Sunday, April 14, 2013

Creating, Innovating and Learning

This is an update on a blog post from last year,  Sharing the Teaching and Learning, where we began to develop a piece of software from another programme - MyVcv - also a fantastic tool.

Since November we've been working on this new development - MyChatPak -  and it's now almost ready for release!!  We're in the trial phase for the next couple of weeks.

I honestly can't begin to describe how exciting this is - to be involved in developing, innovating and creating something new from an existing product is almost beyond words.  It's pushed my own learning, challenged me and, at times, frustrated me!!  I now know EXACTLY how my students feel but isn't it the challenges in life that show us what we're truly made of - that teach us the skills that line up with the Habits of Mind - Persistence, Thinking Flexibly, Building Bridges to new knowledge, etc.  Isn't this what we want for our own students - isn't this what we want for ourselves as teachers and learners?  (I've kept telling myself this anyway when I've become the 'frustrated learner'!) 

MyChatPak really does work if you want to improve students' confidence in speaking publicly and also if you want an easy and simple to use way to share learning with others.
How many tools do we have that we can send as an email and the video opens in the email? You don't have to muck around going to a link for an external site. 

I'm buzzing about this!!  We'll be web-based soon which means that all platforms will be able to use it. The trial at the moment is for a PC version. If you'd love to trial it, just let me know - no cost. We just want quality feedback and ideas for improvements / uses / and where we can go next.

Using MyChatPak has really helped my students gain confidence in being able to speak publicly.  The biggest difference with this teaching and learning tool is that you are able to create a script to support you and this runs along the top - like a teleprompter - when you are recording the video.

One of the main differences with MyChatPak is that you can send videos that are less than a minute straight to email - and it opens in an email!  You don't have to go and visit an external site to see it.  This is such a fantastic way to share quick learning snapshots with parents and classrooms around the country and the world.

It also offers a way to be able to reflect on your learning - and teaching.  We're using it to record learning snapshots for thinking in maths and many other curriculum areas.  We now want to use it to collaborate with learners in other countries to share our teaching and learning.

You can also record longer videos and these are able to be uploaded to Blogger, YouTube and Facebook which is another bonus for sharing learning. 

This is something I really believe in and to be able to be a part of the development process alongside software developers and, in particular, my students has been one of the highlights of my career to date.

Help us continue on our incredible learning journey by becoming part of the trial.  Let me know by commenting here and I will contact you.  


  1. I am keen Justine - if you can flick me some specific information that would be awesome!
    Sarah G

  2. Hi my name is Anna, I loved your comment on my blog! Maybe you should get your students to comment on my blog and give me ideas fr the future!! That would be awesome!! :) Thanks!