Slipping into change

Here we are in 2011, and as usual a new year brings with it surprises and the opportunities for change. I have been very busy one way or another preparing for some personal change as I get myself ready for  full-time work as Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University.

You know it’s really happening when you receive a proof of your business card – which will be ready for me to collect when I travel down to Wagga Wagga in February (though I will be based in Sydney most of the time).

I am a little nervous, but also excited about this change. I know I will really enjoy the opportunity to spend more time engaging at a professional level with people involved in the information profession in education, school, community and service sectors.

I have some outstanding colleagues in the field, both within Charles Sturt University, and at other universities here in Australia and worldwide.  I can’t wait to interact with them, and learn from their wisdom and experience.

I want to mention four of them (there ARE many others!), as they have been involved in key stages  towards this new venture of mine.

Michael Stephens at Tame the Web has been an inspiration  for many years (he also wrote the Forward for Connect, Communicate, Collaborate), and an awesome role model for a new lecturer in this discipline :-)  Thanks Michael!

Some time along the way, I met James Herring from Dunbar Scotland who  now teaches  at  CSU. He got me involved in some adjunct work in Teacher Librarianship.

I have also been encouraged by Lyn Hay, especially in exploration of teaching to library students in virtual worlds and uses of social networking for learning.

Of course, Kathryn Greenhill never stops inspiring me!  No sooner had I started blogging, than she was there to encourage. Her work continues to drive the future directions of information knowledge work, and since she is also now working as an Associate Lecturer in Information Studies  at  Curtin University there’ll be virtually nothing to stop us!  (well, she is in Western Australia, and I’m in Sydney)

So there it is!  New directions, and new challenges for 2011.  I have travelled such a journey in my own career – from typing catalogue cards in the Rare Book Library at the University of Sydney (my first ever library job- see the gorgeous Book of Hours that came into the collection when I was there )  – to teaching and learning with new and evolving information professionals.

From a world of books to a world transmedia and transliteracy  – who could ask for more?

I’ll be teaching the following subjects:  Services to Children and Young Adults;  Digital Citizenship in Schools;  and  Teacher Librarianship.

I’m also going to be  involved in a number of workshops, conference presentations, and more.  It is a great opportunity to be able to share ideas, knowledge, experience, and be involved in planning and development of knowledge services and information curation in real and virtual/online environments.  It’s just awesome to have these bookings in my professional calendar already!

What can I say??  It’s astounding how much change has taken place – and I love every minute of it!!

What matters more than your talents?

Inspiration and passion – that’s what we want to ignite in our students, isn’t it? I am not sure how often we succeed, especially when we are locked into rigid curriculum ‘must do’ topics by state syllabus directives.

But at the end of the day, talent must be nurtured and passion must be ignited and recognised for it’s true worth.

Thanks to an alert from one of my inspirational friends on Facebook – Buffy Gunter Hamilton of the inspirational The Unquiet Librarian – I was able to listen to Amazon founder, Jeff Bezoz,  address new Princeton graduates.

He makes the case that our character is reflected not in the gifts we’re endowed with at birth, but by the choices we make over the course of a lifetime. As founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos defined online shopping and rewrote the rules of commerce, ushering in a new era in business. This is testament to his belief that talent and passionate choices go hand in hand!

Now I’m never going to ‘invent’ anything!  But Jeff ‘s address has inspired me to revisit my talents and look for new inspiration in my own professional goals, and to try and bring a little more inspiration into my daily teaching interactions with my students!

Excellence at ISTE 2010

Several intrepid educators have travelled across to Denver, Colorado  from various parts of Australia to attend one of the world’s leading conferences for learning and teaching with technology.

The conference  “Exploring Excellence” hosted by the International Society for Technology in Education is of a scale and variety that is never experienced here in Australia. Amazingly this conference gets underway a good day before the official launch.

Edubloggercon2010 was (as always) a totally crowd-sourced “unconference” event – built in the lead up to Saturday on a wiki, then finally voted upon and organized at the start of the day for the full day’s of busy activities. A list of of the shared link. My completely favourite fun session is always the Web 2.0 smack down of new media tools. Check them out and what others are saying.  We could really enjoy doing this for even longer than an hour – it’s just fabulous to get recommendations from practitioners. Overall,  it is amazing to see such grassroots activity resulting in such quality information.

Thanks to Scott Merrik for hosting a lovely evening at his brother’s home. So nice to spend time with Virtual Worlds educators, and to experience a little of Denver home life. I remember the first time I met Scott in ISTE island a few years back – and for his welcoming patience to a ‘newbie’ SecondLifer. 

The Opening Keynote on Sunday evening  by Jean-François Rischard of the World Bank  was a little disappointing – but the shared camaraderie of the crowd at the Bloggers Cafe certainly made up for this in spades. Nuts were shared, jokes were cracked, pictures were snapped, and Twitter humor abounded!

It’s my second trip to an ISTE international conference. It promises to be yet another inspirational conference.  I met one wonderful teacher – three years in the profession, three conferences at which she presented, and engaged in amazing innovation at her school. What an inspiration!

Technology innovation is everywhere! Already we have heard from schools that are integrating iTouch devices and now iPads into their overall curriculum delivery. This is very different to Australian schools who are stumped by network issues. Perhaps more of us should be at conferences like this to bump innovation along by disseminating crowd-sourced solutions to similar problems. This is where a personal learning network comes into it’s own. Someone can always help provide ideas and solutions.

I’m looking forward to learning more, interacting with old friends and new, and being excited about the future of learning. The program ‘at a glance’ gives a peep into the possibilities at ISTE2010.

If you dropped into my session on Monday, here is my presentation for review.