About me – Tania Sheko

Hi, my name is Tania Sheko. I am a teacher librarian  at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Australia. I love using connective technologies to create collaborative learning opportunities.

I believe that we teach best when we continue to evolve through our own learning journey. I learn from others wherever they are, and I believe online connections are all about people.

I ‘transformed’ myself into a teacher librarian, having taught English, German, French and ESL, and I love being able to support and enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum – I love focusing on the learning rather than content. I believe that libraries are the centre of learning and culture, and that teacher librarians play a vital role in a fast-changing, information- and media-rich world.

My main focus and passion is the creation of authentic, passion-driven learning experiences where technology enables connections and rich conversation with people and often experts outside the classroom walls, where personal connections grow compassion.

I see life as continual learning for everyone, schools without walls, and the creativity evident in self-initiated learning of young people. My own learning takes place wherever I am, online and in person.

I was fortunate to be part of my previous school’s team taking part in the Powerful Learning Practice experience. More than just professional development, this provided me with a network of passionate and dedicated educators and experts from whom and with whom I continue to learn.

In April 2011 I became a Google Certified Teacher, and am blessed to be part of a dynamic and resourceful cohort of (so far) 60 educators worldwide.

This blog was originally created to record my progress in a Web 2.0 program run by the School Library Association of Victoria in 2008. It soon took on a life of its own, allowing reflection, sharing of ideas and information, and social networking.

My own children started out with a Montessori education before jumping back into mainstream. This choice for them stemmed from my own observation of younger children and their amazing natural desire to learn contrasted with a disengagement in the early high school years. I’ve always wanted to understand what happens to ‘kill off’ that natural love of learning so that I can have a part in inspiring young people during their school years, in helping them enjoy learning and become lifelong learners.

Outside of my job, my interests include the visual arts, music and literature. In my undergraduate Arts degree, I specialised in avant-garde German theatre (Max Frisch’s Graf Öderland), and I think that my interest in the avant-garde continues in the sense of a focus on the experimental and innovative.

If you follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, you’ll notice my addiction to art, illustration and animation. I love being able to support art students by sharing my finds on my art blog, Art does matter.

The best part of writing a blog and participating in online networks is the connection to people and the resulting conversations. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment or just introducing yourself.

You can see my bookmarks on Delicious and Diigo.

You can follow me on Twitter @taniatorikova.

Visit my art blog where I post eclectic inspiration for art students. My colleagues and I are developing e-resources in Libguides which you are welcome to use.

You can follow Melbourne High School Library’s blog and enjoy my students’ writing on their blog.  You can read my global project on Flickr blog here.

You can email me tsheko1@gmail.com

18 responses to “About me – Tania Sheko

  1. valmuir

    Have you had any success with Google Reader or Bloglines? We are having difficulty with linking them to our blogs. I have created accounts in both and managed to get Bloglines sort of linked to my account but am really struggling with GoogleReader. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    My blog is at

    valmuir.globalteacher.org.au

    It’s not exciting or even relevant just a series of entries to go through the program.

    Thanks, val.

  2. tsheko

    Hi Val,
    Sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with your RSS. I’ve had trouble with everything actually. When it’s all up, nobody can tell how many gruelling hours have been put in, can they?
    I found Bloglines more user friendly than Google Reader. I’ve done something with Google Reader a while ago but have to have a look again. I don’t know about you, but after I’ve accomplished something, I immediately forget how. Some time this weekend I’ll have a look, and if I have something helpful to say, I’ll reply here.
    Don’t feel bad about the blog. I may have more time than you. I did a lot of it while I was sick at home.
    all the best,
    Tania

  3. Hi there

    I have just discovered your blog and I shall be back!! Thanks a lot for the mention too.

    Isabelle Jones
    http://isabellejones.blogspot.com

  4. Hi Isabelle. Good to meet you. For some reason, I had to yank your comment out of my spam!

    Tania

  5. Tania Sheko,

    I found your name on “Directory of Learning Professionals on Twitter” and wanted to reach out to you. I visited your Twitter page and read through the blogs.

    My name is Gomathi and I am the Market Development Manager for EnglishCafe. We are currently in beta and could use some feedback on the site. Will you help us out by giving us a quick peek or tweet? In the very near future, we will be launching a program where Tutors can make money on our site as well. I may circle back to you when that launches as well.

    Can we touch base soon?

    Gomathi Shankar
    Market Development Manager
    EnglishCafe
    http://www.EnglishCafe.com

    EnglishCafe is the premier English learning community for global professionals.

  6. Tsheko. maybe you could have your two children explore PicLits.
    We would love some feedback from that age group. Ideas, suggestions, and questions would be terrific.

    Thanks in advance.

    Terry Friedlander
    PicLits.com
    terry@piclits.com

  7. Hi Tania,
    Would you like to follow me on my side bar? Take a look.

    Paul

  8. Hi Tania,

    I just discovered your blog whilst checking delicious to see who had bookmarked my colleague’s (Adrian Camm) Physics website!

    I have only started blogging a few weeks ago and I am hooked.

    Your recent articles are very interesting and I am looking forward to reading all the rest of your blog over the next few days – keep up the great work.

    Jeff

  9. Hi Jeff, pleased to meet you! I’ve passed on Adrian’s website and your blog to our teachers. You’re doing a great job. Although I’m not a maths or science teacher, I really get into these subjects through blogs. Blog posts offer variety and make everything sound interesting.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Tania

  10. Maree Macdonald

    Hi Val,
    Thank you so much for linking to our blog (fict.it.ious) on yours!

  11. Really appreciate the posting about creativity recently. Tied in perfectly with an article I am writing for the NCTE. Think you would find my English Companion Ning of interest given your subjects and blogroll. Hope to see you there:

    http://www.englishcompanion.ning.com
    http://www.englishcompanion.com

    Thanks again for the info and your rich site.

    Jim Burke

    • I found your ning last week and joined, happily. So many good things happening there. Thankyou for your kind comment, and see you on the ning.

  12. murcha

    It is interesting to read about the education that you gave your own children. I often reflect on that issue of somehow around the early teenage years we seem to ‘kill’ or students lose that curiousity or thirst for learning. Their creativity also seems to disappear. That is where I found that uisng blogs, global projects and other web2.0 tools, students will go off on their own direction to seek out further information on what they have read or heard. What are your thoughts on the Montessori education program? Did your children continue to enjoy learning throughout their education?

  13. Actually, we moved, and the Montessori primary school was terrible, so we switched our kids to mainstream. My oldest had more Montessori education, and I think it really gave him a good start. I still think that if they had continued with a good Montessori education, they would have been more connected to learning, but there’s no way I can prove that. Montessori, like any kind of education, is only as good as its teachers. On the negative side, it can be misinterpreted or taught by uninspired teachers. We had some serious issues with our Melbourne Montessori before we took our boys out. I still love the philosophy and approach, though!

    What I loved about Montessori (and this was in preschool) was the choice given, the 3 year age range in a class, the prizing of independent and inquiry learning, and the celebration and reverence for the wonders of life. Thanks for dropping by, Anne.

  14. Congratulations Tania! Your site has been nominated in the ACCE Australasian Educational Media Awards. Visit the conference website to vote for your own site and leave a comment on other nominated resources. Friends and colleagues may also wish to support your nomination. http://acec2010.info/acce-edsoft-awards/gallery

    The two winning entries will be announced at the ACEC2010 Conference on Friday 9 April.

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