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

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Friday, 31 August 2012

Winning the technology battle

This week has been filled with fabulous discussions about how people are using technology in their classrooms. I have realised that sweeping change is never a great way to convince people that using technology is a good idea. So I guess modelling is the way to go. During the course of the year I have been doing my own thing with technology with my students which has been fun. I love using technology and I probably wouldn't have it any other way. I'm woffling. However the students have been talking about how useful these technology tools are and ask their teachers in turn about it. It is causing discussion and a re-thinking to how we are doing things as a faculty. This culminated in a wonderful conversation with my boss about where we are going with technology and technology tools for the next year. So he has asked me to set up a Moodle site for the whole section that we can start to use from the start of term next year and I have to train all the staff to use it!! Totally blown away and didn't expect it. Whilst I an not a huge fan of Moodle it's a start and I have to work at some level with what I have got. I am really excited that staff are starting to see that technology can be a useful tool rather than just another thing they have to fit into their day. The staff have always been supportive of my ideas and have always taken to time to listen to my ramblings.

Was able to have a meeting with the eLearning consultant for our section from Newcastle and he is going to help. At times it is hard being the youngest teacher surrounded by really experienced and older staff however I am not wasting time and am learning from them at a fast pace. They in turn apparently enjoy my enthusiasm for what I do and it has turned out to be a very positive experience for me. I feel like I am a little bird taking off from the nest for the first time and I am allowed to fly with guidance and support. I don't think I have ever been in a work environment where I have been so encouraged to excel. I am loving it.

Just a few other exciting things for me this week. Was able to pull off a wonderful twitter chat with the lovely Felicity Plunkett. She is an award winning Australian poet and is speaking at the 12 Bells English Conference in October. I had attended one of her writing courses a few years ago and on a whim sent an email to her asking if she would like to join us on #ozengchat on Tueday night on Twitter. Thankfully she agreed. It was her first time on Twitter and her 10 year old son helped her get on. She provided richness to our discussion on poetry. (If you are interested her Twitter handle is Poetrix7).

Last Saturday night provided rich discussion and thought at Book Club over Andrew Nicholl's book If you're reading this, I'm already dead. Quirky, insightful and fun book. The author even Tweeted us before we started! Would be really cool to have a twitter chat with the author whilst book club is going. Have to work on that one.

All in all it has been a great week. Just happy to be alive and enjoying life.

Websites for the week:

  • Why twitter is such a powerful tool for teaching.


  • The Future Skills Report

University of Phoenix research on where we are going with job skills in the next 8 years. Very interesting.

  • Thinking of ways I can use Voice Thread in my lessons


Stephen Ritz's TED Talk is inspiring, amazing, energetic and candid. Loved it.

Wishing you all a great week ahead.

Until next time,

Sunday, 26 August 2012

10 top tech favorites

I have been very slack off late and got carried away with the Olympics and then I got snowed under at work. So there has been lots happening. Have managed to have a Google docs training session my boss and another colleague and I feel I am one step further to winning to tech war at work. As many of you are aware I am taking the slow and steady approach to winning over my colleagues to tech. They were of course suitably impressed with the tech and will start to incorporate it into their classrooms. Was really chuffed to have such great support.

I guess one of the questions that people ask is "What tech tools do you really use in the classroom?"

My top ten at the moment are (and believe me they change):
1. Google docs
2. Twitter
3. GoodReader App for iPad
4. Presenter Media .com
5. PowerPoint
6. Blogger
7. Vimeo
8. YouTube
9. Instagram 
10. Posterious

I guess this list will change with time but these are the tech tools I have been using with students this term. I really want to use QR codes but I don't have enough students yet with devices to use QR codes. Just a matter of time really.

I am continuing to work on my website and hope to launch my business soon. I am still waiting for the Teachers Institute to get back to me so I can get accredited for my courses. You are welcome to have a sneak peak at eles.com.au but I haven't finished it yet. A work in progress. Hopefully I will have it finished soon. For many of my students their dreams of gaining a good education means a ticket to a better life and this takes time. Sometimes I get frustrated that I haven't managed to get going further on my idea but I just can't rush into it or it will fail before I even start.

I have greatly missed my blog writing and will hope to post another soon. 

Hope this term is going great for all my readers. Thanks for taking the time to follow my learning journey this year. I have really appreciated the support. 

Until next week,