Saturday, 2 February 2013

And now for something completely different... A Blog Post

Its been a while between posts and a lot has happened.

Tonight I have taken the time to bring my various posts from around the web together under my (relatively) new CEO Cloudshare account.

What is Cloudshare I hear you ask? Cloudshare is the Catholic Education Office, Sydney's deployment of the Google Apps For Education (GAFE) environment.

We now have a system wide deployment of a collaborative virtual learning environment and the challenge for myself and others in my role is encouraging staff to take advantage of this powerful collaborative tool.

Teachers are generally time poor - and this is not going to improve as we all are called to implement the NSW Board of Studies Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. I have written before that the only constant in modern life - is CHANGE.

If we get this right - instead of working in isolation (as individuals or individual staffs), teachers can collaborate and share the work load with others that have an interest in their area of teaching - at a time and place that suits the individuals involved.

To steal a line I heard recently - you don't have to be sitting at your desk to work.

You don't have to be in the same room to work collaboratively. With Google Hangouts you can easily connect with others face to face, sharing resources, hosting virtual meetings - all from a location that suits you - your classroom, desk in the staff room, home, beach - where ever.

With Google Drive its easy to share all kinds of resources as well we collaborating on teaching programs using Docs and developing teaching resources that can be used by multiple teachers. Teachers create wonderful resources for their students and their classrooms - but all too often these resources don't get shared. And the task of creating such resources gets replicated time and time again.

There are other tools available too such as the social bookmarking tools Delicious and Diigo. Twitter is another great tool for collaboration.

But my experience is that many teachers find it hard to engage professionally in an online world. I would love to hear feedback via comments as to why this is so? Are you reluctant to engage in online collaboration? Are you an avid user? Have you developed a PLN? What are your thoughts?

Later this year (June 14 and 15),  I will be leading a cohort at the IWBNet Third National ITL MasterClass Conference, which will have at its focus how contemporary educators can make use of such online tools. I look forward to the journey and challenges that preparing for this conference will bring.