Goodbye Gilroy, The College of Knowledge. . .

17 Oct IMG_4394

In 2 weeks I finish up at Gilroy Catholic College after 6 and a bit years to move on and forward into a new position at Emmaus Catholic College as Director of Innovation. I have moved through all the emotions of excitement, sadness and anticipation since applying, interviewing and accepting the position. I thought the best way to reflect on my Gilroy memories was to blog. . . .

 

Educational blogs are always full of “top lists” – so in no particular order here is my top 7 of G-Roy ! 

 

1. Construction training and uniform

I am proud to say I was the FIRST female in our CEO to be trained in VET Construction in 2009. Over the years VET students have always been proud to work on school projects that better their facilities. My favourite competencies are in the concreting units, this is because of the applied mathematic skills the contrast between this type of outdoors/team work and “regular” classwork. Students pictured are all wearing a Gilroy branded high-vis shirt, this replaced a plain clothes and apron uniform. I started this uniform in 2011, students and VET staff wear it with pride.

2. Charity and community work

I have a personal drive to support charities in a means that takes “participation” so that there is a connectedness to the giving, over the years I have organised crazy hair days, shaved a students hair, dyed my own fluro pink, knitted for months on end and my homeroom since 2009 have sponsored a child in Honduras.

3. 1:1 iPad program and E-Learning role

At the end of 2012 I formally took on the role as Leader of E-Learning. Prior to this role I had always been an informal tech support for staff and a driver for innovative PD which I organised and presented. In the role I have been so humbled by the support and trust from fellow teachers and students, they have been so supportive of change – even when it has been challenging and frustrating. I have seen the iPad and 1:1 device program grow stronger, this is all relational to the positive development staff and student skills.

 

 4. TAS spaces

The TAS workshops and classrooms have gone through many renovations and remodeling since I started. I have taken personal ownership of the spaces I use to make them comfortable and inspiring for staff and students.  Applying Dr Suess vinyl quotes, a secondhand couch, comfy chairs, posters, visuals, accessible resources and even sewing machine covers!

 

5. Friendship and community

Sigh, this is the hardest part of starting a new adventure. . .

6. Love of learning

Inspiring a love of learning in my classes and KLA has been most rewarding, to see students talents grow over the years and their skills improve. I have so many amazing photos of all the proud moments of mess, challenge, completion, smiles, fun, these are just some. . .

7. Edmodo

I first started using Edmodo in 2009, by the end of 2010 it became our preferred LMS. I drove its implementation by sharing its success in my classroom and developing good practice with staff. In education many technologies and tools date quickly like fashion. I have seen fads come and go, Edmodo has been a constant. This frequent or fleeting change can a negative impact on technologies perception in schools. I consider the positive impact Edmodo has had on Gilroy an exceptional mark to leave, I had the sense in 2009 to spot a good thing and the tenacity stick with it – with the team at Edmodo supporting all the way!

 






Design and Technology MDP – 2014

16 Oct

The completion of this years HSC major works were as rewarding for me as ever, the students worked in a variety of design areas – this was challenging from an organisational perspective but allowed students to demonstrate skills that related to their passions, interests and skills.

They had strong design concepts that allowed them to research and develop unique design ideas, this aspect I believe is most important – a pre-formed concept at the start of the project that is shallow in research and innovation/creativity does not allow a student to fulfil the MDP requirements in both the creation of a thorough folio and practical solution.

They did NOT have folio template, we developed a checklist based on marking criteria, changing the order and headings to suit each of the design areas they worked in. This shows evidence of creativity and also application of the design process – NOT heavy instruction, coaching or guidance from a teacher.

 

The projects were:

- Silver and resin jewellery

- Graphics promotional package for Gilroy recycling program

- Bed and storage made from reclaimed timbers

- Guitar

- Sustainably designed family home – model and full plans

- Outdoor daybed with cushions

- Laser cut lace dress with LED lights

- Infographic posters for design students

- Bedroom storage made from pallets

- Grandfather clock made from acrylic

- Parquetry table made from reclaimed building materials

 

Here is a selection of photos from the construction and final stages of the 2014 MDP’s . . . . these photos are not indicative of the ALL the hard work and additional hours these students put it, they were dedicated and perfecting. I hope the amount of experiments they produced is clear – the final products were superb because production processes and ideas were trialled. These projects used resources from other schools, other staff in other faculties, community support, recycled and reclaimed materials, numerous trips to Officeworks for printing and parent help. 



I am so proud of their work, if this is the quality of their work as HSC level students – imagine where they will be in a few years to come. . . . 





















 

 

 

 

EdmodoCon 2014 – an international edu-venture !

13 Aug Untitled

I am back home, have had a full nights rest and have a pile of marking and cup of espresso awaiting my attention – all is normal post EdmodoCon 2014 !!!

Still feeling totally overwhelmed by the enormity of it all and how far EdmodoCon has come since the first one in 2011.

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone in the Edmodo office that made EdmodoCon happen – technical staff – arranging the logistics of presentations, files and making me look/sound good live, the marketing team, staff that picked us up of the mornings and made sure we had coffee and breakfast when we arrived, people that organised accommodation and travel, engineers that listened to us chat about our Edmodo experiences. . . you are all amazing, the hospitality and support was wonderful away from home, thank you!!

Was so cool to meet such passionate and talented presenters that had so much to share! – what luck to be a part of the 2014 presenter team!!

. . .AND to everyone that participated in our session, tweeted us and was a part of the backchannel, Jess and I were humbled by the response from you – we feel very lucky to have such supportive teacher friends all over the world!
Looking forward to continuing our journey of learning together!

 

OH, of course, a huge thanks to JESS! – how lucky am I to have met a mate that I learn so much from, one that takes me to amazing places – like out for dumplings and of course, EdmodoCon.

 

Copy of presentation: Edmodo_is_like_an_onion FINAL

Edmodo Blog interview: https://blog.edmodo.com/2014/07/22/meet-monique-dalli-jessica-mccarthy-edmodocon-2014-speakers/

Video archive: https://edmodo.mediacore.tv/media/edmodo-that-unique-ways-to-connect-and-learn-by-mo

 

 

Reflecting on the whirlwind that was ISTE 2013

28 Jun

 

Random thoughts and reflections fill my head most moments of every day, sitting on my couch with my morning coffee on this sleepy Saturday of our school holiday break is no different. The thoughts that are buzzing by are making me smile and deserve a post of their own. . .

 

A year a ago I traversed the globe to embark on my ISTE adventure, it was a whirlwind 10 day USA trip that at the time was marred by the inefficiency of United Airlines to make a flight arrive or depart on schedule. As time has gone on, the pain inflicted by the travel has passed and these are the memories that I hold close to my heart as having a greater impact on my teaching practice and perspective as an educator:

 

  • Students are the SAME everywhere!

ISTE was full of queues. . . for coffee, food and entry to keynotes – in each and every one I had rich conversations with people who I shared much in common. We teach students! I spoke with LOADS of teachers from all over the world while queuing for stuff- we shared laughs and stories about what we have common, the time then flew in the queues!

I learnt that students are the same in all places, they forget homework and attempt to make the same silly excuses no matter what city they live. We solved problems of the edu-world in these queues, promising each other to abolish the monotony of homework, grades and useless feedback. Students are the same in all countries, we laughed at how they are grubby, annoying and can push every button of ours all at once! We discussed strategies for engaging difficult students, how to spark a passion for words in those that don’t like reading and giggled at stories of that time/s when technology failed during that epic lesson we had prepared.

 

  • Passion is contagious

I was ridiculously TIRED during the three days of ISTE, the heat was brain melting and traveling hard! Each morning I awoke to tweets about the day ahead – speakers, workshops and places to meet with new and old friends to share.

My fave place for catchy-passion at ISTE was the bloggers lounge, it became both a planned and impromptu place for deeper discussion. I spoke further with friends from queues here, eaves dropped on interesting convos and arranged each day of sessions based on the feedback and chatter of others. A fave moment on shared passion was at a TeachMeet that was set up in the downstairs lounge, we tweeted the plans for the place/time, brought friends, made a crowd and shared ideas. I had skipped out on a session to attend, opting to learn from loads peers rather than the research of one. In the 40mins of being there I witnessed this osmosis like effect of passion, it spread through the TeachMeet crowd like a fever, we “oooohed” and “ahhhhhhhed” in unison over new apps, resources and ideas for projects.

 

  • Friendship and fandom has no geographical boundaries

I met international edu-friends for the first time at ISTE, it was wonderful to spend the time face to face talking with like minded edu-nerds; Andy McKiel, Liz Castillo, Lucia Giacomantonio. I had fan moments chatting to Dean Shareski, meeting the Edmodo crew, listening to Andrew Miller talk PBL and watching Jane McGonigal conduct an epic thumb war! Communication mediums like Edmodo, Twitter and Blog stalking makes having an entourage of fans easy for these edu-super stars!

I became bigger fans of my Australian travelling friends; Jess, LeeBianca and Ashleigh. I watched them present, share and shine. The opportunity for me to present internationally with Leanne Cameron was unforgettable and humbling.

 

  • Education is not  for making money

I am not in this vocation for the purpose of money making and I had never fathomed the opportunity of enterprise that I would witness at ISTE. I understand the need to sponsorship and can appreciate the funds required to make an international conference run, but the point I am trying to make here is not to whinge about the profiteering but a reflection on the SHARING.

Thank you, to the connections that I made at ISTE that shared ideas, resources, twitter handles, hashtags and all the things that cost NOTHING but reward greatly.

 

 

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In the year since ISTE, the biggest change I see in myself is perspective. I have a greater perspective of  my influence and impact as  part of a bigger community of passionate educators that share the same motivations as I do.

 

Link

Edmodo for Digital Citizenship, Support and Professional Development

25 Jun

Edmodo for Digital Citizenship, Support and Professional Development

 

Guest post for the Edmodo Blog – describing my three favourite applications for Edmodo.

Guide for Twits and Tweachers that want to tweet!

21 May

Do you use or have you thought of using twitter? To get you started, here are some basic instructions and LINGO in a snapshot.

 

  • It isn’t just for “famous people” – a HUGE amount of teachers are on twitter!

 

  • Everyone has a twitter “Name”, it starts with an @ symbol, when you want to send a message or connect to a particular person, type the @ symbol, then their twitter name.

 

  • When you “Follow” someone, you subscribe to his or her tweet feed, people can subscribe/follow to you too!

 

  • If you are tweeting on a subject or topic, a # (hashtag) is a way of grouping like tweets, try searching #edtech , #ozengchat or #ozscichat and see what comes up!!

 

  • The more people you connect with, the more intuitive your account becomes. It will suggest “like minded accounts.” For example, if you follow many teachers, it will keep suggesting teachers,  or if you follow Justin Bieber, it may suggest other “artists” such as Miley Cyrus!

 

  • Tweets can only be 140 characters- YES you may have to sacrifice grammar and spelling 2 fit wot u wnt 2 say in n thts k!! :)

 

 

If you are after knowledge or information on a specific topic, search twitter using hashtags as search terms. TRY. . .  #literacy OR #edmodo  #gilroycc or #saidnoteacherever

 

SEARCH a hashtag, follow accounts, and SHARE what you find in turn. Another example. . .  I have found up to date info from the Board of Studies on their twitter rather than their website to be most helpful!

 

IF you found this useful – tweet me! @1moniqued OR RE-TWEET IT!!

 

With thanks to the IIATE, I have used 3D printers and laser cutters in my classroom

4 May WP_20130731_001

 I LOVE manufacturing technologies, I DREAM about students producing projects using 3D printers, however, I do NOT work at a school that has a 3D printer. We don’t have a CNC machine either? Or a laser cutter? But my students STILL use them as part of their course work.

I am a teacher of technology. I specialise in Design Technology & Industrial Tech – Timber in senior years and in BOTH syllabus documents students need to understand how manufacturing technologies work. In an ideal world they would design and produce projects that would use them, just as they do in industry. Unfortunately, the school I work at doesn’t have ANY appropriate equipment to do that, I only achieve this with an extended network of teachers and the IIATE.

The IIATE is the INSTITUTE of INDUSTRIAL ARTS TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION, they are my professional association, much like English teachers have the ETA. They organise professional development, a yearly conference (this year we are joining forces with other states to create a NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE!) AND also the loan program for 3D printers. The concept is SOOOO rad that the Technology in Education Magazine recently did a cover story article on it! – - – > http://issuu.com/tempomedia/docs/tie-1-2014

The IIATE council do a fabulous job of providing members/teachers with opportunities to provide for their students, without the 3D printer program my students would not have had access to this experience. Without the networking opportunities the IIATE create my students would not be able to use other schools manufacturing equipment.

The IIATE is a non-profit organisation run by teachers, if you are a TAS teacher NSW you should be a part of the association too! In VIC there is DATTA, and in QLD a similar association called INTAD. Whatever your area of teaching, I urge you to join your supporting professional association.

 

 

 

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