Tag Archives: professional development

TeachMeet Melbourne at Quantum Victoria

I’m looking forward to the professional sharing and F2F catching up at tomorrow’s TeachMeet Melbourne at Quantum Victoria. It’s a fantastic (and free!) opportunity to get together and share knowledge and ideas, as well as get the collegial support everyone needs.

As always everyone is invited to give a very short presentation; topics can be viewed in the Google doc. I decided to overcome my aversion to public speaking by offering a 7 minute show-and-tell about what’s valuable and enjoyable on Facebook. You can see the screenshots in the presentation below.

Looking forward to it but not happy about getting my 3rd cold for the term!

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Filed under networking

Thankyou, Twitter network

You are amazing, Twitter network. Today during my presentation to staff – How do social networks empower teachers – I tweeted out the traditional ‘Please say hi and where you’re from’ to demonstrate the scope and generosity of my network, and lo and behold! many, many people took the time to respond. That really is the power of the network – people from different parts of the world, some who don’t know me at all, extending a welcoming hand for those who are new to Twitter.

Thank you to my friends, people I see face to face, and those with whom I maintain a close and collaborative contact, for your constant support. Thanks also to those whom I have now discovered, whose blogs I’ve now saved to my Google Reader, and whose shared resources I will share with my staff.

Here is the stream of hellos we received today –

 

Not bad, huh?

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Filed under Social media

How social networks empower teachers – slideshow presentation

I’ve created this slideshow to accompany a presentation I’m giving to staff on curriculum day about how social networks empower teachers. It’s a little text-heavy but I’m using the slides to structure my talk and hoping that the slideshow will be a resource for interested staff to refer to after the talk. I’ve probably spent much too long on the preamble, the ‘what’s it all about’ but the mindshift preceding any technical instruction is very important. It’s a good idea to view the full version of the slideshow because the embedded version has cut off the far right side.

I have a lot to learn about public speaking and so I am a little nervous about the presentation itself. It’s going to be a challenge providing enough information about what to do with Twitter, Diigo, Vodpod and Scoop.it and how to do it, as well as leaving enough time for some hands on play. Hopefully it will all come together and I’m prepared to skip great chunks of the presentation after I get a feeling for the mood of the group attending. I’m still new to the school and I’m thinking that I should not focus entirely on cramming content but take the opportunity to get to know the teachers attending my session.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Filed under Social learning, Social media

New start – second week at Melbourne High School

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo Elorza on Flickr

As far as new starts go, this one feels good. Not one to go with the flow of things usually, change for me is often like a dentist’s visit I want to avoid. I admit the first few days weighed a little heavily with new procedures, finding my way around, new names and the loss of friends and familiarity of my old school, but one day into the second week and I’m really enjoying the experience.

Today we had 2 interesting visits in the library. At lunchtime Adele Walsh, Program Coordinator for the Centre for Youth Literature, came to talk to our Reading Group about The Inkys’ shortlist. (Sorry, I have forgotten the name of the lovely person who accompanied Adele and also shared her experiences of the listed books). Some people talk about books in a way that makes you want to drop everything and read all of them simultaneously, and this was one of those times. When you can talk about books without sounding like an academic, and without relating plot or analysing characters (without mentioning teenage angst!!), then you have the students listening with interest.

After school my head of library had arranged for Simon Shaw from Apple to come and talk to teachers about iPads as tools for learning and teaching. I’ve been to sessions about iPads before, and Simon’s session was probably the best one I’ve been to. There was no hard sell, just a focus on how teachers could do what they already do only better on the iPad, and a range of impressive apps, plus a hands-on session using iMovie. It was good to see a decent turnout too.

Wednesday I will be running an after-school session on Google apps. I have a serious problem when faced with ‘presentations’ and hope to improve with more practice. The research and preparation I do is excessive. Basically, I find it difficult to select a realistic portion of what’s possible. I’m sure the ridiculous amount of research is a procrastination technique. Finally, yesterday, I decided on what I might talk about and what I would exclude. At the moment this is all sitting on a page in my wiki – and looks awful. When I have time I should put this into a slideshow. If you’re brave, here it is. It’s not exhaustive but I wanted to showcase a range of tools. It’s difficult to prepare things like this when you have no idea of what your audience knows or expects, but hey, whatever.

Tomorrow lunchtime I will be meeting with the group of boys I’ll be working with as part of the Creative Writing group. I have inherited this group from my predecessor, and I’ve heard people refer to this group as the Competition Writing group which is an obvious clue in terms of what they do. I had a quick chat to the school captain who is a leader of this group today – lovely boy. I assured him that I didn’t want to change anything they were already happy with, but what did he think about also creating a blog so they could have an audience for their writing. Happily, he thought this would be a good idea. I’m really looking forward to working with these boys; I’m sure there is much passion and talent amongst them. In terms of the blog, I thought it might also be a space for any of us to share anything and everything about writing. Just now I received a Facebook update from the Facebook group, ‘The Wheeler Centre for books, writing and ideas’. I want to include this in a post to encourage the boys to join the group, and to show them what Facebook can provide besides chat.

The Wheeler Centre Facebook group also put me onto Australian Poetry, a Wheeler Centre resident organisation which is celebrating National Poetry Week with a different theme every day this week. There really are so many wonderful programs happening locally, and it will good to share these.

Well, that’s it from me. Just checking in after week 1 in the new job. My blogging has been slow lately, and this has a lot to do with the unsettling leadup to leaving one school and venturing into another. At this point I feel that I will have the opportunity to get involved in some interesting projects, and look forward to telling you about it all.

Have good days!

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Filed under news

What an opportunity – Google Teacher Academy Sydney

What a (good) shock it was to receive an email with news that I had been selected to participate in the Google Teacher Academy in Sydney 20 April (as well as an optional half-day on Thursday). I still can’t believe my luck!  I’ve heard the one full-day PD is full-on, so I hope I’m up to it mentally and physically.

Although I’m confused and upset that many bright and shining people who deserve to go weren’t selected,  I am also honoured and excited, and look forward to fantastic opportunities to learn, connect and share with passionate educators. I expect that this experience will enhance my ability to support teaching and learning at my own school and in my broader environment, and also to broaden my understanding of ways in which I can contribute to learning enhancement, my new role this year. Obviously, the learning will not end with the one session but continue beyond the day. I look forward to meeting and adding to my network new people from all over the place. It’s always fantastic to discover interesting, innovative people.

Not sure what happens here

I suppose I’d better book my flight soon, as well as somewhere to stay. It will be interesting meeting the overseas people. Can’t wait!

Who else is going? Looking forward to meeting you.

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Timelines and Twitter

Yesterday I was at a SLAV professional development session with the dynamic duo, Ross Todd and Carol Gordon – something I might write about in a later post (although I might not, considering Judith Way has taken copious notes and will no doubt do a brilliant write up in Bright Ideas – and she has). I was uncertain whether to take comprehensive notes or not, so that I could sit back and enjoy listening to and watching the speakers. I ended up splitting myself three ways – a solution to my indecision – and jotting down some things on paper, some in a word document and tweeting out interesting one-liners and links on Twitter.

Twitter is always so satisfying during conferences because while you’re sharing information and links, you’re getting immediate feedback from your network who are either retweeting or responding in some way.

At one point during the afternoon session while we were working on transforming an enquiry unit,  I tweeted out a request for online timelines, and unsurprisingly received 3 replies, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Paul Stewart shared a link to his blog post about Timeglider which used to be called Mnemograph. Interesting, the name change. The former does sound more ‘futuristic’ while the latter sounds like some kind of wondrous ancient machine housed in a museum.  Paul describes Timeglider in his post:

Mnemograph is a web-based timeline application. It can be used for a range of purposes. I attempted to chart the growth of Web 2.0 technologies. After a few minutes of initial confusion, I quickly found my way around and was throwing in images, text and hyperlinks with gay abandon. My first effort in Mnemograph is below. Additional information can be accessed by double-clicking items on the timeline. In this particular case, I have included links to original pages via the incredible Wayback Machine, a web archive of 85 billion webpages). I thought it appropriate to complement a timeline with the web’s most significant piece of temporal devotion.

I can’t seem to embed Paul’s example, so here’s the link. 

And here’s one of the examples given on the site:

timeglider

Martin Jorgensen shared this link to a post about Our Story, stories built with interactive timelines. Martin writes:

OurStory allows users to design a timeline using images and text. Stories built using this tool most often appear as sequences of events that lead to a conclusion. Some of the examples I’ve seen are simply one event leading to another, but others are more subtle.

Allison Kipta shared a link to Timeline. You can create a timeline or browse existing timelines which have been featured on the site.

timeline

What I love about shared resources which are housed in blogs is the opportunity to explore the blog and discover all the other resources and ideas by the authors. In this way, I’ve found Twitter an invaluable resource and opportunity to discover and connect with amazing people and their work.

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Filed under 21st century learning, networking, technology, Web 2.0

Captain Planet and Powerful Learning Practice

Did you ever watch Captain PlanetMy older son, now 18, used to love the show, and for some reason I’ve had an image in my mind of our PLP team as Planeteers. This Monday a small team from our school will be embarking on the Powerful Learning Practice journey led by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach from USA, and within our own sphere, Jenny Luca. I can see our only male member, Kevin,  as Captain Planet and the rest of us as Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart. We will join rings and sing in unison (or polyphonically), only one of us will have to rewrite the words so that they cleverly express some kind of transcendentally splendid PLP message. Any suggestions? 
 
Why am I raving? I suppose I see this as a mission of sorts – a mission I have some idea about but also many questions; a journey that equips us with new understanding and skills for 21st century learning and teaching which we will pass on to the rest of the school community.  What’s important to remember is that behind the small team is the larger team – the rest of the staff: talented, hard-working, and committed people. Although we, the Planeteers, are excited about meeting the rest of the cohort, and taking part in the program on the first level, we are not doing it for ourselves, but will return to the larger team with our new learning, making a difference to the whole school. You see why Captain Planet comes to mind? We’re on a mission – hopefully not as pushy, holier-than-thou converts, but people who are priveleged to draw from the experience of others and eager to share with our colleagues. As the good captain says: by YOUR powers combined, I am Captain Planet!
Now excuse me while I find my lycra superhero vest.

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Filed under 21st century learning, Education, learning