Confessions of a fashion addict and Buy Nothing New Month.


I have been following the Adbusters anti-consumption activist journey since my early uni-days. Their campaigns and culture jams are witty, productive, creative and informed. I participate in their “Buy Nothing Day” each year – not to have a tokenistic approach to consumption, but to use their campaign and information as a way to read, be an informed consumer and better understand the lifecycle and impact my purchase decisions have on our environment.  I frequently use the Adbusters resources in my Design and Technology classroom, I believe that better consumer choices will be enabled by clever and thoughtful design.

You can read more about Adbusters here:


Two years ago I blogged and participated in the Buy Nothing New month which I am doing again this year. It is an Australian campaign that runs for the month of October:


I am a SELF CONFESSED FASHION ADDICT, I LOVE buying quirky, strange, on-trend clothes. Buy Nothing New month isn’t so much of a challenge as a lot of what I purchase is second hand and re-purposed. My SELF challenge from now on is to not only not buy anything new for October, but look at WHERE my clothes and fashion purchases COME FROM. How they are made? How are they manufactured, processed, dyed? What packaging does it come in? Is it necessary that I purchase it- WHO will its purchase support?


. . . a month of reflection that will start a longer journey! YOU can sign up to pledge to BUY NOTHING NEW for a month here:


Alternatives to CONFISCATION in a 1:1 environment

Yes, confiscation can be an effective method of classroom management that can temporarily remove a distraction at the teachers/year co-ordinators discretion. HOWEVER, in the instance of technological devices it does not teach appropriate use of technology, self control or social etiquette.

Over the last 2 terms we have been adopting a different approach to managing students that are distracted gaming or misusing technology  – this has been supported by our techie and welfare team because it has minimal impact on classroom function:

On Laptops:

– REMOVING all internet access

– DISABLING certain programs – itunes?  OR whatever they were using inappropriately?

– RESTRICTING ACCESS – so only word/finder/powerpoint (for example) can be used


On iPads:

– REMOVING apps/internet access

– RESTRICTING access to itunes/app store

– NEGOTIATING with parents for course of action


WHY would you do this? – So students that use devices as part of their daily learning can still complete required tasks and not work avoid. Keeping in mind that much of our work set is reliant on edmodo, student access to online servers and software packages – USB files transfer is still available on all options for laptop and bluetooth transfer is still available on iPads. The aim is to still ALLOW the devices use, but restrict it (ie: take the fun out for a negotiated period of time).

Mobile phones: 

In regards to “phone etiquette”  I have been known to mimic student behaviour – for example I will take my phone out of my pocket and “text” while a student is in conversation with me – WHY? – so I can prompt them – “is this rude? why? this is what you did 5 mins ago? how is it different from me/you?”

I also adopt a “visibly off and invisible” approach to mobile phones if they are a nuisance, turn them off – put them away, this is not a blanket rule, it is only for those that cannot execute self control to keep it away during class activities/appropriate times. I do not like a “banned” policy in my classroom as there are so many instances where they can be useful and then the rules are confusing.

We need to remember that technology is NOT GOING AWAY – it is integrated into our lives, confiscation is not always a viable means to deter miss-use as it affects their productivity in other classes, there are other options that can be used, would love to hear your opinion and how you model appropriate use to your students.

Sharing is caring. . .

As teachers we share horror stories of lessons, funny moments in class, strategies that worked and ideas for making teaching and learning BETTER.

I had the bright idea a few months ago to create a forum for TAS teachers. I am truly lucky to have a great network of teachers that I rely on for help (and encouragement) but others may/not have that, and really, what wrong with extending it?

Something that was really poignant at the teachmeet last week was the sharing , it wasn’t evident if attendees were from the public, independent or private sector. They were there because they want to share and learn.

For the record, I love technology, but I have had NO formal computing training. I set up 4 different forums (because I had no idea where to start!!) with various hosting capabilities and function before it was suggested I use phpBB . Even with the help from a friends husband (I am forever in debt for his help- he persisted through all my stupid questions!!) I felt overwhelmed.

After hours of flash tutorials, playing around with security settings and emails to Jeremy. . . . VOILA! The forum is now set up, it lives at:  

If you are a TAS teacher, I encourage you to sign up, we will only get out of this what we each put in. Share SOMETHING! Start a discussion! If you are not, the content wont be very exciting to you, but maybe you could start one for your own KLA?

It is our professional environment to collaborate and SHARE WHAT WE KNOW WITH EACH OTHER!