Getting to know this week’s @EduTweetOz host Meridith Ebbs

Please tell us a little about your background in education.
I began teaching in South Western Sydney in the mid 90’ as Primary teacher. I then moved into corporate education as a computer trainer and instructional designer, this was when I obtained my Masters in adult education. The highlight of my corporate career was documenting the computer systems for Sydney 2000 Olympic games and developing the training materials for the volunteers. After the Olympics I moved north and returned to teaching. I was a foundation teacher at my current school which has been an amazing opportunity and a great learning experience.

When I had children I left the classroom and became a technology specialist in a release from face to face role. For the past 5 years I have been the schools eLearning integrator. In this role I offered professional support to teachers with the integration new pedagogies and technology in the classroom. This support was as required by the teacher, ideas, resources, skills support or team teaching.

This year I have returned to having a teaching load in combination with my eLearning role. I have been given the opportunity to develop a Year 2 program in computational thinking, a Stage 2 unit in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and a year 8 elective in computational thinking. These units have been a fantastic learning experience for the students and myself. The most interesting result has been watching below average students produce above average projects.

Why did you decide to become involved in education?
I never planned on being a teacher. I actually did a science degree with majors in ecology and land management. The plan was to work in the environmental field. Job opportunities led me into primary and corporate education. When moving away from Sydney it was the lack of job opportunities in technology that led me back to teaching. This career path was not planned but I have no regrets either.

What are some of the roles you’ve had and what is your current role?
As a foundation member of a school you have many opportunities that are not available in an established school. Over the 13 years I have taught a range of subjects and school years.

As a classroom teacher Stage 2 was my main classroom teaching speciality although since then I have covered every year group from K-10. For the past 10 years I have had a release role in my school. In this time I have taught every KLA as a specialist including Kindi French, K-6 Music, K-7 Technology and more recently year 8 Computational Thinking, 9 and 10 IST. In my role as eLearning I have developed a K-12 digital citizenship program that was launched in 2012. I wrote the application for BOSTES internal accreditation. As a result we are now offering internally accredited training for our staff. I have also been integral member of the team to establish the Professional Excellence and Innovation Centre (PEIC). In June 2015, we ran a conference on Computational Thinking with 84 delegates from 4 states, 2 keynotes and 11 workshops all on integrating computational thinking in the K-10 classroom. I will be also running a workshop on digital citizenship this term through PEIC.

Who or what keeps you motivated in your work?
The students and Learning!
Without the enthusiasm of the students teaching would not be very exciting for me. I love seeing the excitement and that light bulb moment.

On a personal level I love trying new ideas and implementing new methods. I like to continually raise the bar for engagement, student learning and my teaching.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest reward for me in education is the students. I love engaging students in learning especially those who are not usually engaged. I see them as a challenge. I love seeing past students and hearing stories of their achievements since leaving school. I often see past parents around town and love getting updates.

I think education is moving through an era of disruption. Many teachers, parents and students are not satisfied with the traditional chalk, talk and textbooks. Technology and pedagogy are being disrupted. Teachers are expected to differentiate and cater for a classroom that sometimes has a range of years in developmental levels. This is our biggest challenge. We need to rethink our approaches to education and the pedagogies used. I think we should embrace the disruption and work through what is beneficial for learning. We also have many teachers who are still very traditional teachers and are not embracing the disruption.

Therefore I thinking the biggest challenge for education is TTWWADI (That’s the way we’ve always done it). This includes classrooms, professional development and attitude. The TTWWADI culture consumes education with a focus on standardised testing and teaching to the HSC at the expense of engagement and applied learning. Administrators need to enable their innovative teachers to explore new methods of teaching and learning that still focus on learning outcomes. The maker movement and computational thinking are two massive international movements that have the potential to revolutionise applied learning. Providing professional development for staff to enable these movements in schools is a challenge.

Another challenge is to empower students (and teachers) to take responsibility for their own learning. While linked to maturity I also believe this is linked to the culture of our schools and the attitude of society toward learning.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
If I had the ability to change the education system I would like to see thematic teaching units in primary and secondary. I would also like to see movement away from chronological aged group towards groupings on ability levels with various forms of delivery. Online delivery via videos and podcasts would enable students to work at their own pace. This model would sit alongside face to face teaching and mentoring. I would like to see a focus on digital literacy. There needs to be a larger emphasis on early intervention in reading so all students can read at grade level before year 3. This will help ensure success in later years at school.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz enables teachers to connect and engage with an online audience. I love the discussion and varied ideas that emerge from EduTweetOz on a weekly basis. This week I am looking forward to engaging with teachers outside my usual professional learning network (PLN) to hear different ideas and points of view.

Get to know this week’s @EduTweetOz host Geraldine McNulty

  

 Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
I started my teaching career in western Sydney. In those days, it was “here is your class, get on with it”. There was no mentoring program, no induction process and it was a sink or swim situation. The challenges were immense and the school had few resources, however we had a committed teacher librarian who was extremely dedicated to the profession.

I worked part-time when my two boys were little and this resulted in working in a school library. I then completed my Masters of Teacher Librarianship and enjoyed the beginning of a new career.  

Not long after I graduated we moved to Canberra. Another son was born and I went to work full time as a teacher librarian in a Catholic Girls College. The principal was an empowering leader who fully supported me. Finally my teaching career was wonderful and I achieved and learnt so much. I taught English and Religion and became Head of Department. The teachers loved working at the school and were wonderful. I was also involved in the laptop program of the school – one of the only such one-to-one laptop programs in Australia at the time.

I was involved in consulting with schools about innovation, change and the learning design of libraries. I was also Vice President of the Australian Schools Library Association during this time and was heavily involved in conferring with educators about the profession. I took up a position with the Australian College of Educators as a program manager and this was a great opportunity to work strategically with the states and territories about national issues affecting the profession. It was also the time of discussion about professional standards for teachers with Teaching Australia. This work has had a major impact on the profession and is shaping a new generation of teachers in a positive way.

Since that time, I have worked for the last six years in two colleges, most recently in Sydney. While both have similarities, they are vastly different, but at both I have had amazing opportunities to really discover how to change the culture and role of the library within a school and how to form great relationships with students. I have developed professional ICT learning programs for staff, obtained VET qualifications, lead a team of ICT integrators and have had many unique opportunities that challenged my beliefs and values about education and my role within the system. I have taken on a diverse range of extra-curricular roles at all schools, including most recently developing a Makerspace for students in the library, which is evolving STEM subjects and hopefully funding for future development.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

I have always loved my job, and in particular, the challenge to implement change and be innovative. However, this challenge often requires a degree of resilience, and a long-term strategic view when simple things don’t happen in the way you planned. In my experience, it is important to have internal and/or external mentors, work as a team, and you will go far.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The biggest challenge is that change, and in particular, cultural change, takes time. Wanting to implement change is about taking small steps with a larger goal in mind. Implementing successful change requires a deep understanding of the inter-related components of what makes a school work. The challenges are different from school to school.

The rewards are always in improved learning outcomes for students and creating professionally enriched staff. Both require building trust. Developing an empowering culture for staff to feel safe to take risks is important. The development of mentoring programs to ensure staff are supported is critical.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I think we are struggling with improving literacy outcomes for our students and preparing them for 21st century learning skills. We need a curriculum that supports digital literacy skills including research and information skills. We need to do less and yet do more.

I also see that our students need to develop a strong resilience and we need to improve transitioning students from school to university and work. 

We need educators to advocate for the profession and to have a stronger voice. We have a great profession but it is segmented in sectors and often this distracts from addressing the real issues that impact the whole sector.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

It is so important to feel connected with the profession and this is a great way to build a new type of community. It allows for professional dialogue anywhere, anyplace and at anytime. I am sure we will have an interesting week as educators as we discuss topical issues that affect our day-to-day work in education. The benefit of sharing ideas and thoughts about the week is incredibly valuable and helps us support and learn from each other. 

You can follow Geraldine’s personal Twitter account @mc_geraldine to stay in touch after her stint on @Edutweetoz 

Get to know this week’s host Naomi Barnes

 Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I initially decided to become involved in education because at High School. I loved the Humanities and wanted to have a job where I could earn money for studying them. After a few rough years teaching compulsory History, Geography and Citizen’s Education to junior high schoolers, I realised that my love for the discipline would not sustain my career. I realised that the students had to be the main motivation for being involved in education. The immensity of the responsibility of education hit me very hard and I switched my point of view. Teaching became inspiring from that point. 

I have worked as a curriculum leader in government, Catholic and the independent systems. I enjoy problem solving the curriculum and the timetable. I get satisfaction out of designing learning experiences which take into account the diverse needs of my students but also adhere to the external pressures.

When I was on maternity leave with my first child I worked on my PhD and for Education Queensland developing resources for the Australian Curriculum. I have recently had my doctorate awarded and I am now an initial teacher educator. I currently teach in Primary Humanities Curriculum and Inclusive and Diverse Education for Primary and Secondary beginning teachers. I also work on projects for a tertiary curriculum committee and a sociology of education special interest group.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I believe that education is in a dark place at the moment. I believe that the wrong questions are being asked and I believe that many educators feel powerless. I want to make a difference. I want work towards changing the public rhetoric to empower all educators to stand against the mediated political onslaught we experience as a profession.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I know it’s a cliche but the “lightbulb moment” is a definite reward. That moment is not just about working with students but also about working with each other. It is difficult to have a collaborative frame of mind in a profession where performance is often away from the eyes of peers and managers. But one of the greatest rewards can be satisfying collaboration. 

Collaboration comes with a community and a lack of community, I think, is education’s biggest challenge.

I think educators can be their own worst enemy. Many educators become caught up in a “us Vs them” conversation about other education systems. High school teachers often blame primary school teachers for low low literacy skills in their classes. Tertiary institutions often blame high schools for not adequately preparing students for university. Teacher education programs are often criticised by mentor teachers for being too theoretical and not practical enough outside prac. What we don’t realise is that this rhetoric doesn’t do us any favours in the public conversation about education. 

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I would get rid of the disciplines as subject areas and have all educators and students collaborate in a learning community to solve real problems. Utopian, I know, but one step at a time.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I see EduTweetOz as one of the few Twitter accounts that transcends the constructed boundaries of education. Early years educators are engaging in conversations with professors, principals are engaging with adult educators, History teachers are talking to Maths teachers. The account is building an education community that has no boundaries.

While hosting EduTweetOz, I would like to foreground these conversations. I want to ask educators what can be done to improve how we talk to and about each other. We cannot change how the media and politicians talk about us until we are united. Without a united front, we will fall one by one into the the “data, education only for training” quicksand and no one will be standing handy with a branch to rescue us.

Get to know NAIDOC week 2015 host Brady Cooper

 Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I became involved in Education because I wanted to work with young Indigenous kids and help them gain the best education they could. I’ve been a mentor/welfare worker in an Alternative Education School setting working with students who were involved with DHS and did not quite fit in with Mainstream schooling. Other roles that I have worked is working in mainstream school as a Koorie Education Worker, working alongside teachers helping with curriculum and celebrating Indigenous events throughout the year. This role also provides assistance to Koorie students in the school by mentoring and helping families with funding opportunities and finding pathways for the students for life after school. My current role is being a teacher aide in a little multicultural Primary school in Melbourne, also doing a CRT day when needed. 

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

My motivation and inspiration comes from the students I work with day in and day out seeing them achieve and excel in their schooling. Sharing stories of my schooling and hearing theirs provides the motivation I need to keep being a good role model for all students in the schools I’ve worked. 

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The biggest rewards I see working in the Education system is that you come across so many different young people who you can watch grow into great young leaders amongst their peers and you know that you have played a little part in their life. The challenges I see as Educators is keeping up with the ever changing technology and preparing students for life after school making sure that they will be job ready as the possible jobs the students of today will be employed in may not even exist yet. 

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I would make sure that every student had the same opportunity no matter of their race, socioeconomic status or location so I guess equality is what I’m talking about.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

The Twitter handle EduTweetOz is an amazing opportunity for educators to network and share ideas from all across and abroad. My hopes for the week hosting is to get more awareness of the incredible events and opportunities for people, especially educators, to get involved in not only through NAIDOC Week but throughout the school year. 

This week we welcome @DenyseWhelan1 

  

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I became a K-6 teacher in NSW public schools in 1970. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in Year 5 and was fortunate to have teachers in both primary and high school who encouraged this. In ‘those days’ you got a teaching scholarship, a permanent appointment to any school (you could nominate areas) and signed an agreement to teach anywhere in NSW for 3 years. 

My first appointment was as a K/1 teacher in a Central School (K-12) in northwest NSW. I was 20. By year end I’d met my future husband (a one-teacher ‘schoolie’) and eventually ended up in a two-teacher school for the next 2 years, then we got a move to his new school in the Riverina and I became a K-2 teacher in a Central School around 40 minutes away. In 1976 my husband and I were appointed as Acting Principal (him!) and Teacher (me!) at Weilmoringle. Our daughter started school there with us as her teachers. We lived in a school residence and were 12 hours drive from Sydney, where my family lived.

My husband’s promotion there earned us a move to the city, where we could buy our first house. He went to a large K-6 school and I went to the Hills area for the next 5 years. My husband’s health deteriorated in 1978-79 and in 1980 the Dept of Education medically retired him at age 30. This changed my life and career. From 1983 the schools where I worked were in the socio-economically disadvantaged areas of western Sydney.

I got promotions (lists they were called) was raising a family (son came along in 1979) and began a degree via part-time, distance education then a masters, supported by the Department over the next 7 years. I was invited to be a relieving Assistant Principal, then substantive roles in both Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal by merit selection. Over the next 8-10 years I was often a relieving Principal in the school and the asked to be relieving principal at a local school, eventually becoming appointed as a K-6 Principal in a school with 2 autistic satellite classes, 2 OC classes, a 3 class Special education unit and 10 mainstream classes. I was the only non-teaching member of the executive.

I retired early from that principal’s role as my health suffered. It was deemed that I had experienced a ‘burn-out’ and ‘work overload’ and it has not been until recent years that I’ve been prepared to share that.

After a year or so though I missed schools! I didn’t miss being a boss though! A kind friend and colleague gave me part-time temporary work in her school and from 2004-2010 I was an RFF teacher then ESL. I started the ESL program at the school and went to Uni (again!) to get TESOL qualifications. By the time I was 60 (late 2009) I decided to stop. 

In 2013-14 I was a University Practicum Advisor and Tutor in Masters Level subject at UWS. From 2012 I have been an External Observer with BOSTES. In 2011 I began a small education consultancy for pre-schools and families assisting them with how to best prepare children from the transition from home to school

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

The people training to be teachers, are teachers now, and back when I was in schools inspire me. I am so pleased to see teachers coming into teaching and sharing their passion. The kids benefit from this enthusiasm and passion. I get quite disappointed whenever I read of anyone saying ‘don’t go into teaching’ because no-one has a right to discourage anyone thinking of teaching. Teaching is a calling. Yes, it is a career too but much happens in teaching where we can get very dispirited and down yet no day is ever the same and some small reward can make all the difference! The child who couldn’t speak English coming up and asking a question …the children who may not be top academically but put their efforts and interests into non-academic subject. These kids all need to be recognised as well as the ‘stars’.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The rewards have not changed much because as I said I believe teaching is ‘within you’ and is a calling and each teacher can name those small rewards which keep you going. What I have always seen as challenges are in fact one I ignored myself until it was too late for my welfare and that is ‘over doing it’. To be honest, I am not sure how this can be avoided or minimised because when I stopped work in 2003 the email systems had only been around for a year. The challenge will be/is self-management despite everyone trying to have a ‘piece’ of you. I hope to have some discussions in my week here about ‘self-care’ and noticing how we might help each other more. Twitter chats are one great way for educators to engage on-line no matter where they are and its been through Twitter that I reconnected professionally following my ‘second last’ retirement in 2010. My final retirement was late 2014 when I stopped my Uni teaching.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

How long have we got…oh, could we please de-politicise education? That is my suggestion. I have been through all of the changes from where schools were administered by educators not bureaucrats and then acts of parliament which saw the separation of education curricula to boards and then the move towards the national curriculum and so on. There needs to be stable education policies that are not driven by the whims and wishes of the government of the day and their agenda. The system in Australia remains fragmented in some really important ways including starting ages for school, names of classes, handwriting styles, curriculum priorities. For such a small country (population wise) we are a very messy and non-united country for the delivery of consistent high quality education to the students K-12. I have no answers specifically and it has always been a groan from me each time a new government is formed – state or federal

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I hope to have some discussions in my week here about ‘self-care’ and noticing how we might help each other more. It’s also school holidays in most of Australia so I hope to ask about what everyone’s up to and did everyone ‘survive’ reporting to parents!!

I see EduTweetOz being a place that I wish had been around when I was looking for connect with educators after I left schools and did not know how! As a blogger I knew about twitter back in 2010 when I found twitter and then found my first education-based tweep (I won’t name her but she is still around very much and is a director of schools (or whatever this year’s name is) and through her I ‘met’ so many now friends who are teachers in both K-6 and 7-12 schools. So, twitter convos are ways in which teachers can both engage or just observe. I love how people help each other out and this account is unique and one where others get to share the views and news. Thanks for having me here!

Introducing Leigh Murphy from Education Services Australia

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Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

My name is Leigh Murphy and my current role is is Manager for User Engagement at Education Services Australia. ESA is a not for profit ministerial company owned by all Australian Education ministers which has built and implemented a number of National Online projects and services such as Scootle, Scootle Community, Improve, the Language Learning Space, EdFest, ABC Splash, the Safe Schools Hub, Global Ed, myfuture and more.

I’ve been lucky enough to present at and run online and F2F professional learning conferences and in which I speak to educators around the country about the importance of tools and strategies which support teachers and learners connect and share their ideas, questions and practices with their colleagues nationally.

Prior to working at ESA I was the Professional Learning Manager at ICT in Education Victoria which became Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria during my tenure. I also taught and had a leading roles at Orchard Grove Primary School in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for 6 years.

I think I became a teacher because I loved and wanted to keep learning. That said, I also entered the profession with a strong desire to teach differently to the ways I was taught and campaign for changes to our education system.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

I hope its students which will continue to motivate me to to be in education and advocate for educators to keep improving the ways we teach and learn. I am regularly inspired witnessing the level of effort and understanding demonstrated by students who are engaged and empowered in meaningful learning and driven by their passions and their learning’s impact on others.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

Short term rewards are the meaningful conversations with wide eyed kids who have just been given the keys to the kingdom, long term is the impact had on both individuals and society.

Unfortunately the challenges are varied and many and I empathise with the many teachers who have just put in countless hours of unpaid overtime to produce a report that may or may not significantly impact their students ability to or desire to learn. I see that many teachers are pushed and time committed to a point where there’s very limited time left for joy and creativity in their lessons and classrooms.

However there also great opportunities arising and new tools and practices that can assist educators to be the architect of a thoughtful question and learning opportunity rather than just the source of answers and the keepers of knowledge. There are many beacons out there who are out there continuing to try something new and share it with their colleagues and we are greatly benefited by the tools to connect us and the people who share our passion for learning and education across the country and across the globe.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I’d change the goal posts. I’d reorganise the year 11 and 12 structure and the ATAR. I’d provide students a day a week to engage in a project which embeds them in and contributes to society. The project would be supported but independent and lead by students passions and would culminate in a presentation through a mode of their choosing. The documentation/presentation of their two year project would represent a significant part in their university or employment applications proceeding.

I’d love people’s thoughts on this…

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

Learning networks such as EduTweetOz and social learning tools such as twitter and Scootle Community can play a bit part in advocating and supporting teachers, schools and the education sector to start making effective changes to bring life into learning. There are so many wonderful educators across our country doing extraordinary things and via communication tools and national and global audiences are able to share their ideas, successes and failures which those tuned into are much better for.

I hope to provide a range of interesting questions, resources, articles and opinions during my week at the helm of EduTweetOz, if we don’t cross paths this week please feel free to contact me via another channel down the track.

Leigh Murphy

T +61 3 8330 9452 | F +61 3 9910 9800 | M +61 403748959 | E leigh.murphy@esa.edu.au      

Introducing new additions to the EduTweetOz team

This week we will be spending some time getting to know the new members of the EduTweetOz admin team. As you all know EduTweetOz is run by educators, all of whom have their own full time jobs, and we all know how full time those jobs are. It has been amazing how this community has grown in the past two years, to over 7000 followers! As a result of this growth, and in the interests of the wellbeing of everyone on the admin team, we need to expand. We are really excited to welcome Jennifer English, Allison Fairey and Mark Johnson to the team. Each of these educators has been a huge support to the account over the years and have their own ideas about where we can go next with EduTweetOz. Corinne, Donelle, Liz and myself are really excited to welcome them on board and work together to grow this community even further. I’ll be hosting the account Sunday night and Monday (it’s ages since I’ve taken the account for a spin so I’m looking forward to getting back into the rush of the EduTweetOz timeline), Allison (@amuseED) will have it Tuesday and Wednesday, Jennifer (@jeneng) will host Thursday and Friday, and Mark (@seminyaksunset) will host Saturday and Sunday. We hope this gives you all a chance to know the team a bit more. We are looking forward to any suggestions or feedback you have for us. Thanks for all your support!
Michelle (@poppyshel)

Museum Educators talking all things museums this week on Edutweetoz

This week @EduTweetOz is being cohosted by Dr Narelle Lemon (NL) and Mr Peter Mahony (PM) focusing on museum education.

  
Throughout the week we are very excited to be tweeting about learning in the museum from the perspective of museum educators, teachers, students and curators. The focus will be on object based pedagogy.

There will be a TweetChat on Tuesday 26th May 2015 at 7:30pm (EST) focusing on the following questions about learning with objects and in informal settings such as museums:

Q1. How do cultural organisations support learning?

Q2. How do you think you could utilise a cultural organisations in your local community for education?

Q3. Why are objects important in the teaching/learning of subjects?

Q4. What objects have you used in your teaching so far?

Q5. How do you access objects (original/replica/recent)?

Q6. How do you use objects to stimulate inquiry?

Q7. What can students do with objects?

Q8. Are some objects more useful than others? What are your experiences, recommendations?

The hashtag #MuseumEdOz will be used to connect teachers and museum educators national as a community during the week and beyond.

Who are your hosts?

Peter Mahony @vergeofperil  

Peter is Manager of Education and Digital Learning for Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. He is responsible for program direction and delivery of the Museum’s booked group learning experiences including the Thinkspace digital learning centre, and is curriculum leader for special projects including The Mars Lab. Peter believes that a revolution in school-museum learning partnerships is just around the corner and lends all available effort to running punk learning experiments to try to find a way. Qualifications include Master of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, Bachelor of Arts, and Cert IV Workplace Train and Assessment. Peter’s background is in community and performing arts. Back in the day, with the Castanet Club he toured nationally and internationally as performer and musician, including to the Edinburgh Arts Festival. These days Peter sings in Sydney based gospel choir Cafe of the Gate of Salvation.

 Dr Narelle Lemon @rellypops

Narelle is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne working with pre-service teachers in the areas of arts education, interdisciplinary skills, and integration of digital technology in learning including social media. Her research agenda is focused on engagement and participation in the areas of teacher capacity building in cultural organisations such as galleries, museums and other alternative education settings, social media for professional development including Twitter and Instagram, and working in academia. She works with teachers through visual inquiry, narrative inquiry, action research and participatory research methods. Narelle also coordinates the Master of Teaching (primary) within the School of Education at La Trobe University.

Narelle’s passion is for learning has been throughout her career as a F-12 arts (music and visual arts) and generalist primary teacher and now with future teachers. She firmly believes everyone can learn from each other. She is very much looking forward to cohosting @EduTweetOz with the focus on how museums, and other cultural organisations such as galleries, libraries and aquariums, can support learning across the curriculum as well as for teacher professional development. She is a firm believer that this is a wonderful platform to support one another and form a community to explore learning.

When Narelle is not teaching, researching or tweeting she dabbles in mountain bike riding, photography and drawing.

Narelle blogs at http://chatwithrellypops.wordpress.com

Connection to Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, New South Wales.  

Peter is Manager of Education and Digital Learning and Narelle is currently a Visiting Research Scholar with the Museum.

Details about the museum can be found here:

Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007 Australia

Twitter: @maasmuseum

Instagram: @MAASMUEUM

Web: http://www.maas.museum

Kimberley Sutton from NSW takes over EduTweetOz

This week we’re very happy to have Kimberley Sutton taking over the hosting duties for EduTweetOz.  Kimberley is well known to Australian teachers as one of the moderators of the weekly #AussieEd chat. You can connect with her at @teachmisssutton

KimberleySutton

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, however I think the moment that really struck me was after my HSC when I went to East Timor volunteering for 5 weeks. I spent a fair bit of this time teaching English to primary school students. I loved seeing the huge smiles on the kids faces whenever I walked into the classroom. They wanted to learn from me and enjoyed learning.

Since graduating I have worked a number of roles in education. I have worked as an Early Childhood teacher, high school tutor, sessional tutor for the University of Notre Dame and now my most current role is classroom teacher. I currently teach year 6.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

My students mainly. Every day I like to challenge them. Every day they find a new way to wow me.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I think one of the biggest rewards of someone working in education, particularly primary, is simply to see a child grow and learn right before their eyes.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I’m very excited for the week ahead!

This week’s host: Mark Johnson

Want to find out some more about Mark Johnson who has been hosting the EduTweetOz account for the past 7 days. Here are his responses to our host questionnare:

MarkJohnson

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

Around 20 odd years ago I found that I was getting more and more back pain from working as a landscaper.  After looking at my options someone laughingly suggested I should become a teacher.  Mainly because most people said that I couldn’t possibly do it, I became a teacher.

I am currently a year 4 teacher at a large P-12 campus on the Gold Coast.  This is my 15th year of teaching, and I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed it more.  I love my job!

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

I am very much motivated by the fact that I love going to work.  I enjoy the interactions with the students and I am lucky to work with an incredibly friendly and open group of teachers

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I don’t have any grandiose thoughts about ‘changing people’s lives’ or ‘making a difference’.  But I do feel I’m contributing to helping young people learn in a space they are comfortable to be in.  The challenge is bending against a system that feels learning is not important unless we can measure it.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

A massive injection of funds into schools for children with a disability.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I have learnt so much from following EduTweetOz.  It is rightly recognised as an important resource for educators.  I’m just hoping to share a little of my journey as a teacher, warts and all.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Look out, I’m out of the cage!



To keep in touch with Mark, follow him at @seminyaksunset