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#ADE Institute 2013 – Part 2

http://www.improvlady.com/

To kick start the institute off and the week that would be, we were involved in a great whole institute workshop run by Rebecca Stockley, aka, The Improv Lady.

I was told at the time that Rebecca had run these sessions globally with the likes of Pixar and Apple and from all reports, was outstanding. She was!

Rebecca spoke about a lot of things, however one really resonated with me.

Hearing about the ‘Failure Bow’ from Rebecca and about the need to both ‘Learn from Your Mistakes’ and to ‘Let Go and Don’t Take Things Personally’ was a great message. All in all it sounds pretty simple. Which it is. It’s the putting of these in to practice that we as teachers appear to have difficulties with.

That when for example feedback is given that it is exactly that, feedback. It is not an attack on you or what you are doing or have done. It is simply constructive information designed to assist you to improve as a professional. As i said, simple. 😉

I believe that teachers do not cope all that well with feedback, especially in Australia and this i put down to being a cultural ‘thing’. I have heard presenters and keynotes discuss this before. That it is something that educators need to improve in, and that being accepting and acting on feedback given. So Rebecca’s message i felt was perfect.

Following from this and a few others great points that were made, Rebecca ran us through a great classroom activity to try with our students, or even your staff… ;), that was titled the ‘Story Spine’, which was developed by Ken Adams.

In short, as pairs the two people involved were to take it in turns to finish each sentence starter down the list, with of course your partner then starting the next sentence starter. A great activity that was simple yet highly effective in having people collaborate, discuss, think and improvise!

The Story Spine!

You can either direct the students line of thinking, or have them completely improvise their story! A great activity. More information can be found here: The Story Spine.

It’s safe to say that i took a fair bit away from Rebecca’s session. She was a person who prompted thinking about things in a different light and i feel that’s exactly what she did. Got us thinking. Differently.

For more info on Rebecca please visit her site: http://www.improvlady.com/

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#ADE Institute 2013 – Part 1

Wasn’t sure if i was going to need these…

I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I am in fact, for perhaps the 3rd, 4th or even 5th time in my life, lost for words however, i am sure they will come… eventually.

During early January i was fortunate to find out that i had been selected in to the Apple Distinguished Educator class for 2013. Now, i had discovered this via email from my Principal who had emailed and congratulated me when in fact i had not yet received the email from Apple, and it was not until that email came through (not that i do not trust the big cheese, ;)), i needed conformation before i began letting people know!

2 years earlier my then assistant principal had applied and was successful and i must say that there was a little bit of jealousy seeping in as i have only ever heard good things about being involved in this Institute. And, when i think about it, I very rarely hear of people being accepted in to institutes and programs to then bad mouth them later on. Unless perhaps it’s a cult of some kind!

So… I have spent the past week in Bali, Indonesia, with all 2013 ‘newbies’ from Australia and  New Zealand and a host of Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Japan. From memory there were roughly 240 all up!

In total there were approximately 330 people in attendance and this made up all newbie’s, plus Alumni ADE and Apple Staff also. 330 people who all had a shared vision and desire to teach and teach well, whilst integrating technology in to their settings to support learning and teaching practices!

I have been involved in a lot of professional learning in my 10 years. Some great. Some not so. And there there was this. A focus being placed on professional growth and creating transformational content for our learners and colleagues. This took professional learning to a whole new level.

To have all people in attendance that were focused on changing the practice of teaching and learning through technology, was amazing! This is where this Institute as a PL differed from others. I’ve been to PL. I’ve been disengaged. When this happens there is something that you can sense and detect within a group. But not lats week. All attendees felt as though the page we were on was the same. And this in itself = amazing.

Now if i were to go in to the in’s and out’s of the week i may as well write a novel! The week was in no uncertain terms. Full. On.

I think i am starting to sound like a giddy 8 year old boy who was very excited and is still excited about… something! But i am. And so i should be.

It was a nervous experience to be sent away to another country to spend a week with some of the greatest educational minds going around. Minds that like my own, have a passion for education and technology integration.

The way in which the week was structured allowed for a great deal of time to be spent with those in attendance. Time that encouraged and fostered relationships to be forged that then snowballed in to a professional learning network of highly skilled, dedicated educators. 

All attendees had their own ADE ‘Passport’ and had the opportunity to swap QR Coded stickers with other attendees. The QR codes then linked to that persons contact details. A great way to keep in touch and meet new people!

After having a week and a bit now to sit back, relax, and think about the week that was, it’s time to share the personal highs. Those things that will stick with me for years to come.

Now… This post has ended up being VERY LARGE AND LENGTHY. I have decided to butcher it completely and run a series of reflections of those high’s that i had! 

So… i thought it a fitting start to actually inform people of what an ADE actually is. 

Well, as the ADE Community Space mentions “The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program is a relationship program focused on educational excellence and leadership. ADEs are members of a select group of K-12 and Higher Education professionals possessing an identified expertise in educational technology leadership. This group of over 1,500 educators spans the globe with membership in the USA, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.”

The 1,500 educators is now currently at a little over 2,100 which is an indication that this institute is growing and recognising more and more educators around the globe that are doing great things! And of course, those things involving teaching, learning, and Apple Technologies.

The embedded video below also indicates well what is expected from those who are excepted as ADE’s. The notion that this is a community of educators who are:

Passionate Advocates: ADEs are passionate advocates of the potential of Apple technologies and they provide expert assistance and best practices to educators and policy makers. ADEs are frequent presenters at local, state, national and international educational conferences.*

Trusted Advisors: ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.*

Authentic Authors: ADEs publish authentic work to share with peers such as teaching and leadership best practices, exemplary lesson ideas, and a range of content items that showcase Apple products and technologies for the advancement of education.*

Global Ambassadors: ADEs are innovators in building community and capacity for teaching and learning in a global context. Through online projects and collaboration tools, they empower each other to expand the walls of the classroom and bring global experiences to classrooms everywhere.*

 

*Apple Distinguished Educator Program Website

At this stage, before i start delving in to my reflection further via new posts, all i can say is that if you are an educator that is passionate about education, and the massive influence that technology integration can have on learning, then applying for the ADE program is a great community to be part of.

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ALIA Seminar 2013

Lately I have been privileged to speak and present at a number of events and that trend continued on Saturday as I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) Seminar titled ‘App-iness – iPads and their use in the classroom’.

The seminar was held at the beautiful Mercy College in Coburg, Melbourne, in their newly refurbished Library space. I always feel like i am on an excursion when in other school and college settings as i love looking around, or sticky-beaking, at learning design spaces and evidence of technology integration.

As already mentioned the day was focusing on iPad use and integration. As stated by ALIA, “This morning seminar is for primary & secondary teacher librarians and others who are responsible for school library services. The use of apps in the classroom and a library setting will be explored. Workshop sessions will cater for those who are already using a range of apps as well as those who are just beginning to explore this technology. A group designed for those new to the technology will be created and each participant in this group will have access to an iPad to use on the day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device if possible.”

As the Keynote i was not only wanting to focus on the device but also the learner, and how this device can support learning and the types of learners we as educators interact with every day. Rather than the old ‘death by PowerPoint’ method and bombarding them with a heap of information, i had created a (what I thought anyway) wonderful presentation using the great iPad Application Haiku Deck. This app is one that all our students are now using to present and share information as it is simple, effective and very powerful. And… it’s FREE!

As the guys at Haiku Deck explain… “Haiku Deck is rooted in a few basic principles. Keep it simple by limiting your text and focusing each slide on one idea. Make it beautiful by using full-bleed images to tell your story and tapping into one-touch themes, filters, and formatting. And, most of all, have fun. Fun is not a word most people associate with either creating or watching presentations, but we don’t see any reason why these things can’t be fun.”

Now… What i failed to mention is that having after created this wonderful Haiku Deck presentation I had a. Failed to upload it to the Haiku Deck site, and b. ummm… actually bring it to the ALIA seminar to present. I had indeed left the iPad at home. Rookie mistake! A valuable lesson that i learnt is to check, double check, and triple check that i have all i need for these events in the future! Anyway… I have embedded this presentation below for you all to see.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

After the dilemma that was my stupidity, luckily enough i had presented similar presentations in the past and had a plan B and in fact a plan C if the presentation failed for me for whatever reason. In the short time that i did have i quickly adapted a Prezi, embedded below, that i had used in the past a generic presentation based upon Mobile Technology, Integration, and our College’s iPad Journey.

Once my Keynote was completed I was then involved in a panel discussion with three other great educators in Mark, Paul and Melanie show casing the pedagogy behind our Technology integration. This was a short 10 minute ‘snippet’ of what we do and why and what i shared can, once again, be viewed below.

And finally, once the panel had shared and morning tea had come and gone, it was then an opportunity for the attendees to be involved in a number of smaller breakout sessions where the presenters shared some of the great features and applications relating to iPad devices specifically.
Personally i ran through our College’s Middle Years Application List and highlighted some of the key applications that our students were using that foster collaboration and creativity as well as what we were finding to be beneficial. Several of these applications that i did focus on however on were;

1. Nearpod
2. Haiku Deck
3. Aurasma
4. Educreations
5. StoryRobe
6. Action Movie FX
I have attached our two application lists below for download.
In closing, it was an absolutely great day with what i am sure would have had many people thinking about iPad applications and uses within their individual settings. I know from the many many questions that i received that those who attended certainly would have left the day with a lot of food for thought and it is this that makes a conference / professional learning experience so powerful. I’d like to thank all the people from ALIA and Mercy College that were involved directly and indirectly in putting on such a valuable learning experience and i look forward to perhaps assisting ALIA in the future with more of these great events.
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Educational Blogging

Last Friday I presented my first ‘techie brekkie’ for the year focusing on educational blogging for my staff. These sessions are fully optional and are run before school on a Friday morning. They are informal, fun, and a great way to learn a lot in a little amount of time!

I first heard about ‘techie brekkies’ from a great teacher in NSW, Henrietta Miller, who ran them often for her staff to help up skill them in all things tech and teaching. Now, like all good ideas, I decided to pinch it!, and run similar sessions with my own staff to assist those who were perhaps wanting more professional learning based upon technology integration, yet in a more informal manner.

A lot of my staff run their own class blogs and the like for a whole number of reasons, mainly to connect their classrooms to the outside world and share their amazing internal happenings externally. As we have a number of new staff to our college in 2013 I thought this a great opportunity to get their own skills in this area up and running.

Now. In the big scheme of things I know a little about blogging from a teaching point of few but I am by no means an expert! In saying this, I do know an expert in this area and it is this person to whom i directly turned to!

Kathleen Morris, the 2012 Primary Victorian Teacher of the Year, is who I consider an expert in Education Blogging and her personal blog, http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/, proves that this is so! Kathleen’s knowledge and resources on blogging is outstanding, a highlight for me being a film her students created on the benefits of having a class blog and explaining this in good detail. I have embedded this here.

Only having half an hour with my staff, and wanting this session, like them all, to be rich, relevant and purposeful, I broke down what I wanted to discuss and made sure I covered the following….

  • Why bother with blogging?
  • The benefits of having a class blog.
  • How to give your students maximum input…

And

  • Where to create and start your very own blog.
To explain the benefits of Blogging i used the diagram below which represents the benefits extremely well. I touched upon each point and linked each to a real educational context.
To gain a more in-depth understanding of the points made above, head here: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/

From the above I then spent some time focussing on 3 specific to create Blogs for educational purposes and these were:

Global 2

http://global2.vic.edu.au/

Global 2 is an offset of the EduBlogs website however is supported by the Victorian Department of Education. As teachers working in a DEECD school you are able to create these blogs for free, just like the others sites listed here, however, you gain a little more online storage space.

eduBlogs

http://edublogs.org/

This is regarded as the best site for creating educational blogs. It has a host of features and blog themes, is free, and is designed specifically for educational purposes.

Blogger

www.blogger.com

Blogger is a Google App and if you have Google App account, i.e. gMail account, then you can easily create a free blog via this service. Blogger, like those mentioned already, is outstanding and being linked directly to Google App’s, make this an excellent online option

So…

Once our staff get their blogs up and running i will be sure to share them with you to hopefully showcase the great things they are doing in their classrooms and with their students!

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Penguin Teacher Academy 2013

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of presenting a Professional Learning day for the Penguins Teachers Academy teachers at Penguin HQ in Melbourne. The focus for the day being ‘Integrating ICT within Primary Literacy’

Firstly i must thank Penguin for asking me to present for the day which was a great experience. The professionalism and set up was outstanding! Secondly, thank you also to those who attended yesterday. Your questions and conversations throughout the day caused for some excellent discussions to take place which certainly caused for additional content to be covered and talked about!

Without going in to a whole plethora of details I have embedded some of what i had covered yesterday below for your perusal and download.

Penguin have, and are, running a number of excellent professional learning opportunities based upon everything around literacy and teaching! The goal that has been derived form the development of the P.T.A. is – “To provide teachers, librarians and educational support staff with valuable professional learning, relevant and topical in your libraries and classrooms. Professional learning that can inform teaching and learning practices, complete with resources to take away and use immediately.” What more could you ask for? 😉

For more information on what Professional Learning The P.T.A. offers, head here: Penguin Teachers Academy

As mentioned above, I have included several of my resources that I shared yesterday.

Below is my introductory Keynote Presentation which covers three basic component: Digital Learners, ICT and the Aus. Curriculum, and being a Responsible Digital Citizen.

 

Here is a PDF version of my iBook based on ICT Resources for Literacy in the Primary Years.

ICT for Primary Literacy

Here i have embedded a presentation that i did for the Strategic Partnership Program  as I demonstrated and discussed several components of this focusing heavily on the SMAR model that we adopt at my College.

Once again it was a great opportunity and a privilege to be able to share my thoughts, ideas and ed-tech beliefs with other teachers and educators!
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Yr 10 Multimedia Productions!

screenart.com

As part of my teaching load for 2013 I lucky enough to have a year 10 class for Multimedia where we focus primarily on digital media and digital media creation.

The first task that I have issued over the past few semesters is having the students in groups producing a ‘SuperBowl Commercial’. This focuses heavily on the planning aspects of producing film via investigating storyboarding techniques along with script and screenplay development.

In the past few years I must admit that the quality and effort that’s been placed in to these projects has risen considerably which has been great! I see this task as a mini test if you will as i do not cover a whole lot about camera use and technique. I leave all of this solely to the students to demonstrate which then gives me an indication of their knowledge behind camera and filming techniques!

So, without continuing to rant… Here they are.

Enjoy!

 

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Social Media Use @ MLP12C

Of recent weeks, and in saying this we’ve only been at it for 4!, I have had a number of inquiries from keen staff wanting to integrate some form of Social Media in to their classroom teaching and learning programs.

There has often been in recent years a ‘stigma’ associated with Social media use at schools and colleges due to the negative connotation that social media has tagged with it. Cyber Bullying and Teen Suicide to name a select two.

My philosophy is quite simple in this matter. Seeing that the students we teach are digital natives and spend a great deal of time connecting and collaborating with their friends via social media, why should we as teachers not also try to connect with them outside of a school space, in an environment that is safe, secure and relevant to their learning? There are a number of online spaces that allow excellent online connection and collaboration with students in said environments  however, the likes of FaceBook and Google+ also allow this to occur if done so correctly.

The tool of choice for the majority of our staff thus far seems to be the use of Blogs and using these to share and liase with students and their families. Wiki’s have also been another tool strongly used, and encouraged. Of late, I’am also now seeing class Twitter accounts being used spasmodically with teachers, and students via the teachers, tweeting the happenings of that class and it’s students! Parents being able to follow this in real time either at work, at home or via their mobile device!

In all of the above however i have realised in my time within my role the key to success in all of this is the education of teaching staff. Making staff aware of the differences between moderating their own FaceBook account and that of a class group for example. Knowing that what they post, no matter the Social media forum, directly links back to the College and can bring the College in to disrepute.

So. To combat this i developed a ‘Social Media Communications Strategy’ that all staff need to have read and understand before undertaking any form of social media use with their students. I have included a great deal of information from the New South Wales and Victorian Education Departments as well as other high ranking resources in elation to online safety and digital citizenship.

I have attached this document below for your viewing pleasure! I hope that you may find it useful as part of your own setting’s if anting to include a more ‘Social’ approach online!

Thanks!

SMCSMLC2013

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Kicking Goals in 2013…

What does 2013 hold professionally? What are my goals, priorities, needs and wants?

In the past it’s never been an issue for me to know the answers to the above, it is the execution that i have battled with. No through lack of trying or want i feel, i’ll simply put it down to not perhaps prioritising the specifics of what i want to achieve and then simply putting the wheels in motion. In saying this, one goal for this year will certainly be to not procrastinate on any of the following! Below are eight statements/goals (10 was to many!!!)  that i will aim  and strive to abide by throughout the course of the year. So here we go;

1. Listen more, talk less. I think it’s important to step back listen to your colleagues and PLN. Get their thoughts and feelings on particular topics and issues that arise.

2. Presume less, inquire more. I need to ask more questions about the things that i feel are important. About the things that will improve me as an educator, but also improve the capacity of those educators within and out of my setting.

3. See the Glass as half full (More Often), not half empty. Times can be stressful, stress can cause negativity and this can lead to a pessimistic approach towards the work that  is to be done. I generally pride myself on my ability to be such an optimistic guy, however when the time comes, and it will come, to squash any negativity that does arrive i need to be prepared and have the tools in place to be able to do so.

4. Learn more, teach more. A large part of my role is assisting staff in technology integration. This is a wonderful part of my role and i am determined to place even a greater focus towards this throughout the year. Working with staff both formally and informally is extremely rewarding and seeing the results first hand from what students achieve in their classrooms is fantastic!

5. Focus on teaching, less on administration. Towards the end of 2012 i found myself constantly under the pump with administration type duties. All of which had to be done and were important parts of what i do however i noticed that my teaching suffered. The emphasis that i was placing on being a great teacher wained, something i do not want to happen. Again. Ever. Which then leads me to…

6. Be efficient, delegate more. The old theory of wanting things done right and having to do them myself is certainly one area professionally i need to move away from. I need to place a greater trust in those around me and delegate specific roles to others, especially students, to assist me in becoming more efficient at those roles and responsibilities that i am solely responsible for.

7. More fun, stress less. The outstanding thing about teaching, and the role that i am in is that the room i have to move to be innovative and trial new things is extremely large! The fact that i can, and often do, use the kids and classes i deal with as, for lack of better wording, Guinea Pigs, is extremely fun and rewarding! Using new technology and tools to support teaching and learning programs is great fun and certainly something i want to continue. This year, having a larger teaching load that involves Physical Education, i am certainly looking for way to integrate technology in to Physical Education in a transformative way!

8. Lead more, follow more. I feel as though i have developed great leadership qualities, partly due to the leaders i have had access to and their behaviour that has been modelled. I am a firm believer in leading by example and for me to do this better throughout the course of this year i feel i need learn more from these people by having those professional discussions. I also feel i need to gain a greater understanding of what my leadership style maybe and how best to adopt it to my setting and me personally.

And there we have it. I think that there’s more than enough there for to keep me on my toes for the year that lies ahead! So in seeing the glass half full, i am sure that what i have mentioned will come to fruition and that 2013 is a year that yields much happiness, productivity and growth!

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This is why I do what I do…

Me!

From previous posts you may well be aware that I recently ran a CBL, Challenge Based Learning, Unit with a group of year 7 students. In short, as you can find more information about that unit here: http://yr7acbl.global2.vic.edu.au/, our Big Idea was ‘Cyber Bullying’. The students in their respective groups were outstanding for the most part in attempting to better their knowledge of Cyber Bullying and put put something in place to, in their words, “eradicate it”. Several groups made awareness posters and displays to have placed around the college, another group of boys attempted a stop motion animation television commercial to have shown on our website. All in all, great ideas to bring Cyber Bullying and the issues associated with it to the forefront of student’s minds. Two groups however, and one in particular, went far above the expectations that we set by myself and i do need to say that i am known for setting those expectations and that bar quite high.

Firstly, one group decided to coordinate a mediation type lunchtime group, where victims of cyber bullying or bullying in general could come, relax, and chat to one another re: their experiences. The girls running this then enlisted the help of our College Social Worker and Psychologist to be there if students needed that assistance and someone to talk to. They’ve now ran this session over the past few weeks and although slow going to get people to attend at first, their resilience has certainly paid off with students beginning to attend and come on board! The girls coordinating this are still very keen to keep this running and this i feel is Authentic Learning! The girls involved would learn just as much if no-one showed up, perhaps more, than if they had a ‘full house’ of students during these sessions!

Lastly, another group within this unit has really made me as a teacher extremely proud, as they all have, and it is through them doing what they’ve done, the reason being why i love to teach!

Raising money for Youth Beyond Blue was always going to be a winning idea. But how to go about this? Where to start? The group involved certainly had the ideas and goals of what they wanted to achieve, but the knowledge to put in place and the processes that needed to take place was certainly lacking to begin with. Their ideas ranged from making t-shirts to sell, having a lolly jar guessing competition, selling icy-poles at recess, among others, were all great however, they wanted to do more! They wanted to to not only raise money for Youth Beyond Blue but make those within and out of immediate College Community aware of the dangers associated with Cyber Bullying. They also wanted to assist those who had been Cyber Bullied and help people through making them aware of the services externally to the College that were on hand.

The group started by making contact with Beyond Blue to see if they could in fact donate ANYTHING that they could use to promote what they were doing. They made a few calls and were directed to a website that allowed them to order what they thought would be helpful. A week later, I had 5 boxes, and quite size-able i may add, arrive to my office that were full of pamphlets, wrist bands, DVD’s, Posters, Bags, and Balloons.

Packing the bags!

The group then made packs to to hand around to people but were unsure about how and when to distribute these goods. Then it hit them. Our College Fete! They decided to create and set up a stall, and market what they had on offer! A GREAT idea! But what to sell? How to raise Money? Well. This started with the Lolly Jar Guessing Competition which raised a respectable $42. The idea was to then purchase white t-shirts, Tie-Die them, and sell these to raise even more Money! After being involved in some math, it was soon realised that the cost to do this would exceed what money they had so they needed a plan B. Now, where does one find ideas for the creation of things, especially to sell…. THE ART TEACHERS!

Card Creation #1

Card Creation #2.

From here the girls made gift cards, that were quite well constructed and beautifully designed and sold these on the day of the fete, along with yellow and blue jelly cups they’d made, and also collecting money for a raffle, for which they purchased a first prize of a toy motorbike! After having spoken to the girls this morning, and even through their modesty, i could tell that they were very very happy with their achievements. They managed to hand out the majority of their goods to raise awareness for Youth Beyond Blue and raise what they felt was a good amount to donate to the Beyond Blue Organisation, which turned out to be $83!!! Not a bad effort!

What’s so pleasing as their teacher and watching them go through this process is what they as young learners have been involved in, that being involved in the process of what it took them to end up at the point that they did. The problem solving, collaboration, and creative practices that they were involved in were mind blowing. These students, in all groups, learnt more on being able to reflect on their work, as well as coordinating the processes they took to get where they did, than what they would have if it were me leading their learning. Seeing the individuality of these students shine, seeing them overcome obstacles, seeing them develop new skills and then put these in action, to THEN reach a desired outcome, was outstanding… this is why i teach!

4

DEECD SPP All Networks Meeting

Not too many venues better than the State Library!

Today I had the pleasure to speak at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s (DEECD) Strategic Partnership’s Program All Networks Meeting at the State Library of Victoria! That’s a mouthful.

Until recently after I had never heard of the SPP and what was involved with this network. After attending their meeting today I must admit I was left wondering “how on earth do educational settings such as my own NOT know about this?”.

In brief, and I am sure that I will not do it justice, the SPP involves a wide array of State Based organisations who, under the ever watchful eye of DEECD and the Victorian State Government, liaise and collaborate to develop educational based programs. These programs are aimed at promoting student learning outcomes that are focused towards their own setting. DEECD chip in with funding for these setting to assist them in running engaging, efficient and rich learning programs. It will make even more sense now when I tell you that these organisations are places such as;

  • Sovereign Hill
  • State Library of Victoria
  • The National Gallery of Victoria
  • Science Works
  • The Melbourne Zoo

 

From the words of DEECD – Five networks have been established during the triennium 2009-11 to provide information to organisations and associations on current government policy and initiatives. The networks also enable the sharing of ideas and the work of organisations and associations and promote the development of collaborative partnerships and implementation of innovative programs for schools, students and teachers.”

The ‘Welcoming’!

Earlier this year my setting had developed a close bond with Sovereign Hill in Ballarat that strongly involved the use of mobile technology to enhance both the learning of our students and the programs being coordinated at that setting. The outcomes of that partnership, which I hope are ongoing, led me to today where I had that pleasure of speaking to the partners involved. For more information on that partnership please visit: http://ipads4learning.global2.vic.edu.au/2012/09/18/sovereign-hill-ipad-excursion/

I was asked to share our technology journey as well as some of the pedagogy behind how we use the technology to support our students learning. I was to do this following Mr. Michael Phillips, the Principal from Ringwood Secondary College, who are also very very well know for their own way of integrating technology to support learning. I was very pleased to hear what Michael and one of his teachers, Simone, had to say about their own journey, where they were currently at and where they were headed. At the same time as hearing their presentation I was also beginning to worry ever so slightly as everything both Michael and Simone were saying, was in fact the entire basis for my own presentation!

Michael Phillips, RSC Principal Presenting

What I soon very quickly realised was just how similar our two settings were and that it was fantastic that we were discussing similar things. As they say, GREAT minds think alike.

My presentation is embedded below and you’ll soon see after viewing it that it is a short, sharp and to the point reflection of the way technology is integrated at our setting. Below this you wil aslo find that of Michael and Simone’s presentation with some great examples and snapshots of student work.

The highlights from days like to day are many, such as the networking that can occur and be developed and the programs and partnerships that can be be put in place. What i absolutely love though is the fact that when you are speaking to such a diverse range of people from a diverse range of organisations, everyone of them has nothing but improving student learning outcomes in mind through the rich educational experiences that they offer.

It would be highly beneficial for such a network of organisations such as the SPP, through greater support from DEECD, to be able to share and promote what they are all doing in relation to the programs that they are running. To have one site that links all these places where schools can visit, ask questions, post ideas, upload resources, etc would be a very powerful thing.
I would like to thank Gina Panebianco and Linda Sproul from the NGV for their welcoming nature and assistance this morning along with Hamish Curry and Cam Hocking, who after following on Twitter for some time now finally got to meet face to face!
It’d be great to continue to have something, although i am not sure what, to do with future SPP meetings as their work and what they do is certainly very worthwhile. At the end of the day, we’re in it for the same thing, to provide quality education!