Tag Archives: Engagement

Practical PD for teachers leads to instructional change: Sue, her writing, her story, her future!

Professional development comes in many forms. Some of the best PD is practical and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve been teaching my friend Sue, just like I was taught by Jenny Luca the following: 516aatihrgl-_sx348_bo1204203200_

  • How to start a blog
  • How to manage your dashboard
  • How to create and use a Twitter account
  • How to create and manage an Instagram page
  • Start a new Facebook page
  • Linking your blog to these ‘social’ pages
  • How to own your site

Sue is an outstanding teacher and passionate writer and everything she is learning is transferable to the classroom. Her blog is now receiving actual reviews from readers and Bendy and Tash can be googled!!!

Ali, a teacher colleague responded: I’m loving it!! These are great!! I always said to Sue she should write a book!!


As a gift, I gave Sue her own copy of Be a Better Writer by Steve Peha. Sue, equally has been using Steve’s work for many years and now has his book. And yes, she has been referring to it while writing her spoof crime fiction. sue-steve-pehaFor example, we discussed capitalization and had a few things we weren’t totally sure about, so we opened Steve’s book Be a Better Writer and read up on capitalization.

‘Chapter 8. Better Punctuation.

The Importance of capitalization. Capitalization has a confusing history. So let’s agree not to confuse ourselves as we look at the one capitalization rule upon which all others are based and take a practical approach to common problems.’ Steve Peha

Steve’s book is written for teachers… and writer’s aged 10 to 16 years but we think it should say any age.

Bendy and Tash: Best Friends, Problem Solvers & Crime Fighters is now bendyandtash.com


Sue is not really a ‘newbie’ writer because she has been teaching writing for years and writing herself. However, now she is a published writer! As I said in my last post, sometimes you have to get to a certain age or level of confidence to share your writing with others. The more you write the better writer you become.

If you need a laugh in your day read some of Bendy and Tash’s adventures. There is a co-author who contributes too. Sally from Tassie, Australia!

NB: My son, a 22 year old uni journalist student read Bendy and Tash too. His passing remarks to Sue were, ‘Well, I know your target audience’. But, let it be said, he was laughing while he was reading! 🙂

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 1-#EduTechAU What the twitter feeds are telling me: The Student!



Bill Ferriter  Follow the link to read more from Bill Ferrier

Learner Agency is something we talk about often, but what does this look and sound like? Engagement is a word teachers use but has its meaning changed? So what is Learner Agency and why do we want our students to be empowered?

A student developing Learner Agency strives to:

Identify their learning goals using appropriate tools e.g. Learning Cycle, pre-tests, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, reflection, etc.

Identify their learning goals based on previous learning, reflections, evidence, etc.

Be open to and explores possibilities for appropriate learning goals.

Use learning goals to monitor and advance their own learning.

Manage a number of learning goals at the same time – incorporating different transdisciplinary skills.

Identify ‘stretch’ goals and understands the incremental steps to achieve them.

Focus on the process, in addition to the product.

Articulate why they are learning it and how it connects to previous and future learning and how they will use it in life.

Make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.

Make connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Select learning activities which best support learning goals e.g. teacher focus group, peer tutoring, hands-on, thinking routines, etc.

Select group arrangements appropriate to learning goals.

Select activities that best engage them (Thinking routines, watch a clip rather than reading, writing)

Hold themselves and others to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Use the characteristics of inquiry to deepen understanding.

Identify the process of inquiry and working through the various stages towards authentic action.

Make cross-curricular applications and real-world connections.

Use a range of strategies to solve problems when learning becomes difficult.

Seek support when ‘all else fails’ to maximise learning time.

Manage transitions to maximise learning time.

Adapt the learning space to support everyone’s learning.

Respond to questions, formulate own questions and share ideas with the class.

Connect classroom practices to the world beyond the classroom.

Practise and transfer learned strategies into independent activity.

Display learner profile attributes.

Select appropriate method to demonstrate learning.

Provide evidence to demonstrate meeting learning goals.

Use exemplars, rubrics, success criteria and other methods to monitor progress.

Reflect on formative and summative assessment to support development of learning goals.

Articulate what they have learnt and which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Develop rubrics according to the specific learning goals.

Initiate self-reflection using appropriate tools

Invite peers and teachers to provide feedback.

Critique one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Reflect on previous learning in Transdisciplinary theme.

Taking authentic action as a result of their learning. (Kunyung PS)

These behaviours/actions are goals for a student who exhibits high level Learner Agency. There is also the role of the teacher and the quality of the tasks required to support the student which need documenting. However, I agree when a student starts exhibiting a sense of Learner Agency they are indeed empowered and certainly engaged!

Keep tweeting #EduTechAU

Cheers Nina

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