Archive for January, 2009


Surprisingly, Kate Winslet isn’t receiving the Australian of the Year award despite the fact she seems to be cleaning up all other awards lately! More surprisingly, her photo is prominent on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald’s online site, not the 2009 Australian of the Year, Mick Dodson!!

Mick’s dream is to achieve reconciliation in this country, and a better future for his people……A Yawuru man from the Broome area………He has pursued justice and reconciliation through a process of education, awareness and inclusive dialogue with all Australians.

Good to see that the government is putting the debate about Indigenous issues back on the table and importantly, including  known agitators like Professor Dodson.

Nice one.

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Loved this profile by the Sydney Morning Herald of a diverse group of young Australians newly arrived to this country. Their impressions of Australia makes for interesting reading.

Something else to think about and celebrate on Australia Day. Our cultural diversity.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Children talk about their move to Aus…“, posted with vodpod

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Sun. Sand. Surf. BBQs. There are a lot of Australians celebrating  Australia Day today. Got me thinking about last year’s historic apology to our Indigenous people. Always a good reminder that there are two sides to every story.

So this video from Get up! is my contribution to the celebrations. Not everyone has reason to celebrate today. Some will be commemorating Invasion Day instead.

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more about “From Little Things Big Things Grow“, posted with vodpod

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I like it! A lot!  I came across this visual search engine, Search-Cube, on Andrew Churches blog, Educational Origami. I think it will have great appeal to students.


Basically, the search results appear in the form of screen shots of the pages in a manipulative cube. You use your mouse or cursor keys to orientate the cube and select the page you want to open. Hovering over an image will bring up a preview of the page or image beside the cube.

search-cube1So on this historic day, when I tried it out by typing in “President Obama” – yep, I have been caught up in the hype – this video which is doing the rounds, popped up. Very clever!

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more about “Yes We Can – Barack Obama Music Video“, posted with vodpod

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A question about learning

This video has been doing the rounds of a few educational blogs. Michael Wesch, the interviewee, talks about the concept of “anti-teaching.”  The use of this phrase made me sit up and take notice.

Basically, he sees anti-teaching as

seeking too inspire with good questions

rather than just teaching content. Interesting!

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more about “Who is Who: Interview with Mike Wesch…“, posted with vodpod

I don’t know whether it is because of my primary teaching background, but I was puzzled. To me the art of teaching has always been about asking good questions. Questions that provoke. Questions that invite multiple answers. Questions that have no definite answer, but rather invite further investigation of the topic at hand.

I haven’t listened to the whole interview. No doubt he has some other valuable comments about how people learn, judging by the comments on other blogs.

What it did get me thinking about is perhaps the major difference between the teaching focus in primary education as opposed to secondary or tertiary. Certainly in NSW, the K-6 syllabus has a focus on learning how (to learn), not just learning about (content). That is at the core of what every primary educator does on a daily basis.

Interestingly, this coincided with a report in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, which quoted the head of ACER (Australian Council of Educational Research) as stating that more standardised tests are required of schools to make them accountable with regards to continued government funding. More testing??!! Isn’t NAPLAN enough??!!

Oh please! Let’s not get caught up in that well-worn treadmill!! There’s is already enough narrowing of the curriculum occurring due to the pressure that schools and individual teachers feel in response to the amount of standardised testing that we already have. What about all those attributes and skills that are not so easily measured by a pen and paper test?

Believe me, that old chestnut of

teaching to the test

is well and truely alive in many schools. Sadly, with pressures of multiple testing, who can blame them?!

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Say what??!!

Or What have we done to the English language – part II?? (See “Dunno. Nothin’.” post below).

Couldn’t resist this video! The member for Latrobe in Victoria mangles the English language beautifully during a sitting of federal parliament. Must have been riveting! There’s no-one visible on the benches behind him!!!

Smart move.

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more about “AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT AT WORK“, posted with vodpod

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NOW I get it!!

93136022_25afa7e458_mCame across this useful link, “How to embedd almost anything in your website.” I occasionally have problems uploading “stuff” to my blog. I have wondered if it is a problem with WordPress but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s me!

Hopefully this new link will save me many future frustrating moments in front of my laptop. Hopefully……..

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A friend just emailed me this video which I love. I saw it for the first time last year on Spicks and Specks. Very funny! As my friend said, what have we done to the English language?!

Dunno. Nothin’.

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more about “Sort Of Dunno Nothin’ – Peter Denahy“, posted with vodpod

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pdfAndrew Churches wiki, Educational Origami contains Starter Sheets which are pdf resources he developed for classroom teachers. These resources aim to show  teachers how they can use common web 2 tools like delicious, google maps, advanced google searches, wikis and more.The Starter Sheets are easy to follow with great visual support.

So if you are not feeling to confident about using IT, or you want to know more about how it can be used in the classroom, this is a great palce to start.

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190904644_fedc78e925_mHere’s some juicy quotes about teaching. AND they are positive! Miracles can happen!!

From a study about misbehaviour of children and subsequent options later in life, a report on ABC (Australia) online quoted a Canadian researcher….

On the other hand, the teachers’ assessment was a good indicator of a child’s risk of delinquency, and a better guide than the parents’ own assessment, he argues.

Or as Chris Anderson from TED comments regarding teacher status (quoted  on Will Richardson’s blog),

….the realization that today’s best teachers can become global celebrities is going to boost the caliber of those who teach. For the first time in many years it’s possible to imagine ambitious, brilliant 18-year-olds putting ‘teacher’ at the top of their career choice list.

The bolding is my emphasis.

Who would have believed it? Some good news stories about teachers in the media. Is this a mere blip or could it be the start of a change in how society regards one of it’s most valuable assests? (Teachers of course!!)

As Will Richardson comments,

talk about standing the world on it’s end.

And no, I haven’t just discovered the ” button on WordPress! I knew it was there all along!!!

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