End of 2008, thought it approapriate to write a post reflecting on the year. But I don’t want to bore you with detail. Pretty much my reflection of the year is encased in the video I created for the World Teachers Every Day competition. So here it is. View if you want to, or ignore if  you want to.

I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope 2009 brings only good news and good tidings for you. I’d like to thank everyone who has encouraged me, left a comment or simply read this blog. I don’t think I can really articulate how life changing making the decision to contribute my voice has been.   

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7 things….

I’ve been tagged by Mark Spahr to contribute to this meme. The idea is that you share 7 things about yourself that would be unknown to your readers. So here goes…. 

1. I met my husband at high school when I was 15 yrs old.

2. I wasn’t much into sport at school, but could rollerskate the pants off most of my friends. I won a gold medal in a school comp for speed skating.

3. I worked in a bookshop for 7 years from the age of 15 though to 22. Loved it. I used to borrow books off the shelves and make sure I didn’t bend the spines so that they could still be sold. I read copious amounts and have found the knowledge I accrued invaluable in life.

4. I once lived in a rented house that was occupied by an unearthly spirit. Confirmed my belief in the spirit world.

5. I love lifting weights (even though I haven’t done much of it of late!) Body Pump classes are a favourite of mine. Just wish I had time to get to the gym.

6. I was with my Grandmother in the hours before she died. I was the only person there but she could see a man beside me. She died a couple of hours later. I felt comforted by the presence of this ‘man’ and felt he was there to help her.

7. I had an emergency Caesarean when I gave birth to my daughter. As I was being put under by anaesthetic my leg spasmed and I fell off the table. I wan’t yet intubated and doctors were called into the room. My husband was waiting outside and could hear them saying 1, 2, 3. He thought they were performing resuscitation. They weren’t, they were just trying to get me back on the table!

Now, my turn to tag some people! I tag;

Tania Sheko

Frances Manning

John Connell

Dean Groom

Sheryl Nussbaum Beach

Kim Cofino

Susan Carter Morgan

I hope they give it a go. A fun thing to do.

Do yourself a favour – subscribe to a Podcast

I’ve been slow to come to Podcasts. For that matter, I’ve been slow to move to  MP3 players.  I got an iPod classic with 120gig capacity for my birthday a couple of months ago. It’s been sitting there with its pathetic 112 songs on it since then. Finally I’ve had time to explore iTunes and the variety of Podcasts about education and technology that are available. With a bit of help from my Twitter network I’ve subscribed to quite a few.

Part of my initial hesitation was the simple fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing  when it came to downloading from iTunes. To those under the age of 20 that’s probably laughable, but my teenage years were in the  era of vinyl records and cassette tapes! I’m happy to report I have mastered the fine art of downloading and syncing to my iPod and now have hours of listening pleasure at my disposal. And all for free!! 

What I’ve subscribed to:

 (it’s very easy to search the Podcasts field of iTunes for these titles)

Driving Questions in Education

Ed Tech Crew

EdPod – ABC Radio National

EdTech Posse

Moving at the Speed of Creativity

SOS Podcast

Tech Chick Tips

TWIT – This week in technology

Seedlings – Bit by Bit

Wicked Decent Learning

Women of Web 2.0

21st Century Learning – Ed Tech talk

I can hear you asking, ‘When is she going to get time to listen to all that?’

Good question. I have an underused treadmill in my back room. I mentioned in an earlier post that my brain had been active but not much else of me this year! Now I can combine activity with learning and do my body and mind a favour.  


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School’s out Friday

Tania Sheko, who writes a great blog called Brave New World, tagged me recently to come up with a top ten list. I’ve decided to share with you my ten favourite School’s out Friday videos that I’ve posted over the course of this year. I’m really happy that School’s out Friday has been popular because I enjoy the levity of it all. If we spent all of our time taking ourselves seriously this world would be a very dreary place.

1. OK Go – Here we go again  My very first School’s out Friday post!

2. Frozen Grand Central The improveverywhere crew’s fabulous effort at Grand Central Station.

3.  If Life were a Musical – Hardware Shop. The Chaser’s War on Everything’s musical number in a Bunnings store.

4. The best first dance at a wedding ever. Posted in tribute to Clay Burell who was getting married the next day.

5. What teacher’s make. Slam poet Taylor Mali’s take on teaching.

6. The world of chemistry. Very funny take on how the elements work.

7. Sneezing Panda. My mum loved this – she watched it again and again. 

8. Best game ever. Another effort from the improveverywhere crew.

9. Where the Hell is Matt?  Matt Harding’s 2008 effort that took 14 months to put together.

10. Hamish and Andy – Team Ghosting. The Australian comedy duo and their new sport of ghosting.

So there you have it. Ten of my favourites this 2008 in no particular order.

Enjoy your weekend. If it’s anything like mine you’ll be busy finding novel ways to polish off leftovers!

Don’t reinvent the wheel

I’m a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel. I’ve been in plenty of staffrooms where people covet their lesson plans and refuse to share. I’ve never done that. In the days of hard copy, I’d photocopy a worksheet and lay it on the desks of teachers who taught the same subject. I just can’t see the point of not sharing and making the load easier for others. I know I always appreciate it when other teachers share their ideas, but it’s a sad fact of life that it doesn’t always happen.

Andrew Churches has a wonderful wiki called Educational Origami where he shares many of the resources he has created. Today I was reading his blog and discovered posts he had written about starter sheets he has created about a variety of Web 2.0 apps.  They are available to download as a PDF and I’m assuming he is fine to have people use them in their schools. I couldn’t find a creative commons licence on them so I’m a bit unclear about this. (Hopefully he’ll read this post and provide some clarification in a comment).

Starter Sheets are available for Delicious, Voicethread, Google Maps, Wikispaces and Google Advanced Search. The advanced search has an extension sheet explaining Boolean Searches. They are attractively presented and link to the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy that he created. If you haven’t seen that yet you must. It’s invaluable for curriculum planning with the integration of technology in mind.

external image voicethread-page2-212x300.jpg

So, don’t go reinventing the wheel. Access this fabulous wiki and download the PDFs. I can see them looking just great laminated and used as resources for staff and students alike. Thanks Andrew.

* Update.   Andrew Churches responded in a comment;

Teaching is about sharing and collaboration, it’s not a competition. Please feel free to use the resources and materials on the wiki. Everything published on the wiki is under the creative commons licence.

If you have any suggestions, recommendations or perhaps more importantly corrections let me know I appreciate the feedback.

I love this line. “Teaching is about sharing and collaboration, it’s not a competition.”

It sure is.





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School’s out Friday

Brace yourself. This time next week it will be Boxing Day. In between now and then I am sure you will have a million things to do. Like shop, eat, laugh, eat, stress, eat, sing, eat, socialise, eat, drink, eat, wrap presents, eat, drink some more, eat, cook, eat and on it goes. On Boxing Day I intend to cut down on the eating (and drinking) and embrace the walking and weight lifting. This year has seen my brain active but not much else. A situation that needs a remedy!

While you contemplate the next week and all it will bring, enjoy this little festive number from  madeinakqa. This little ditty accompanied the video;

Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.

Stockings were hung
by the chimney with care,
as the microwaves’ thrum
was filling the air. 

I can’t begin to imagine the time it took to put it together, but it makes for compulsive viewing to see the outcome. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy the festivities with your families. 

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I want to – 1,000 apps in a list!

I’ve mentioned Phil Bradley many a time. He writes a very helpful blog, is extremely knowledgeable and  has a sense of humour.  I sense he does, anyway, from the way he writes.  I like writers whose personality shines through, especially humour. There can’t be enough of it as far as I’m concerned!   One of the things he does is maintain a site called ‘I want to’.  Here’s what it’s about from its front page;

I want to:

“I want to…” or “I need to” or “How do I?” These are all questions we all ask all the time. This is a small collection of resources that will help to answer those questions. It is not complete, nor will it ever be. I will be adding to this on a regular basis, so feel free to bookmark it and come back and visit. Now listing over 1,000 applications.

Web 2.0 applications and resources to help collaborate, communicate, discover, email, laugh, generate images, podcast, use multimedia, store photographs, use RSS, internet search, shop, create start pages, store information, time management, train, teach and do things with webpages and websites.

This is a fabulous resource. Phil keeps it updated so the links are live and if something goes belly up he’ll let you know. It’s organised into categories and sub categories and a brief explanation accompanies each link so you have some idea of what the app is about. Like he says, this is one to bookmark and one to use in PD for staff.  Pointing our students in the direction of this  wouldn’t hurt also! 

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