Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A simple thank you!

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by hellojenuine.

I am a lucky man! Last year I was lucky enough to win a Smart Classrooms Teacher of the Year Award which recognised the practices that I deliver within my classroom with my learners. I was extremely chuffed to be recognised and felt very honoured. Whilst I was recognised individually, my practice as a teacher is shaped by the people who I surround myself with in my personal learning network. They inspire me, push me and make me a better educator which in turn enhances the lives of my students.

To those who have inspired me (and there are to many to list….you should know who you are) – I thank you for your passion to our cause to making learning relevant for students who live in the 21st century. It is a hard job being an educator in 2012 and I think that people forget that sometimes. To the facilitators of innovation, I think we all owe a great deal of thanks to. Without them, our systems would not run smooth and our thought processes would not be challenged and facilitated. I love the fact that I have such a wide variety of people who help me innovate and create. Without them, I would be lost. Hopefully they will never be lost to me!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Interesting Weekly Things That I Have Seen This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Interesting Weekly Things That I Have Seen This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Interesting Weekly Things That I Have Seen This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Creative what......

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Carlfish

Creative Commons is something that I believe every 21st century teacher should be aware of and fluent within, yet when you mention it to teachers, I am sure that you will get a number of blank stares.  Our learners come from a generation of content consumption – things are at their fingertips and they want it here and now.  The ability to consume information and ‘sell it off’ as your own is prevalent within 21st century learners.  Creative Commons is something that continuously baffles me and that I am attempting to get my head around. 

So today I decided that it is time…..it is time for me to truly commit to the process of understanding Creative Commons.  Within my bookmarks, I have numerous items saved about Creative Commons and my kids are going to be exploring the implications / notions throughout the rest of the term.  There are some outstanding resources out there. We are also going to have a webconfernce with one of my favourite thinkers Rod Lucier.  Hopefully he can inspire and motivate the kids to become active and responsible digital citizens. 

Is it just me or do we all think that this is an important skill for teachers and students to understand in 2012?

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Interesting Weekly Things That I Have Seen This Week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

When will my back flip occur?

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Pål Berge
It has been a very long time between blog posts indeed!  We are well into term two here at McDowall State School and life is certainly flying along.  I am eagerly anticipating the 15th of May  2012 as it is the highlight of my schooling life every year.  For those who are not in on my sarcastic attitude, the NAPLAN tests begin on 15th of May and finish on 17thof May.  I am not actually eagerly awaiting them: I am eagerly awaiting them to be finished.

For a while now, I have been tossing and turning how to best use the ‘Flip Classroom’ model with my learners.  I have stated numerous times before that I am a huge advocate of the flipped model and it fits really nicely into some key learning areas.  We have been using the flipped model with two key learning areas (Maths and Science) this year and the kids are massive fans of it.  When I explained the model to them, they were very excited.  Like most things that are new, learners engage at the beginning and fall away as time progresses.  I am happy to report that the enthusiasm that my leaners are demonstrating within the learning process has been infectious.  I feel that these two key learning areas lead themselves well to be ‘flipped’.

To those who are reluctant to engage in the flipped model, I would encourage you to consider it.  The key question to ask yourself when thinking about the model is this – When do the kids truly need you?  Do they need you whilst you back is to the board or do they need you whilst you are applying the knowledge that you have passed onto them?  Sometimes the answer may be both but in the majority of scenarios, I think you will agree with me that the need you when they are applying their knowledge.

With the advent of c2c, I really think that there are some fantastic opportunities for teachers to consider ‘flipping’ their classroom when the context is appropriate.  Next week, in Science, learners in my class are learning about scientific concepts that are very complicated and hard for my simple mind to understand.  I found some outstanding videos, emailed the owners of those videos and asked for permission to ‘mash them up’ to suit my context of learners and they agreed.  Tonight for homework, they will be preparing themselves for the learning that they will be undertaking next week.

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this.  I am an advocate for this model of learning because it empowers my students to be active participants within the learning cycle.