Leading change is hard. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it isn’t. If it was, I doubt there would be so many expensive books, people and programs out there that claim to revolutionise your working environment in ‘just a few easy steps’. The books on my coffee table currently include ‘Start with Why’, ‘Leaders Eat Last’ and ‘Think Like a Freak’…I have watched countless YouTube videos on leadership and educational change and I have listened to some amazing people share their stories about leading change. I think it is safe to say I’m always looking, reading and researching ideas to help me be better at my job. Continue reading
Yesterday I attended ICT in Education Victoria‘s annual state conference and was lucky enough to present about the ways I am exploring social media in my classroom.
I have written a couple of posts about embracing social media with students-
One of my students has also written a post about his experiences-
My session overview stated-
The majority of students we teach use social media, they have Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter accounts. It is no longer ok for teachers to ignore the fact that their students are using these tools and that social media is becoming a fundamental source for students to research, gather information, learn, play and communicate. It is time that we as educators start embracing this use of technology in the classroom. This session will specifically explore using Twitter as a fundamental educational tool in the classroom.
It was great to see a booked out session and some familiar Twitter faces in the crowd.
Click the following link to view my presentation slides- Teaching the social media generation – ICTEV 2013 Presentation
How do you use Twitter with your students?
2012 has been a remarkable year. It has been busy and at times demanding, exciting and stimulating. There have been many ups and a few downs but each time I have managed to get back up again! I have learnt a great deal, I have taught a great deal, I have accomplished so much more than I could have imagined, which of course, has left me wanting even more! I have been surprised and I have been shocked but I can happily look back on 2012 and know that I am still in the right place. Being an educator is who I am and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love my job, no matter what it throws at me and yes, some days I may just want to pull my hair out…but I don’t because I know that what I am doing is worth it. There are young people who rely on me everyday to be the best I can be, so I keep going. I don’t give up. I do it for them!
My highlights of 2012 have included:
– This Blog: What a wonderful way to share and learn from others, to engage in professional learning and to reflect on my practice.
– My Class Blog: My very first year of blogging in my class has opened up a myriad of ideas and learning in my classroom.
– T is For Teaching: An article by Jewel Topsfield published in The Age Newspaper. Teachers rarely get the recognition they deserve for the things they do in the classroom, just to be noticed and valued for what I have done is something that I am extremely grateful for.
– Evernote Ambassador: This year I was made an international education ambassador for Evernote. It is extremely exciting to share, teach, help and inspire other teachers to use Evernote to become more organised and efficient teachers!
– My students: I have been blessed with an amazing group of students who have challenged me and nearly everyday teach me something new. Without them I would not have been able to accomplish half as much as I did this year.
Where to in 2013-
– IWBNet Leading a Digital School Conference: I am looking forward to presenting and running workshops about Evernote at the IWBNet leadership conference, my first conference presentation.
– Evernote Ambassadorship: I can’t wait to meet more teachers looking at using Evernote and being able to share what I know with them.
– A new year in a growing school: 2013 will be the third year of operation for my school and I have been there from the beginning- what a privilege to be a part of it.
– Continuing to learn and grow: I don’t think I could ever stop wanting to find out more, I wonder what i will learn in 2013?
My ‘words of wisdom’ from what I have learnt this year:
- Expect the unexpected
- Start with a clean slate
- Be patient
- Never give up
- Have high expectations
- Hard work really does pay off
- Learn from those around you
- Listen to what others have to say
- Discuss…don’t argue
- Nudge…don’t force
- Put yourself out there
- Try something new…try something new…try something new…try something new…try something new…get it?
- Give people time- everybody is different, just because what someone else does is not the same as what you would do, doesn’t mean it is wrong
- Ask questions- enquire, research, have the want for more, we are always learning!
- Smile and be positive- ‘EVERYDAY is a good day to have a good day’ (as my thermo mug tells me every morning)…even if you don’t feel like it…our students deserve the best!
What has 2012 been like for you?
What are you looking forward to in 2013?
What are your ‘words of wisdom’?
Wow! The last two Friday’s have blown my mind. I am so excited and inspired by the new things I have discovered and the questions I am now asking. Last Friday was Challenge Based Learning and today I went to a workshop on integrating the iPad/iPhone/iPod into your classroom, with the very inspirational, Marco Torres.
I really liked Marco’s analogy of ‘Studio, Stage, Community’. Those of you familiar with ‘Caves, Watering Holes and Campfires’ learning spaces may relate. The amount of technology students have at their fingertips should not be overlooked, whether we as educators, parents or members of the community like it or not, it can not be ignored or avoided. It’s here, now and students are always going to use it! Marco described the ‘Studio’, where students are using technology to produce content, the ‘Stage’ being the Internet, sharing their work and finally ‘Community’, where their work is celebrated with a global audience. He emphasised the fact that with mobile devices, students have their ‘Studio, Stage, Community’ on them at all times.
As a result of today’s workshop, I thought I would share some of the apps and ideas that were discussed. Some, I had heard about but never tried and there were also lots of new ones. The focus was on students using most of these apps to create- not just regurgitate information or play drill and practise games.
GarageBand- GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go.
See (and hear) the potential-http://vimeo.com/43162659 Students playing in an iPad Orchestra created by their teacher. Directed by Marco Torres
No surprises here- Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.
Wkikhood- Organises the information from Wikipedia for any place in the world. Within a few clicks you not only get access to all the locations around you, but also the vast information related to these locations categorized by “persons” und “culture/buildings”.
AppShopper keeps you up to date on the newest App Store apps, sales and freebies.
Barefoot World Atlas- A magical interactive 3D globe that invites children to explore the regions and countries of the world, discovering hundreds of fascinating features and immersing themselves in the rich wonders of our planet.
ShowMe- Allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online.
iMovie- Make beautiful HD movies anywhere with iMovie, the fast and fun moviemaking app that puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips.
AutoRap- Simply speak into your iPad or iPhone and it turns it your speech into a rap song.
Haiku Deck- The simple new way to create stunning presentations for any occasion.
Explain Everything- Easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.
Word Lens- See the world in your language: instantly translate printed words using your built-in video camera, in real time!
With these apps and examples of student learning I saw today as well as last Friday I am beginning to ask my self many questions.
How can I challenge my students to ask ‘under the surface questions’?
What am I doing in my classroom to get students to come up with their own ideas about learning?
How can my students learn by watching me learn?
How can I encourage my students to challenge themselves and their own thinking?
I would love to hear your thoughts.