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. : )

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 : )

School’s out Friday

The improveverywhere crew are at it again, this time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This time, Agent Elliot, who bears a striking resemblance to King Philip the IV of Spain (from the 17th Century), spent time dressed as the King standing in front of his portrait. The scenario this time was that Agent Eliot was the actual King, and was there to sign autographs. It never ceases to amaze me how many people out there take what’s being presented to them as the gospel truth, or maybe they were all just going along for the ride.

As is often the case, the story behind the story is the most interesting one. In this case, Charlie Todd tells on their site how he asked their user base for any ‘special skills’ people had that they could build a mission around. This was the response he got from Agent Elliot;

“The mission I would like to propose is to cause a scene in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the museum there is a painting of King Philip the IV of Spain and I look identical to him.”

He does too!

I spent today at the SLAV conference here in Melbourne and might try and write about it ove the weekend. Right now, I’m looking forward to laying my head on my pillow and drifting off to a sound night’s sleep.

Have a good weekend everyone. I hope good times find you. : )

School’s out Friday

I saw “I’m reading a book” tweeted by Kim Yeomans yesterday and thought it would make the perfect School’s out Friday post. I sent it to a teacher who was looking for a way to motivate her Exploring English class today and she used it with them. They loved it, and recognised Julian Smith from some of the other 59 videos he has posted to YouTube. My son watched it with me last night and asked if it was a Top 40 song! It’s certainly got appeal.

Just for an extra treat, being the end of the first week back and all, I thought I’d share another video with you. This one was sent to me by my good friend Tania Sheko, and it’s the latest improveverywhere mission. This time it’s an ice skater in New York’s Bryant Park. I walked through Bryant Park last year as they were dismantling this ice rink for the season. It’s a lovely park situated behind the New York Public Library if you ever get the opportunity to visit.

Ahhh…..the end of a busy week. A week that saw our students embrace their new library space, something I’ll try to post about over the weekend. A week that saw my son start high school, a week that saw a new stage of life for him, and me too. All up, exhausting. Time for bed.

Enjoy the weekend ahead. Relax, and drink a glass or two of the good stuff. We all need it. ( I do, anyway!)   🙂


School’s out Friday

I don’t know how I missed this one. It’s another improveverywhere MP3 experiment mission filmed in October. On this occasion, improveverywhere agents downloaded the same MP3 file and played it at the same time, all following the instructions outlined in the recording. The results are great to watch. I really must get involved in a Melbourne based improveverywhere type mission someday. If one is on your radar, let me know!

My son had his graduation ceremony from Primary School tonight. Where did those years go? It seems like just a short time ago he was having his photo taken on his first day of Prep. Next year, High School. I must be getting on! (As an aside, how did these events evolve in Australian society? When I left Primary School, there was nothing like this!)

A couple more days of school for me next week and then it’s school holidays. I am very much looking forward to some downtime. We’ve spent the year in a temporary library and have been immersed in planning for a new library due to open at the start of the 2011 school year. Two ‘E’s apply to this experience – excitement and exhaustion. Right now, it’s the latter of the two that have taken over. I am definitely in need of revitalisation!

Hope the weekend holds something special in store for you. Enjoy it. : )

School’s out Friday

Thank goodness for improveverywhere! Here are the wonderful people of New York City donning Black Tie attaire and formal evening gowns for a day out at Coney Island. I just love watching people from all walks of life embracing the spontaneous nature of these events and putting smiles on the faces of the people they encounter. When it comes down to it, this is a vital ingredient of human interaction. The ability of human beings to intrigue and entertain one another.

I’ve been at a the Leading a Digital School conference here in Melbourne the last couple of days and have barely had time time to resurface after having to present two sessions on Thursday. One of those was new and I was creating slides to support the presentation on Wednesday night. I don’t know about you, but I seem to be chasing my tail on a constant basis at the moment. I think this is becoming a recurrent theme for me. You must be sick and tired of me returning to the same annoying rant all the time. I’m getting a little tired of it myself to be honest with you. Perhaps I just need to wise up to the fact that this is the state of my existence and I need to get used to it!

The conference has been really great. Lots of enlivened discussions, but a real sense that schools are thinking outside the square and acknowledging the ubiquitous nature of computing and what we need to be doing to respond to this societal change.I’ll write more over the weekend after I’ve returned home.

I hope your weekend is everything you want it to be. Enjoy. : )

School’s out Friday

Here’s improveverywhere’s latest mission, a reenactment of the first Princess Leia / Darth Vader scene from Star Wars on a New York City subway car. I have written before of my love of the original Star Wars trilogy and I really enjoyed watching the amused faces looking on as this played out.

On a completely different note, the Gruen Nation took my eye once again this week with this ad that was created by Republic of Everyone to support the Greens campaign. It’s a great ad with a very simple human message being transferred. The Greens liked it so much they asked to use it, but the ABC couldn’t let them do that. Undeterred, the Greens have posted it on their site with this message;

But Greens supporters are “glass half full” kind of people – and just because we can’t show it to people on TV doesn’t mean that, with your help, we can’t show it to the same number of people online.

You can help by posting this video to your personal Facebook page or share it on Twitter using the buttons below (don’t forget to use the #gruennation and #ausvotes hashtags).

Take a look at the ad and see what you think of it.

Hope your weekend is full of fun, laughter and happiness. Enjoy it. : )

School’s out Friday

Yes, it’s late, but my excuse is that I’m still running on a US time zone, only just having returned from a long haul flight back to Australia. Once again, the improveverywhere crew are providing some amusement for us this week, as they divide a New York street into ‘New Yorkers’ and ‘Tourists’ and spend a morning channeling people into their designated walking zone. Sometimes, I think it’s the tourists who are the faster walkers – I know I was as I ran to make connections at LAX and Sydney airport yesterday!

Having just returned from ISTE 2010, it’s time for me to process the week that was and write a response. I intend to do that this weekend, and then impose on myself a week’s hiatus from online work. I need some downtime, and my kids need their Mother’s full attention. That, I intend to give to them this week. I’ll probably put up a School’s out Friday next week, but I’m going to lay off the Twitter and clear the headspace!

The jet lag is nowhere near as bad as the New York/Philly trip in January, so the weekend ahead looks pretty normal. Surprisingly, I’m looking forward to the Germany vs Argentina match tonight in the World Cup. Have I finally become an ardent Soccer fan? Looks like it!

Enjoy the weekend – and if you’re watching the World Cup, soak up the sound of all those vuvuzelas. I saw someone tweet the other day that they thought the supporters had become more practised over the course of the World Cup and were almost carrying a tune!

School’s out Friday

This brought a smile to my face and caught my interest at the same time. It’s the improveverywhere crew reliving the opening scene of Ghostbusters in the New York City Library.

What’s interesting is that improveverywhere were approached by the New York City Library to stage a mission within their building. The Library is facing a 37 million dollar cut to their budget and they were hoping that the exposure they could get from an improveverywhere mission would help remind people how great the Library is. Considering the video has been viewed 1,277,169 times since May 17th I’d say they’ve got plenty of exposure.

It’s great to see the NYC Library being seriously smart in their approach to raising public awareness. I bet it’s because all of the Librarians who work there are right up there with their social media knowledge. It can certainly work for you if you know how to work it the right way. Let’s hope it works for them. I visited the NYC Library in January and it certainly is an impressive building that was getting a lot of use on the day I was there.

You’ve gotta love this close up of what the ghost was searching for on his computer screen!!

Have a great weekend. Spend time with people you love and have a few laughs. I intend to do just that.

School’s out Friday

Yes, it’s late. Really late. So late, that a good friend rang me to see if I was alright. She commented that if I could get a School’s out Friday post up while I was in New York, but couldn’t get one up when I was home, then something must be wrong!

It’s been a frantic week. Both of my children’s birthdays, heaps happening at school, SLAV’s 50th Anniversary cocktail party at the State Library, trying to get presentations organised, and then being in the city yesterday with the Year 9 students. Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday, so we stayed in the city for dinner and went to the movies. She comes before School’s out Friday I’m pleased to say!

This is worth watching. The improveverywhere crew’s latest mission; Ted’s birthday. An unsuspecting guy at a bar has a night he never saw coming! Just wish they had have done it a little while back when I was in New York!!

Long weekend here in Melbourne. I’ll be watching the streaming from the TEDxNY event and hopefully catch up on some much needed sleep. Hope you have a good one!