This week will be the start of our first full week back at school for the Victorian (Australian) school year of 2015. I love the excitement of a new year, with classes returning, new classes starting, students enjoying being back together again, excited conversations, catching up with everyone etc.
It is a time to get organised, set the scene for learning and connect with the students. The bulk of my teaching load is Information and Communications Technology from years 7 to 12 and this is what I will be doing this week:
- Reconnect with my professional learning network on twitter, skype groups, email lists etc and be increasingly active after a 5 week summer holiday break.
- Connect with my students – get to know them, their learning styles, their strong points, interests, extra curricular activities, technology use outside school etc. Each new class will start with a backchannel chat using TodaysMeet with a series of questions each student will resond to simultaneously. The room is booked for 12 months, so that I can go back time and again and see what they say about themselves.
- Connect students beyond our classroom walls. Search out some sessions with other national and global teachers, classes and experts. Take a thorough look at skype in education for those who are actively seeking connections, expert speakers and community members who are willing to share for free over videoconferencing.
- Actively seek out global projects for each class. Register year 9/10 and 11 for the Flat Connections Global Project (a personal favourite.)
- Ensure all students have an individual blogs (I use global2 blogs) which our Department of Education and Training provide us with through their campus license.
- Ensure that all students can access MS 365 of which we are a trial school so that work can be saved and accessed in the cloud and that group learning can take place.
- Students will add a snapshot of their timetable to both a post and a page on their blog. Another post will list the subjects studied, another share three learning goals for the year.
- If time permits they will share another post on “Ten things you don’t know about me”
- Catch up on updates on twitter, google+ and a variety of educational blogs, including those targeted with upcoming events and resources for Victorian teachers eg global2, Digital learning, fuse, abc splash and a firm favourite Free technology for teachers
- Actively participate in the organisation of the upcoming OZeLIVE conference – a virtual conference that will run in Australia friendly times.