A Gaggle of OzTeachers

At the IWB Conference on the Gold Coast today I met up with a bunch of teachers from the OzTeachers mailing list community, many of whom I have known for years but only met this weekend for the first time. What an interesting world we live in… we rounded up as many of them as we could to pose for a group photo in from of Bryn Jones’ infamous “iVan”.

Standing, left to right, it’s Margo Metcalf, Val Macauley, Bryn Jones, Mal Lee, Sue Green, Fiona Banjer and Kim English. In the front is myself and John Pearce. Kel Hathaway, Sue Burvill-Shaw, Adrian Greig and AnneMarie Loi were at the conference too, but we couldn’t find them for this photo unfortunately…

It was a great conference, and I’ll blog more about it later, but for now I just wanted to say G’day to all the OzTeach members I met today… it was great to put a face to the names!  Thanks also to all those nice people who came up to me and let me know that they either read this blog, or listen to The Virtual Staffroom. It’s really great to make real world connections.

Eight Random Things

You may recall that a little game of tag went around the edublogosphere sometime last year. In this game, many edubloggers were called upon to list five little-known facts about themselves and then tagging the meme on to five more bloggers. It was a fun exercise to help share the love, and a good learning experience in getting to know more about tagging your posts for Technorati.

It seems that round two has started… Jo McLeay just tagged me for a similar meme that’s floating around the edublogosphere at the moment. Jo posted a list of Eight Random Facts about herself, and tagged eight more bloggers to help pass along the idea, incuding myself. So here goes…

  1. I spent 4 years at Art School in the early 80s, and majored in Screenprinting, Photography, Multimedia and Film/Video.
  2. In the 80s I was in a band called The Jellybabies and for a few years we played regular gigs in lot of pubs around Sydney .
  3. When I was 8 years old, I won the TV Times Sesame Street drawing contest. First prize was an above-ground swimming pool.
  4. I drove a cab in Sydney for three years, from 1987 to 1989. I also worked in the Taxis Combined radio room for 8 months calling taxi jobs on the air.
  5. I entered a rally car in the 1988 Wynns Safari (now known as the Australian Safari). It was one of the most incredibly hard but fun things I’ve ever done.
  6. I have two children; Alex, 15, and Kate, 12. They are fantastic kids and I love them heaps.
  7. This year I will run my first ever City to Surf event.
  8. And for the last 8 months, I still feel that Life Is Not Designed Accidentally.

So there you go. Eight things. Eight very random things. And I’m just noticing how many times the number 8 occurs within them. Weird huh?

So, now I believe it is my turn to tag some folk to see if they keep this going… Let’s see…

Simon O’Carroll, Neil D’Aguair, Jess McCulloch, Steve Madsen, Bryn Jones, John Pearce, Paul Wilkinson, James Farmer

There ya go guys and girls. Tag, you’re it. Have fun.

Oh yes, here are the rules, just in case you weren’t sure…

  • Post these rules before you give your facts (or after…)
  • List 8 random facts about yourself
  • At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
  • Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

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These Boots were made for Walking

Leader Article on MS Walk

I blogged recently about my effort to raise funds for MS research by taking part in the MS Walk and Fun Run here in Sydney. Thanks to a great deal of support from friends, family and workmates I’ve managed to raise a decent amount of money for this great cause.

The people from MS Australia rang me recently to ask if I’d be prepared to do an interview with the local newspaper to help promote the event and naturally I said yes. So one of the journos from my local paper rang me at work the other day to ask a few questions, and organise a photographer to come by my house.

The angle I suggested to the journo was that I was really impressed by the online tools provided by MS Australia, such as the fundraising websites that are created when you register for the event, and that one of the reasons I have been able to raise as much as I have was due to the connections and tools that the Internet enables. I pointed out that many of my friends and aquaintances from the Blogosphere have been responsible for a lot of the support I’ve received so far and so a good angle on the story was how technology can be an enabler that lets us be more effective. I suppose they hinted at this angle in the article, but it’s pretty tenuous. Anyway, that was the general idea I was suggesting.

My local paper is caller The Leader, and although they do a fairly good job of reporting local news, they have a habit of sometimes only getting the facts close-to-correct (and hence are sometimes referred to as The Mis-Leader). So in the interests of more accurate journalism, I just wanted to correct a few almost-facts…

1) It was my friend’s mum, not my mum’s friend, but yes I really do have a friend whose mother died of MS. However, it was a very long time ago, not just “a few years”… it was more like 20+ years. That friend made a very generous sponsorship of this event, so I just wanted to set that fact right out of respect for his mum.

2) The people from Canada and Chicago who sponsored me are very dear friends, and not “strangers”, as the article suggests. Yes I did get support from a number of people who I have never met other than through the blogosphere, but my North American connections are certainly not strangers.

And the address for my sponsorship page is http://sydney.mswalk.org.au/?betchaboy if you still want to help me hit my goal of $2000. 🙂  I’m pretty close!!