Hot chocolate, a massage, relaxing in the sun…Could this be the ICTEV Conference? (Part 1)

Learn how to learn with passion and curiosity

I woke at 5:00am on Saturday morning and, as I headed down the highway, I knew it was going to be an amazing day. As the sun rose, it was like witnessing the unveiling of a beautiful canvas right before my eyes. The countryside was truly breath taking.
The first highlight of the day came via the keynote presenter, Margaret Meijers. I was immediately impressed by her humble nature as she made a remark about being nervous presenting in front of so many incredible teachers. This from an amazing educator who has travelled the world and won numerous awards! As I watched, listened, laughed and madly took notes, there were several things that made an impression on me:
“The impact of ICT in schools is only superficial. ICT just sits on top of our curriculum.” (Agree!)
“Some teachers are still clinging on, trying to be the experts.” (Agree!)
And lastly, perhaps my favourite: “Learn how to learn with passion and curiosity.” (Very nice!)

Margaret told the gorgeous story of “The Heffalumps” which she has now posted to YouTube. It cleverly highlighted just how silly the “ban the iPod, ban the mobile phone…” approach can be.
Margaret also spoke of a new technology known as PicoCricket, the next exciting development in robotics that is appealing to both girls and boys.
PicoCricket is even more engaging for students because they create their own items, add materials they choose then program their creation to react, interact and communicate. Although still quite expensive to purchase in Australia, it is hopefully another form of technology that will quickly drop in price, making it more accessible for schools. There already a number of movies posted on YouTube showing wonderful examples of the use of PicoCricket.

New Literacies for a New Age (YouTube Full Screen)
New Literacies for a New Age (YouTube)

You have one in pink?!

I am in love!

I first saw the Eee PC at the 2007 VITTA Conference. It was quite impressive – a small, light-weight notebook computer for under $500. I decided to “file that one away”.
My friends and family know that when I put my mind to something, I am fairly determined to do it well – and setting up a blog was going to be no exception!
Wouldn’t it be great to have a device that was portable enough to pop in your bag allowing you to jot down ideas or create blog posts almost anywhere?
Suddenly, the Eee PC was “pulled out of the filing cabinet”!
After a little research into pricing, specs, etc…I decided that the Eee PC could be very useful for “anytime, anywhere” blogging!
And the deciding factor? They had one in pink! 😉
I have to admit, I’m pleasantly surprised. It comes out of the box with everything I need and the simplicity of the
Linux Operating System makes it a breeze to use.
My only disappointment is that the quotation marks key doesn’t work and for some strange reason the touch pad and my daughter’s index finger are “incompatible” so she has to use a mouse!

One thing’s for sure though – this type of device is quickly gaining popularity. HP have just released their HP Mini, selling for around $800 and who knows what will come next…

Do you believe in signs?

Signs

Despite the fact that I am passionate about ICT and especially Web 2.0, I never felt the need to have my own blog.
“Do you have a blog?” people would ask and I would reply, “Naaah” as if to say, “Why would I need one of those?”
I believe in signs and it was a number of very clear ones that finally encouraged me to the take the plunge!
I have been inspired by wonderful educators like John Pearce, Andrew Douch and more recently, Marcia Phillips’ work as part of the Schools Library Association of Victoria.
John, Andrew and Marcia work in completely different fields of education – John as a primary teacher, Andrew as a Biology teacher and Marcia as a teacher-librarian.
To me, education is the most wonderful field to work in! An industry in which we constantly learn, share, support and laugh with one another.
So now I’m not going to ignore the signs any longer. Maybe I do have something to share after all!