"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Years Resolutions

This really is a most thoughtful time of year. I suppose some of the things I have been pondering off late is how can I get the best learning environment for my students. It is of course very hard to cater to all students needs but I am wondering how the learning needs of adults will be different to that of teenagers. I guess I will find out sooner rather than later. I have been getting a little stressed as I feel as though I won't be ready for when term starts but I think the best approach is to take one day at a time. 
                "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

This week I also joined the South Pacific Book Chat http://spbkchat.blogspot.com/ on twitter #spbkchat. It was wonderful to see what others in the Asia Pacific area are reading at the moment. Apart from reading lots of education blogs and research I am an avid book lover. I enjoyed the whole experience and I didn't find the tweets were coming too fast that I couldn't follow the discussion. All in all I think it would be a good technique to use in the classroom. Was pleased I had a chance to test drive the experience first. 

It looks like I maybe running a training session on Google Sites at my new job for the other teachers. I am really enjoying every opportunity I get to train and encourage other teachers with how they can use technology to engage, inform and inspire their students. 

Have been thinking more about the logo for the business. I think I need to make it very simple. Plain colour, plain writing. Still working on that one. Thanks for the feedback. 

A couple of interesting sites I came upon this week were; Historypin http://www.historypin.com/ and Digital Docs in a Box http://www.digitaldocsinabox.org/ History Pin allows you to add pictures, audio, video and text to an event in history. Digital Docs in a box guides you through the process of making a documentary. Both useful for teachers and perhaps some creative parents to work on a project with their kids. 

My hope for this year is first and for most, make it through without losing the plot. I am very excited about my new business. There is a lot to be done to really get it up and running however I know I can do it. It will be hard to juggle new job, new company and family commitments but I am always up for a challenge. 

I pray you all have a safe and happy new year. Thanks for following my blog and I look forward to sharing with you some more next year. 

Until next year,

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A light bulb moment or two

Have found I have had quite a few light bulb moments this week.  I felt I needed to do something for my business. My good friend Sally gave me the idea to try and design my own logo for the business. She put me onto two great sites to get started. 


Great for finding some interesting images.
Once you found the pic you like you can load it up to Picnik and edit the picture.

There are lots of fun editing tools to make you pic fun and interesting.

So here are the three I have come up with so far. I'd love to know what you think. 

Sallly aka Salinafix http://purplespecs.blogspot.com/ has been helping me jazz up my blog. So over the next few weeks I may make some other changes. 

Have started preparing lessons for TAFE and started setting up a Goggle site for each of my classes so they can have all the information they need on hand and it is easily accessible for them. Found a really great webinar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVa1ba4-AGU for some ideas for pages to add to my Google site and really great layout features.

Am really looking forward to Christmas and spending time with family and friends. I wish all my blog readers a safe and happy Christmas. 

Until next week, 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Great conversations

As the silly season gets into full swing and people let down there guard into more casual conversation I am yet again encouraged that I am onto a good thing. I have had so many ideas for my business that at one point this week my brain was buzzing. My business is not yet fully underway and it is getting bigger than Ben Hur. I suppose it doesn't hurt to think big. God is really guiding to speak to the right people.

I was very glad to receive my Cert IV in Training and Assessment Certificate and I am now a qualified Trainer and Assessor for adults. I cannot praise enough Paul at SAVE Training for his help and encouragement. I have never done an online course before and he made the whole experience easy.

Had a great day at TAFE on Tuesday and have now been given all my courses. I have decided that I am going to set up a Google site for each one of my courses to help the students. Really excited about trying out all my techno ideas. Found it hard to sleep on Tuesday night as my mind was buzzing full of ideas. Have yet to get all the work for the HSC course but I am sure that will come soon. Have been reading the required texts though, The Story of Tom Brennan, Wilfred Owen poems and Strictly Ballroom and am waiting for the Shoehorn Sonata to arrive.

Yet again have found some great Tweets. The 2011 Edublogs were announced and gee whiz there are some very clever teachers. Watched a great webinar on Google Docs with Molly Schroeder https://sites.google.com/site/mydigitalfootprint/  Am totally addicted to finding cool apps for my ipad.
Really like http://www.kleinspiration.com/2011/12/breaking-news-today-educreations.html app to make your ipad interactive. I am totally addicted to Word Search HD app.

Was interested in http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/results-prove-theres-power-in-the-pack-20111215-1owyh.html Sydney Morning Herald article about the High Achievers at Sydney Boys High. They have got a good thing going there. Inspiring teachers, inspiring students. Winning formula really.

Have decided to probably wait until new year to launch site. Getting busy with all my TAFE work. I really need to get a logo for the business before I launch the site. Must get onto that next week.

Enjoy the silly season and find some Christmas cheer.

Until next week,

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hurray! I made it

What a relief! I am still awaiting my results but I finished my Cert IV on Wednesday. I don't recommend you do a 12 month course in 3 weeks and work full time! Way too much stress.

School is out and I am moving on with my new career.

On Monday I ran my first teacher course with the HSIE faculty and I felt it went really well. The feedback I got from the teachers was great. I had a feedback session with them the next day and overnight they had made two websites and were adding all sorts of things to them. They were really chuffed. It was so great to see these teachers inspired to help their students learn through technology. I get such a buzz out of excited and inspired teachers.

As some of you know I really love twitter. I find some great gems. This week the nominations for the best EduBlogs came out http://edublogawards.com/ I was having a quick read of last years award winner and he is nominated again. On his site he gave his top ten websites and I was so happy to see that on Monday I had shown at least 7 of them. The link is below. Everyone wants free stuff.
The important thing with teaching technology is that it needs to be current. Twitter and blogs are the best places to find all these new ideas.

I have become a little addicted to my ipad and have really had a lot of fun finding some cool apps for the classroom. I would love to create an app oneday. I would like to create an app that links to my website that I create. Now that school is out my big job next week is to get my website up and running.

I am meeting with TAFE on Tuesday to find out what I have to teach next year. I have the HSC texts I will be teaching and am looking forward to reading these. I still have to look at how they want me to teach it. Looking forward to it.

This year has been a big learning journey and I have loved it. I really enjoy learning as much as I enjoy teaching. I do hope others feel this way too. Thanks to all my family and friends who are reading my blog and I feel now as though I have an audience.

Keep learning, keep loving,

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Bit off more than I can chew

Have had a bit of a frustrating week. I think I set my goals too high from last week and I kind of crashed and burned. The student course didn't go real well as the students were too tired to pay too much attention at the end of the day. However I am not going to let that get me down. I thought my Shingles were coming back so I have had to have a day of R & R. In saying that I still managed to almost finish my Cert IV. This time next week it will all be done! Hurray.

Have realised that as I have been working on my Cert IV I am dropping into the lingo a little easier. Instead of students we have learners or canditates. Instead of 'in class today..', we have ' in this training session'. Just takes a little to adjust to a few changes.

Had another call from TAFE. Now they want me to teach HSC English. Very excited. My mind has been a whirl as to how I can include technology into the course. So excited. This means that I can put into practice all my great ideas and test them out before I run my training sessions.

Have been exploring how to incorporate Apple Education Apps. Have had very little time to play lately but am looking forward to having a play with that next week. Found a great website http://ilearn.empowerbpo.com/2011/11/100-ipad-apps-perfect-for-high-school.html . 100 ipad apps for education. Will have lots fun thinking of classroom applications for these apps. Yet again Twitter provides me with great ideas.

Have had a few staff members from other facualties ask if they can sit in on the training session on Monday. Am taking that as a really good sign. Must make sure my course is really tight so they can get lots out of it. Will have to have a play with Jing again this weekend to make sure I don't have any trouble uploading my videoes to a google site as I demonstrate on the day. Best to make sure it all works before I have to demonstrate it.

So.. this week not so many goals. One goal. Finish Cert IV. Hanging by my fingernails.

Until next week,