Friday, 15 February 2013

Why I heart instagram as a learning space. Instagram in education.

A few weeks ago Matt Esterman @mesterman asked if I was interested in presenting at a #teachmeet in Brighton, UK. I heart teachmeets and have written a few posts about them (see Crestwood teachmeet,  Abbotsleigh Teachmeet and Overwhelmingly grand PD) I am a teachmeet addict and have attended numerous local ones. I also enjoy "attending" International teachmeets via livemeeting, adobeconnect and blackboard collaborate. I have also presented at these (see International teachmeet March 2012 and Livemeeting-International teachmeet 2011)  The slide to the left and many in this post, where taken from a #studentmeet at SHORE in 2012 hosted by @cpaterso.

Today I will be sharing my love for Instagram as a learning space with our friends at #teachmeet at City College Brighton, England and Hove  Follow the #ccbshare (UK)  As you can see below, we are physically separated by a vast distance, yet we can still share together- this is the world of social media and in in this case; instagram.

Sharing and learning online, anytime, anywhere about YOUR passions and interests. 

What distance? 

Martyn Howe is the Head of Teaching and Learning Development and organising this event, alongside Andy Clowe (Technical) and Ian Sanders (Application Developer E-Learning City College Brighton).

Students are already in this space, yet who is monitoring and mentoring re correct usage? Social etiquette must also be modelled and taught. Students are very responsive to this guidance. They want to learn, continue interacting in their beloved spaces and get involved. Belong.

Instagram is an online photo sharing and social networking space.  We also use it for messages, notes, reminders, celebration and inspiration. The opportunities and potential for an application such as instagram is exciting and promising.

Read about the benefits of Instagram here and to check out the challenge we have set in 2012, read here.  Schools around the world have accepted our challenge and have created an instagram account to share our learning journey with each other.  Some are listed below:
@foodatwilliamhowardschool (no pics as yet but looking forward to it!)

#culinaryarts teachers on instagram: 
@msedstrom @dnembhard43 @teachertong @mslabossiere @yr9foodtech @carly_hart

Connections made with these schools, educators and students alike have been both enriching and rewarding!  It is wonderful to connect with so many like minded individuals!

Instagram is now online! Check out our account here: @foodatoakhill A month ago, accessing instagram was mainly via mobile devices with ios and android operating systems (FREE apps: see here for links Google play and itunes store).  Ink361 also provided a great service, connecting your account PC viewing.


Benefits as an educator:
  • Instant feedback for students AND teacher! #sharethelove #affirmation #confirmation
  • If students travel or away for sickness etc they can keep in touch with happenings in the classroom.
  • It is free and available across many platforms. #easilyaccessibletomany
  • use of apps such as Versagram to relay messages and information (other apps we use are in linked posts above)
  • documents learning and development
  • Share with parent community
  • inspiration via # eg #literacy #geography #theatre #novels #foodindustry #graphicdesign 
  • visual inspiration (between classes, schools, countries -> #staplefoods
  • showcasing product development (greentea kitkat and our student masterchef challenge)

  • Authentic learning opportunities #nutritionalists #testkitchens #magazines #printmedia Real world experiences and career opportunities and ideas.

  • Connect with my own students (their world) other students and other educators #community
  • Share our world and yours #culture

  • Evaluate success of instagramming for learning and exploring. 

  • Like pinterest, access to ideas, resources, links etc using # (#api Australian food industry #labelling #foodlaws #foodsafety)

  • Messages, reminders, Quotes, challenges, birthday messages, welcomes #limitedbyyourimaginationonly

And that is why I 

the use of instagram!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Dux's address.

Allow me to introduce you to the Currents first ever guest post author; Nick Miltchinov.
Nick is an insightful young man who deserves every accolade for his commitment to learning and success. He is to be congratulated on earning the School Dux, 2012.  

I will allow Nick's address to speak for itself. He is happy to reply to any comments posted below.  

Nick Miltchinov, 2013

Good morning { staff, students and special guests }
Before appearing to you today, I was faced with the difficult task of deciding how I would tackle this speech, and I concluded that, rather than approach you as dux or as a past student, I would instead address you as an ambassador of thought. So with that in mind, I’d like you to consider something as you sit here right now: are you, in this moment, even as you listen to me speak, aware of yourself; do you hear yourself thinking; can you feel the space you occupy. Keep this notion in the back of your mind because I want to revisit it later on.

For now however, I’d like to personally congratulate you all on starting yet another wonderful year at Oakhill. For many of you this marks the start of a whole new adventure, one filled with new friendships, new excitements and new experiences. For most others, this year is but a stepping stone in your continual climb through high-school life. And for some, this will be your final and most difficult year of all. 

It is for this reason that I wish to impart you all with some words of wisdom and some advice for the year ahead. However, I do not intend to lecture you with cliché tips or tricks, rather what I want to offer you today is a mentality; a mentality that, not only works for becoming a better student, but also for becoming a fuller individual in general.  

The first step is to stop binding yourself to the idea that everything in this world is a given and therefore dismissible part of everyday life. It is too often that we close ourselves in on this presumption, becoming unappreciative of both the physical and human settings we exist in. So you need to learn to be able to step out of yourself, to dislodge yourself from your perceptions and to become an observer; a questioner.

Only through this will you be able to become a creator: a creator of art, of books, of scientific or technological innovation, of architecture, of food; a creator of history. - Your history, a history that others will look back on, a history that will inspire generations to come. And it all starts with noticing, contemplating and appreciating the smallest of things that life has to offer.

The second step is to have faith in yourself and in the potential that resides within you. Too often I’ve seen people discourage themselves by saying ‘if only I had learnt to do so-and-so at a young age’ or ‘I tried to be so-and-so, but I wasn’t good enough’. To that I say the only thing that really stops you is the limits you put on yourself. So don’t underestimate your potential, but also don’t make excuses for not having the desire, will or passion to begin or to carry something through.  -Like before, those things only come from giving value and having an appreciation for yourself. 

Always remain a lucid thinker – and I can’t stress how important this point is. Thinking, wondering and understanding are all acts at the fibre of our being; to stop these is to impede the evolution of ourselves and of our world. Without them, we become artificial, and life becomes mundane. So remember to always look at the world with eyes of fascination, and remember that the thought is the melody of the mind – the more you tune it, the more harmonious, pristine and unhindered it will become.

And lastly, to the Yr 12s: the HSC will undeniably challenge you, but the greater the risk, the greater the reward. This is the year you will grow most exponentially, so to make sure you reap the greatest  benefit, try to always extend yourself beyond the expectations of your teachers, parents, syllabus and most importantly, of your own.   

For it is now time you learnt to love and to appreciate what you study, not because it’s a current requirement, but because doing so leads to the betterment and enrichment of your self – and isn’t that truly the real goal in life.

As I conclude, I wish to touch upon the notion I presented at the beginning of this speech, and I’m certain all of you can relate to and understand the sensation of being alive and of being conscious that I then described. So I’ll say it simply: relish that sensation. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often forget that we all hold on to that special force. So, take moments from your day to be aware of it; to be proud of it; to appreciate it, and so -
Never once stop thinking – you are alive, go and make the most of it!
Thank you very much. I wish you all the best for the year ahead.