Friday, April 1, 2016

…and this is my story…

I want to tell you a story, a very personal story, a story from my heart…

I grew up in a rural setting, in a loving family, with a teacher mother, and could have been the classic education success story, but I wasn’t…

At the age of 5 on day one at school, the senior’s taught me how to do a forward roll, which I proudly performed on the mat as the afternoon began.  To this day I remember my mortification as the teacher said ‘show off on your birthday, show off all year round.’  A little part of me withered and died.  I remember trying to read and write like the other learners, but the letters were just black lines… and they didn’t make any sense to me, so I quickly learnt to memorise what the others said… I remember always wanting to question, but knowing that questions were not for me to ask.  Questions came from the teacher and getting the right answer was important.  I remember deciding that it was better not to answer than the shame of getting it wrong.  Another little part of me withered and died. 

I dreamt of how it could be.

I lived for the breaks when I could be outside and play and socialise.  There is a lot of gray in my memories from 6 – 8 but life in the senior room has a lot of dark and black.  Reading around in a circle became a daily terror, and my fear heightened my errors and my errors led to laughter and shame. 

I am acutely aware of the power of the memory to hold on to the highlights and the lowlights, and all the in between can become a blur. 

My highlight came in year 8, with the arriving of Mr V.  Mr V let us learn by doing.  He let us create a recipe book from all our family recipes.  He let us use the banda machine to copy the book.  He let us assemble and staple the book and sell the book as a camp fundraiser.  He let us take photos on his camera and develop the photos in the newly created school dark room.  He let us dream and believe and what’s more he let us achieve.  I have vivid memories of euphoric feelings of learning.  I developed a hunger for learning, a quest for knowledge, an insatiable curiosity about the world outside my little village.  And most of all, I learnt to read.  I read my first book – Lorna Doone at the age of twelve.  I experienced the feeling of journey into the arena that exists within the words on the page. I escaped to another world.  And I never stopped reading and wondering and questioning. 

Forever I am indebted to Mr V for giving us freedom, giving us choice, giving us power and in a way, for giving us a key to the world of hands on, active, self driven learning.

High school was a dream for me.  I had flicked the learning switch and I escaped to France through my French lessons.  So vivid were my experiences during my three years of French with Mr P, that I was overcome with emotion when I later visited France, travelled up the Champs Elyse, visited the Eiffel Tower and felt the pulse of the French people and language. 

Leaving school I was determined to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.  I had such a strongly held belief that if I could become a teacher I could make a difference.  The first time around at College of Education, I experienced a posting with a teacher that returned me to the gray land… the land of fear, and control, and right answers, and darkness.

I just wasn’t ready for this.  I escaped to another chapter in my life; a chapter that I will devote a separate blog post to. 

Fast forward 18 years and the pull was so strong that I returned to the Dunedin College of Education, graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Education – Teaching.

So strong was my passion for education and desire for learning that I completed my Master of Educational Leadership in 2010, and have continued to study e-learning papers out of University of Tasmania.

Alongside my MAGICAL ten years of teaching, five as a Deputy Principal,  I have celebrated a year long NAPP journey and a CORE education e-fellowship. 

Now out of the class, I am deeply committed to my facilitation role – Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator.  (or facilitator of happiness as my mother calls it.)


The highs and lows of my learning journey are significant.  What is it that makes this journey powerful?  What is it that aligns with learners today?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

PechaKucha - Dunedin Fringe Festival

Pechakucha
What a line up... 
Blogging on the fly... capturing shots and thoughts... 
Uber grateful to Phillipa for the opportunity to be here... 
Very hard to believe that this is the 28th Dunedin pechakucha... How have I never heard about this before? Wow - there are four of these events each year...
The crowd has built, everyone has taken their seats and we eagerly anticipate a start...

Ron Bull - Art, Food and Identity

Differing perspectives... Cultural collision... Bringing together two things...  A new perspective... 
The perspective of the viewer and the viewed...
Indian island.. 
Interacting with food on the island.. With perspective, 
Viewing from all perspectives... The enormity of the extraordinary... Forming identity... Whilst embracing mundane... Salt introduced although it was all around...  
Nothing to see here... But everything to see here...

Lee Nicholson  - noise invention and modularity..

From building with Lego to building... 
DIY circuit boards... Making and creating...
Mass production of circuit boards...
Making a product to meet a need... 
Being an inventor... A challenge indeed... 
Multi tiered approach... Approach design in a modular way... 
Exhibited in California... 


Dave Cull - Dunedin hotels and Taverns

History of taverns and hotels in Dunedin
Provincial
Empire


Leviathan Hotel.. Ghost of a previous owner said to haunt...
Law Courts
Sussex hotel
Gardies
Royal Albert
The cook
Marine Hotel in Port Chalmers
Carey's bay hotel
St Kilda tavern
An awesome tour through some of Dunedin's history


Andy Thompson Outdoor education and photography 

Adventure photography business after forestry beginnings...
Landscapes... What was missing... Human connection... 


Capturing people in shots... 
Confluence between people, landscape and culture... 
Authentic relation, collision of cultures, capturing more than a landscape... 
Finding passion, knowing why, appreciating what you have... Authenticity...


Chloe Geoghegan - blue oyster: the fringe's longest lover

Arts organisations... Dunedin one of the world's most creative cities... 
City as a canvas...
Wow..


Paul Pope - true tales of the town belt. - a lover sings...

The town belt... Cargill and Wakefield wanted an outdoor space... 
Physical barrier between town and country... 

Open space... Built largely by Taranaki prisoners... 
Grand houses early in Dunedin...
Queen's Drive... 
Now a carpark for commuters..
The beauty of the little piece of nature in the middle of the city...
The essence and idea of a romantic notion of space and play.. 
Town belt traverse...
Ability to touch nature right in the midst of our town


Levis Adomnica - cafe retro Copenhagen


Time our most valuable resource...
How we spend our time defines who we are..
Volunteering... Diverse group of people... Cafe retro! 
Profit from volunteering supporting sustainable project in Africa 

Profit from sewing goes back to the community..

Sierra Leone - react project...

Soldiers, orphans, aim for a better life... Being together, being creative, feeling loved... People able to live own passions... Always welcome... Accepting everyone, volunteering, 


Samuel Mann little movie: big picture 



What does it mean to be a sustainable practitioner 

Interviewing all students... Education for sustainability... 

What matters for you to be sustainable?
Seeing differing perspectives...
Consider personal and professional sustainable perspectives

Future focus lens... Reduce footprint, increase handprint
Embodied resources
Place - heritage
Systems - connections, linkages
Wicked problems - ethical dilemmas
12 min clip on the way... 


Steve Henry - from industrial to living design

Carpet in polytechnic.. Recyclable tiles... Looked at the forest... Beauty and diversity...


Change the structure, embrace diversity...

The funnel... 

Learn and hink about my attitudes, to the materials in my clothing, house, 
What we can learn from nature...
Sustainability as a way to living systems... How does nature do things...
Wicked problems to consider... 
Live the potential... Live the dream... 

Be dynamic, embrace change, find our own colour and pattern... 
Learning through experience... 
Mimic nature in all of our design and thinking... 


Sanjay Patel video games past present and possible future...

Pong to space invaders...
Atari 2600
Nintendo Nes- super Mario brothers
Nintendo game boy beginning of portable gaming
Sega mega drive
Sony PlayStation
Nintendo 64 
Xbox
Online gaming through consoles
Wii 
PlayStation 3 and 4
PlayStation controller share - direct to Twitter
Virtual reality... 
Augmented reality... 
Overplayed graphics...
Tour through the history of gaming....

Andrew Last - making shit in the shed

Maker.... Home made house 


Maker and jeweller...





Recycling old bikes..

Wow - what an incredible evening... new learning, new wonderings, new connections...