And so begins a new journey….

It has been a while since my last post and in that time a lot has changed. After 12 years in the primary classroom I have decided on a change from teaching and have started a job at Monash University as an Educational Designer. And so begins a new journey.

Image: ‘reads by the sea‘ Found on flickrcc.net

In my role I work with the Virtual Learning Environment, the project responsible for implementing a set of new learning technologies across the university, the first being Moodle.  There are many aspects to my role but I essentially work with academics supporting them in using learning technologies in learning, share good practice across the university and provide training in learning technologies.

For the past 12 years primary teaching has completely consumed me, especially in the last few years as I grew more and more passionate about empowering students, engaging them with ICT and dreaming of education reform. So why leave I hear you ask. Well there are a few reasons I guess.

  • In the last few months I have come to see myself more as an educator than a primary teacher so working in the tertiary sector will allow me to build a new skill set
  • I want to build change management skills and work collaboratively to bring about change. Unfortunately the lack of career structure in education means I was unable to get these opportunities in primary schools
  • I was tired.  Tired of the ever increasing work load and tired of hitting my head against the same brick wall with the lack of direction of education in Victoria.

Although I will be working in the higher sector of education I will still keep my hands in the honey pot of primary and secondary education.  I plan to continue to attend Teach Meets, conferences, PD and to stay connected with my amazing networks on and offline.  And I plan to talk more about reform in Education, hopefully making some impact on the changes that need to take place. Now I will just add the #highered hashtag to some of my tweets!

But for now to focus on my new role…..

It has been very excited starting a new job and I have enjoyed reflecting on me as a learner.  Don’t get me wrong, I am constantly learning, but it is rare that I am put in a position where I the learning curve is so large.  An environment where I had to use my prior knowledge and make connections with my new knowledge. A place where I was in a state of cognitive dissonance and my head was working in overtime to sort through my new information. It was quite eye opening to reflect on the skills I used to ensure I could ‘survive.’

It was quite invigorating! And in fact it continues to excite me everyday.

So what is it that excites me so much about my new role?

  • I love that I am trusted as a professional to do my job and respected in the knowledge and skills I bring to the position. I am asked what I think and how I can contribute.
  • I love that collaboration is preferred and it is expected that everyone will work together. And that because of this everyone works together so well.
  • I love that the vision is clear and everyone is working towards it.
  • I love that the people in my team use technologies like google docs and calendars to be more efficient and organised
  • I love that wellbeing is important and that you have time to get to know the people you work with over lunch because you actually get lunch!

And now I have a whole heap of new learning to share so hopefully the blog posts with be more frequent.

 

 

 

VITTA

Today I am lucky enough to be presenting at the VITTA conference in Melbourne. Not only is it a great opportunity to share my learning but learn from other and of course catching up with my ‘online friends.’

As part of one of my sessions I will be looking at the journey my blogging has taken over the last 15 months and some of the different tools I have used.

Here are some of the links I will be sharing today.

Global 2

My Class Blog

2KM and 2KJ

Linda Yollis

Proprofs – Games to embed

Poll Daddy – Add a poll to your posts

Answer Garden – Brainstorm

Page Plugins - Bling your posts

Animoto - Add slideshows

Smilebox – More slideshows

Box – Add documents

Slideshare - Add PowerPoint presentations

Vimeo - Great for video

Google Maps – Make your own map

Voki – Make talking avatars

Voice Thread – Send a message

Clustr Map - See who visits

Clarence Fisher - A blogging rubric

What tools can you recommend for use in blogs?

How have you used your blog for learning?

Please leave a comment.

Blogging – A Journey

This week’s challenge in the Global2 Challenge is to reflect on blogging in your classroom.  So tonight I took a reflective walk through my class blog and I soon realised the huge journey it has taken since the first post on  27th May 2010;

Welcome to Miss Cashen’s blog.  This site will allow you to have all of the wonderful things we do at school at your fingertips – literally!  All of the websites, activities and examples of our work will appear on here.  So whether you are at home on your netbook or at school in class, you can find all of those wonderful links to work we are doing.


I first began our blog after coming across Kathleen Morris’ class blog and felt that it would be a great tool to bring different links together in one place.   It was to be the perfect place to collate what we were working on in class.  So 15 months ago that is what I did and boy has it grown!

As I had planned I filled the side bars with links we were using in the class, sorting these into different groups and then using the posts to share the work we had been doing.  But the more I used the blog and saw what other’s were doing on theirs, the more I could see the amazing learning opportunities within blogging.

Soon we began to look at how to write a good comment and the power of leaving questions for readers in our posts.  And of course the joy of seeing blogging as a reciprocal community where leaving a comment on another blog can earn you a visit in return.

Then we delved into HTML, something I had no idea about before blogging.  But this opened the world for the plethora of Web 2.0 tools available to assist in learning.

As the excitement of our first global visitor to leave a comment enthused us, we began to focus on how to write a good post and to look at the blogs we were reading in an evaluative way, learning more about writing a quality post.

Our class blog has not only taught us to be better digital citizens but has given us an opportunity to respond to what we are reading and to write for an authentic audience.

If you were to look at our class blog now you may be thinking we hardly post on it but in fact this is because we have been busy setting up student blogs. Our journey is now about writing posts to interest our readers and build readership.  Now we can look even more closely at the community we participate in as bloggers.

I look forward to the next chapter of our blogging journey.