On life cycles and the #widget that wouldn’t work

This is always such a challenging time of year for those of us working in the NSW Education system. I must say I loved the halcyon days when I was free to roam the world.

Visiting the Mentawai islands, circa 1992

Unfortunately recent global developments have changed that for me. The business of developing and operating high quality educational field study programs for students visiting Indonesia, is no longer such a viable proposition.

Back in the NSW state education system the pressures are cyclical and holidays restrict travel to a series of peak seasons.

We’ve just finished an intense period of exams, evaluation and student report writing. All this has been against the backdrop of seasonal change, of pollens, allergies and seasonal colds and just a little fatigue, yet life isn’t without its joy.

On Friday some of my students presented the work they’ve been doing with their 1:1 laptops, to groups of senior teachers. Their confidence, frankness and maturity impressed me. It was one of those moments when, knowing I’d contributed to their educational development, I felt humbled by their uniqueness and by what they were creating with the tools that I’d introduced.

Meeting members of my online Personal Learning Network (PLN)* was an affirming experience. Even though these were brief meetings the day signified a convergence of intentions, all of us came from different parts of the state but with one focus 1:1 laptops in education.

Yesterday I walked with my grandsons, we also took in a the iMax Hubble Telescope movie, had some excellent Chinese Food, rode on the light rail, bought some remotely controlled helicopters, moved a teak table, swam for a while and watched flying foxes in the twilight. It was a wonderful day.

So today I’m doing something far more mundane, just going on a solitary walk. Here the route of my walk. I was going to embed it as a scribblemaps widget, but the widget didn’t work, so here’s a clip of the walk.

The route of my walk, measured using the "Scribble dimension" tool

As you can see, I need a stylus mouse of a steadier hand, but with a little perseverance, I’m sure I could get a more accurate fit with my route.

This is a remarkable tool. I’m only just beginning to explore Scribblemaps. I can see lots of uses in the future.

Here are just a few images from the walk.

Abbotsford House. This was once part of the Nestle Factory, here in Sydney.

The National Library of Australia has an interesting photograph of the factory complex under construction.

Here’s another view. The photograph was taken about 1918.

With the tide out on Hen and Chicken Bay, this sand bank was irresistible for these sun seekers.

Relaxing on a sand bank

It’s amazing what can come out of a Sunday afternoon stroll.

* For my Indonesian readers, yes here PLN isn’t Perusahan Listrik Nasional.

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