Saturday, January 26, 2008

A little about A.U.S.S.I.E.

In order to set the scene for our Educon 2.0 workshop session - 'A Fly on the Wall' - I'll give you some information about A.U.S.S.I.E.

Australian and United States Services in Education is more than just consultancy and professional development - it's about partnerships with schools. By that I mean, A.U.S.S.I.E. consultants do not walk into schools with a predetermined 'rescue package'. They bring with them many skills and rich experience, but they adapt this to individual schools' needs.

I have enjoyed my work with C.I.S. 339 so much this year because the work has involved innovation. Unlike our many other consultants who all work within the schools, I have been asked by the principal to work from Australia. This sounds crazy, but it makes so much sense as it has forced a change of mindset within the school. That is, in order for me to know what is going on, we need to embrace technology.

This has led to the most amazing acceleration of learning, sharing and improved communication. Ironically, I am more informed about everything that goes on inside the school than I would have been if I was present in the building.

Some teachers have commented that I am the most accessible person 'in the school' - even though I am so far removed.

It is this kind of flexibility that has made A.U.S.S.I.E. consultancy so successful. I work incredibly hard, enduring many exhausting hours, but the intellectual stimulation from the administration and teachers of C.I.S. 339 makes it all worthwhile.

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