About Me

I am a primary school teacher, a peer coach and beginning 2008 an Ultranet Coach for our Department of Education, in the Western Metropolitan Region.

And now an Assistant Principal for ICT & Student Learning at Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College. (Nov 2008 -2011)

And now Principal of Debney Meadows Primary School.  (July 2011)

I have been lucky enough to work in schools that have regarded Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a core component to learning. I returned from family leave in 2000 to my prior work place (Essendon North Primary School) to find education had changed considerably. The classrooms were a hype of activity, kids were working in groups, tables were arranged in clusters with computers at the centre, and the inquiry approach had replaced the ‘chew and spew’ style of learning.j0398319.gif

What an exciting time this was for me! Things had moved on in the 90s and I was moving, or should I say, running with a new paradigm of teaching and learning in the 2000s.

Technology soon became my friend and I was trying and learning new things with my students. Back then it was, PowerPoint, HyperStudio, KidPix and so on. I learnt quickly and I took risks.

One of the things that took the most time and planning was how to best use the technology. How would it improve learning outcomes? With this question constantly being at the back of my mind, I became an enthusiastic learner of not just ICT but of good pedagogical practice. I attended as much professional development as possible, conferences such as NavCon, and began using my new learnings and experiences in the classroom with my students as ways to share with others.

I, myself, began presenting at conferences and to a range of educators who would visit my school. As I continued to present on topics of ICT, Thinking and Learning, my own thirst for learning became even more. The cycle became the proverbial snowball effect. The more I learnt the more I wanted to learn.

As a teacher I have continued to evolve and grow. I enjoy seeing the possibilities of the ‘What If?’ What if kids could use animation to tell their story? What if we got off track with our inquiry and followed a new tangent? What if we used Web 2.0 to dissipate the four walls of the classroom? Or to make education more transparent?

This is me, here and now!

8 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Helen,
    I came across your blog while searching for blogs by Australian primary school educators. I’m setting up a website for what will hopefully be a useful online community for Australian primary school educators to collaborate and share resources.

    Part of the website is a feed aggregation of blogs by Australian primary educators. I think your blog is great and would be chuffed if you’d allow me to have your latest blog postings appear on it. You can see it in action at
    http://thinked.net/au/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=4
    Your blog is on there at the moment so that I can see how it looks with a few blogs up but I’ll remove it in the next few does unless you’d like for it to stay. If you like, I can remove it instantly.

    Loving your blog. It’s easy on the eyes and nutritious for my brain.

    Cheers,
    Rob

  2. Can’t wait to meet you on the study tour! I recognise your face from a VITTA conference presentation last year!

    Lisa

  3. Helen-
    I just found your blog. I really like what I have seen & expect that I will become a regular reader!

    Eric
    University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

  4. Dear Helen,

    Another great Australian education blog! I have been looking at lots of blogs lately and the ones from Australia and New Zealand seems streets ahead of most I have seen from the UK (the exception being Ewan McIntosh in Scotland who has probably the best education blog in Europe).

    I am writing to see if any of your students or colleagues might like to give our free maths games a try at http://www.tutpup.com They are head-to-head simple competitive maths and spelling games. We are still in beta, so the site changes quite often but we have about 30k registered users (mostly in the UK and Asia) but with an increasing number of schools from countries like Australia and New Zealand.

    I would be very interested in your feedback because I only had a quick chance to test Tutpup in Sydney and in Wangaratta (where my nephews live and where I went to school).

    Yours sincerely,

    Richard Taylor
    Director of Play @ Tutpup
    Soho W1D 4DT
    London
    UK

  5. Congratulations Helen! Your site has been nominated in the ACCE Australasian Educational Media Awards. Visit the conference website to vote for your own site and leave a comment on other nominated resources. Friends and colleagues may also wish to support your nomination. http://acec2010.info/acce-edsoft-awards/gallery

    The two winning entries will be announced at the ACEC2010 Conference on Friday 9 April.

  6. Hi there
    I was just checking my web presence and found a reference to me on your blog from 2008. I’ve been out of the workforce after maternity leave for a while and it was lovely to see that something I wrote was referred to as “great”. http://helenotway.edublogs.org/2008/07/26/small-but-appetising/
    Thanks very much for thinking that something I did was useful.
    Best wishes
    Juliette

  7. Hi Helen
    I have followed your Twitter feed, and now bookmarked your Blog.
    It is so wonderfully refreshing to hear you and your School are so open to contemporary teaching and learning.
    I/We at PLIESE Pty Ltd will follow your Blog with interest.
    All the best.
    Nige

    Co-Director
    PLIESE Pty Ltd
    http://www.pliese.com.au

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