Tag Archive: Teaching

Google Plus my experience.

A few months ago my brother inlaw sent me a message “Do you want a Google Plus invite?” my response……YES PLEASE! I knew that the benefits of having an account and now, for me, as an educator has exploded. I am sitting here at the moment on a two week school holiday break and I am amazed at how much information is actually streaming through my account.  Plus it is all quality information rather than quantity. For example I get information such as this which was posted by +Jenny Gilbert explaining the Flipped Classroom and I had to instantly share it.


Or how fast it took Google+ to reach 50 Million Users:


It has been very refreshing and the discussions have been innovating, motivating and inspiring.

Its interesting to note that I haven’t logged onto Twitter since I got my Plus account and I still get notifications that people are still following me on it. The same people following me are now migrating over to Google+ and are sharing regularly their information. I have noticed that some do their blog posting right on the status update because you are not limited to 140 characters. Plus you can post links to websites and Google+ shows the thumbnail and description right there. There is no need to go anywhere else. I am only posting here because I wanted to talk about Google+ to people whom may not have experienced it yet and ask if you want an invite.

A lot of debate has been raised on Google+ in comparison to FaceBook, Twitter and Google Plus and my opinion is that they compliment each other. My wife and I still have friends that we keep in contact with on FaceBook and I mainly use Google+ for reading the latest teaching resources with a few status updates about whats happening in my life. Such as I took this photo from my veranda the other day and someone asked was it Photoshopped!

So Google Plus is advancing my teaching through obtaining valuable resources and sharing them however the age restriction at the moment is 18+. So it is impossible for me to implement it into the classroom YET! I do see its benefits as teachers could use the Flipped Classroom concepts and use the tools embedded in Google Plus such as: Hangouts Screensharing, Sketchpad, Google Docs and Broadcasting as outlined here…http://www.edukwest.com/google-hangouts-add-screensharing-sketchpad-google-docs-and-broadcasting/

Finally I think that Google+ is here to stay and if you want an invite to see its benefits send me your email address in the comments and I will send you one. Be sure to add me to your circles when you get there.

Thanks for reading.



Hello all,

This week I sent this email out to the students of my school:

Subject: NGS has bought an Island

Dear Students,

Just recently Newcastle Grammar School purchased an Island for us. An Island that I have always wanted and I want you to join me and build it into something spectacular. I will be holding a meeting at Lunch Time on Friday the 25th of February in HF3 to discuss you joining me and my team in working together to create this Island into a world we can enter and enjoy. To be part of this you can apply in two ways…… Tell me why I would call the island Tychwolcom Island or email an application explaining why you wish to be part of this adventure.  Initially I will only be taking an elite crew to the Island so I am looking for specific students who would be eligible.

It started a buz around the school that the we had bought an island off the Pacific and NGS was going to fly students out there to help build it (well thats what I was told from some of the students begging me to take them with me)

I have just finished the Friday lunch time meeting where I worked with about 20 students explaining to them the inner workings of Opensim and how we were going to turn my tiny speck of an Island into a massive learning environment. I have given them a form to fill out asking them why they want to be part of this experience and also to get their parents aware of what their child is up to.

To me they seemed pretty insprired and when the meeting had finished they wanted to play with “Hippo Viewer” and see what my Avatar could do. But when I told them what I wanted to do thats when they really got inspired. I cant take credit for all the things I list below (I can thank Steve Collis for this) but here is what I want to do:

  1. Create a code of conduct
  2. Create uniforms for the avatars similar to our sports uniform
  3. Create terrain similar to the city of Newcastle Australia
  4. Create the Holland building (A building on our campus here at NGS)
  5. Create virtual learning environments (such as Fort Scratchley)
  6. Create an Art Gallery (To post student work)
  7. The possibilites are endless

These are just the beginning and once we really get up and running I hope that other teachers will use the space for the benifit of learning. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading Andrew

ps: its called Tychwolcom Island because it is a combination of the street names surrounding our campus (Tyrrel Church Wolfe and Newcommen). Some of the students got this instantly. Some very bright students out there!