Pecha Kucha as an antidote to writers block #TMSydney

The second #TMSydney Virtual TeachMeet was held this past week with the theme “Let’s do the Time Warp!” The intention was to focus on what one would say to their first-year-teacher-self if they had the opportunity to travel back in time. The event itself drifted somewhat on to other equally important areas, but I managed to prepare and present my first Pecha Kucha on the topic.

TeachMeet’s Mission

The TeachMeet wiki explains it like this. “Our mission is to provide ongoing, relevant and engaging opportunities for teachers to share their ideas and grow their professional learning network. By sharing our knowledge, skills and experience, we all become better educators.” Read more here.

Preparing the Pecha Kucha was both easy and quite challenging. It was easy because I already had a lot of photos, difficult because from the perspective of 2012 speaking back 41 years to 1971, there’s a lot that could be said. My challenge was achieving brevity without losing depth and relevance to the topic. The only way I could do this, within the time constraints that very practising teacher confronts, was to work smart.

A brilliant iPad app

To begin with I used the brilliant iPad app iThoughtsHD. I have to thank the world record TeachMeet in Sydney last year (that’s me in – left front) for the app. Well to be accurate it was Phillipa Cleaves (@pipcleaves) who shared it. In spare moments I sketched out my presentation, then exported it as a pdf and used it as a guide as I built the presentation. Here it is:

Dealing with ‘writer’s block’

For me, this was a great way to begin writing for this blog, again. I’ve found writing difficult over the past six months. It’s not exactly been writer’s block just a shift of energy into building digital learning materials. I’ll write more about this and share some of my work, over the next three weeks, so keep an eye out for further postings.

Retaining Optimism

I’ll try to retain my optimism, in the face of the dire cuts to education spending in NSW. Why is it I keep thinking of the 1950s, of that ‘golden age’, according to some, when education expenditure was, for the most part, less than 3% of GDP. As a Baby Boomer I grew up in a Primary and Secondary school system starved of funds and in my final year of High School, 1964, the percentage had only inched up to 3.7%, still a meagre amount.

Certainly we can work smarter these days but if we are to retain our strong position as a well educated country, we can’t afford to cut the funding.

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