The conference that was…

This post appeared on the CEGSA site after the CEGSA2012 state conference in July.

The CEGSA2012 conference is over for another year but the difference this year is that it is not over as the buzz from the conference is still happening well after the event!

Let me start by saying how wonderful it was to see people face to face having a wonderful time connecting with like minded peers who challenge one another’s ideas. The community feel of the conference was palpable and our community is thriving like never before. There was an excitement in the air which was started by our amazing keynote George Couros, from Canada, who challenged people to share online and to connect! He engaged the audience as only George could,  through his questions, personal stories and animated examples of social media. People got into the spirit by joining Twitter, starting blogs and extending well-established networks.The buzz continues online and myself and others are compelled to be part of it.

For two full days, conference delegates were immersed in amazing presentations and workshops across a broad range of topics that appealed to our varied member’s needs. Our keynotes presented back to back workshops and sessions which gave many of our delegates a chance to really connect with them.

After their keynote presentations, our speakers mingled freely with delegates and and were extremely approachable. They were always happy to chat and attended sessions along with everyone else.  Tony Bryant shared the amazing transformation of his school, Silverton Primary School in Victoria. Professor Glenn Finger presented about TPACK and the responses to critical challenges for schools. Margot Foster and Ruth Motley explored the relationship between 21C pedagogy through the SA Teaching for Effective Learning Framework (TfEL); the Australian Curriculum; and digital technologies. George Couros presented more workshops over both days of the conference on getting started with Twitter, blogs as learning portfolios and digital footprints.

As the convener  I felt so privileged that our CEGSA2012 conference attracted local, interstate and international keynote presenters who are leading the way in their areas. We thank them for their willingness to be totally part of our conference and for being so approachable and gracious. The conference wouldn’t have been so successful if it wasn’t for our exceptional members – without your support we wouldn’t have a conference. Behind every great conference is a hard working organising committee and a wonderful band of volunteers – thank you to all of you.

This year’s conference was one of our biggest in a long time and we are planning to keep the momentum going with our online connections through social media. See you all in 2013!

Shine a light…

My students never cease to amaze me!

On Friday afternoon while we were packing up the classroom, I was chatting with a group of my Year 1/2 students about our day. They were saying things like “We had fun” and “We were busy” but one of my quieter students said “Tina, we need to shine a light”. I stopped for a minute to try and figure out where he was coming from but I guessed that it was related to our morning singing. I asked him what he meant and he explained that one of our class members was having a lot of difficulty with school and that we needed to help her and ‘shine a light’. I asked if this came from our song, ‘Try a little kindness’ and he replied “Yes. It says ‘don’t walk around the down and out’ and to ‘shine a light’. So we need to shine a light and then we will help her be better at school.”

I was so touched by his degree of caring and that he really took in the words of the song that we have sung many times this year. It was also affirming that he was able to share his thoughts in such an insightful way – he thought very deeply about the situation and came up with a meaningful solution – all from the words of a song!

I have always believed in the power of music and the important role that the Arts have in our curriculum. We are all unique learners and this student showed me that he was thinking outside the box and on a deep level.

I acknowledged his positive approach to someone in need and for being such a caring class member. I am now thinking through how to indeed ‘shine a light for everyone to see’. It was one of those moments that makes you stop and think, “Yes, I am making a difference and together, with my students, we can achieve amazing things!”
I love my job!

Guess the date?

I can’t believe it has been so long since I started this blog! I have fallen victim to having too many new cybertoys to play with and not having enough time to explore them properly. What do I mean by this? I’ll try to explain…

I love being online and interacting with amazing people, whether they are in my field of education or just out there in cyberworld. I have learned so much about life just by interacting online and I love it! However, along with great global interactions come the great things that people are doing ‘out there’ and it’s fantastic when they share what they are doing and the great resources that they are doing it ‘with’. For example, I logged onto Twitter today and caught the tail end of the Qsite 2009 conference #qsite09. It was amazing to use Ustream and to be part of the action even though we are at opposite ends of Australia.

I also read Pam Thompson’s latest class blog entry, which was wonderful and inspired me to check out my ‘blog’ !

Pam also gave a link for ‘smilebox’ :

It is a nifty little application that does amazing things with photos and it is free!

 I could keep going with my online tangents but the real world beckons at the moment…I will be back.


 I can’t believe that I wrote that back in 2009! Where has the time gone? Not much has changed since I wrote that as I still love being online and connecting with people all around the world. I now have a richer PLN and I share as much of what I am doing as I can.

Making connections

I have been very fortunate in my travels as an educator and I have made some amazing connections over the years. I have decided to pursue my “Global Connections” blog as I would like to share some of these wonderful experiences online.
I love travelling and I love exploring so it only makes sense that I love geography and the wonder of our world. This year, I am sharing a Year 1/2 class and on Thursday afternoons we are exploring and wondering about our world.

One of my students summed it up well by stating to the class…It’s the world and it’s ALL geography!