Monthly Archives: February 2013

Schools can no longer provide students with a complete toolkit for their futures

Schools and unis can no longer provide students with the complete toolkit for their futures; now it’s about equipping them with skills to be lifelong learners.

Our students need self confidence, adaptability, and strong values

School’s task to develop people as successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

Knowledge remains vital but it’s not enough. Success depends on deep understanding and having the skills to turn knowledge to useful effect. Deep learning and the development of skills is important.

The curriculum should not be a catalogue of content – things to be learned. Students should be building networks and developing collaboration.

Deep learning and development of skills are critically important.

In the modern world, the evidence needs to be increasingly in advanced transferable cognitive skill – critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

There is a new emphasis on learner engagement. There is the idea that the learner has to take responsibility for his/her own decisions and has to be involved in his/her progress.

All learning has to become more ambitious. We have our new mission statements. We share the objectives but nobody has yet made the breakthrough to real 21st century practice.

When will we stop talking about this and start taking apart an outdated, irrelevant system?


Filed under 21st century learning

Welcome to your library – teachers

Welcome to your library teachers


On Tuesday I’ve been asked to give a very short talk about the library at the staff meeting. It will be my first talk to staff since I’ve been acting head of library at MHS. I’m very nervous about speaking to the staff at my own school, more so than if I were speaking to a group of people outside the school, but I need to get over it.

Basically, I want to let teachers know about the change of culture for VCE private study. Previously the library was home to an enormous number of students who had no other space, and the noise was often out of control. Even though I was initially unsure about insisting on a silent library, favouring discussion and collaborative study, I had to respect the principal’s directive, and believe him when he said that students were complaining they couldn’t study in the noisy spaces. This year students have a choice between the silent library and the ‘dining hall’ (sounds much more posh than it is) where they can work collaboratively or just relax. We’ve all been flabbergasted that most of the students still choose the library despite our strict rules for silent study. Who knew? Of course, carpet and air conditioning have something to do with this, but we are seeing so many students knuckling down to serious study.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on a presentation which is just a visual prompt for my brief talk. I hope teachers will look at the slides instead of me! Our main focus this year is to work more closely with teachers to create rich resources, create curriculum/assignments and teach collaboratively. We hope to forge relationships and become a vital part of teaching and learning at the school. We’ve divided faculties amongst the teacher librarians, and I hope that the TLs take ownership of their areas of expertise, and that they enjoy their new roles.

I hope you can make sense of the visual prompts in the presentation. My talk will be brief and I plan to speak very plainly; I’ve consciously avoided educational jargon. Today I read an article by Daniel Pink, “My challenge to you: only speak like a human at work” which confirmed what I’ve believed – that if you can’t say it simply and sincerely, you’ll lose your audience, or at least you won’t have much of an impact.

Sorry I wasn’t able to embed the presentation, so you’ll have to download it via the link at the top of the post. Not sure why I can’t – maybe it’s Chrome?


Filed under Presentations, Uncategorized

First Melbourne TeachMeet 2013 #tmmelb

Well, hello. It’s been so, so long since I’ve spoken in this space, and I’m not even sure I still have an audience.  Nevertheless, I’d like to do a quick post to rave a little about Melbourne’s first TeachMeet for 2013. Given that we’ve only just gone back to school, lamenting the long Summer break behind us, how lovely to meet in casual surrounds at Lt. Markov-Bar in Carlton. Thank you, Roland (@rgesthuizen), for organising ICTEV TeachMeet @[The Pub}. I’m not sure what I enjoy the most – the social part or the exchange of expertise – but fortunately we can have both. Seriously, if people get together in their free time on the weekend in the name of education and learning, I think that says something about the event.

If you take a look at the line-up of 2- and 7-minute presentations, you’ll see a variety of educational foci including Lauren Sayer’s (@lilylauren) project-based learning revolution at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Jenny Ashby’s (@jjash) 24-hour skype fest, Heather Bailie’s (@hbailie) chat about the Red Cross initiative, Disaster Resilience education, and much more. Do take a look, and think about coming to the next TeachMeet. You don’t have to present, and you’ll meet people who are passionate about education and work in different fields. Thank you to all the organisers, and it was good to see friends and familiar faces again, as well as new people.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is the visual presentation part of my 7-minute talk. It’s about using Pinterest as an awesome image resource, and I show how I’ve used it to curate images for Visual Communication Design. I’m thinking of presenting a longer version at some point with a cross-curricular focus. Hopefully the pictures will make some sense without the spoken part.

(For some reason I can’t seem to embed the Google Presentation doc, so it will have to be a link for now)


Filed under Uncategorized