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Showing posts from July, 2014

Influences and Inspiration - A Reflection on a Year of Blogging

I have spoken elsewhere about how I have become a connected educator. However, I have not necessarily spoken about those who have had an ongoing influence on me. +Cameron Paterson talks about finding someone who scares you to drive you, but I feel that it is more important to find some who inspires you and drives you forward. Sometimes such moments can be intimidating or awe inspiring. They provide us with a choice, we can either say that is too hard and baulk at the challenge or say that although it is a lot of work, with a bit more effort and endeavour I could achieve that too.
Although 'influence and inspiration' exists outside of gender, I am inspired by a tweet from +Julie Bytheway to be more equitable. So I have decided to split my list between two five men and five women. So in no particular order, here are ten people who have made an impact on my journey and my first year of blogging ...
+danah boydI can't remember the list I found, but Boyd was one of the first peop…

Presentations Don't Make a Conference, People Do

As I sat through one of the most horrendous presentations on Office 365, it got me wondering about the question, what makes a good presentation? I sat there thinking what would make this better? What was missing?

At first I thought that it was the absence of any conversation about pedagogy. A point that +Edna Sackson made about last years GAFE Summit in her post, ''I Want to Talk About Learning…' There was reference to pricing schemes and packages, what this includes and what that does. However, I had signed up with the hope that I could take back to school a few more tips relating to how to get the most out of Windows 8 - whether it be new applications or different functionalities - I was wrong. The one thing that held me together throughout was the conversations I was having on Twitter with +Rich Lambert. He too was lost in the presentation. Although our banter was critical of Microsoft and their lack of innovation, much of it was in jest. We were adding a layer of humour …

Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills - Collaborative Problem Solving

This is the first assignment as a part of the ATC21S Coursera MOOC. It involved selecting an example of collaborative problem solving (CPS) in which you have been involved. The response included illustrating an understanding of the nature of collaborative problem solving, why it is important and what sets it apart from activities like group work. Associated with this, two specific incidents were required to demonstrate that different collaborators have different levels of skill in CPS. This is my response ...

It is easy to think of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) as a highfalutin euphemism for what is commonly known as group work. However, they are not the same. The major difference is that CPS focuses on the skills and attributes people bring, rather than the jobs people do. In a traditional classroom, group work usually involves splitting a task between members in order to do something more efficiently or simply to share responsibilities. These contributions are then usually asse…

Becoming a Connected Educator - #TL21C Reboot

This post and associated slides are for my TL21C Reboot Session addressing the topic of: Becoming a Connected Educator (22/7/2014)

Becoming a Connected Educator (TL21C) - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
Becoming a connected educator is so unique. There is no rule or recipe to follow and no two stories are the same. The reality is that it is many things to many people. The biggest challenge is continually defining what it actually means to be connected and why it is important. I don't wish to offer some cure, rather I hope to keep the conversation going.
Instead of providing a recipe, my approach has always been to share some of the choices that I have made and my thoughts behind them. Although signing up to various platforms is important, it is the journey associated with this that matters most to me. As +Tony Sinanissays, in reflecting on his own connected experiences, "the Twitter experience is a journey ... it is not an experience that can simply …

Making Listening to Voices More Doable

This is an introduction to +Steve Brophy and I's presentation 'Listening to Voices In and Out of the Classroom' for #DLTV2014 and explains what we mean by 'voice' and its relationship with technology ...
It is so easy to consider technology as the answer, that missing solution, that panacea that will somehow manage to solve all education's ills. However, there is no tool or technique that will magically solve all our problems for us. Instead, technology is a support, an addition, a supplement, something that helps us do what we do, but better. In regards to Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model, this change revolves around 'redefining' what we do. Providing a possibility for something that was often deemed impossible. +Bill Ferritersuggests, "technology lowers barriers, making the kinds of higher order learning experiences that matter infinitely more doable."
Importantly, the changes brought about by technology are not about simply dispelling the pa…

To QuickVic with Love - My Reflections on Reporting

I have been report co-ordinator for four years now and I feel that I have gotten as much as I can from QuickVic, the free report software provided by the Victorian State Government. During this time, I have implemented many changes in an effort to not only improve reports, but also to streamline the whole process. Ever since I have been teaching, the process associated with reporting has been a tedious one.
Some of the changes that I have made to reports and the whole process include:  Developing a guide for writing clear comment banks. This included providing a list of words to differentiate between high, medium and low, as well as various link words and phrases to help support the flow of paragraphs. Adapted the templates. Over the years I have adapted the templates by firstly embedding the blurb to splitting the primary reports into different subjects and areas to help seperate the comments. Created a collaborative document to share progression points. When I took over the role, co-o…