Sunday, 21 October 2007

Spring is sprung but where is my spring?

After a wonderful two weeks of holidays I have returned for the final term of the year and things have been busy. My gardening- an ongoing saga for I have a four acre block that is on a hillside and full of weeds - has been keeping me busy and absorbed as I try to create an orchard or even some thing resembling permaculture.The weeds and the piles for burning grow faster than I can cope and so I have been 'away' from my keyboard.
The other reason is something that has been on my mind about how isolated I feel at my work in terms of people who I can talk about what I am reading about. It has been so frustrating to have ideas and then be up against such a weight of the system being unable to change.The potential is so exciting, but so huge is the onslaught of ideas, podcasts , twitters, tags, gadgets and general ruminations that I sometimes just give up. The K-12 conference is on at the moment but I have had trouble finding the times for Oz. The other conference coming up is the Knowledge Bank Online Conference which features Marco Torres as the keynote speaker is also approaching,as is an IT Innovations conference in Sydney. So many things and no-one to bounce ideas off. I am also wondering about doing a Masters in IT education.Ah well, usually these overload situations create their own solution and I can find the path I am looking for.
At school lots happening, starting Literature circles with six year 8 classes doing the mystery unit, writing folio responses to the Crucible at Year 11, 'First they Killed my Father'with year 10 - first time - and Year 9 have finished City Zines and are doing Notables and poetry. Having fun with Facebook!Busy, busy... and husband in Italy for two weeks !

Monday, 1 October 2007

What's in a name?

I'm now in the second week of our September break and the Grand Final day is over and the world still goes on! Finally I am having a moment to think about what want to write about and have been spending probably far too many hours trying to catch up on the blogs of other teachers and get on their wavelength about what they are doing. I am looking forward to seeing what the K-12 conference will have to offer and so many writers are excited because of last year's one being so good. So many online meetings are happening that I read about, but most are in the wee small hours for us downunder so I hope that the conference will be available for me to digest in small bites.
Spring is wonderful this year and I have been doing lots in my big garden and when it rains I come in and read blogs. Jane Nicholls has posted about this problem of our virtual selves taking over and lately I feel this is something that is so true as I spend so much time clicking and reading and playing with new programmes.That leads me to what I wanted to write about- why I chose this name for my blog. I didn't want it to sound like the usual carping voice but more like me when I find someone who has the patience to listen to me when I start talking about my discoveries online. It is always 'and another thing I found was...' Am I driving my friends,colleagues and family crazy by this behaviour? This is such an exciting and exhausting journey and I feel I am only just hanging on to the ends of threads. I really want to be more involved, but how real is all this virtual communication? To me it is the first time I have explored my passions in teaching with others and though they may not be aware they are talking to me, what they are saying is giving me such a sense of community even though I have only met a few of them in ' real time'. And to think I didn't keep going with my second life avatar!!Maybe I could have a second life after all? Oh the possibilities, but now I'll do my marking!
My two final very belated blog day reviews are for Everyone learns a blog by Mike Muir at the University of Maine in where he writes about a school that is trying to provide success for underachieving kids using a programme called Project Foundry which is project based learning. His writing explore the issues and assumptions related to what school is and should be for students and is definitely worth a read.
My second blog of note is Jane's E-learning pick of the Day. For those who are into gadgets and great new things to waste time on - which probably explains my current state of mind- this is a blog with a new thing everyday. How does she do it? It is a wonderful resource and though I don't get to look into everything she has lead me to some great new programmes and silly stuff too.This is the latest Elearning showcase Now I am subscribing to a book chapter a day.Ahh where does the time go?