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 work at Somerset College (private school) in the Gold Coast. I mainly teach Years 8 to 12 in Digital Technologies and senior IT subjects. Since starting at Somerset in 2016, I have worked hard to develop an exciting mix of topics and activities for the Year 9 and Year 10 elective ICT subjects. I enjoy developing full units of work and I have included topics such as robotics, game development, geospatial data and web/app solutions in the Year 9/10 ICT subjects. I also have a strong interest in increasing female participation in ICT and I am continually focused on improving my teaching strategies to ensure that I meet the needs of individual students. In the past year I have had success in increasing female participation in ICT and I presented on this at the recent ACER Excellence in Professional Practice Conference.
I am the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) Treasurer. If you’re a Queensland educator and not yet involved in QSITE, please join today!
I started work in the IT industry as an IT Analyst for EDS, Canada in the late 90s; I still remember Y2K and the Dot Com bubble! I also taught at the tertiary-level at Durham College (Ontario, Canada) for a number of years. At Durham College I taught IT and Business subjects such as, Java Programming, Oracle Database development, eCommerce, Systems Analysis & Design, Economics and Management Information Systems.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
My two kids (9 & 14 years) are my inspiration to become a Secondary teacher. My kids and all my wonderful students are what motivate me to teach. Teenagers are awesome; take the time to listen to them, show them you really care and then they will help make teaching fun!
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
Forming good relationships with teenage students is rewarding because it is clear that they trust you and they tend to surprise you with their willingness to learn more. I feel rewarded when students yell out my name across the school grounds because they simply want to say ‘Hi’. It’s awesome when students want to share their successes with you and occasionally there are students that do amazing innovative work that goes far-beyond assessment requirements.
The biggest challenge in working in education today is the seemingly continuous additions of extra tasks that don’t always have a clear link to classroom practice. Teachers are time poor and the hours that I spend at home marking and developing new resources/activities all impact negatively on my family life.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Ensure ALL schools have adequate WiFi and digital equipment for ALL students. Include a MakerSpace in every school library. Unblock Internet access and make Digital Citizenship teaching & learning mandatory, while also encouraging the use of effective and authentic social media use in learning.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
My host post from last year says it best: “EduTweetOz is a great place for discussion to occur about education in Australia. Twitter allows us to remove hierarchical labels, which can often get in the way at school or education events, and let us have real conversations about issues in education. EduTweetOz is also a great way to connect Australian educators and this may help educators feel like they belong and also build their Professional Learning Networks (PLN). It doesn’t matter if we agree on an issue or not, we all know that the reasons behind our, sometimes passionate, tweets is a love of teaching and learning.”
This week I hope to focus discussion around the Digital Technologies curriculum and current trends and issues in education.
Digital Technologies Teacher
Host of @qsite