Bigness of purpose

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What a great description!

Once again, this is a ‘lesson’ from Obama’s victory and the campaign which won him the role.

A good read and a call to us to stand up for the things which really matter.

Read ‘Obama’s Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators’

The e-generation confront high security issues

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It’s been interesting this week to watch some of the stories coming out about Obama cutting a deal to keep his Blackberry and his team being confronted by older PCs and clunky protocols: anathema to a team who demonstrated with absolute clarity the power of the web to reach out and connect.

There’s also been some interesting commentary around this saga.  There are, after all significant questions for leadership in lot sof organisations: least of all those who are about to be riding the peak of a digital wave.

Triple J’s ‘Hack’ program today contained some interesting perspectives from current and former students: especially in relation to their perception of IT teaching and practices in schools.

You can hear the program here.  The piece about schools and IT is in the later half.

Quote of the Week #209

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With the commencement of  the school year here in NSW tomorrow, and another great Australia Day getting toward its twilight, wouldn’t it be great to think toward the year ahead with these words resounding within us.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. 

~ George Bernard Shaw

Engagement: we talk readily about it.  The nurturing of curiosity, however, takes this a leap forward from here.  We have a world in which the information is there for the finding.  The burning, learning curiosity exists within all of us unless we are faced with the conditions in which fires will eventually go out, or be ‘contained.’

Let’s fan a few of those young human fires. Let’s use our pride in the place we live as a driver for wanting to produce our absolute best: who fearlessly ask the questions which will get them the answers they need to create a bright tomorrow.

Australia Day long weekend

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With the Australia Day weekend coming up and the start of the school year here in NSW next week, this presentation on the SMH site is an enormously powerful reminder of the value that we can add to so many lives.

I can imagine that it might be a great discussion starter in a range of groups: considering the commonalities which link us, and the richness that the variety and difference which each one brings to the group adds to our collective understanding.  As a teacher, I would think about using it with my class, followed by some good discussion about the ways that groups need to work out ways to work effectively, and then assisting them in designing the “protocols” for use within our particular environment.

moviecontent  Click the icon to go straight to the presentation

Quote of the week #109

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I thought it might be fun to try to come up with a quote of the week each week as a way of keeping a regular commitment to the blog.  We’ll see how it goes :-)

Here’s the first for 2009

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.  The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.  ~Carl Jung

For brief information about Carl Jung :    go_there_button

querybuttonFor more information about Jung’s main ideas, have a look at the presentation at this link.

The concept of the collective unconscious is interesting when thinking about some of the demographic concentrations within our teaching workforce profile.

What’s in a name?

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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet (Romeo and Juliet)

To what extent does a name take on a sense of its own?  What do you think of changing the name of this blog?  Vote for your preference in the poll to the right hand side of this blog.

It is a reminder of the concept of gestalt: so beautifully captured in the statement that ‘it’s had three new handles and two new heads; but it’s still grandpa’s axe!’

Gazing into the Fischbowl

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Yes, the spelling is deliberate.  The Fischbowl is a blog maintained by Karl Fisch who is also responsible for the Did You Know/Shift Happens series of presentations.

The blog contains hours of great reading and links.  Readers may be interested to see the comments Karl has made about the role of the internet and online social networks in the election of Barack Obama, and the imperatives this provides in working with those who will be voters in the future.    He makes the following observations:

But a thought occurred to me this morning – all of our current high school students will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election.

Think about that for just a minute. All of our approximately 2,150 students at Arapahoe – most of whom have never voted – will be eligible to vote in the 2012 elections. And all of the other 17.5 million students currently in U.S. high schools will also be eligible to vote in 2012. Which brings us to the money question (or two or three).

What are we doing to prepare these students to be engaged, intelligent, informed, and competent voters in a world that is very, very, very, very different than the one we grew up in?

How are we preparing them to be successful citizens in a publish-then-filter world?

Are we transforming our classrooms to reflect real-time, instantaneous access to factual and political information?

You can visit this blog entry by clicking here

And, for those concerned about the nasties who want to use the online world as a predatory place, you may be interested in this story about the relative safety of online social networking sites.  Writing in the SMH, Brad Stone makes the statement that:

THE internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all. A taskforce created by 49 US state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

ICT, and Partnering with parents

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Others may have received the update from Teachers TV with new offerings about ICT. 

As usual there is great stuff available at this site and well worth a look around.  Click the logo to see the resources which have been put together to build teacher confidence and capability in using ICT.  

I’d be interested in some feedback regardin the usefulness of some of this information.  Getting engaged as an integrater of the net allows working differently:  in ways which have a high rate of return in terms of professional satisfaction.  This is satisfaction which comes from knowing that we are building a sustainable learning environment which actively engages students in constructing knowledge and meaning from the world around them.

No, this is no laissez-faire idea, of fully experiential learning.  The power of teaching,  in some of its better moments works by connecting curiosity and meaningful experiences, by providing access to information streams and knowledge eddies and by raising expectations about what we can individually and, collectively, achieve.

Some ideas in thinking about the year ahead.

One key strategy which may help in altering perceptions of the value of schooling must certainly lie in building positive partnerships with parents.

This excerpt from the BECTA site in the UK provides a good lead in.  Click the button below the excerpt to visit the site.

Parental engagement

Research shows that children achieve more highly when their parents talk to them about their experience of school and learning.


DER: Digital Education Revolution? or Digital Elephant in the Room?

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 With the imminent rollout of thousands of wireless enabled notebook computers for students in Years 9 upward in Australian schools, the imperatives for changing views of pedagogy are fairly evident.  What we are still coming to grips with, however, is a strategy to achieve a shift in how the computers are viewed by teachers and how they can be assisted to ensure that an excited bunch of Year 9 students arriving in a class with their notebooks are not met with a direction to “Put those can play with them after you’ve finished your work!” Read the rest of this entry »

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