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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I became a teacher via a round-about route, including careers in the Australian Defence Force and a venture building and hosting websites when such things were still considered out of the ordinary. Although I stumbled into teaching, I quickly found that I wanted to make a career out of it, motivated and inspired in equal measure by the enthusiasm that students bring to their lives and their work.
I was lucky enough to spend a sizeable part of my career at schools that have had 1:1 laptop programs, and so I've been immersed in the frustrations and possibilities of ICT and education from the start. One of the highlights of my career was seeing an autistic boy present to his classmates his stop-motion film - a product that would never have been possible without the use of technology. This is one of the key features of technology, I believe - the capacity to communicate with more people, more effectively.
Recently, I have become an Apple Distinguished Educator, and I've become especially interested in the uses of hand held technologies in learning. I've enjoyed developing apps for the iPhone, and I'm trialling using iPhones in an educational setting at the moment, with a number of Vocational Education students. It's very exciting, and I hope to share the findings soon.
Since starting my career teaching in England, I've worked in two 1:1 laptop schools. One of these had a PC program, and also a PDA program for younger students, while recently I worked in a school that made use of Macbooks.
My primary interest lies in the way that technology allows for greater communication between the stakeholders of a school and wider community. I believe that technology also allows us to create authentic learning, in a real-world environment, with input from experts from around the globe. I'm also interested in the development of online learning platforms.
Recently, I worked on developing an interdisciplinary, online curriculum for students in years 7 - 10. As a Leader of Learning, I was responsible for developing programs of study that reflected a combined theme, as well as made use of technology in a forward thinking and dynamic way. I particularly enjoyed creating films and podcasts with the students.
I am now exploring the opportunities afforded by handheld devices - like the iPhone - in an educational setting, with a trial group of 50 year 11 students, utilising custom-built applications.
Finally, I am also working on my doctorate, which is entitled, 'Possibilities and Challenges for Citizenship Education in the Digital Age for Australian Stage 5 Students.'
See 'The Avatar Project' in the E-Journal.
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