Saturday, 9 August 2008

Catching up. Keeping going. Getting the Picture.

So here it is on a rainy Saturday night and finally I can compose my thoughts enough to write a post. Well, thanks to a tweet from Lauren O'Grady I have downloaded Screenflow as a screen capture tool and it seems easier than some of the others around and it captures movies as well. This is my first try to celebrate the fact that the OZ/NZ educators ning has reached one hundred members. I am so pleased that such a little idea has grown . The main thing now is to make sure it is useful and provides a connecting point for educators of all skill levels and allows them to be able to find support and ideas for using ICT for better teaching.
The social aspect is growing too. I had such a great time at NECC and on the ACCE tour meeting people and connecting to voices that became real people as a result of the trip. We are planning a third Blogger's Feast this Thursday at La Camera in Southbank. This time we have many of the group who came first time and several who went on the trip so we can all catch up. the connection keeps going through emails and little threads about how much we all want to go to NECC next year in Washington, but at AU$8000 it is out of reach for most of us.
It has taken me awhile to sit down and actually write about NECC and the tour. I noted that the day I flew out was the anniversary of my blog and that the fact I was going to a computing conference in America was a reflection of how much this has changed me and my understanding of my job.The trip now seems to me to be something really special- a lucky moment in time where everything was wonderful and the meeting of a group was meant to happen. Sounds soppy possibly, but the more I think about the members of the group, the more I see what a remarkable crowd they are. I do hope we will all meet again.
The places we went, the conversations we had, the weather, the food, the fun all seem like a dream here on a cold Melbourne night, but the fact that my perceptions of what can be, have shifted so much make it real.
I am now using a new Mac powerbook computer, not a department loan machine, but my own one and adjusting slowly to having to use both platforms.It is a beautiful machine in design and use and I am enjoying exploring its potential.
One of the most immediately usable experiences of the trip was seeing the TV stations that two schools in New Zealand had created. Since coming home, my plan is to establish one ready for use in the new learning centre. My principal has given me the money for the software- Adobe Visual Communicator 3- and I have been spending time understanding the programme and working with Euan Bradley to make it happen. We have a blue and green screen, we have cameras and the space is still under discussion. We are working out lighting and the students are on the go with programming and design ideas. I have been watching School TV Made Easy tutorials and playing with settings and it is really absorbing me.The potential is huge and so hopefully soon I will be able to post the first episode.
Another change is that I have ordered Macs for the class to use for the learning centre and some flip videos. All of this is such a change for the school
So these changes are the immediate and obvious ones. I am hopefully - weather permitting - going geocaching tomorrow and have found the school does have GPS units. Maybe I can organise a staff one or one for the kids?

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