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. : )

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!)   🙂