Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Monday, March 07, 2011

SA TfEL and Anangu schools

South Australian schools have recently received a lovely new glossy "South Australian Teaching for Effective Learning Framework Guide". More information about this is here

The actual framework is here.

Our glossy is 88 pages.

The first part (domain) of the framework deals with "Learning for effective teaching" and it was element 1.3 that caught my attention. Element 1.3 states "Participate in professional learning communities and networks" and of all the 6 elements in this domain I see this one as the one that facilitates the others.

I've been participating in online education communities since the early 2000's and have been teaching since the late 70's. I've had a go at establishing some niche communities over that time. What I have learned since my involvement in these online state, national and international communities make all of my professional learning prior to that look pale.

This involvement has facilitated
  • 1.1 - Understand how self and others learn
  • 1.2 - Develop deep pedagogical and content knowledge
  • 1.5 - Discuss educational purpose and policy
  • 1.6 - Design, plan and organise for learning and teaching.
Having taught in a very isolated school at the start of my teaching career (Fregon Anangu School) I wondered how this might translate for them.

When I was there we had a single radio telephone for the entire community. The school got one after a while. The mail plane flies in each Tuesday and Thursday. Alice Spings was the nearest centre and was a seven hour drive. That's it.

It was this experience that inspired the title for my blog - 'Waraku Education' which in translation means the education belonging to the tall man.

These days the communities have broadband and phones, and some even have mobile phone coverage. However, teachers in the area perform in a way that is different to the main stream and so I wondered where the opportunities to immerse themselves in professional communities might exist.

The OZTEACHERS list is where I began.

I made the following post
Can anyone point me to some functioning online ESL teacher communities please?
Within 5 days I had 7 responses. Some to the list and some private. The following is a collation of the ideas that I got.

Australian education and training professionals with an online networking and profile space...
Here is a good one
this may well be a good place to start
Here's a list of Edu-Qld emailing lists. One is simply called, 'ESL' and currently has 246 subscribers so i guess it's a fairly vibrant community.

Many of these email-communities look interesting and maybe of assistance.

They're free for everyone, anywhere and have a great professional spirit.
Links of Interest to Students & Teachers of English as a Second Language

Even in geographically isolated places, teachers need not feel professionally isolated anymore.

I wonder if an APY teacher community is worth thinking about as well?



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