Keeping It Short and Simple.

As the beginning of the final term of the South Australian  school year begins this week I am preparing myself for the inevitible finalizing of the years learning and wrapping up projects for the year.

Over the last few weeks of our break I have again been reflecting on how little I blog. In a attempt to make this valluable form of professional sharing and reflection I am changing tact. After reading a very clear and simple blog post by Tom2Teach Game Based Learning – Angry Birds. In this post Tom successfull conveys the ideas of using the mechanics of Angry Birds to develop simple, curriculum aligned, learning investigations in a variety of Learning areas.

My new paln is to record at the end of the week one way I used technology to provide individualised learning.  To begin with I will be reflecting directly on small events and how curriculum was delivered. I hope to expand this to include information about the tools I am using and how it helps my teaching productivity.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Amanda Westmont

As an ICT teacher I know the experiences won’t be a problem it will be my time managment and support to sit and write the posts. This is where YOU, my readers can help me. I have begun a Twitter hashtag #BlogBud where your simple reminders and encouragement will help to keep me on track and much appreciated. I am sure once I get this into my routine and I get to a point of regular blogging I will provide sound support to all teachers in technology tools an practical examples for use in the classroom.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Professional Portfolio

Recently, I attended a CEGSA workshop presented by George Couros where we learnt about the features and power of blogging. This in it self was not anything new to me. I know and understand the value of blogging and more importantly professionally reflecting is extremely important in every teacher’s practice.

For the workshop we were accompanied by a range of teachers from across the state and with varying skill levels. The great part of the day is that although this was focussed upon the initial set up and development of professional blogs George very generously catered for the whole room. We developed/improved our blogs and developed a great number of new skills including a few embedding codes. And in addition, those who so willingly gave up their Saturday in the middle of the term were all interested in improving their professionalism as well as those who came with the goal of not only personal blogging but to also become so adept with this process that they will also introduce their students in the process of reflection as a learner.

This was significant in that many of these teachers, prior to the session had never blogged, let alone made connections with their experiences and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Making these standards important in the everyday practices of teachers makes them more meaningful. Historically, I believe, these standards have been shelved as words on a page that we acknowledge around professional review time where teachers seek student works and professional planning documents to support the argument that they can prove these are addressed in teaching practices.

With regular professional blogging where every blog is categorised into one of the seven standards, the hard work is done upon professional review time. The learning in the classroom is enhanced through reflection by the teacher and students.

As Jarrod Lamshed tweeted following the same workshop:

There is always something new to learn and new tools or ideas to add to the tool kit.

I am still trying to apply my own words and the advice of George in the regular time and blogging snippets of our life (both professional and personal) to develop and share the continued learning.

Well here I go again on my endeavour to blog frequently, and if you would like to become a supporter or be supported “Blogging Buddy” tweet with the #BlogBud tag and include @rachbath

As we know, support is always the best way to change or establish new behaviour.

I look forward to reciprocating support for professional blogging.

Fighting the Distractions

In recent weeks I have felt the distraction of learning and interest pull me away from the professional reflection and blogging.

Last week I completed a Cousera course in ‘Gamification‘, this is the notion of applying game elements into existing structures of learning and engagement. During this course I signed up for another Cousera course only to begin it and find it was not what I expected. I also realized that through the duration of the ‘Gamification‘ course I became withdrawn and removed from the things I find most valuable, connecting on social networks and reflecting on this here in my blog. It was time to drop the courses and get beck to the more important things.

I am now in the process of preparing to apply for positions for the 2013 school year and beyond. Again another distraction I thought, only to look at my pages here on this blog and read what I have posted in response to the Australian Professional Teaching Standards. This is what all Australian teachers will be assessed against in the near future.

In addition to this I have been actively promoting myself in the online world to create a positive profile in any “Google search“. It is becoming more frequent, accepted and expected that prospective employers will “Google” an applicant to find out how they behave in an online environment. They check out Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts as well as any other place that is accessible to the online public.

My goal for this blog is to reflect professionally upon my learning and educational experiences. Thus I am committing to  regular updates here and frequent reflections. Although these may not always be long  posts I need to reflect more often.

The Networked Educator

Image by Alec Couros

As I return to the traditional application process in addressing Selection Criteria and I explain all of the teaching and learning I enjoy in a daily basis, I am continually reading information from my twitter network, scanning blogs, and expanding my network.

Although I love the challenge of applying for positions I would find it more productive to demonstrate my skills in “communicating effectively and establish and maintain effective working relationships” or “demonstrating a sound knowledge of current practices and pedagogies” through my well established and soundly developed profile online. to establish this I am happy to provide prospective employers  my name and links to my blog Twitter stream and Google+. I rarely use Facebook, but would be willing to provide this information also if requested. Thus enabling me to continue my learning, development and less of the distractions I feel I have been caught up with recently, although these can be productive distractions they are distractions none the less.

What are your reflections of the application process?

Back to the applications…