All posts by jenglish2013

About jenglish2013

You can follow me on twitter - @jeneng

Please welcome Michael Sky as this week’s host

18741609_10155291288641866_628332772_n_FotorPlease 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 was a professional uni student for a number of years, by accident not design. I studied a Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University, intending to do education, and I went to my first day to enrol and they asked if I was enrolling in primary or secondary. To that point I hadn’t thought about that choice and on the spot chose secondary. I decided to major in History and have Maths as my minor, and it was only when I did my first prac in 3rd year that I knew secondary teaching was not for me.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and then went and did a degree in music at Southern Cross in Lismore, the first time I had lived outside of Sydney. That was the first step in me leaving Sydney forever.

After that degree I moved to Newcastle and was playing in some bands and teaching private music tuition. After a few years of doing that I went back to uni to do a Dip Ed in primary teaching. I got a job from uni as a 5/6 classroom teacher in Wollongong, but after a chance conversation with a colleague decided to move to London and teach, which I did for two years. Coming back to Newcastle as a casual was difficult in terms of gaining permanency, so I started applying for jobs in rural NSW. I was successful in gaining employment at North Star in 2011 on the 3/4/5/6 class. I planned to stay 3 years in North Star, but stayed 5 and a half. I probably was thinking about moving somewhere else for about 12 months when my current role was advertised. As principal of a small school that was only 25kms down the road from where I had taught for more than 5 years, it seemed like a good way to get into a leadership role in my own school. 6 months on and I have no regrets about taking on my current role. As a teaching principal in a small rural school, you get a degree of freedom to try a wide range of ideas.

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

The things that keep me inspired are, for me, the very things that our schools exist for, students and the community. I am very blessed at the moment to have the most lovely group of students I have ever taught, but even when I have more difficult students and or families, I am motivated to find a way to connect that child with their learning. I am also inspired by a number of educators that I have met through social media, including Twitter and Yammer. I have found these forums amazing for connecting with people who in general I think are far smarter than me, yet are usually so friendly and sharing with their ideas and approaches to teaching. This is doubly so for leadership. I must admit I haven’t had any great leaders in the schools I’ve worked in, but I have met leaders through social media that have given me real focus in how I approach education through their experiences and willingness to share

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

For me education is all about the students. They are the challenges, but working with them to help them improve and want to improve is the reward. The other challenge is the amount of reform that has come into education over the past few years much of which can prove a distraction to the everyday job of teaching the students.

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

I would give rural schools a lot more money!

I think the urban/rural divide remains a major issue and I am not sure there is really an earnest attempt to improve access for and the achievements of rural students. It is also concerning when you look at how many small schools have been closed in the last 10 years and you can’t help but wonder if small schools will survive in the future when the focus of governments is economic rather than service based.

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

I think it is good that there is a way in which all the different parts of the education sectors can be bought together through this account. No one is an expert of everything, but this at least allows a range of voices to share their ideas, engage in discussions and inform people of differing experiences.

I hope to be able to discuss leadership, experience of teaching rurally and anything else that grabs my attention during the week. Would love it if there was anyone thinking of teaching rurally who would let me convince them to give it a go.​

Our host for this week is Dr Tanya Vaughan @tvaughanEdu

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 had been working as a scientist within the field of bioinformatics for over ten years when I decided to become a teacher. I became a teacher in part after reflecting on my last year in science and in thinking about what I enjoyed the most, it was when I taught two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in my lab. Those were my two favourite days of the year, so I thought if I move into teaching I can do this every day.

I also had an amazing teacher that was incredibly influential on my career path, as he drove me towards mastery. He used to say you want the test to be hard so that you can demonstrate your knowledge.

I taught and coordinated biology at the senior secondary level, I loved working directly with my students over these years to watch their learning and passion for science grow. I then went on to work with Professor Brian Caldwell at Educational Transformations as Director of Impact Studies. I evaluated the impact of The Song Room Program on students from disadvantaged settings. This resulted in a book entitled Transforming Education through the Arts and a report which was launched at Parliament House, Canberra. After this, I worked on other projects investigating the impact of Bell Shakespeare and The Song Room’s programs on students’ outcomes.

I then moved to work at AITSL with the School Leadership team, ACARA as a data analyst and PAI as the Quality Assurance Coordinator for Australian Principal Certification. I was also fortunate to complete a case study on Leadership development in Toronto with Ben Jensen’s team at Learning First for the National Centre on Education and Economy.

This has led me to my current role as Associate Director at Evidence for Learning in which I am responsible for the product development, community leadership and strategy of the Teaching & Learning Toolkit (the Toolkit). This is an exciting role blending three of my passions – research, teaching and policy. I get to facilitate workshops on the Toolkit with educators across Australia, translating evidence into action and talk to educators about the schools and classrooms they are leading. In this role, I get to research, and write on evidence-based educational topics. An article I wrote was recently published in teacher magazine on the myth of Learning Styles. I am also working with Departments of Education and organisations across Australia in mapping the Toolkit to their Frameworks.

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

The school leaders and teachers inspire me and motivate  my work. I recently visited a school in England which I wrote about in a blog titled ‘Making progress: one school’s journey from struggling to high peforming’. After this experience, it helped me to realise the importance of my deep understanding of what is happening right now in schools on the ground in Australia. Since then I have visited another two schools and it has been so inspiring to talk to passionate and hardworking educators. This is what keeps me inspired – being practical to the profession. Whether this be through workshops with the Toolkit, translating evidence into practice and drawing from the brilliant work that educators are doing all over Australia so the “best practice can become common practice in education”.

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

The biggest reward is watching students learn, in the classroom where you see a student have that ‘a-ha’ moment where they make that next step in their learning. A challenge is a lack of time to engage with the research.

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

I would increase the time available for teachers and leaders to meet in Professional Learning Communities so that they have time to engage with evidence of best practice and evaluative capacity could be grown at the school level.

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 educators to connect across Australia and internationally to share their school and classroom practices as well as share and discuss latest evidence. By rotating the hosting across different organisations you are enabling the sharing of the diverse voices in Australian education. Through the medium of twitter, you are creating on online community of learners that doesn’t have organisation, role or geographical boundaries to encourage the sharing of best practice in education.

 

This week’s host is Amanda Kowalczyk, @miss_manda_k

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 studied a bachelor of commerce at Uni initially. It was during this time when I realised that the corporate world was not going to be for me. I wanted a job where I could give back and use my creative flare to guide my passion. A Diploma of Education would give me just that so I applied and was successful that same year.
My first practicum was amazing, I knew I had made the right decision. I started my teaching career working with gifted and talented students. I was then offered temporary work at a school for students with emotional disturbance and behaviour disorders- could I do it was what I was thinking. I took on the challenge and fell in love. So much in love that when I was offered a targeted graduate position at a mainstream primary school I turned it down.
I have held roles of classroom teacher, Head teacher, Assistant Principal and my current role of Principal all in NSW government schools. I am substantive at a special school in Glenfield (Sydney) but am currently relieving at a mainstream primary school and loving it! I don’t know what my future holds but I do know that it will be working with kids in some way. Watching them grow learn and develop their own passions is what gets me out of bed every day.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I will always admire my first principal, to this day I still often think ‘what would Anne do in this situation?’. Being a teacher is so dynamic, every day brings new challenges and I like that, it is never boring and brings with it many opportunities for growth and to assist in the growth of others. What more could one person want?
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The constant often inaccurate media coverage that seems to be occurring is an ongoing challenge. We get such a bad rap sometimes and it is most definitely not founded. Public School teachers are the hardest working group of people that I know and I admire each and every one of them for stepping up to the plate each day.
The biggest rewards I can identify would be the
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would ensure that the NERA (Gonski) funding finally makes it way in to special schools. They currently do not receive the equity loadings that mainstream schools do even though we enrol and teach some if the toughest students in the State.
My daughter just sat the HSC. That is something else that needs some work. So much stress, and for what? A piece of paper? Understanding that now students can gain access to University courses without an ATAR is this really the way of the future?
I would do away with private schools- parents should expect, know and understand that they will receive an amazing free education at any school across the state regardless of postcode.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz is an amazing platform to bring together educators from across the globe! What an amazing opportunity that is- to share and collaborate on practice with college us you have never ad may never meet face to face.
This week it is my hope to engage as many people as possible in relevant educational conversations, share my thoughts and practices and make new friends!

Please welcome back this week’s host Jason Borton

I’m an educator at heart. I have been at school my entire life having left school to go onto university and then back to the classroom as a teacher.
I am born and bred in Sydney and went to Asquith Boys High School before heading to the University of Technology for my teacher training. My professional journey began with a phone call on the Friday before school started in 1996 with an offer to start work in Canberra on a K/1 class the following Monday. I packed all of my belongings into my car and headed off on an adventure. To be honest I had no idea what I was doing and spent most of that first year copying my experienced colleague in the classroom next door. She was a life saver and didn’t even know it.
After working for the next 15 years in seven different schools as a classroom teacher and school leader I spent the last 5 years as the Principal of Richardson Primary School. In September last year I won the position of Director, Learning and Teaching in the ACT Education Directorate. I am very much missing being in the school environment but at the same time relishing the challenge that my current role is offering.
I think there are a number of major issues facing education in the current climate. The two biggest ones are
– the focus on high stakes standardised testing
– non-educators dominating the public discussion on education.

I hope to use this week to listen and learn from you all about some significant educational issues. I’m looking forward to the engagement and hope I can offer some value for you all.

You can read Jason’s previous blog post here.

Please Welcome this week’s host Dr David Zyngier

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  was a youth leader when I was in my teen and really loved the opportunity to work with young kids and help them become “themselves” and the best possible. I also adored my kindergarten teacher (crush crush!). I think I always wanted to be a teacher to put into action my commitment to social justice. I didn’t start teaching until I was 30 – the kids thought I was really experienced but didn’t know that I was a newbie! I started teaching in Melbourne Technical Schools where I worked with some of the most “difficult to teach” kids who were just fantastic once they realised that you were “genuinely” there for them. I was also very active in the various iterations of teacher unions – TTUV, VSTA and then AEU. I ended my school teaching career as a principal of a private school. Now that was a serious mistake! I then worked as an education consultant and developed the very important RUMad social justice program (http://afairerworld.org/makingadifference/). After that I then completed a Phd (2007) researching student engagement at Monash University where I have been researching and lecturing in curriculum & pedagogy since 2003. I am now co-director of the Global Doing Democracy Research Project (http://doingdemocracy.ning.com/)

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

The amazing teachers, student teachers and  kids in public schools who despite all the denigration form politicians are achieving amazing results.

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

The biggest reward is meeting one of your students years after you taught them and they tell you how important you were in their life. The biggest challenge is still  the same as always – remembering that for many kids you are THE difference. Politicians just don’;t understand this and want to blame teachers for their own policy failures.

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

Stop funding private schools. I would cease all public funds to elite private schools immediately and reduce other private school funds by 25%  per year until zero. I would raise the ATAR level for all potential early childhood and primary teachers to a minimum of 75 (with special exemptions for under represented schools, first in family and indigenous and remote students of course) and increase government funding to teacher education courses to all more clinical models to be implemented. I wold make 2 years of early childhood education free and compulsory and de-link year 12 results form university entrance.

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

I think EduTweetOz is a great forum for bringing committed and inspired educators together to share and support each other. I hope that I can assist this while at the helm

Please welcome Matt Scott tweeting from The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Conference in Dallas, Texas

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? 

I graduated from Temora High School in the Riverina, New South Wales in 1996. I spent 1997 beginning an Information Technology degree at Charles Sturt University – Wagga Wagga campus. I was unwell for the duration of 1998 and this gave me a lot of time to reflect on my disengagement in learning and the perception I had of its lack of usefulness in the real world.  The evaluation of this circumstance lead me to transfer into a Secondary Technology Education degree, with student engagement in the forefront of my thoughts. As I began to head into the STEM learning space from the technology area, I completed a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Education at the University of Newcastle.

What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I’ve been an Industrial Arts teacher at both Griffith and Deniliquin High Schools in south western New South Wales teaching a range of subjects, including Industrial Technology, Design and Technology and VET Metal and Engineering. I moved to The Canobolas Rural Technology High School to take the role of Head Teacher Industrial Arts and Computing. Since 2016 I have held the school funded role of Head Teacher STEM, managing our award winning STEM program, a program for all students in Years 7 and 8 in addition to their usual Science, Technology and Mathematics courses. Professionally developing other teachers to deliver our STEM course is very rewarding, and as a New South Wales Department of Education STEM Action Schools, we mentor schools at a strategic level to assist in developing their own STEM programs. Achieving the Public Education Foundation’s Secretary’s Commendation for the 2016 Secretary’s Award for an Outstanding School Initiative validated the work we’ve been doing in STEM for us.

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

Working to give our students opportunities to develop the skills they need to succeed in life after school, and experience things they may not get to in their everyday lives. Our students are faced with many challenges as a result of technology impacting their lives. 65% of jobs for current primary school students will apply for don’t exist yet (Intel, 2015) and 70% of young people enter the workforce in job that will be radically affected by automation (Foundation for Young Australians 2015). Working with the large number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students from families who have had a negative educational experiences is also challenging but comes with great reward.

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

One huge challenge for all secondary teachers is that students now have an Internet enabled computer in their pockets, giving instant access to knowledge that once schools were the custodians of. Pedagogy needs to shift from acquiring knowledge to the application of knowledge. Trying to teach a traditional knowledge-gaining lesson or activity can have a negative impact on student engagement. As a Technology teacher, easily the most rewarding part of my job is guiding students through the design process to construct something that they had planned in their heads in Design and Technology. Seeing what a young person can produce while designing, making and evaluating with the resources now available like laser cutting, Arduino controllers and 3D printing is amazing.

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

Despite being heavily invested in STEM in a secondary setting, I don’t believe that we need a STEM syllabus, rather than implementing cross-curriculum projects taking advantage of specialist teachers where possible which is the basis of most STEM models currently. Based on my experiences in primary and secondary STEM, I believe it sits best in a middle school situation in Year 5 -8. I also think that middle schools could be very well placed to support the educational and wellbeing needs of students

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

I found the use of Twitter priceless when developing out STEM curriculum at Canobolas, with the collegial nature of fellow STEM teachers sharing examples of best practice and innovative teaching ideas. Twitter also helped me source many contacts that have made a large part of my Premiers Scholarship study tour I am currently in the USA. This week I’ll be tweeting about my visit to the South Arkansas University STEM Centre in Magnolia Arkansas and attending 79thconference of The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association in Dallas, Texas this week.

TweetOz helps brings teachers together for informal, fast, professional learning and networking despite their geographic location. Many of us teachers can be time poor, and being able to follow a week in the life of other interesting Australian educators while having a cuppa on the couch is very informative.

Please welcome Louka Parry to EduTweetOz

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?
zhzor3ni
I choose to teach because education can transform the trajectories of young people – it’s the greatest social lever for change. Through my formative expriences as a young man, I came to deeply understand the power and opportunity that education gives to individuals and communities and opted to begin my official teaching career in a remote Indigenous community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands while taking every opportunity to learn my craft. It was supremely challenging and deeply rewarding. I had great support and developed quickly as a leader, becaming the principal at 27 years old after working to support teachers at a regional level. Although trained as a middle school teacher, I’ve taught from K – 12, acted as a regional mentor and studied two Masters degrees, one in Applied Linguistics and one in Instructional Leadership. I also spent some time in policy at the South Australia Department. In my current role at EC I’m best described as an adult educator I suppose, working with teachers, leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world. As Director of Programs, I endeavour to ensure every minute of our professional learning is engaging, relevant and enabling and I’ve loved the challenges thus far.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
The teachers and leaders I’m lucky to support most days. They are the true heroes of education, the anonymous extraordinaries, who work incredibly hard to be the key figure in the learning journey of their students. I love seeing a teacher or leader’s idea become reality and the positive impact that it makes on learning. I also love interacting with my network of curious, engaged educator colleagues on multiple platforms and geeking out on some research from education, psychology, linguistics, economics and policy.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The greatest challenge for educators is receiving and taking the time to be revolutionary not just reactionary. That’s difficult to achieve with an established status quo and the inertia from the set of expectations from the industrial model of education. The world has changed in profound ways and it’s education’s time to also transform. That will only come from empowering school leaders and teachers to make the change they wish to drive.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
In a sentence, I’d attempt to rehumanise education by personalising it.
First, totally rethink the ATAR regime to enable secondary teachers to have additional freedom to use their passion to teach. I’d also look to broadly transform assessment expectations to formative model based on developmental continua targeting students point of need, leveraging technology to make this happen. I’d find a way to schools to shift to deep learning, foregrounding the need for empathy, collaborative problem solving and curiosity. And I’d find a way to systemically support all teachers to continue to grow at every career stage, ensuring incredible teachers and great leaders. Ulitmately,
I’d love to raise the status of teachers so that is actually reflects the incredible dedication and hard work that it is.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz is a brilliant community of educators and it’s only through frank, focussed and respectful discussion that we can increase our collective understanding and make change happen. I hope to be able to throw out some interesting provocations and catalyse some practical insights over the week 🙂

2016, the year in review

2016 has seen a number of behind the scenes changes at EduTweetOz. The account’s original administrators Donelle Batty, Corinne Campbell and Michelle Hostrup chose to hand the reigns over to Jennifer English, Allison Fairey and Glenn Langford so they could focus on other projects including a return to school and two promotions. Mark Johnson also chose to hand over his administrator role and we thank him for all that he did in 2015 and 2016. The current administrators thank Donelle, Michelle and Corinne for having the brilliant idea to initiate and develop this account and wish them well in their future endeavours. The administration of this account is purely voluntary and the success of the account is due in no small part to the hours they spent developing and running EduTweetOz.

Allie, Glenn and I would like to wish all our followers a happy and healthy rest during the summer. The account will be resting until late January.

We would like to acknowledge all of the wonderful weekly hosts we have had this year and thank them for making EduTweetOz the amazing network of educators that it is. Below is a list of all of our 2016 hosts and a quote from those who answered our blog questions about what EduTweetOz is.

@mauriziovespa  Maurizio Vespa

I believe EduTweetOz provides an opportunity to share people’s expertise and life experiences:

  • Opportunity to share knowledge
  • Inspires dialogue and fuels critical thinking
  • Builds relationships and broadens our individual networks

@WesHeberlein Wes Heberlein

As more and more in education accept social media use in a professional capacity I see EduTweetOz playing a leadership role in connecting teachers and being a platform for shared discovery.

@shortcomp Kelly Bauer

EduTweetOz, to me, is a form of professional development, and the idea of having guest tweeters means that there is constantly a different perspective of education presented.

@robbielove79 Robert Love

I see EduTweetOz as playing a vital role in connecting teachers and leaders to share good practice and challenge our individual conceptions of education.

@rtillsley Robert Tillsley

I see EduTweetOz as being vital for the cross-pollination of ideas. Teachers, principals and more have taken to twitter to support each other to be better educators.

@hostbrian Brian Host

I have seen twitter over the past five years become a way educators can create a culture of guerrilla professional development. EduTweetOz has been one of the longest standing institutions in the twitter sphere for education in Australia and I am proud to continue on its heritage.

@nickpastianas Nick Patsianas

@TiffanySinton Tiffany Sinton 

@kimbowa Kim Flintoff

@JoelBSperanza Joel Speranza

I’m relatively new to twitter but I have loved following EduTweetOz from the moment I joined. Each new curator has offered a unique perspective and each has shared their passions and broadened my views as a result.

@Lilylauren Lauren Sayer

I see EdutweetOz playing a huge role in the flattening of educational structures so that everyone gets the chance to share their ideas and innovate.  I think that Edutweetoz allows the Australian educational community to embrace the collective genius and begin to design new ideas that change bring about collective change.

@Kazegraham Karen Graham

EduTweetOz is exactly what I value in education. Collaboration. A platform to share and be connected. Everybody is on an equal platform with all opinions valued.

@jjash Jenny Ashby

EdutweetOZ can be a place where liked minded people come together and share ideas, inspire, question and discuss all things about learning.

@asteroidproject Damian Marley

@pipcleaves Pip Cleaves

@gabrielletrinca Gabrielle Trinca

@nichall17 Nic Hall

EduTweetOz gives teachers the opportunity to share their passions. It provides a platform where teachers can explore what is going on around them, discussing ideas, sharing successes, lamenting failures, but most importantly giving each other encouragement. EduTweetOz gives a voice to teachers like myself.

@drnomyn Naomi Barnes

@MatthewBeggs Matthew Beggs

I think EduTweetOz not only helps provide a chance for teachers to interact with each other but it also provides us with opportunities to see us as people. I think sometimes we can get so bogged down in our working life that we can forget to actually remember that we are people as well, with our own things that makes us tick and drive us. I think I just want to find the things that make us inside and outside the classroom, as if we can have a greater understanding and acceptance of the varied experiences that we have, it ultimately gives us a greater appreciation of the things that make every single stakeholder in the educational experience tick.

@reemeyers Sherrie Myers

EduTweetOz provides a platform to share, inform and discuss on education.

@elketeaches Elke Schneider

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.

@janiekibble Jane Kibble

It’s always interesting to read of people’s special interests and the teaching and learning environments that they exist in. This account allows people to showcase their passions and their special skills.

@robbielove79,   @misscmorrison Robert Love and Chantelle Morrison

C: I’m excited about the collaboration and networking – we’re all in this together!

@mrascience Vatche Ansourian

EduTweetOz allows educators a powerful platform to be able to discuss and bring up issues in education. It is a wonderful way to showcase what teachers are doing and allow them to voice their concerns and thoughts in a safe place.

@aly_ciab9 Alycia Bermingham

The varied discussions are so tremendously important to opening eyes and minds to new perspectives.

@michelle_neil Michelle Neil

I see EduTweetOz as being that stepping stone to collaboration, particularly  in STEM vs education. There are a LOT of scientists and science communicators here on Twitter.

@yvetteposh  Yvette Poshoglian

My teaching eyes were opened when I began using twitter as a learning and networking tool. While working with pre-service teachers finishing their university studies, I implored them to join twitter and underscored how important social media is in developing their networks and in particular how useful threads like #edutweetoz are. I have met loads of colleagues through twitter who I now work with in a professional capacity. The movers and shakers in our profession are on twitter. The conversation is happening right here.

@violet_verbena Violet Verbena

@DALynch46 Danielle Lynch

@wrenasmir Craig Smith

I feel that EduTweetOz provides a valuable opportunity to keep the momentum of dialogue going week to week between all tweeting teachers in Australia. We all need to keep talking, keep thinking, keep identifying needs and conjuring solutions, and initiatives like EduTweetOz I feel are helping work towards this.

@angelaryall93  Angela Ryan

@OliviaIlic Olivia Ilic

@EduTweetOz is about dialogue.

@eduemum Sally-Anne Robertson

EduTweetOz is a fabulous resource for bringing together educators in a non-commercial, collegial manner. I love that each week we are introduced to others who are involved in education who bring their various backgrounds, experiences and opinions to the “Twitter table”.

@joclyne1 Jo Clyne

I love twitter as an educational networking tool. I’m excited that through accounts like EduTweetsOz educators can access an international peer group to provide ideas, support and encouragement for their teaching practice.

@mrkrndvs Aaron Davis

Giving voice to some of the amazing educators on the web.

@aliceleung Alice Leung

EduTweetOz is a great way for teachers to share their passion of teaching and learning with the wider Australian community and the wider global community.

@jimlloyd82 Jim Lloyd

The account is a great idea, and has had many great educators as host during my time on Twitter. It’s a good forum for hearing from a variety of different educators (something I value highly – vive la difference!).

@debsnet Deborah Netolicky

I find EduTweetOz a wonderful opportunity to get to know a range of Australian educators by experiencing their ways of hosting the account and engaging with their diverse interests and approaches.

While I think the power of EduTweetOz is in the community, not the host.

@scottmillmanEDU Scott Millman

EduTweetOz was one of the first accounts I followed when I joined Twitter, and I love the shared experience. Twitter debates can be vicious and polarising (I’m looking at you, Angry British EduTwitter), so it’s nice that Australian educators have this shared account that values collegiality, community and connection. (I mean, EduTweetUK would last about a minute!)

I recently said that EduTweetOz is a great way to taste someone’s brain and decide if you want a second helping.

@wentale Wendy Taleo

@benjaminzonca1 Ben Zonca

Keeping the conversation going, whatever that conversation may be, is incredibly important, and EduTweetzOz is the perfect platform for a diverse selection of educators to do exactly that. Giving a voice to teachers brings them out of their individual context, offering both the host account, and those they interact with a chance to challenge perspectives, be challenged themselves, and to strengthen the Twitter’s educational community.

@annadelconte Anne Van Der Graaf

EduTweetOz helps keep teachers informed about educational issues in Australia. It is a support network and a forum for teasing out ideas.

Please welcome this week’s host Deborah Netolicky @debsnet

debnetolicky
Dr Deborah Netolicky

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 been in education since I began teaching almost 17 years ago. An English and Literature teacher by trade, I also have a background in Fine Art. I have taught in Perth, Melbourne and London and have led English faculties in three Australian schools. More recently, I have managed school-based strategic projects in the arenas of professional learning, coaching, capacity development and continuous improvement. Over the last few years I have been leading a whole-school coaching and professional learning intervention at an independent school in Perth.

This year—after three and a half years of juggling full-time doctoral study, a 0.8 FTE school role and parenting two young boys—I completed my PhD with Murdoch University. My doctoral thesis used a slightly off-the-wall approach to narrative research to explore what experiences transform educators’ identities, beliefs and practices.

I enjoy sharing my work, research and personal journey through various platforms including Twitter, my blog www.theeduflaneuse.com, at national and international conferences, through my PhD thesis, and in peer-reviewed academic journals. I have also contributed pieces to other digital sites such news and views site The Conversation, and international blogs such as Times Higher EducationPhdTalk and Heutagogy CoP. Some of my own best learning happens as a result of connections and conversations that arise from connecting with educators from around the world.

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

Ultimately, education is about the student. I’m motivated by each child I influence, whether through teaching in the classroom, working in leadership in schools, or contributing to online and academic narratives about education and where it’s headed.

I am also deeply invested in the learning, growth and wellbeing of teachers and school leaders. They are the people in our schools charged with leading the learning, thinking, doing and being of students.

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

After the US election result this week, I’m reminded more than ever of the responsibility educators have to help young people become good humans. Our most gratifying rewards and toughest challenges lie in helping to develop knowledgeable, skeptical, skilled, kind, compassionate, generous individuals who advocate for and serve others, question inequities and are empowered to use their own gifts for a greater good.

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

The Coalition government’s dismissal of Gonski, and its attempts to discredit, undermine and slash funding from it, are harmful for Australian education. We need government to take seriously the need for fair, equitable, generous funding for schools. We also need our government to value higher education, including science, research and post-graduate study.

I also feel strongly that education policies and practices need to trust, support and grow teachers, rather than measure, reward and punish them against unreliable or limited benchmarks.

One thing I love about Twitter is that it moves us away from a silo mentality to one of collaboration across schools and systems. Sharing and giving back, especially by those schools that are the most privileged or well-funded, positively impacts education in Australia.

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

I find EduTweetOz a wonderful opportunity to get to know a range of Australian educators by experiencing their ways of hosting the account and engaging with their diverse interests and approaches.

As host this week I’m looking forward to connecting with people who might not yet be in my network and to sharing with the EduTwetOz community some of the voices in my PLN from whom I gain the most.

While I think the power of EduTweetOz is in the community, not the host, I will no doubt explore my own passions of coaching, professional learning, research and literature. As part of the ‘Flip the System’ movement that advocates for bottom-up and middle-out change, I’ll probably continue to advocate for change driven by those with tangible and tacit knowledge of our schools. I’ll also perhaps reveal my fondness using research literature and methodologies to inform educators’ work and decision making. My inner English teacher and narrative researcher will be drawn to sharing some of my own stories this week. I’m looking forward to it!

This week’s host is Jim Lloyd @jimlloyd82

img_1015Please 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?

Both my parents were art teachers  (one is now a professor), so that was an influence. At school I considered pursuing careers in acting and law, and even biology at one point. In the end, I felt I needed a career that allowed me to keep learning and developing in many different areas and benefited society, rather than lining the pockets of a CEO.
I started off as a generalist primary teacher, and gradually became a high school teacher (via middle school!). I have taught in Special Education contexts, a brief stint as a PE teacher, Year 7 Core (Maths/Science) but mostly 7-12 IT and middle years maths. I completed my Master of Education early in my career, via research pathway. I have also done sessional tutoring and casual marking for QUT and USQ within the education faculties. I am starting my Master of Information Technology degree next week.
I am currently employed as a secondary teacher of Information Technology and Mathematics at an independent girls’ school in Brisbane. I have been there for 5 years. I hope to move into a PAR role soon in my career.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I am very fortunate to have a dedicated and supportive HoD, as well as highly-skilled colleagues. Nothing quite inspires me as much as my students though – I need to be the best I can for them. My family is always very supportive of my doing online PD courses or going to conferences, so I’d better mention them too.

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

The reward is that look on the kid’s face when they spell the word/solve the equation/get the robot to move/find the bug in the code/apply the last dash of acrylic to the canvas etc. That’s why we keep turning up each day. What else is more important?
I can’t provide anything new in regards to ‘challenges’; my main bugbear is that educators will never cease getting it in the neck from those who wouldn’t know. I liken it to me walking onto a building site and telling the foreman how to best do their job.

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

Remove high-stakes tests (from all areas). Give everyone a breather from NAPLAN. Tell people to stop taking PISA as gospel.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

The account is a great idea, and has had many great educators as host during my time on Twitter. It’s a good forum for hearing from a variety of different educators (something I value highly – vive la difference!). I hope I can make a few new connections and maybe get in a shameless plug for my book… 😉