Archive for October, 2009

Facebook Status Update Cloud

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FB status cloud Oct 2009Freq: bed. day. drama. english. getting. home. students. tomorrow. weekend. year. (how mundane!)

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NING tip for teachers

Of all the online teaching tools (edublogs, pbwiki, wetpaint, voicethread, twitterfacebook!) I have used in the past couple of years, I would have to say that the most successful (and my favourite) was the general purpose, customisable networking site, Ning.

I have used Ning now to coach debating teams, and to provide online homework/study support for my classes.

Here is a tip:
(it is one of my FAVOURITE things to do, because I would have loved this as a student!)

Turn on the photos section of your Ning.  At the end of important lessons, take a digital photo on your camera or phone of your whiteboard notes.  Post them up as photos on the Ning…really helps those who remember notes visually :)

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P.S. An excellent example of how Ning has been used by educators for profressional learning and networking is The English Companion Ning, created for English teachers by Jim Burke.  Another I have come across more recently is The Educator’s PLN, a Ning created by Thomas Whitby to support the Personal Learning Networks of educators generally.

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The power of time off #TED

The word of the day…sabbatical!

My new dream retirement plan, and some fascinating insights into design, in a TED Talk by Stefan Sagmeister:

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On books and moving

Alas, Mr. K’s promotion up to Brisbane is in full swing, and now my HSC class is all wrapped up, it’s time for me to start my leave and follow suit.  Term 4 I’ll be finishing my PhD (yes, “finally”), and next year I’ll find a casual or temporary teaching job in Brisbane.  These are exciting times!

I know I have mentioned around the place that I am moving, but up until now I’ve been too busy to really think about it, or talk about it much.  The last couple of days of school were quite teary, and a lot of students came out of the woodwork to say goodbyes and thank yous.  It was sad, but lovely.  I had some great class parties – thanks for the cards and presents :)  I will miss my colleagues and students (not to mention family and friends!).

On Thursday, two comments that I found full of symbolism, and so very typical of an English teacher and her humanities-loving students ;) were these:

  1. I was talking with two very awesome students from year 10 about maybe going to their formal, and about some books I was supposed to lend them.  I said that I would leave the books at school for them to read next term – that way we also could be sure that we’d see each other again before the end of the year, because I’d neeed to get my books back even if I didn’t go to the formal.  And one of them started crying :(
  2. Later, another year 10 student brought me a present – a book where you write down all the books you want to read, books you love, and books you have leant out to other people (because she had had my copy of Eclipse for about 6 months, and I had forgotten!)  We started talking about how the move was finally seeming real, and I mentioned that it had felt real to me once I found boxes to pack up my bookshelf.  I reckon moving never seems really real until you acknowledge you’ll have to pack up your books.  Then I started crying! Then we both were crying :(

Geeze, I had done so well all week! Ah well…I think most of you who have read this far will know how hard it can be to leave a school.  But bright things are on the horizon!

I’ll be keeping up my blog, hopefully even improving it.  One thing that is making the idea of moving easier is the strength and quality of my PLN…so thank you!

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