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. 🙂

School’s out Friday

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Grand Central Station in New York and marvel at its beautiful architecture. The Improv everywhere team staged this light show to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of its construction. The images I like best are those of the peoples’ faces as their day is made that much more enjoyable because of the team’s efforts.

We need more of this in our world. People doing something for the pleasure of others and making them smile. Just think how much more enjoyable our days would be if we set about with purpose to make others feel good and smile. I ran a meeting today at work where we laughed, ate chocolate biscuits, shared some things we’re doing in our classrooms and enjoyed one another’s company. One of my colleagues stayed back to say it was the best meeting she’d been in all year – she felt connected to others and was energised about what we were talking about. Work needs to be like this more often. Let’s face it, sometimes the greater part of our waking day is spent there.

There’s a challenge. Set about with purpose to make someone’s life more enjoyable this weekend. I bet you’ll feel better for it too. 🙂

School’s out Friday

Have you had your fill of serious sport after a couple of weeks of the Olympic Games? Looking for a participation sport that can involve anyone without the prerequisite of being an ultra fit athlete? Then look no further than the latest MP3 experiment from the Improv Everywhere crew. Here, 4000 participants converged on Governer’s island in New York City to follow out instructions fed to them via a dowmloaded MP3 file they were listening to through earbuds. It looks like a tonne of fun. Look out for the Hextacopter drone that is used to take the aerial views – very interesting.

The sheer bliss of a weekend awaits. Not much on my agenda, other than the requisite work required for school and the never ending cycle of housework. If the weather cooperates, I just might venture down to the local beach where I’ll store some energy for the week ahead from the sea.

Enjoy whatever comes your way. I hope the next couple of days are kind to you. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. : )

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!

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. : )