditional classroom you do all this work in the classroom teaching content and then we say to our kids look for homework and do all the higher level Bloom's taxonomy stuff without my support as a teacher, without the support of your peers. It's almost like we're setting them up to failure. But if we can say, take some of that content out of the classroom and repurpose that
[00:13:00] classroom time when we're doing that abstraction, conceptualization, the creation, I think it's so much better for our students.
Kelly Ross: Yeah, absolutely, yes.
Carl Condliffe: I heard a lot of negative discussion around modern learning environments and people say that they're gimmicky and staff get stifled by policies and procedures or they don't have the support from senior management. What can you say to all the teachers or even principals reluctant to make the jump to modern learning environments?
Kelly Ross: Yeah, I'd just say just do it, get involved and don't be afraid, afraid to try and fail. Just got to keep trying. I've had worked closely with staff who have been reluctant and found it really, really difficult but they're still there, they're still trying. It does take time, there's a lot of time to change your practice into this modern learning. But once it's set up it's great and it works and it's awesome.
Carl Condliffe: Just flows?
Kelly Ross: Yeah, it flows. But
[00:14:00] yeah, and it needs to come from the top. Like I said we're earlier we're so lucky to have great senior leadership who enable us to do what we're doing. But yeah, so that does help and yeah it's just trialing it, working with it.
Carl Condliffe: So being future focused, what role do you see modern learning environments playing in future education? Is this going to be something that gets bigger and better or do you think it's only going to adopted by forward thinking, innovative schools. Is it a gimmick or is it here to stay?
Kelly Ross: That's a good question. I don't know. I guess I've got that fear in the back of my head that it could be only certain schools that embrace it and go with it and do it really well. But I think if we all got on board it could be something awesome and we've got to keep up with the times, technology we don't know what the jobs that we're teaching our kids to do and it's
[00:15:00] like, let's keep moving forward and I guess that's the way that we're doing now and we've just got to keep going.
Carl Condliffe: I've got one last question for you, just the wrap up. Who's your favorite musician and why?
Kelly Ross: That would most definitely be my girl Pink, she's amazing, love her and she'd be the, lookout on the dance floor if she ever comes on because I'll own it.
Carl Condliffe: Oh that's funny. Well done. Hey I really want to thank Kelly for stopping by and sharing some of her experiences with modern learning environments I think your story and the story of Tarawera High School is really inspiring and you're doing an amazing job engaging these students through your physical environment. So once again, thank you for having a chat and I look forward to hearing more about some of those cool things that you're doing and achieving at Tarawera.
Kelly Ross: Cool, thank you very much.

Introducing NZPETeachercast – a podcast featuring inspiring PE teachers!

cover art final 600 x 600

After months of trying to figure out how on earth to make a podcast, I can finally show the finished (well, first two episodes!) product. About a week before PENZ 2016, I made an impulse decision to make a podcast and booked about four interviews before I had any idea what I was doing! The premise for it – to give some amazing Health and PE teachers a platform to share their stories. I outline this in the first episode, so I recommend starting there. But I am really proud of the second episode with @kellsross from Tarawera High School. She is superb HOD who is doing some quality stuff with her team.

Have a listen to episode 1 below, but please head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast. And make sure to check out episode 2 with Kelly!

NZPETeachercast Episode 1 – The disengaged student

In the very first episode of NZPETeachercast, I describe my reasons for launching and introduce the format for the show. I’ll be sharing a recent challenge, success and a new app I find useful in my teaching. Today I discuss the challenges of a disengaged student, my success within the Sport in Education approach to learning and the app Google Keep.

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Episode 1: The Disengaged Student
Duration: [00:17:07] Carl Condliffe: You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers and their students. Check it out now at
Kia Ora everyone and welcome to the very first
[00:01:00] episode of NZ PE Teachercast, a podcast about real PE teaching I guess. It's an opportunity for me to share some ideas and really the best part about it is we get to get some fantastic physical educators onto the show, hear their story and get to see what they're do in their classroom around physical education and stuff like that.
There's two reasons I wanted to start this podcast. First of all I feel that as physical educators we don't really network enough, we're consumed by what we do, we teach a lot. If we're not teaching we're outside of the classroom coaching, managing teams with this big extracurricular focus. So that concept with networking with other teachers in our learning areas outside of our school just kind of gets put on the back foot a little bit. We get burdened down by assessment and administrative tasks
[00:02:00] I think, since I started my teaching career there just seems to be more and more admin that we have to do and that's, that makes getting in touch with other educators really difficult. So I think this concept of networking, it's a really key component of being able to reflect and learn on our current teaching practice. So this is my way I guess of reaching out and networking with more physical educators.
So I've had this really, really good online presence that I've built over the last few years and it's allowed me to have some really fantastic discussions with teachers around technology and physical education and stuff like that. So I want to continue that but on a much larger scale and I think by having this podcast and being able to put it out on a regular basis I'm going to achieve that.
Second reason that I wanted to release this podcast is that we have some amazingly fantastic PE teachers just doing some things that are really cutting edge and we don't
[00:03:00] hear these stories. Like I said we get consumed by our own teaching practice and we don't get the opportunity to hear other people's stories and these stories need to be told. So hopefully as the podcast grows we'll get more teachers on board and more educators will enter, jump in and share their stories.
At this point in time the podcast is going to air or be released fortnightly and once a month or so every second podcast we're going to have a new guest on the podcast to just have a chat and interview and share their story. We've got some really great teachers lined up to chat with, I'm really looking forward to bringing their stories to all of you out there.
When there isn't a guest on the podcast it's just going to be me and I plan on focusing my discussion around three areas really, the first is going to be a challenge that I've had in my teaching during the last month or so and I don't plan on sugarcoating it or talking about how I successful dealt with what that challenge
[00:04:00] might have been. I just want to say how it is. Maybe you as listeners will have some suggestions that might help, maybe not. I'm really not too sure what to expect. So basically it's just giving me a nice little platform to ramble about stuff. Hopefully it's not going to be all negative, but that's the next section. Excuse me.
I want to share a success I've had in the last month. Something, a success or something that I'm grateful for as simple as that. I think it's great to share those little ones that we have because it's those little ones that keep us going during week 9 or 10 of a long term and we've had a couple of those already. Thankfully this term is a little bit shorter, that's if I even get this podcast released this term, term three that is by the way.
Finally I'm going to end on sharing a technology or app or device or something that's helping me
[00:05:00] in the classroom. So if nothing else comes from listening to the podcast, at least once a month you'll have a new app or website or something that you can just have a whirl on. So that's really the gist of what I'm trying to do here. I hope that people find that beneficial.
My school is right next to an airport so I don't know if you can hear that plane taking off. I need to invest, I think this week I'm going to invest in a new mic so hopefully the next few podcasts will be a little bit better. It's also raining so I'm not sure if you can hear that as well, but we'll just take it all in our stride. So let's kick it off.
So there's this challenge that I've had for most of the year, it's kind of gotten, as we've move into term three it's gotten harder and harder and harder to deal with. So I have a unit standard course which is, it's targeted a senior students who haven't really or haven't met the prerequisites for PE.
[00:06:00] That might be achieving say 12/14 credits whatever at level one. So they haven't met the prerequisites for the course which means we get quite a wide range of learners in this course. Now some of those learners for them, this course provides a real good pathway for them, they can see the direction it's taking them, they can see it aligns with their goals and what they want to do and they can see that link through to tertiary education for them. But for others and I'm sure this is common in all schools was alternate pathway phys ed courses. It just becomes a dumping ground. No matter what you say to your deans or your principal or other teachers they always see a course like this as an opportunity to place a kid who's not having much success elsewhere. To me, that's cool,
[00:07:00] I don't mind that too much because I love working with these kids and really getting students to step outside of their comfort zone. But this one student I've had, he doesn't really want to be here, he's not interested in the work and would rather sit and do nothing. He's completely disengaged but on the other hand he doesn't want to leave school. He wants to be here and I think his parents want him to be here, so it makes it really challenging to the point where I've sat him down and he's said to me look I don't want to do the work and I'm not going to do the work. I just want to sit here and do nothing. I don't want to be in this class but I'm here. I appreciate that, now I understand that but there's also a bit of responsibility for the student to actually engage with the lesson and that's where the problem is. He inadvertently draws other students away from the lesson, which to me is unacceptable and it's becoming a real battle for me in the classroom.
Now on one had I'm trying to engage these learners who are active and want to learn. I'm trying to
[00:08:00] balance that with students who really don't want to learn or don't want to be in that course. So over the years, or over the year I've tried a few things with him, I've tried paring him up with active, engaged students to complete group work. So really putting him with the stunning students who can pull him along and show him a bit of guidance. I've modified tasks for him. So I've tried to make things a little bit more achievable or a little bit more exciting. I've lowered expectations around gear etc. and trying to remove those excuses and barriers that he has each period.
I have seen one success with him and that was through the use of a gamified approach where we have a leader board in this class and it's linked to social responsibility. So every lesson the get
[00:09:00] to, they get a point value that they can negotiate with me in the sense that if I, or we'll have done the three out of four they can come and say well sir I feel I'm at a four and here's why and we can negotiate that, that score. It's a really cool opportunity and it's all visual and the kids can see it and they can see what other students have got. As part of that there's a reward system built in, that's the game account, having that reward there.
The one time I had breakthrough with him he saw another student get a reward which was I think, they got a terms free weights club membership. So he saw that and realized hey maybe I could do this or apply myself a bit more and he said sir can I participate today, I don't have any gear but I really want to jump in. It was awesome and he did that and I got some really good progress from him for a couple of weeks. But
[00:10:00] that really, didn't last. It was short lived which was disappointing.
So I'm at a loss with him right now. It's really hard not to have this deficit approach to the student and rather keep looking at what I can change in my teaching that can bring about some progress for him, so that's a bit of a challenge because at the end of the day I just want to see him succeed, I want him to have some success, I want him to move onto bigger and better things. But it's hard, it's really challenging.
Onto the wins now. One here I'm really enjoying here at the moment is collaborating with other teachers. We're a sport in education school, which is a fantastic opportunity for us and if you don't know what sport in education it's a cross curricular approach to learning in a sporting context.
So we have two year nine classes, each of those year nine classes has their maths, science, English, and PE
[00:11:00] work collaboratively and it's integrated and it's all in all sporting context. So we spend a lot of time planning out our units and at any one time, for example this term has been the Olympics so all of the lessons in each learning area are closely linked together and it just makes for a really authentic experience for the students and it brings about better engagement and a lot of fun for the students.
This group, or this one class I've been working with the teachers, it's just been so much fun learning about other subject areas and seeing my class interact with different teachers because we do a bit of observation and just being able to reflect on my own approaches with them after seeing these teachers interact with them as well.
So we've had some really good discussions as a group and I'm absolutely sold on this cross curricular approach, I think it's just fantastic and we're seeing some really good results. So I'm keen to see it happen at level one but that's going to take some serious planning and right now it could be a little bit too
[00:12:00] much for a group to take on. We've got some planning sessions coming up soon so we'll see how we get on there.
But I really enjoy it and I think there's a lot of information out there on the Sport NZ website and Celia Fleck who hopefully most of you know on Twitter has a strong presence within that Sport in Education model and she was one of the pilot schools involved and now she has some direct involvement and working with schools in the program. So you should check out Celia on Twitter.
But it's, there's some really cool things coming out of it from other schools and each school has their own unique approach to it and every school is different. So we, the way we do it is a lot different to say Wainuiomata who are in it as well and Aotea College, we're all having this different approach. But at the end of the day we're all seeing positive results from it. So check it
[00:13:00] out, that's sport in education if it's something that you're interested in or what to learn more about.
The piece of technology that I want to mention today is this really cool application called Google Keep. So you can check it out at It's a fantastic note taking application which I feel is just a must have for teachers. Really, it's the ultimate note keeping app.
What I like about it is it's web based as well as on IOS or Android and it syncs across all devices. Now most of the bigger note taking apps tend to really have an app based presence and I hate typing on my iPad, it's such a pain in the ass. But the fact that this is web based as well and then syncs across those devices I can take my notes, because I'm always thinking stuff up and if I don't write something down then I lose that idea, whether it's something for my level three class or something I need to do for the shopping
[00:14:00] tomorrow, whatever. I've been able to jump on something and bang it out. It's really important for me anyway.
So some of the cool features it has, it's got voice recording and transcriptions, so if you are driving or something and you don't want to pull your phone out and type which you shouldn't, that's naught, you can activate the voice recording and it will transcribe what you say.
I've found that it's generally pretty good, a couple of typos every now and then but that's quite good. Or if I'm not by a desktop or a laptop and I want to put down a big chunk or a big idea that I don't really want to type on the device you can use that, the voice recording and transcription.
There's a labeling system, the screen actually features, it looks like you're putting post-it notes, so it's dumping post it notes on the screen and it has a
[00:15:00] labeling system so you can then label each of those and you have some categories down the side for those labels, so if you, if I'm doing, writing some information about a podcast interview or something or level three work I'll label it as level three or podcasting and if I want to look at all those notes related to that I just hit the category or the label and it brings up all of those.
It has an inbuilt to-do list which is cool. I'm all for proactivity and a to-do list I use every day, I think it's one of the best things you can use particularly in a job like ours where it's just non-stop and hectic all the time. So it has this great to-do list built in. Has notifications and reminders so if you want to schedule an alarm for something, for a note that you've put down or an action you want to take on something then you can do that as well.
So that's, that's Google Keep. For some reason it doesn't seem to have gotten much press or
[00:16:00] it doesn't have much visual presence around that whole Google apps domain. I don't now where I stumbled across it but I used it every day and it's fantastic. So check it out, I think you'll really like and it has some really good uses in teaching.
So that's it for the first NZ PE Teachercast. What are we at, we're at 15 minutes, that's probably the 15-20 minute mark is where I was aiming for. I really hope you've taking at least one thing from today. If you haven't maybe our next guest on the show will provide some motivation or insight for you and that's Kelly Ross from Tarawera High School. They are doing some fantastic things with modern day new environments and she's got a really great story to tell. We had a lot of fun in the interview. She's an amazing teacher and I can't wait to get that podcast up as well. So make sure you check out that next episode.
[00:17:00] I really appreciate you taking the time to check this out, I hope that, I really hope you took something from it. Thanks.

Escape Room – a cross curricular approach to gamified learning in PE!


Today I read a fantastic article describing the use of escape rooms in education to build narrative with learners and increase engagement in the classroom. One of the questions I was presented with at PENZ conference by @CeliaFleck was, what game mechanic do I suggest teachers start thinking about in PE. At the time I responded with the game mechanic “narrative”, but couldn’t quite convey exactly why I thought that. Looking back, I really feel that “narrative” as a game mechanic is a very white hat, internally focused game mechanic which is probably the wording I was looking for at the time.

But what does “narrative” as a game mechanic look like in PE?! I demonstrated a very brief example of how I had created narrative, but that wasn’t much at all. So I have spent a lot of time since then, thinking about how we can use the power of this mechanic to create more meaningful learning experiences for students in PE. I think the article mentioned in the first line of this post could be the answer! Read more

PENZ 2016 slide deck – Gamification


I have had a few requests for my slide deck since presenting at PENZ conference in the holidays, so have finally gotten around to fixing it up (removing a few students names) and saving it as PDF. It may appear a little funky and disjointed, as I used quite a bit of video and audio throughout; as well as a number of animations on each slide. Apologies if you can’t make sense of it.

I took a lot of inspiration for this presentation from Yu Kai Chou’s Actionable Gamification book (which I gave away at the end of the presentation), so please check out his book and website. He is the guru on gamification.

Get the slide deck here.

What’s your focus for term three?


First day back today, and a 5 period day to boot! Across the last few days I have been reflecting on my two week break and considering what my focus is going to be as we move into term three. I was lucky enough to attend PENZ 2016 and get some really valuable insight to what great things are happening in our learning area throughout the country. I find I rarely network with any other educators which is a worry. It becomes so easy to get absorbed by what we do in the classroom and never look beyond our immediate environment. Read more

Flipped Classroom Slide Deck

slide deck

For those of you who attended last night. My slide deck can be downloaded here. If you have any questions about anything technology or flipping related, please don’t hesitate to flick me an email. There were a lot of questions in the chat manuscript that I didn’t see until after the presentation. I am planning on responding to these via blog post next Friday so keep an eye out for that.