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Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

  1. Penguin PD Day

    April 19, 2011 by Lynn

    On Tuesday 29th March I, along with about 150 other people, attended a professional develolpment day hosted by the Penguin Group at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. The day was listed as “a fun and informative day full of special guests, books and resources” and certainly lived up to this. The first presenter was Dr Susan La Marca (amongst other things editor of Viewpoint and SLAV’s FYI) who spoke about the units of work that she has created for the Secondary Classroom (also available to us on CD) based on a number of novels currently available. Susan spoke of four books in particular ‘Thai-riffic’ (more on this later, ‘Big River, Little Fish’, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and ‘Between Shades of Grey’ – giving us ideas on themes, activities, focus areas and assessment tasks. The CD contains 36 units of work in total and judging by the information given to us on these four the rest should be just as engaging.

    Tony Palmer (author of ‘Break of Day’ and ‘Valley of Blood and Gold’) then chatted about his work as an author, and illustrator prior to this, giving us an insight in his research into background material for his books.

    Cam Salton (Pearson’s English publisher and former teacher himself) spoke about “The Australian Curriculum – what does it mean for you?” – directing us to the ACARA website for updates and http://www.pearsonplaces.com.au for a selection of resources.

    The fourth presenter of the day was Tye Cattanach, who presented two sessions – “Developing a Reading Culture” and “iPads, E-Readers and Electronic Whiteboards – new technolgies for encouring reading”. Tye is the Library Manager at Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College where they are fortunate to be part of a number of 1:1 new technology trials through the DEECD. She has also been responsible for implementing the use of iPads and other new technologies to encourage reader engagement at her college and she spoke of this in more detail. Book trailers are used extensively and students are encouraged to create and share their own – sites such as ‘Book trailers for all’ and the ‘Center for digital storytelling’ were some of those mentioned. Tye spoke of how the use of iPads as eReaders were a great choice for engaging students as they could be used for text exploration (dictionary, zoom, notes), changing font settings, etc. catered for student abilities, visually exciting and interactive (student engagement), they are also portable bookshelves. (I did speak further with Tye at the end of the day regarding the iPads in more detail where she explained the downloading issues onto the iPads and also some of the sites she uses to source eBooks – I have collated this information together with information from other sources to be put on the ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ wiki.

    Oliver Phommavanh (author of ‘Thai-riffic’ mentioned earlier) was our entertaining final presenter of the day. Oliver delighted us all with his stories of growing up as a member of a Thai family in Sydney with many of these antics making it into his first novel. Oliver is not only an author but also a primary school teacher and comedian whose first novel is certainly one to make all students laugh – and me too!


  2. “Make, Share, Do: Active Online Learning”

    July 30, 2010 by Lynn

    OMG – sorry just had to borrow that from my teenage daughter! 

     Today I attended one of the most inspiring SLAV Professional Development conferences ever.  It was titled “Make, Share, Do: Active Online Learning” and featured the amazing Dr Joyce Valenza (of ‘The Wizard of Apps’ fame) from Springfield Township High School in Philadelphia. 

    Joyce’s keynote addresses (there were two and I’m sure the room could have listened to her for a lot more too) were fascinating.  I don’t think I lifted my pen from the page (and yes I must confess here to liking to take notes the ‘old fashioned way’) and will have to spend the next few evenings deciphering my scribbles before I can share the many (and I probably mean hundreds if not thousands here) of websites/apps that she mentioned or showed.   If not wait for Judith’s ‘Bright Ideas’ post next week on the conference and links to the many sites, not just from Joyce but also the other presenters.  Joyces’ work was just awe-inspiring (from wiki after wiki after wiki) and imagine my surprise when in the middle of her presentation up pops my own wiki and I’m hearing my name  as she talks about ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ – only a small mention but wow!

    Adrian Camm (McGuire College) showed some of the wonderful work he is doing in the classroom using apps (I seem to have picked up the word ‘apps’ from Joyce here instead of ‘Web2.0 tools ‘ description I used to use) such as Wolfram Alpha and MIT OpenCourseware.  He spoke of the “unclassroom and beyond” and the fact that we (you) could “no longer opt out of this new media”.  You learn by doing and extend students by getting them involved seemed to be Adrian’s motto and I would love to be a student in one of his classes – even if for me it meant learning maths!

    Cecilie Murray (Delphian eLearning) spoke to us about “Imagination in your pocket: educational apps” and the endless possibilities it seems for iPhone/iPad users with their portability for learning.   I didn’t take many notes on this – concerned about RSI at this stage!!! – seriously Delphian eLearning links will also be added to the Bright Ideas post.

    Tony Richards (IT made simple) and of Kahootz fame, but known to me as a member of ‘EdTechCrew‘ creating podcasts of ICT in education that are well worth subscribing to and downloading.  Tony provided some personal reflections on various online technologies.  Without duplicating any of Joyce’s presentation Tony showed us a whole other side to Google (look for “more” and “even more” in the drop-down box), the power of Twitter and following/connecting with ‘like-minded’ learners.  Teaching with TEDTalks, Screencasting for creating videos to demonstrate concepts, calibre for ebook management, Popplet  for brainstorming, diigo for managing, saving and sharing websites, and my favourite from Tony’s session Jing for grabbing screen images to create easy screencasts and activities.

    Paul Callaghan (Games consultant) then gave us an overview of the game creators world and experiences we as learners can get from the ‘critical thinking’ involved in these.  I’m still a bit overwhelmed by games (as you would have gathered from an earlier post from the PLN when I confessed to still playing with a ‘Galaxy Invader 1000’ and hadn’t progressed much futher – actually does Bejewelled Blitz count here??

    We then experienced a ‘Smackdown’ Plenary Session – something quite new to alot of the audience and probably not done to it’s full justice in such a short time.  It involved a variety of speakers (well known to many of us including Tania Sheko, Rhondda Powling, Camilla Elliott, and Judith Way) showing us, and telling us, about various tabs on the wiki created by Joyce and themselves covering a variety of topics from today’s conference – SLAV wiki – everyone was encouraged to join this wiki and add their own suggestions.

    So in getting all of this out – I just had to share, plus I have late-night pickup for said daughter mentioned earlier so need to stay awake and am on such buzz from today that I don’t think I’d sleep anyway!!!!

    Thanks to SLAV, the many friends and colleagues I met/reconnected with today and RAECO for the bottle of bubbles I won from the trade displays.


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