Going with the flow ….. Plan B

We have all had moments in our teaching careers when something did not go according to plan and an immediate re-think is required.  Last night, I logged in to an Elluminate session that promised to be interesting-  Anne Mirtschin (@murcha)  hosting Jess McCulloch (@jessmcculloch) sharing web tools she has discovered.  Two names who are very well known to me through my online PLN.   Anne went about getting us to introduce ourselves and we had representation from Victoria, US, China and I think someone in Africa.  I am still impressed that educators from this far afield can come together to discuss these things from their lounge rooms.

 Anne (as Moderator)  had to do some very quick thinking, as it appeared that Jess was having problems and was not in the room.  What ensued was a wonderful hour (well I could only stay for about 35 mins) where Anne orchestrated the participants to share their own ideas.   This involved online coaching on the intricacies of screensharing in elluminate etc. 

 So in 35 minutes, I added 5 fantastic links to my Delicious account    Because of this impromptu session I have been alerted to :

  1. Spezify – a really cool visual Search engine
  2. Search-Cube – another cool search engine which represents results graphically
  3. Lure of the labrynth – an amazing maths problem solving adventure
  4. Story Jumper – well I had seen this before but not used it – I might now that I have been re-inspired
  5. PLENK – Personal learning and Environment Networks and Knowledge 2010 – an online free PD course
  6. I missed the last few minutes so I am sure I missed more !

I consider that a pretty worthwhile 35 minutes spent !  Thanks to Anne, for keeping the ball rolling and all the participants for joining in – a true example of collaboration at work.

Another amazing PD opportunity – without leaving home

ag2We are coming to the end of the current SLAV PD Personal Learning Networks for Victorian schools program. It has been amazing. Our first task, many weeks ago was to create a blog to record our reflections and demonstrate our learnings. I have taken to blogging like a duck to water – I love it – writing is a great way to sort out your knowledge and often it makes you justify your stance on an issue.  Blogging then brings an entirely different dimension to your writing as others may read it and hopefully add to your thinking by commenting.

I was already a keen Web 2.0 user but this program has provided me with the opportunity to re-consider the applications I knew and get to know many more. I have been thrilled that some fellow staff members have joined this project and the results are tangible within our school. The level of awareness has dramatically increased and we are now all on the same playing field.

This type of learning – on-line, self-paced, interactive and individualised, seems to be the way of the future for professional development.    Twitter has announced (or at least that is where I found out about it) another wonderful PD opportunity – the 2010 International Reform Symposium.  As WhatEdSaid states

Now you can learn from great educators in other parts of the world, without ever getting off the couch. What you miss will be recorded so you can even learn in your own time…….. The presenters are absolutely inspirational educators!

There will be the obvious time difference issues as the timetable is based in the US, however due to the wonders of technology – recording will be made and we can view the content at more respectable hours. The content described so far on the website include :

  • Using Word Clouds to integrate reading and writing
  • Introducing Web 2.0 into your classroom
  • EduBlogging
  • It’s not the tool- It’s how you use it
  • Effective Leadership in schools
  • Only in 140 characters?
  • This Ain’t Your Mother’s Classroom: Why You Need to Use Social Media in Your Classroom

People  will be tweeting their findings and ideas and queries using the #rscon10 hash tag.   So the learning will go on ……….

For more info see iLearnTechnology and 2010 International Reform Symposium.