It is time to update. Hm… what to write is the question. What do you really want to know about me? I am still passionate about learning, still passionate about students being at the centre of their learning journey – making the decisions and digging deep into their interests and passions.
Since my first bio below I have encountered many opportunities and as a result continue to grow in my understanding of how we learn and why. I am currently coming to the end of my Hardie Fellowship, which enabled me to study in the USA for a year and attend a range of conferences, along with connecting with some wonderful people I have only known via twitter. And now I have more incredible thinkers/learners/doers to learn from via this medium.
What have I learned from this experience? Many things. Did I learn what I intended to when I set out? That is an interesting question. Often we can head into a learning journey that has a specific focus, but in the end it broadens out to develop one more fully in regard to ones understandings. With regard to technology, I believe that it is important to consider broader questions, such as what are you really wanting to achieve, what philosophical perspective are you wanting to explore or are bringing to the table, what lens do function from. Any decision related to technology and learning has it’s pros and cons, understanding these is important, understanding the end goal is vital, understanding that change is part of the process and being flexible in the middle of it cannot be put aside – or its value underestimated. Listening to people and their needs should be a high priority, every situation is different and a one size fits all approach may be easy but is it best?
So I guess I am asking more questions than I have answers to. I appreciate the research components I have encountered as part of my study, as they have caused me to consider more carefully the situation and the space being explored. So I walk away with appreciation regarding all aspects of my experience, even those that have not been most favourable, as all present opportunity to learn.
I am a teacher who is passionate about learning. I enjoy undertaking it myself and watching others participate. I think that sometimes it is hardest when undertaken as an adult, as to learn we sometimes need to unlearn what we have already learnt. Having faced some interesting situations that have challenged my philosophy about education, I am finding that delving into the online environment as a way of learning and discussing perspectives extremely challenging and very rewarding professionally. At this moment I do need to point out that any view, perspective or thought I possess is not representative of my employer. Neither is it something that will necessarily remain static. Hopefully overtime my thoughts, perspectives and views will shift and grow, if they do not I will be disappointed.
My work history is interesting and reasonably broad, having taught at 12 schools and my teaching career started in 1994 in Darwin, as there were limited opportunities in Tasmania. I have enjoyed teaching in district schools, high schools, an online school and in a gifted and talented online environment (which I have counted as a school). I have experienced teaching at different schools at the same time, which can be a challenge. In amongst this I have taught in rural and isolated schools and large city schools, each experience being valuable and different with my longest continuous stint in one school being 6 years. To add to this I trained in Home Economics and have taught a range of other subjects outside my explicit teaching area.
This year (2011) I delivered Quest Atlantis to a class of students for half a year. The most rewarding thing that came of this was not the students participating in the game and learning lots about the social commitments that underpin the game or how to be online learners in a 3D world, it was watching a group of students become highly engaged in putting together a concept for a new subject that may get off the ground next year. Their work has only just begun and now that they have presented their idea to the Principal and have been given the green light to go ahead. During the first part of this process it was incredible to watch these students work tirelessly, with some students giving over 20 hours of their personal time to this.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and especially if you take the time to comment as you’re contributing to my learning.