Be The Change

This is my pecha-kucha presented at the TeachMeet at Northern Beaches Secondary College – #TMSeaChange on the 25th of June 2013. I did plan to share this straight away but time just flew!

Anyway, here it is as a PDF with relevant links:

BeTheChange (pdf)

and a ‘movie’ version, condensing my 7-minute PK to under 2 minutes.

The presentation is divided into the following major sections:

  1. Pressures that make teachers feel “cooped up in the box” or overwhelmed
  2. Change is everywhere: Teachers who’ve made changes in their classrooms and they look like they’re having “fun in the box”
  3. Inspired changes I have made in my classrooms – ideas I’ve “stolen” like an artist
  4. It’s ok to “steal” ideas like an artist (there’s a book) and it’s ok to get lost (we make our own map)
  5. An invitation for teachers to “Be the change” and to share…so I can steal more ideas 🙂

In case you’ve missed it, this presentation is a hat tip to my tweeps (by order of appearance) – links in PDF shared above:

  • @cuttheknotM – shared story of H Fawcett’s unique way to introduce and teach Geometry
  • @brucew_o – weekly newspaper to enrich engagement and learning of Biology
  • @7MrsJames – use Instagram to showcase and inspire student work
  • @whatedsaid – promote curiousity and wonder through Inquiry; build community of teachers
  • @samjshah – motivation for teachers swamped with report-writing
  • @dbatty1 – inspire students to lobby for and run a new elective: Minecraft
  • @cpaterso – give feedback before grades
  • @biancah80 – goals, medals, missions and also campfire, watering hole, cave
  • @dcox21 – problems vs exercises
  • @maryannreilly – getting lost is a privilege (for students and teachers) and we make our own map

I’ve been inspired by so many and it was difficult to limit to the above…but hopefully, you get the drift….change starts with us and it has already started.

Be the change.

On social networks

PLN (Professional / Personal Learning Network) seems to be a big thing in the education community. I’ve responded to requests to answer what it is and why it is important, especially in the past few weeks. Usually, it’s over on Twitter with some special hashtag. Occasionally, it’s for blog posts (re: I <3 Twitter) or some web tool like linoit or Google docs.

I respond to such requests because having a PLN is important to me: the I <3 Twitter post explains why. When Dr Alec Couros tweeted out a request for an unKeynote, I thought I’d do it.

The link goes to a blog post that outlines the request in more detail, including options for submissions; in true form, varied. I decided to make a video because:

  1. I’m on school holidays and have the time,
  2. I wanted to improve my iMovie skills,
  3. I’ve not responded via  a video before,
  4. I like the idea of “social networks“, and
  5. so I can say I’ve made a video for both Alec and George (apropos: Playing in Public) – just realised both videos are for Keynotes! Ha!

I’ve decided that the term Social Network appeals to me more than PLN does (either in its Professional or Personal variant). It is more meaningful and relevant….to me, anyway. I could harp on about how my networks help me learn and grow but sometimes, it really is just for the sheer joy of “being with” – the social bit!

It’s a very short video (less than a minute) and tailored to meet Alec’s request but I think encapsulates much of what I want to say. Who knew I could be concise? I think I need to explore movies more as a form of self-expression! Granted, the movie would make more sense if you read the I <3 Twitter post. 😉

I’m very happy that the video somehow captures the many people in my various social networks (tip: play “I spy”).

Here it is:

A video created for Dr Alec Couros for his PLE keynote:

It attempts to answer the question: Why do social networks matter in teaching and learning?

This is my personal take on it, ie a personal response, one that applies to me specifically…and hopefully, it is universal.

I love my social networks

All up, I met all the “goals” listed above such that, even if Alec doesn’t use it, I’m happy to have done this video!

P.s. If you’re reading this post, please be social and leave a comment! 🙂

Technical Info

(for those who may be curious):

The movie started off as an iMovie trailer – really nifty with a ready-made storyboard, title, effects and even soundtrack. Then it was converted into an iMovie project (File>Convert to Project) for more editing options including more varied media to include (iMovie trailers only allows video clips), i.e. photos, text, sounds.

For the screen grabs, I used QuickTime (File>New Screen Recording). Where I was too slow scrolling at the time of recording, I managed to fix via fast-forwarding the clip in iMovie.

Follow Me on Twitter widget

With the #ksyb Teacher Challenge over, there’s been much interest and promotion of using Twitter to build one’s PLN. In one of the #ksyb participants blogs I visited, there was a question on how to create a Follow Me on Twitter widget. I would normally just respond on the comment but thought a post would work better because of potentially (and I mean potentially) bigger readership, ease of access/sharing and I can show html code a lot easier – most blog comments accept html tags and so will not show code.

For all these options, you first have to create a place to embed the necessary html code.

In Edublogs/WordPress, add a text/html widget or in Blogger, add a or html/javascript gadget.

The Simple Way

The simplest widget would be a plain hyperlink. This is how I had it when I first started a year ago.

Copy/Paste the following and change the handle (mine is malynmawby) to your Twitter handle. You can change “me” to your Twitter handle if you like.

<a href=””>Follow me on Twitter</a>

The Graphical Way

This is what I’ve got now (look on the top right) using a site that provides Twitter icons – There are plenty there and I chose the most popular one, not because it was popular but rather that I like it very much. Anyway, you just type in your Twitter handle and copy the embed code. Unfortunately, the default image size is too big for my liking so I scaled it down (changed code are in bold).

<a href=”” title=”Follow me on Twitter”><img src=”” alt=”Twitter Icon” border=”0″ height=”100″/></a>by <a href=’’ title=’Custom Twitter Icon’>Custom Icon</a>

You don’t have to copy the code above if you go direct to If you do copy my code above, then you must remember to change the Twitter handle to yours.

The Creative Individual Way

This is what I’d like to do one day. That is, I’d like to design a Twitter graphic of a bird (maybe I’ll crochet one like @MrsSOnline (see below, isn’t it just adorable?). This combines the ideas behind the two above. This means I have to:

  1. Create a graphic file (take a picture, digital drawing, conjure random shapes in PhotoShop, and the like)
  2. Upload the graphic into my media library
  3. Write up some html code not unlike my Love2Learn Badge widget

So there you have it, a few ways to create a Twitter widget. If you can suggest any more, please write on the comment or maybe post about it and ping back here so I can update mine.

MrsSOnline’s avatar

MrsSOnlines avatar

Addendum: I think it’s a good idea to have a link to your blog on your Twitter profile as well. So even as your blog points to your Twitter feed, vice versa would hold as well. This allows others a chance to get to know you a little bit better and a shortcut to your blog in case you’re not in their RSS Reader. It all helps in keeping the conversations going.

Blog link on Twitter profile

Blog link on Twitter profile