Monday, October 26, 2009

Great collaborative podcast

Loving listening to the Spark podcast out of Canada. It is hosted by the mellifluous Nora Young, and she makes it engaging and inclusive. The website describes it as a "blog, radio show, podcast and an ongoing conversation about technology and culture. Spark is an online collaboration." She invites listeners to "leave your thoughts, stories, and ideas here, and together we'll make a radio show." I first heard about it on another podcast (I think it was the Edtech Posse) and after I gave it a listen I was hooked. Through this podcast I have learned about all sorts of things like spin gardening, "a do-it-yourself vegetable food production system that enables you to grow a steady and dependable supply of vegetables", open and accessible government data and what we can do with it, why we use a qwerty keyboard and so many other interesting things about society and design. I look forward to the weekly shows and have listened to most of the back episodes as well. It is very refreshing. Also love the various shows that come out of the Edtech Talk group, especially Edtech Weekly. Hi Jennifer, John, Dave and Jeff! Do you have some favourite podcasts that make your life better too?

Image attribution: Image: 'blip blip blip'

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I love my new job

There is a lot of pleasure to be had in my new job as Professional Learning Officer for VITTA. I have been there for a bit over 2 months now and it's really been a steep learning curve for me. The job has a lot of variety: writing a course for a new 13 week Certificate in Emerging Technologies to be offered next year (more details when they are available), editing Infonet, the quarterly Journal of VITTA, planning teacher professional development that we will be offering for teachers next year, preparing for the amazing 3 day conference we will be holding in November, and even giving the odd presentation to groups of teachers. Last week I presented to a group of teachers from the Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children on Opening the Doors to Contemporary Learning which was very well received. VITTA is working with VAGTC to set up a community for teachers who have high ability students in their classes, and so many teachers do. The community is on the edulists site as so many special interest groups of teachers are, and I hope many teachers from this group will also join twitter. Marie and Penny are already on, and Cath has just joined. I love these communities starting and teachers being on a journey of discovery.

In my presentation I defined twitter as one of the ways of contemporary learning: "a community of like minded educators sharing what they’re learning in real time on a daily basis", and it felt great to be able to say this with confidence from my own experience, in contrast to the stereotypical view of twitter in the media. I don't know where I would be without twitter. I am looking forward to giving more presentations as and when the opportunity arises, and contributing to the learning of teachers. It is a joy to work in a small office of such great colleagues and I especially like working part time. With the rest of my time I am, of course, keeping up with my organic vegie garden, making compost, growing herbs and tending to my chooks and worm farm. Who would have ever thought that life could change so much and that something I thought was a negative, giving up full time work in the classroom, could turn out so positive? It just goes to show you never really know what is around the corner.

Image attribution: Image: 'I've reached the end of the world'