Jess McCulloch. Owned by: 2 cats, 1 dog, & 1 small human. Owns: 1 husband.
e: jlmccull AT gmail DOT com | t: @jessmcculloch | skype: jess.meyer
Lives: in a suburb with a ridiculous name – Doreen. It’s in the outer north eastern suburbs of the ‘world’s most liveable city’ – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Works: A lot.
- I’m the Chinese Language Teacher @ Laurimar Primary School (which is only 5 mins walk from my front door!)
- and I also run ICT workshops for Chinese language teachers, as part of my role at the Chinese Teacher Training Centre @ Melbourne University, and do various other projects aimed at improving the state of Chinese language teaching in Australia. One project included writing a postgraduate subject about teaching Chinese with ICT for a Specialist Certificate in Chinese Teaching.
- I often deliver ICT workshops for teachers outside of these two roles, and present at conferences when I can.
Studies: In my ‘spare’ time
- Master of Modern Languages Education @ Melbourne University possibly focussing on how to scaffold students learning Chinese towards authentic web based resources.
- Did my Dip Ed at Monash Uni in 2005. After a few years in retail (much of which was spent working at a Bridal Registry at a major Department store of all places!) I finally one day said to my Mum “I think I want to be a teacher.” Her response was “Always knew you would.”
- Have also done BA majoring in Politics and Chinese then an Honours year, all at Monash Uni.
In regards to education and technology:
- I believe we are doing a disservice to our students if we do not connect them to the world, which means we teachers need to be connected. It is essential that as a languages teacher I provide a social imperative for my students in order to motivate them and global connections are one way to do that.
- I love discovering and using new tools and in the past have had great success with podcasting, mobile phones, interactive whiteboards and international collaborative projects. I’ll try anything.
- This year I am really very keen to focus on Project Based Second Language Learning as a way of engaging students and providing them with real opportunities to use the Chinese they are learning,
- I am particularly interested in how ICTs can improve teaching and learning in Chinese language classrooms. This blog is really a learning log for me as I think up learning opportunities for my students and stumble through cyberspace to find the right tool for the job.
Some of stuff I do online:
- blog here at The #technoLanguages Blog
- tweet at Twitter – @jessmcculloch
- save bookmarks on Diigo
- upload images to Flickr
- run the technoLanguages ning network for languages teachers
- run the technoLanguages LIVE webinar sessions as part of The Australia Series
Projects I’ve created:
- The Lunch Box Project – where students from around the world share what they eat for lunch using two different languages. Running for the second time Feb-April 2011
- Chinese New Year Where I Am – which asks people to take and upload an image of what Chinese New Year looks like wherever they are. Feb 2011.
- Hanyu Helpers – which aims to create a ‘cloud’ of Chinese language teachers who are available to answer students questions anytime. Still being developed.
- Life Sounds Like This – an experiment in recording sound and posting it to the web with different apps, usually from my phone. I’m thinking this could work as a larger project with lots of people recording their sounds and sharing them. Will see how it goes.
- The Little Language Experts – ran in 2008 and involved groups of kids from my Gr 4/5 class teaching some Chinese to groups of kids from a class in Auckland, New Zealand and learning some Maori in return.
- Coming Soon – Back & Forth To My Languages Classroom – because I have only a 5 minute walk to and from work I am going to do some audioblogging as an addition to this blog. Stay tuned.
- married to Nick since March 07. We met at the Greensborough Football Club. I hate football. He doesn’t play anymore, thankfully Nick is a networking engineer and likes making birthday cakes.
- Mum to Zoe since October 2009. I think she is the funniest and most gorgeous little creature in the whole world. My favourite part of my day is when I go into Zoe’s room after she’s had a sleep and she is standing there in her cot grinning at me and holding her arms out to be picked up. Nothing in the world beats that.
- Nick and I both work part-time to share parenting duties.
- 2 cats (Molly – a rescue cat – and Cinder – a bushfire refugee), and 1 dopey doofus desperate doggy called Darby, a cocker spaniel cross from The Lost Dogs Home who is obsessed with chasing tennis balls, food, and staying as close to me as he can.
- I’m the oldest of 3. My sister is currently in Costa Rica with her husband (who is Costa Rican) and my brother is in the army and so lives in Townsville, in Far North Queensland. He spent 8 months in Afghanistan and would not recommend it to anyone.
- My paternal grandfather is Jewish (not religious) and escaped Germany just as World War 2 started. He came to Australia on the Dunera, making him one of the ‘Dunera Boys.’
Places I have lived:
- Melbourne, Australia – I grew up in a suburb with another ridiculous name – Research. (When I said that to someone at Uni once they replied “I didn’t ask what you do I asked where you live.”
- Nanjing, China – for 12 months in 2001 to study at Nanjing Normal University
- Warrnambool, Victoria – Moved to the country for my first teaching job at Hawkesdale P-12 College. Stayed 3 years.
- “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
- “Sometimes a majority simply means all the fools are on the same side.”
- “When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way you will command the attention of the world.”
- “Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.” – Charles McCabe
- “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”
Things That Drive Me Nuts:
- parents giving their kids really ridiculous names or normal names with different spelling, just to be different. I’ve even written the ‘Department of Naming Small Humans – The Jessica Standards.’ You may apply to me directly for a copy should you wish to.
- ignorance, particularly when it comes to things like attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers
- Nick leaving dirty coffee cups on his desk in the study. The kitchen really just isn’t that far away!
Things I Absolutely Love
- quiet time on my own, with or without a good book or my laptop.
- the energy of a classroom
- making lists and crossing things off when done. I’m a simple soul.
- the fact that swans and ducks live in and around the lake that is only 2 doors away from my place.
Things I’m Interested In (outside of education and educational technology)
- Technology and International Development
- Politics – I vote Green
- finding good kids books for Zoe. Hairy McClary by Lynley Dodd is my absolute favourite. Zoe loves Where Is The Green Sheep and The Magic Hat by Mem Fox and any pop up books she can get her hands on.
I Really Should:
- go to bed earlier
- get the landscaping done
- teach Darby not to jump on people
But I’m Usually:
- on Facebook or Twitter
- writing blog posts or participating in networks or preparing something for school
- playing with my daughter
and time just seems to disappear…
Thanks for visiting my blog! Any ideas, tips, resources and links you’d like to share would be most welcome.
What is LOTE?
You will notice that the URL for the site is ‘technolote’ – for those of you not part of the Australian Education system and may not have come across this acronym before, LOTE stands for Language Other Than English and is the study of modern foreign languages in Australian schools.