School’s out Friday

Late in my time zone, but still current in others!

I love the Christmas season. I’m a sucker for smarmy Christmas movies, decorated trees, houses lit to the nines, and a traditional Christmas Carol or two that can bring a tear to my eye. Handel‘s Hallelujah chorus can have that effect on me, and it’s performed to very good effect here in a very non-traditional food court. As with most flash mob efforts, what really captures my attention are the rapt expressions of the onlookers who delight in what is unfolding before them.

Another Flash Mob viewing this week was thanks to Modern Family. I am loving this series and it’s take on relationships within families. Take a look at their treatment of the phenomenom.

Hope it brought a smile your way and got your weekend off to a good start. Make the most of whatever delights the weekend brings. : )

* Thanks to Ann Oro for tweeting out a link to the Hallelujah Chorus flash mob.

School’s out Friday

We’ve just got a Telstra TBox (to go with our 100G Bundle – I’m in internet download heaven!) and my son has been having a great time surfing YouTube and discovering cool videos. Well, videos he considers cool anyway. My Morning Run was one of them and it definitely fits the cool category. Watch these guys do Spiderman like moves without the aid of Hollywood special effects or velcro fingers! I’m in awe of them.

I’ve got a lot I want to write about this weekend if I can drag myself away from housework, or the lure of a sunny day. Stay tuned.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever comes your way. : )

School’s out Friday

Both of this week’s videos were sourced by my Year 9 students today. Some were completing an assessment task, so I set the remaining few (we had a lot of students out today as our yearly camp program begins) to the task of honing their visual literacy skills to find a YouTube video clip that met the criteria of being both funny and clever. The first one is more clever than funny, but the second fulfills both criteria (IMO). I think Facebook vs Real life would be interesting as the basis for a class discussion, maybe even the prompt for a writing exercise or debate. They loved the task; they beavered away with their headphones on, erupting in laughter as they came across videos that appealed to their sense of humour.

Right now, I’m experiencing mixed emotions after I fare-welled my daughter, who left this evening on a two week UK trip with school. There were tears (from me!) as I kissed her goodbye, but smiles and laughter too as I waved at the bus leaving and contemplated the wonderful adventure she is about to embark on. Sure beats my school camp to Glenmaggie when I was a teenager!

Have a great weekend. I will, because it’s an extended one due to the Melbourne Cup holiday this coming Tuesday. You gotta love a horse race that stops a nation, and gives Victorians a public holiday!

School’s out Friday

Nothing like a good flash mob to lift your spirits, get you moving and bring a smile to your dial. This flash mob came together in Rome and were promoting a new season of the US show ‘Glee‘.

I’m feeling a sense of glee tonight. I suspect there are plenty of Victorian educators feeling the same way.  It’s end of term time here in Victoria, and it’s been a long, cold, packed to the rafters term three. I’m so looking forward to some downtime and a few sleep ins. Maybe I can get rid of those black rings under my eyes over the next fortnight!

If you’re looking for something else to bring a little mirth to your life, check out the range of demotivators posters on offer from Despair, Inc : – ( .Thanks Adrian Bruce for sending out the link on Twitter this afternoon. I was chuckling for quite some time looking through the range.

Have a great weekend. Sleep in. : )

School’s out Friday

It’s very apt that I use a video referencing a pet, considering the angst of the last 24hrs. Once again, a pet issue has occupied my time. Not the cat this time. No, it was the dog (again!) She wandered off sometime last afternoon and we located her this morning at the local pound. In the midst of this I attended the SLAV 50th Anniversary Dinner in Melbourne last night, and then this morning found my way back to the city again to look at new furnishing options for our now in construction school library. No rest for the wicked!

There’s been plenty I’ve wanted to blog about this week but I haven’t been able to get to this space.  I thought I’d share a few links with you of some of the things that passed my way that might prove of interest.

Google Instant shows results as you type, and it will be coming to your desktop when you conduct a search using Google in the coming months.

Rhonda Powling shared ‘Digital Footprints – your new first impression‘ via her vodpod account.

Future of Screen Technology makes some interesting projections about what may be; stretchable screens, transparent screens and e-ink displays.

Tech Heavyweights set to move music to the cloud is an article from New Scientist written by Macgregor Campbell. He writes;

“The extra bandwith and data transmission speeds of next-generation (4G) mobile networks mean it could soon be possible to listen to music streaming straight from the internet anywhere where there’s reception…”

He goes onto to query whether anyone would bother purchasing from sites like iTunes if this becomes standard practice. Interesting, and worth reading.

So much passes by me in a week, it’s hard to find time to share all the good stuff. This weak attempt might help those of you who aren’t plugged into Twitter and rely on people like me to keep you informed.

Have a great weekend. End of term fast approaching Aussie Educators!!

Enjoy. : )

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

This is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Literally.

The girls at my school have been entertaining me with this over the last week. It’s spreading like a virus. One group, then the next, then the next. Any wonder. It’s clever and funny all at once, and you get to see the preview of the upcoming two part Harry Potter finale. Yes, you will have to buy two tickets.

I’ve just come off the end of a pretty demanding week that saw technology bring rewarding experiences and not so rewarding experiences. I’ll try and put fingers to keyboard over the weekend to outline the successes and failures. The good thing was that even the failure brought with it a learning experience that I can benefit from.

Still waiting for a hint of a warm wind to grace us here in Melbourne. It’s pretty dreary but at least the dams are filling. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder! I seriously feel like I need a strong dose of vitamin D from the sun. Sydneysiders, I hate to admit it, but I’m envious of the blue skies I’ve seen you boasting over the last week or so!! The weather forecast for the next four days is sunshine all the way, so maybe I’ll be revitalised by the end of the weekend.

Hopefully sunshine comes your way this weekend, wherever in the world you may be. Soak it up. : )

School’s out Friday

I love this ‘mockumentary’ I found after following a Twitter link this week. (sorry, can’t remember who it was that sent it out). ‘The Majestic Plastic Bag‘ serves a dual purpose. Great for a giggle, but there’s a serious message behind it that we all should heed. I used it in two classrooms this week and the kids were right onto it. All of them agreed that it was better hearing and seeing the message via this format rather than hearing a teacher talk about it. Yet another reason why I send my students to YouTube and encourage them to seek out the learning opportunities that can be found there.

Big weekend here in Australia. Election day tomorrow. I’ll be glued to the screens (both old media and new!) waiting for the first hint of who might carry this one off. I’ll be fascinated to observe the workings of Twitter tomorrow. Will it be the place where we will hear things first? Is the user base large enough and varied enough to ensure a decent spread of the community? Will hashtags evolve that will enable us to track interesting developments? I’ve already seen one of our major commercial networks advertising that they’re going to be screening a twitter stream throughout the course of the evening. What is apparent is that it’s going to be interesting and social media may be one of the things that makes it so.

Melbourne is hideously cold – has been for quite some time now. I can see blossoms erupting, but I’m desperate for the first hint of a warm breeze. Hopefully it will happen this weekend, but to be honest with you, I already know that I’m hoping in vain.

Enjoy your weekend and whatever it brings with it. : )

School’s out Friday

Yes, we’re still in the grip of an election campaign here in Australia. This is the ‘Moving forward remix‘, put together by radio station Triple M. Julia Gillard has copped a few knocks this week (just as she did last week) and seems to be lagging behind in the polls. With two weeks to go, it will be interesting to see if the Labor Party can re-ignite their campaign and win back ground.

It’s been a busy week for me. So busy, that I’ve had no opportunity to get anything posted. There are a couple of posts brewing from some professional development I’ve been involved in this week, so hopefully I’ll get something up over the weekend.

I have to finish writing a journal article this weekend, so it’ll be head down for me for quite a bit of it. Hope you get to see sunlight, and hope I get to see a little bit too. That’s of course, if it ever stops raining here. Been a tad gloomy in Melbourne this week. Spring can’t get here fast enough really!

Rest up, relax, enjoy. : )

School’s out Friday

One of the things I have to do this weekend is prepare a presentation for our Year 12 students about how they nurture their social resume. It’s pretty important stuff for those 17 and 18 year olds. (Hopefully they’ll see it from the same perspective!) They’re on the verge of adulthood and about to undertake tertiary education or a foray into the world of work. We prepared a presentation for our Year 10 and 11 students last term, but already we need to update it. We were dealing with Facebook privacy settings prior to their recent changes, so some new screenshots will be in order so that we’re up to date with what’s happening.

I’m thinking that using this parody of an apology from ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ will help to get the message across. I’ll also be using detail from a New York Times article from Jeffery Rosen that was published this week. ‘The Web Means the End of Forgetting’, is 8 pages of very informative reading about the state of the internet and privacy today. Read it if you can. (You will have to register with the New York Times – for free – to gain full access to the article).

But first, a sleep in. My eyes are closing as I type this. I really need a good night’s sleep. Soemone said to me this week,  “It feels like Week Five, not Week Two.” I totally agree.

I hope you have something exciting planned for the weekend ahead. Can’t say there’s anything spectacular on my horizon, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

Have fun!