Showing posts from February, 2007

Education carnival 107th edition

Take a look at the education carnival, edition 107. It is hosted by Elementaryhistoryteacher. As you might expect, there's something in it for everyone interested in education on the blogosphere.


My first educational podcast - what the students did not say

Last Thursday I fiddled with Audacity on my PC and made my first audio cast for my Year 11 IT class. The next day I was full of anticipation. They listened to it, and here are the things they did not say:
Wow, Mr Elias, I didn't know you were so talented.I will listen to this on the treadmill tonight.I have never understood so many concepts in so little time.Mr Elias, you have a great recording voice. You should be on radio.
All the same, I felt that it worked really well. The students had been praying with a friend who lost her father, just before my class. They arrived at different times and were feeling understandably upset. The fact that they could start listening whenever they arrived really helped. They also laughed at my joke, which is always a good thing! Here are some of the things they did say:
It was easier to understand than the textbook.Use music to break up the sections.Don't make it so long, it gets boring.
So, the next time I podcast, I plan to keep it simple, use …

A national curriculum for Australia?

A debate is currently raging around whether or not Australia should have a national curriculum. At the moment, each state and territory has its own curriculum, starting age for students, assessment and reporting procedures.

Is the debate about politics or pedagogy? This was the question asked by Australia Talks, a Radio National program. As guests, they had Kevin Donnelly, the voice of the "back to basics" movement, an articulate professor, and Andrew Blair, the president of the Australian Secondary Principals Association. It is just as well that I cannot remember the name of the professor, as he was so un-Australian as to dare argue about semantics. It should have been enough for this voice of the intellectual elite (two words which combine to form an insult in our society) to appear on a program which uses a pompous word like pedagogy in its title. Is there an emoticon that shows I am speaking with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek?

What is clear is that the debate is ma…

The first week back

Two weeks, one with students, have passed in a short term of eight weeks. My homeroom seems great. Despite having many students who were leaders in their Primary school, there is little evidence of groups forming around these leaders or any objectionable behaviour. My other classes are also going well, which is not surprising at this time of the year. It usually takes our girls a couple of weeks before they feel comfortable enough to test the teacher. Even when they do, it is usually a case of chatting. We don't have many really mischievous students.

I have a greater number of integration students than ever before. I wonder how well I will do with them. I have a very competent aide in two of the classes.

Most interesting to me is the fact that one of my classes, a year 11 elective, has 13 students in it, 12 of whom I have taught before. This must be a function of the time I have been teaching at the school. This is my fourth year, fifth if you count a teaching round I did at the sc…