Tony Richards

My story

I have always had a link with technology and have been lucky enough to have followed my interests in my working career. I am not sure that this is such a great thing as I have developed lots of skills in a wide range of areas relating to education and ICT but have not developed great depths in very many areas. I am passionate about trying to bring the best out of people when using technology as a learning tool - I love working with people that are keen and willing to learn no matter what age or experience.

I entered university like a lot of other people, unsure of what I wanted to do but grateful for the opportunity to attend uni after completing an unusual high school experience in Alice Springs. Completing my teaching degree was a little like a visiting a new world - not only was I at uni and responsible for my own learning and involvement with uni life, I was also living away from home in an environment very different to the small town that was 'Alice Springs'. Luckily I ended up being very comfortable in the classroom environment which was reciprocated by students, parents and my peers responding to my teaching and involvement in their lives. 

After completing my degree (as a Primary Teacher - Physical Education Major) I returned home and had not set my sights on working anywhere in particular, I was asked to go to an interview at the local Special Education school. The position was for a replacement Early Intervention Teacher with the youngest students - ages 4 to 6. Amazingly I picked up the position, WOW that meant I was responsible for 6 extremely young people with disabilities ranging from minor to extreme. This was an amazing year and as was to be the case for every position I worked in I quickly migrated to the roll of technology in supporting my students and teaching. I enjoyed the opportunities provided to me around technology at this school and I was amazed at how it could make fundamental differences to people's lives and learning. This has been something I have strived for ever since and thankfully am still involved in this today - this is part of my story.

What am I looking for from #MOTM12

I am really looking forward to having conversations with other educators and exploring my thinking and ideas. I am not in a classroom or school environment all the time and I don't have the opportunities to make longer term connections to test ideas, explore technology deployments or developments.

I also work in a very physically isolating environment (whilst being hyper-connected online), having the ability to hear and chat with others about what they are doing and invigorating my thinking is something that is extremely important to me and is a real challenge to help keep me balanced as an individual as it can sometimes be extremely tough.

I want to explore the ideas and directions for the following:
  • Minecraft in education and as a supportive learning tool
  • Using audio to expand learning and knowledge sharing
  • Developing blended learning models for students and teachers - where and how do they fit
  • How do we build 20% time into our classrooms and lives
  • How do we develop multiage learning environments with ICT Tools
  • Brain Science, learning and technology implications and understandings
  • Digital Citizenship - evaluating our approach and engagement
  • Open Badge movement - recognition for online learning (http://openbadges.org/)

When do you stop and listen to the Music? How about your students or loved ones.

Do you know the story of Joshua Bell a world famous violinist. The Washington Post asked Joshua to set up and play his 300 year old violin in a subway in 2007 to see how people would react. What they found was that people didn't really react at all - they were too busy with there journey or thoughts or any of the ideas circulating in their heads. The philosophical question raised from this activity was "If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?".

How much are we all missing - in this world of hyper connectivity and busyness do we build in time to stop and reflect, create and think? Do we build this into our classrooms and are we teaching our students to develop these life skills? What do you think?

Stop and listen to the Music



Where else can you find me online

I tend to be all over the place online - just look up 'itmadesimple'. The following are some of the more interesting locations you can find, follow and connect:






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