Scaling change – Spark talk for Digicon 2015

I presented a Spark talk at Digicon 2015 on Friday just gone. It was part of their fringe festival and presenters were asked to put together a 12 minute talk for the event. My presentation was entitled, “Lonely childhood no more – time to scale” and the focus was on what I think needs to happen at scale in schools to build capacity in our teaching workforce and as a consequence, help our students make the most of the potential offered to them by effective use of technology within learning programs.

There wasn’t a huge audience, and I was grateful to Jenny Ashby who used Periscope to record the talk and share it via Twitter. As you can see, I’ve uploaded it to YouTube so you can take a look. The sound might not be so great, and it’s a narrow frame view, but you’ll get the message if you tune in for the 11 minutes and 14 seconds it takes to watch it and you’ll understand the reference to ‘lonely childhood no more’!

In the talk I make reference to the recently released 2015 K-12 edition of the Horizon Report. In it, they identify scaling teaching innovations as a wicked challenge. Below is a screenshot from the contents page of this edition. I would highly recommend you follow the link to the report – it’s extremely pertinent to leadership teams in all schools today.

screenshot-cdn.nmc.org 2015-07-26 19-44-52

Google Apps for Education Canberra Summit 2015

Screenshot 2015-03-30 22.13.10

I returned last night after spending the weekend in Canberra, attending the Ed Tech teams GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit at Gungahlin College. It was a wonderful weekend. The people who present are knowledgeable and so keen to share what they know, freely making their resources available and allowing teachers new to Google Apps to encounter the sharing nature of the community that surrounds GAFE.

The truly interesting part of this weekend was discovering that the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate (the body who runs public education) have provided all public schools with access to Google Apps for Education. In fact, they have provided what they are calling a ‘Digital Backpack’ for schools that includes access to Office 365 as well as other browser based digital offerings. It’s a very progressive move – I was very impressed with the thinking that has gone into this and the opportunities it is presenting to children in the ACT Government system of Education.

I tweet a lot at conferences like this – it’s my form of notetaking, with the benefit that I’m sharing these notes with the people following me on Twitter. I’ve collated them into a Storify – click this link if you’d like to see inside my head over the last two days!

I presented about deploying Google Apps in your school. Toorak College has been a Google Apps school for over a year now and the experience has been transformative for many of us. Slides are below if you want to take a look.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make the weekend work – it was well worth the trip!

Five years in….

On a camping holiday in January, 2008, an idea occupied my thinking. Maybe I could start a blog and write about technology and its impact on education? Two weeks at the beach, with no Internet and plenty of thinking time, cemented the idea. I tossed around what I would call it. I told my husband I wanted to intercept things that were happening in the Web and share them with people. He drove off to work later that morning, but rang soon after and said, “What about Lucacept?” I had the name. I just had to start the thing.

Come January 12th 2008, we returned home from our camping holiday and I sat down and created a blog in WordPress. I called it Lucacept – intercepting the Web, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I knew how to hyperlink, but had no clue how to embed content or what I was going to write about. I was nervous, wondering if it would be read and how it might be received. I worried about whether or not my school would be comfortable with me potentially sharing things that happened in my working day. I wondered if I was starting something that might peter out after a few months.

Five years later I’m still at it. My life has changed as a result of this little bit of Web real estate. I’ve written fairly consistently, sometimes about not much of consequence, but other times about things that matter. I’ve shared my personal life and occasionally felt nervous about pressing the publish button. Opportunities have come my way and I’ve traveled extensively presenting my thinking at conferences here in Australia and overseas. My passion for and commitment to my profession is focused – moreso now than at any other time in my 25 years as a Secondary School educator. This year, I’m taking on a new role at my school as Director of ICT and eLearning – a role I can perform thanks to the learning that began in part with the first time I penned a post in this WordPress editor, five years ago today.

Seth Godin refers to those of us who use the Web to transmit ideas as artists. Here’s some of his thinking from one of his latest posts.

I don’t think the shortage of artists has much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate. I think it has to do with believing that it’s possible and acceptable for you to do it. We’ve only had these particular doors open wide for a decade or so, and most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.

That used to be your job. It’s not, not anymore. You go first.

 

I never used to think of myself as a creative person, but I do now. And that’s because I’ve chosen to believe that it is possible to initiate change with words and the resultant action that comes from wanting to make those words reality. I don’t know what the next five years hold, but hopefully this little bit of Web real estate will be holding its own. Heck, it may have even gone up in value – time will tell.

Would I still be writing if I had no readership? Probably not. I’m forever grateful to all of you, whoever you may be, who either purposefully read or maybe stumble over this blog. Knowing that what you’re writing has the potential to be read is a motivating force. I hope my words have added a modicum of value to your life. Your presence has certainly added so much more value to mine.

Something old, something new…

There are changes happening in my life. For those of you who jump to conclusions, yes, I do suspect that I’m approaching the dawn of menopause, but that’s not the change I’m talking about here.

The something old is that I’m not changing schools – I’m still going to be at Toorak College.

The something new is that I am changing jobs at Toorak College in 2013. Starting next school year, I’ll be taking on the position of Director of ICT and eLearning. This is a new position at our school, one that will embrace and help to realise our school vision and mission statements.

Vision

Achieving excellence, inspiring future lives.

Mission

We lead excellence in education and provide innovative learning opportunities for individuals, to strive to achieve their ambitions in a connected, welcoming environment.

While I am genuinely sad to be leaving my position as Head of Information Services, nothing will change the fact that I am, and always will be, a Teacher-Librarian. I will be taking all of my skills as an information professional to this new position, and the Library at Toorak College will continue to be a driving force implementing change and the integration of new ways of utilising the Web as a powerful tool for connection and learning purposes.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead change in what is an Executive level position at my school. Not only that, I am very proud of all that I have done as a self directed learner to have the skill set to take this position on. The following tweet that found its way into my Twitter stream today embodies my story, and what I hope I will be able to do for the staff at my school.

I have only been at this game seriously for the last five years. But what a five years they’ve been. I’ve got a pretty steep learning curve ahead of me I know, but I feel well rehearsed in the learning stakes to take the challenge on.

My TEDxMelbourne talk: Education Leadership

Well, my TEDxMelbourne talk is up. See, there it is, right above these words.

My husband and I just watched it through and I was doing that involuntary shaking thing while I viewed myself talking. It’s a tad confronting seeing yourself onscreen, exposing your thinking for others to judge. It’s 21 minutes long, so I’ve gone way over my 18 minute time limit. I kind of suspected that was the case, largely because it was more difficult maintaining my train of thought in front of a live audience than it was in my lounge-room. Regardless, I’m happy with the outcome. I said everything I wanted to say, and I think the message I was intending to impart came across quite well.

I’ll let you be the judge of that. That’s the reality of formats like this – you give yourself and your opinions up for others to make of it what they will. And there’s beauty in that. Part of that beauty is what I was trying to convey in this talk – that we have mediums for expression now that can allow us to find our voices and our purpose. We need a teaching profession that understands this and allows for it to happen for students through learning experiences within our education systems. We can’t lose sight of the importance of teachers in this equation. It’s networked teachers who have real world experiences with connected learning that enable them to see possibilities and look beyond the tools, to see how you design learning experiences for students that help them become mindful digital citizens who make the most of what the web can offer them.

Time to let it go and see what’s said about it. That, in itself, will be an interesting experience. Part of my journey as a mindful digital citizen.

 

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