Welcome to my blog.
My name is Kathy Turley and I am working at Port Elliot Primary School in South Australia. My role at the school is ICT- Rich Pedagogy Coordinator and Year 6/7 classroom teacher. I love teaching and I think that it is one of the best jobs in the world. Working with young people is both challenging and rewarding. Children will surprise, inspire and challenge you everyday. They appreciate honesty and want you to show that you care about them. I want to make a difference to every child that I teach and for every child to feel like I am interested in what they do and say.
2012 is my first year of a three year position as ICT-Rich Pedagogy Coordinator. This role involves me supporting teachers at Port Elliot Primary in developing ICT-Rich learning environments, sharing and encouraging teachers to take up new technologies that can benefit engagement and learning such as Ipads, IWB, interactive websites, digital and flip cameras, etc. My key message to teachers is to always question why and does the use of technology in this lesson help students learn or engage with their learning and to remember that it it not the technology that makes the difference but the the way that you use it!
During the July school holidays I was fortunate enough to attend the Computers In Education Group 2012 State Conference: ICT and Pedagogy Partnerships. I plan on blogging about some of the different sessions that I attended as a way of starting my blogging journey. The first Keynote Speaker, George Couros, was inspirational and thought provoking. His session was titled “Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age” and his key message was “Learn, Connect, Humanize”. In this one hour presentation I wanted to learn how, as a teacher, I can connect and engage with my students and school community more. George challenged me to think about how I was doing this and although I had started a blog and was using it in my class it wasn’t quite connecting the way I had wanted. I wanted my blog to be more of a professional connection that I could have with students, parents, fellow works and educators worldwide but I didn’t want to try to write or maintain four different blogs. I slowly began to realise that I can do all of this on one blog, hence, my teaching travels!
Another aspect of ‘connect’ that finally connected with me through this conference was twitter. I had dabbled in twitter before this conference but couldn’t quite understand how it would benefit me and why I should be a part of another social media network. After listening to George’s keynote I started to send out “tweets” and was delighted to see people responding, retweeting and mentioning my tweets and became more confident. I started ‘following’ people in the room (on twitter not literally) and began to realise that I was connected to these people in a way that I would not be if I was not a part of these twitter conversations. Since the conference I have continued to tweet and retweet. A fantastic presenter and blogger, Selena Woodward, has summed up the connection that was made through Twitter perfectly in her blog post, Tweet with the Personal Touch.
I am keen to continue and develop these connections that I have made through the conference, blogging and twitter and hope that you will join me every now and then on ‘My Teaching Travels’.