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2010 Comes To A Close!

Apple Winter Holiday Mac Christmas Leopard

What a year! A year which promised so much for myself and the College i am part of and having just about all of those promises come to fruition!

This was my first year in a role that saw me out of a classroom full time since i began teaching WAY back in 2003! Being given the eLearning Coordinator/ICT Leading Teacher gig was a major highlight for me personally at the end of 2009 and then to put that role and its responsibilities in to action this year was a great learning opportunity for myself. I reflect back along the course of this year and think that there are so many more things that perhaps i could of achieved but maybe that is setting expectations somewhat high for myself.

Managing ICT at such a fast growing College, one which is set to be the largest single campus P-12 in Victoria, certainly will have it’s challenges, some of which i have already met and conquered is part and parcel if the role i am in. Technology is an area the generally people love or hate because it either works for them, or it doesn’t. The main responsibility i am assigned with is to help people see the light! Help them to integrate ICT in to their teaching and learning practices and to make other educator realise that technology is a tool to be used and embraced, not shunned.

I had the opportunity to not only attend, but to also present at several outstanding Professional Learning sessions throughout the year and these made a huge difference in how i went about my new role. ACEC 2010, ITSE10, VITTA 2010 and Ulearn10 were all sensational outings in which i learnt a great deal from. I heard some amazing keynoters speak, people whom i had heard of, yet never heard speak, or, in some instances meet and converse with in person or even have dinner with! Marco Torres, Steve Wheeler, Gary Stager, Lee Crocket, Sylvia Martinez, and Stephen Heppell just to name a few. Amazing educational minds with even more amazing educational thoughts to share.

Being involved in and coordinating the DEECD iPads for Learning Trial was also a major highlight this year. Being one of nine schools in the State to be selected was great news for our College and would, and has, complimented our excellent ICT programs we currently have running. The 100 iPads being placed in our Yr 5 cohort as well as 10 more for our Specialist Learning House certainly placed us on the map for IT Innovations. The iPads have been a revelation in our College and it was not until recently in the trial that the staff and students really started to demonstrate just how powerful the iPad as a Mobile Technological Device could be in an Education setting. I will certainly keep you posted on all of the happenings relating to this trial!

Next year i am very much looking forward to Peer Coaching. I am looking forward to assisting staff where i can in integrating ICT in to their teaching and learning practices. A great part of this i am sure will be the learning that i will undergo throughout this process. I am sure that i will learn just as much from those that i am Peer Coaching with as perhaps, fingers crossed, that they learn from me!

The learning that i witnessed throughout the year from the students who had ICT firmly embedded in to their daily practices was astounding and i am mainly talking about here students involved in our 1:1 MacBook Program. The students have developed so far over the course of the year, especially our Yr 8 students who started off with their MacBooks last year in the program. The work that all our Yr 7 and 8 students have developed has been excellent. The movies and creative flare that has been shown was by no means lacking. Students used a wide array of applications and software on their Macs such as iMovie, Comic Life, and Garage Band just to name a few!

Overall it has been a year of many learning curves. I am greatly looking forward to 2011 and what it holds! I will be teaching two Yr 9 Discovery Units, Media Creation and Game Based Learning, assisting all staff with their Ultranet endeavours, coordinating the last 12 months of the iPad Trial, as as i have mentioned Peer Coaching fellow staff! I am also booked in already to present at specific conferences next year which i enjoy immensely also!

Have a great Christmas and New Year, and thanks for taking interest in what i have to share!

Cheers!

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ICT Peer Coaching

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Recently i attended the first two days of a five day Peer Coaching Course being ran in my region. The focus being placed on ICT Teachers and Leaders Peer Coaching and Mentoring other staff in a school setting to implement ICT practices.

The Peer Coaching Mission, to implement a 21st Century professional development model to enhance standards-based instruction through engaged learning and technology integration, was discussed and as a group we spoke about the need for not only Peer Coaching in ICT, but all major curriculum areas.

Being somewhat new to the Peer Coaching and Mentoring scenario, more so as a Leading Teacher in my educational setting, it was great to hear the philosophy and pedagogy behind the mission above. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of those who attended on what they thought ‘Peer Coaching’ was. We completed a mind mapping activity via http://www.text2mindmap.com which allowed us to express our thoughts through creating an online mind map, or cluster web. Several of these have been posted on the Peer Coaching Wiki, the link is at the bottom of the post.

We also spoke about what Professional Learning/Development that we had attended which had made a difference to us and our teaching practices. We undertook several professional readings, one being the K-12 Horizon Report, which contained excellent readings relating to ICT Practices in Education. I have attached this report here and i highly recommend you have a look through it if you have not already done so!

2010-Horizon-Report-K12

The second day looked at investigating how Peer Coaches in educational settings are chosen and what there specific roles are. We also spoke about the Coaching Cycle, shown here:

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and  how to implement and determine what is required by Peer Coaches and those that they are working along side. The last step of the day was to begin to develop a School Agreement Plan to determine the likes of the Background and rationale of the Peer Coaching Program, which members of staff may be involved in the program, and how the overall process will work.

For more information on the Peer Coaching Program, please visit the Wiki, the link is below. It contains the course outlines as well as all relevant documents that we used throughout the first two days.

Wyndham Network Peer Coaching Program Wiki: http://wyndhampeercoaching.wikispaces.com/

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Welcome!

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Welcome to my Blog. During my very first blog post I am pleased to discuss the greatness that was the 2010 Ulearn10 conference that was recently held in Christchurch, NZ.

It was a pleasure to be able to hear from great educational minds such as Lee Crockett, Steve Wheeler, Stephen Heppell, and Lane Clark. The philosophy on education and teaching in a digital world with digital learners was exceptional to hear.

The Breakout sessions that i took part in were also outstanding. I can honestly say that in my 8 years of teaching i have never attended a Professional Learning opportunity like this one. I learnt more in the 3 conference days that i attended than i have in quite a while. Game Based Learning (Adrian Camm), Teaching with Twitter (Steve Wheeler), Learning Spaces and Places (Stephen Heppell) and the Apple Tools Smackdown (ADE + Others), which was awesome!, all were great and wonderful learning opportunities!

The discussion around online teaching resources as well as creating PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) showcased the importance of creating and using specific online tools. I have been a Twit (what i call a Twitter user) now for a week and a half and the learning that i have achieved through this is outstanding! Get on board, i recommend it!

I will collate several of the excellent resources that i came across, and share these with you! Be sure to stay posted, as these links will keep on coming!