7 Things You Don’t Need To Know About Me

This morning via Twitter I was tagged by thecleversheep to respond to his blog post of the exact same name to share with him ’7 things  you don’t need to know about me’. The idea behind such an exercise was to deepen the connections amongst my virtual colleagues, as after all, they are REAL people.  So here it is and im also going to tag another 7 from my own Personal Learning Network as I would like to learn more about them.



1)  Throughout Primary & High School I competed in Track & Field and wound up running in the 400m on numerous occasions at the National Championships.

2) I was born on February 3rd 1986, my mothers 21st Birthday.

3) I almost failed year 10 at high school, only to realise that I wanted to be a PE teacher came back and received an academic award in year 11.

4)Im training to run in a half marathon some time in 2009.

5) I once worked at a chicken farm sweeping up manure and after 4 days received an offer to be the manager, however I declined and quit.

6) I listen to old school hip hop and despise the rap that exists today

7) I can solve a rubiks cube in less than 40 seconds and solve two at the same time in each hand in under 3 minutes

So you don’t need to be tagged to participate but I will however elect another 7 people. Lets see the power of a Personal Learning Network in action. Here are my 7.

Nic Mobbs

Lucy Barrow

Andrew Douch

Chris Betcher

Sue Waters

Amanda Marinnan

Helen Otway

Our Class Set of Video Cameras for Free



Too often teachers talk about limited budgets and not being able to do certain activities because of an inability to gather funds. Well this might not apply to all schools but it certainly applies to mine which is a small country school with only 1 video camcorder and a few digital cameras for use within our classes.  I recently set an activity in which we would be using the camcorders and digital cameras to record the human impacts evident at our local lake. Immediately I knew there would be a serious engagement problem with the class of 17 as it would be impossible for all to be involved in the activity. So I got permission from the principal, in our anti mobile phone school, to allow the students to bring in and use their mobile phones within the session. The truth is I didn’t need to specify that they should bring them in as they already had them hidden away in their pockets.

Need I say the engagement level was simply incredible which was a real positive for this group of students and didn’t they excel, capturing some simply stunning  and informative photography. We then sent the pics to my computer via bluetooth and we used within a voicethread. This gets me excited as with a standard mobile phone you could now effectively have;

  • A class set of voice recorders
  • A class set of MP3 payers
  • A class set of Video Cameras & Digital Cameras
  • etc etc

So what was the cost of this activity you ask? zero, nothing, nada. Our students already have these devices so there is rarely no outlay as opposed to a standard textbook or add on technologies.  So lets embrace mobile phone technology in our schools, it just may be the solution to our budget problems. It sure will be in my school….

A Lesson from Activity Week?


As some of you may be aware Australian schools are almost over for 2008 and during the last week  at our school, like many other schools, we run a modified activiyty program for the remaining year 7, 8 & 9 students. Anyway I had to chuckle to myself today when a staff member from my school said ‘Why can’t we have Activity week all the time? My kids were brilliant today and really engaged with the task’. Now I shouldnt be laughing but I found this to be quite funny because this particular teacher has had lots of trouble within their classes throughout the year.

This teacher, lets call them Teacher B, is by a longshot the most traditional teacher we have at our school, who struggles to read an email and shoots down any ICT based professional development with statements like ‘Ohh not another computer session’ and ‘is there a who cares column?’. The session Teacher B choose to run was by no means of a digital format but all the same the kids were right into it. So why did I find this funny? Well it proves a point and highlights just how our students think in the 21st century.

The truth is, if Teacher B gave themselves a chance to learn a few quick and easy ways of integrating ICT in their lessons, then they may in fact be finishing everyday with similar statements about their classes. One thing I know for sure is that the student’s would be thankful