Friday, 31 October 2008

Thanks Blogger NOT!!!

I have just spent a really frustrating hour trying to remove a part of my blog which has appeared recently, BUT WHICH I DID NOT ASK TO HAVE ADDED!!!!! What is going on Blogger?? I have searched the layout and help section, looked at post settings and nothing I have marked has given permission for the ridiculous recommendations and star rating section which now appears after each post.
I do not want my readers to rate my posts, they can read them or not, comment or not - that is their choice, but no star ratings THANK YOU.If I wanted to have ratings I would go on talent show. Also I do not want people referred to the rubbish that you are putting in the recommendations section!!
I take this seriously and I do not appreciate what you little un requested addition says about my blog
So I went to the Twitterverse and was referred to where I did find the boxes but not ticked. Ok so this is a rant- but seriously- I don't want ads on my blog and I don't want these ridiculous extras. So blogger let me know what is happening and improve your game. I have been a very happy camper up till now but such a simple fix is really making me angry. Please FIX IT !!!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Hehe Just trickin'ya!

Far Out I just got slapped with a wet salmon - really - I have not updated this since long before Shakespeare wast a boy... You would not believe I spend all my time in front of a computer. Please don't abandon me!.

I am lost in a sea of pseudo-olde-english with discovering time doesn't stand still, being distracted by the shiny, just generally being a worry to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day is full to bursting from crawling out of bed at 6.30 to 11pm at which point I fall asleep on the couch. I am wondering if I paid mine electricity bill. can't they see I am blogging.

I won't promise anything to you but I will write something that makes sense soon. Fully! What do you mean you don't believe me?.
-From the lazy bloggers post site !

Monday, 13 October 2008

A First Step on the Path- PLP begins

It happens sometimes- you get the feeling that something great is going to happen. Today the Australian cohort for the international PLP group had a meeting at Toorak College at Mt Eliza.This programme is Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's real effort to create sustainable change in schools by developing a continuous support framework for schools.They are putting their efforts and their reputations up to get real change happening and my school has been lucky enough to be funded to participate.

My team of four includes Pam Arvanitakis, Matt Lucas, Marie-Josee Mill and Natalie Vranjes. The areas that they teach in are diverse and their interest is what has brought them to volunteer for the programme. I hope that they found today both challenging and exciting- I know I did despite the fact that most of what was covered was material with which I am familiar. That wasn't what it was about anyway- today was about building a community - a group of teachers creating a personal learning network and a framework to try and change their teaching and ultimately their schools.

The teams came from private schools in Victoria and New South Wales and involved many travel hours for staff and much work by Jenny Luca who is organising the group. It was great to meet more of the folk I have chatted to on Twitter as well as Judy O'Connell and Dean Groom again and a number of new teachers and community members.

So what do I expect from this? Well, apart from the funding that allows staff from my school to access high quality in-service - a very basic but important virtue- this has the chance to create a network for collaboration and development both within Australia and with New Zealand and USA.The teachers involved are amazing people and I have much to learn from them. Will and Sheryl are so well connected and experienced that anything will be possible.

Much is before us and there will be growth in so many ways- Craig Smith at Knowledge Bank has been a great help for us as a group organising funding and we will be able to see how to create change within a school. Thanks to Jenny and Will and Sheryl for a very affirming day - optimism is hard to find and this was a day filled with it - food for those hard working teachers who are asked to provide so much of it for our students that sometimes the well does run dry. Maybe we are starting a new well spring?

Friday, 3 October 2008

viral voting for gen y

Just in case you have been living under a rock , how to use youtube to create change. Well done guys.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Shedding a Skin

After a glorious two weeks of gardening and generally unwinding from a really difficult school term - when aren't they difficult she asks herself- I am catching up on my listening to podcasts. I am listening to Jenny Luca being interviewed by the ED Tech Crew and sitting here nodding my head at so many of the things Jenny is saying. She has become a shining light in her blog writing and a must read either for her delightful School's out Friday posts or her increasingly challenging posts on the Web 2.0 world. Jenny writes as she speaks -with a characteristic honesty and very down to earth approach to her reactions to ideas or issues. What I like is that it is an Australian voice and a woman's voice. In this never-ending boy's club that is the Web 2.0 we need women speaking up and being recognized and Jenny is not afraid to speak up and is doing so with great confidence.

Her reactions to the conference experience were very similar to mine at NECC, excitement, being a bit star struck and then ultimately realising that what we as Australians have to offer and what we are doing is really terrific and we should be raising our voice and the flag. I am really looking forward to working with Jenny more this year through our involvement in the PLP network. It is because of Jenny that my school is able to be involved as she convinced the Dept to add a govt school. What a great opportunity for my staff and students.Thanks Jen.

The title of this post relates more to my state of mind which Jenny's podcast and her recent post about a year of change resonated with so strongly. I have been blogging for over a year and trying to sort out what I know and what I understand by the terms school and teaching and education. So much of what I am doing is so exciting and the potential takes my breath away. Yet when I go to school the same old issues are there. How is it possible to create change in an institution that by its definition is about maintaining a kind of status quo, where teachers 'pass on ' their 'knowledge' where students 'learn' what we have to 'teach ' them. In the light of this conflicting set of images, throw in a group of students who are so bored that even when you do step out of the box and try to do something different they reject it- too hard, don't get it' 'why we doin' this?'

So it is spring. Wall street is crashing, there is a drought, money is tight,etcetera.
But I feel like it is time to shed a skin- to stop letting it get on top of me. I have some energy again, we have lots of exciting new things to be engaged with at school - new buildings, new computers, a special grant for new training... I want to step out into the light and start a chorus of people saying 'yes we can ..' Thanks Jen.