Tag Archives: improveverywhere

School’s out Friday

I’m not a fan of mannequins at the best of times. For me, they belong in ‘uncanny valley‘ territory. Someone dressed as a mannequin standing next to a store mannequin – now there’s the next layer of creepy.

Improveverywhere’s mission had an unexpected outcome for some participants. Unexpected, but not entirely unsurprising in today’s security conscious age, and in the centre of New York no less!

Enjoy the weekend ahead. A reasonably quiet one for me is forecast, and that suits me just fine given the pace of the last few weeks. If I’m smart, I’ll get a head start on report writing.

Ahhh…the life a teacher. The fun never stops. :)

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School’s out Friday

Ahhh… something from Improv Everywhere to make me smile after a busy week at work. I love the look on the volunteer runner’s faces as they round that corner and see the waiting crowd. We need more levity in this world – moments where we come together, even in the spirit of playful pranking, to make people smile and feel connected.

Enjoy your weekend. Open Day at my school tomorrow, so it won’t officially start for me until after 3.00pm tomorrow. I’ll be looking forward to it! :)

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School’s out Friday

It’s been awhile since an Improv Everywhere video featured here, but this one is worth watching. I can see the benefits in this service, can’t you? We really need this kind of service to combat the behaviour of people in cars – cannot tell you how many people I see looking down while driving and who are obviously reading screens or texting. Unfortunately, it’s a by-product of a population immersed in quick access to information. I’ve fallen prey – my phone sits beside my bed acting as my very efficient alarm clock and it’s there when the dog or cat wake me at some ungodly hour to be let outside. I read, watch videos and send tweets at some very odd hours for my time zone. There are others out there like me – I often see other Aussies in the twitter stream at hours that are deigned for sleeping and not tweeting!

I began a Project Based Learning task with my Year 9 students today and I hope to find some opportunities to blog about its progress over the coming weeks. Today was a lot of fun as we launched ‘What does it take for an idea to go viral?’. Next week will be telling as we move into investigation and the students begin to determine what their product will be. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where this one takes us.

I hope the weekend treats you well. Chilly days forecast here. Electric Blanket is on – all is good with the world. :)

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Schools out Friday

I haven’t seen a new Improv Everywhere video for awhile, so I was pleased to encounter this one when I visited their site tonight. Oh, to have a leisurely afternoon like that one. It seems all my days¬† recently are filled with obligations. Must indulge in some good old fashioned downtime sometime soon, or I just may implode!

A long school day today as it extended into night by helping supervise at my school’s ‘Branch Out’ concert in support of the Oaktree Foundation. It was a great occasion, and the students did a wonderful job in the organisation and running of the night. Events like that convince me that our next generation is in good hands.

Enjoy your weekend. Looks like it will be a chilly one here in Melbourne. Stay warm wherever you may be. :)

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School’s out Friday

My number one fan in Texas, Rich Cantrell, sent me the link to this new Improveverywhere video. They call it the spinning beach ball of death, but when I see it appear on my computer, it’s always the colour wheel of death to me. It’s a terrifying sight for those of us Mac users, and usually requires a force quit of an application to get your computer moving again. I’ve always wondered what you do when the colour wheel of death is hovering over your apple symbol in the top left hand corner of your screen. That’s where you can click to shut down your computer. If the colour wheel was hovering there, I always reverted to the ‘press down on the power button until computer shuts down’ method of exit. A student showed me recently that if you hold down ‘option, command, escape’ at the same time, the force quit box opens and you can quit the frozen application. Probably self evident to all of you, but it wasn’t to me. You gotta love it when the kids teach you stuff. : )

Thanks Rich for sending me the link. You saved me a search this week – I’m very grateful.

Time to shut this computer down and spend some time reading ‘The Hunger Games‘. I’ve vowed to read it before the release of the movie next week.

Enjoy whatever comes your way this weekend. Especially you, Rich.  : )

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School’s out Friday

I knew the good folks at Improv Everywhere would create a little something special for the festive season and give me a little something to share with you all this week. Here’s their Mall Santa Musical for you to enjoy.

School holidays have found me, and I very happy to be held captive. It was a full frontal attack on the shops today as I attempted my first spot of Christmas shopping. I can see I am destined to engage further with retailers in the coming days. Wish me luck.

I was excited today to receive the news that my proposal for the ISTE 2012 Conference was accepted. My presentation is about the work I have been involved with this year at my school, much of which I outlined in yesterday’s post as chance has it. It’s validation for a year where my head was down doing my damnedest to make change happen in a systemic sense in my school. I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve, and will be very happy getting the opportunity to travel to San Diego to share our experience with others from around the globe.

A big clean up this weekend awaits me in preparation for Christmas festivities at my house. We have a skip in our driveway right now, and we’ll be filling it to the brim in an attempt to clean up what’s lying around from our back room renovations (that have yet to be completed, but that’s another story!). I hope your weekend sounds more exciting than mine!

Enjoy. : )

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School’s out Friday

Now this made me smile. Charlie Todd, who heads up Improveverywhere, was married recently. In true Improveverywhere form, his wedding ceremony became part of his ‘we cause scenes’ movement. His bride was in on the act, being an improveverywhere member too. What a lovely way to make your wedding just that bit more memorable!

I’ve travelled a bit in the last few years, and have never really felt the effects of jetlag. Most of the time I’ve been able to correct my sleep patterns within a couple of days and get back on track. Not this week. After returning home from Italy early last Saturday morning (hence the no School’s out Friday last week – first time ever!), I’ve been struggling to get back to feeling like a normal person. It’s been compounded by a head cold I picked up while in Assisi, and a bit of a trying time on the work front. Hopefully I can get myself back into the swing of things this weekend. I’m supposed to submit slides for a conference I’m presenting at the week after next, so things better improve otherwise those conference organisers are going to be a tad unhappy with me!

I hope your weekend sees you relaxing and making the most of time spent with family and friends. I best head to bed to attempt to get myself back to the time zone I live in!

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School’s out Friday

Improveverywhere‘s latest effort, ‘Say Something Nice’, is like visiting an old friend. It’s filmed in Union Square and this was where I caught the subway every day when I visited New York last year. The shoe store in the background is where I purchased shoes for my family. It’s funny living here in Australia and seeing something that is so far away and yet so familiar to me. Here’s hoping I get back there some day. It’s definitely my kind of town.

I’ve had an interesting week. I wrote a post for the VFLR blog called ‘5 Reasons Why Our Students Are Writing Blogs and Creating ePortfolios‘ and it was picked up by Zite, the iPad app that creates a personalised magazine based on your interests. It got a lot of attention as a result and was retweeted from people all around the world. Thanks to John Norton, who helps us with the Voices blog, it was picked up by the Mind/Shift blog in the United States. It was formatted for their readership and titled, ‘Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog.‘ The post has been tweeted out 279 times and liked 76 times on Facebook according to the stats running on their page. It was also picked up by Zite. I know it’s being read throughout the US, UK, Finland, Canada, Germany, France and many other countries. Interestingly, it hasn’t seemed to spread too far throughout Australia, and yet the example being provided is from this country. I’d like to see more Australian educators reading it, and sharing it around their networks. I think the message it holds is an important one for our consideration, and for the futures of the young people we teach. I’m in the process of writing a lengthy post detailing how these blogs form part of a wider initiative at my school, and I hope to get it posted in the coming days.

Gorgeous weather is descending on Melbourne tomorrow. I intend to get my fair share of Vitamin D in the process. I hope you get an opportunity like this too.

Enjoy your weekend. : )

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School’s out Friday

Improveverywhere’s latest mission took place on June 27th and was located in Bryant Park, New York City. It looks like a lovely day there. My experience of Bryant Park was in the dead of winter, just as they were disassembling a portable ice rink! It was freezing cold; nothing like the delights of summer on show in their latest video.

It certainly is a genuine School’s out Friday this week. Victorian school holidays have just begun, and I am fortunate enough to be looking in the eye of three weeks of holiday bliss ahead of me. One of those weeks will see my family venture to Port Douglas, a lovely holiday location in the state of Queensland, closer to the equator and warm at this time of year. Cannot wait to soak in some sunshine and feel warmth in my bones!

So, the weekend ahead will be relished, deep in the knowledge that I can sleep in Monday morning too!

Enjoy your weekend. Hope it’s a good one. : )

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School’s out Friday

Does this remind you of anyone? You, maybe? Those of us who tweet regularly, update our status on facebook, those of us who blog? Once again, improveverywhere have made me smile, and plenty of others in that audience too by the looks of things.

BUT, not everyone agrees with the mirth and merriment. This video was posted on the TED site this week, and the comment thread accompanying it shows that some TEDsters are unhappy that something so ‘light’ could be put up as being worthy of inclusion. Take this comment as an example,

Between the video on how to tie your shoes and now this improv anywhere video that is reminiscent of something that would recommended to me on youtube, I’m a little bit disappointed in the videos that have been posted recently. It’s not that theres nothing to learn from these videos; one could make the case that the shoe tying video shows the importance of reexamining things we’re sure of or that this video shows the value of play and spontaneity, but I think those would be a far stretch. I guess over the years I’ve become accustomed to a TED that challenges me and expands my view of the world, not panders to me.

Really TEDsters? Lighten up. Not everything needs to be serious. In fact, sometimes taking the mickey out of ourselves provides insight into the way we conduct our lives.

Anyway, my need to share brings me to this. Last week was House Music day at my school, and I was mightily impressed with the small group music items. The winning group posted their effort on YouTube, and like a proud mother, I just have to share the talents of the students at my school with you all. So, take it away Cerutty Mads 2011, singing Love You by Free Design.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy : )

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