Cultivating Learning in English the Curriculum – Through the use of ICT- SAETA 2013

The Young Man in Question

Here’s the distraction.  He’s awesome! I hope you can forgive me!

You might have noticed that it’s been a little quiet here on Teacher  That’s because I’ve had a beautiful baby boy and, as you would expect, he’s taking up a lot of my time at the moment 🙂  I’m still tweeting and Facebooking – 120 characters a few times a day is much easier than a whole blog post  😉 – but it’s time to write a new post!

So, whilst Tristan sleeps…. let me share what I’ll be talking about at the SAETA conference on Saturday the 18th.

I was thrilled, and honoured, to be asked by SAETA to give the opening Keynote for them.  They asked me to talk about the Australian Curriculum for English and how ICT fits within it.  As you know, that’s a topic I could talk for weeks (maybe months) on!  I’ve certainly helped to design modules of content on the topic and so, it’s really exciting to share some thoughts with the English teachers of South Australia 🙂 It’s also challenging – I’ve got 50 minutes 😉

I decided to focus on the idea of cultivation and growth.   For some, the prospect of the Australian Curriculum, it’s general capabilities AND the National Professional Standards is incredibly daunting.  It all seems brand new and a little overwhelming.  In my talk on Saturday I decided to show teachers how if you think about your practice growing, rather than changing there’s a lot you can achieve with a relatively small amount of new learning.  That, as teachers we all love learning but that sometimes we need to be brave, make a leap of faith and be ok with whatever the outcome! 🙂  We expect our students to do this everyday and taking this journey ourselves can only make us better at what we do.

Of course, in my presentation I will be talking about what it is that is required through the curriculum and standards but I will also be sharing one or two simple tools that can be used (hopefully relatively easily) by teachers in their own classrooms – technology willing.  Of course, the curriculum designers have mapped out where they think ICT fits nicely within the English Curriculum.  However, to be honest, these connections lack imagination and although they are a great place to start, I’m going to encourage you to be creative and use your passions to drive your learning in what might be a new area for you. Use the suggestions as a starting point if you need to but don’t be restricted by recommendations – if you’re feeling brave go for it!

Whilst working on these links to ICT I’m going to ask you to ask you to consider the most important question we ask as teachers.

What is this bringing to the learning? Why am I using it?

There is, unfortunately, a great tradition of bringing technology into the classroom because we think we should (or heaven for-bid because we think it LOOKS good).  I’ll talk about some of the traps to avoid before showing you some creative ways to use some easy tools in a powerfully pedagogical way. Of course, I’ll have to mention TPACK here won’t I!     Together, we will challenge technocentrism and champion learning and teaching as the focus for the use of technology.

The Prezi below is what i’ll be using.  I’m (to be honest) unlikely to get through it all.  But that’s ok… I’ve planned it that way. It’s there as a digital resource. So, there are extra bits that you can explore after the conference – to expand your knowledge if you want to 🙂  All the links you need are within it.  Click away and continue exploring. Of course, you can use Twitter, Facebook and this blog to ask me questions.  I’m always happy to help and to receive feedback 🙂

Now, just pray that Tristan lets me sleep Friday night!   See you Saturday! 🙂

PS:  I would suggest that you bring your smart phones, ipads etc and that you share what you’re learning through twitter. Use #SAETA and watch the learning grow. You won’t need to miss out on anything then 😉  Here’s why and HOW