Workflow is Everything

Since moving to Google Apps For Education I have found myself continually satisfied with how the tools interact and the collaborative nature of them to comment and support students whilst they are working on their task. The tools I use and how I effectively use them to manage my work flow are:

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education

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Digital Leaders Project

On the mid year school holidays I was a part of the wonderful CEGSA Conference in Adelaide. As a committee member this year and seeing all of the organisation falling into place was a wonderful experience for me. Personally I was involved in getting “The Ed Tech Crew” Podcast team to attend and broadcast many interviews with presenters and delegates.

Often when we attend such large conferences as delegates we are excited about the possibilities. We return to the classroom invigorated and inspired to make change and implement all for the wonderful ideas we have been presented with. Unfortunately although, all too often we keep up the “new and shiny ideas” for the short term but resort back to tradition and our old habits.

This year, one of the key note presentations was by Nick Jackson (Online Educational Designer at University of South Australia). His presentation on the Digital Leaders Project he initiated at his previous school in the UK.

This, like many presentations, lit a spark in the hearts and minds of several delegates, and at the end of the presentation Nick invited everyone to contact him for more information if they are interested.

Days later, as I trawled through my local hang-out place – Twitter, I noticed a conversation involving some delegates and Nick (@largerama) about an upcoming hangout. I got myself involved and began my journey.

Since then I have participated in the hangouts to discuss the porgress and projects of school’s programs. I have also had Nick visit our College to support me in my launch process. We discussed several ideas and after discussing with the students their interests I found the common thread for most was Minecraft. When this was offered to the students as an alternative lunchtime activity Minecraft Monday’s was born. Since this there has been a core group of students who attend each week with several coming intermittently. These students range from year 4-7 at the moment.

Minecraft

Minecraft

What I have observed from these students is that they are always working to improve through self monitoring, motivating and encouragement of all players. The students are working together to achieve a goal and share knowledge. Since this I decided to persue an offer to host a Minecraft camp at our College. This camp provides players the opportunity to paritcipate in a community of Minecraft players from within our College and beyond.  They will be explosed to curriculum learnign without even knowing.

My hopes as a result of hosting this camp is that the Minecrafters at Ocean View College are able to begin usign their time to develop and demonstrate digital resources using Minecraft to teachers. As this goal develops I will present the idea of participating as a Digital Leader at the ACEC2014 National Conference in October next year.

For more information about the Digital Leaders Project you can contact me through the messages below or watch the Google Hangouts at the links below.

Oz Digital Leaders Hangout 1 – 23 July 2013

Oz Digital Leaders Hangout 2 – 13 August 2013

Oz Digital Leaders Hangout 3 – 27 August 2013 with Michael French

Oz Digital Leaders Hangout 4 – 3 September 2013

Oz Digital Leaders Hangout 5 – 22 October 2013 with Amber Wurst (Year 9 Digital Leader Participant)

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 Couroshttp://jcarlos.design2001.com/?p=164

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…