The Year of Presentations, Professional Development, Performances and Prezi: December 2009

I have not blogged for a while, simply because this term at MacICT has been another busy one.

Where to begin, it’s probably easier if I work backwards.  Thursday December 10, I completed my part of the report on the last pilot – it is such a relief when you finally finish something. Wednesday December 9, Westport High School visited the centre for a session on Photoshop with Vince and myself.  Students were pretty enthusiastic despite the fact that this was the third day of their excursion to Sydney from Port Macquarie.  37 Year 8 students created their version of Destruction of the Daintree Rainforest.

Friday 4 December was the 4th International LAMS and Learning Design Conference at Macquarie University was attended by most of the staff at MacICT.  Philippa Levy and Debbie Evans were Keynote speakers for this conference.  Phillipa spoke about inquiry-based learning and Debbie spoke about student participation in learning design.  This was followed by some very lively and interesting presentations by students as learning designers.

Trevor Fletcher (Deputy Director General) visited MacICT on Friday 13 November and was impressed with the innovative use of iPhone technology with the Local Ecostudy Project.  Thursday 12 November was my Technology Leaders Project showcase and it was to show the work that I had achieved this year.  I used Prezi for my presentation. Like most people I have spoken to about Prezi say: “I do love Prezi!” but only after you spend 9 hours working on it, lose your all your work, spend another 4 hours reconstructing it and then have to take your desktop computer in with you for your presentation because you could not download or upload your final copy. If I was to write down what I have learnt from this experience, it would have to be patience, planning and persistence.

I also assisted Andrew with his PHD research using virtual worlds for which I had to really work hard at my limited acting/voice skills.  This experience gave me another insight as to how virtual worlds could be used in research.

Thursday 5 November was our first pilot with OpenSim with Riverside GHS.  This could be summed up with two words: “It Works!”. All of this made possible when you have a fantastic team of people to work with.  The teacher of this Year 10 IST class was very supportive providing us with some very positive feedback.

Pam and I spent a week cleaning up the MacICT wiki to make it easier to access information.  I had waited all year to do Pam Kelly’s professional development on wikis and I got one to one personal training in the end – even better!  It was very satisfying to complete this process and to finally see a level of consistency.

Video conferences on OneNote for the DER laptops featured in the first 3 weeks of this term. The OneNote wiki (with live RSS feeds) that Pam and I created was a very helpful tool, so that teachers can share comments, ideas and resources. The wiki was created to provide the necessary support after video conference. We have received many hits on this wiki during and after the video conferences:

This has truly been a wonderful year!