I feel excited about the opportunity to participate in this PLP course with Sheryl and Will, and I am looking forward to spending some online (& f2f ) learning time together with everyone. We are all people who have had a lot of intense experience in schools- either as teachers or people who were teachers- we all know what it is to be a teacher - and we are committed to making the most of ICT for learning, so that makes this chance to work together really great.

I am in the eLearning unit in the Victorian Government DEECD and some of the things I have been contributing to are our web presence, creating learning and teaching resources of all kinds to support improvements in learning and teaching with ICTs. I contributed to the eLearning Planning material to support school leaders to plan and implement eLearning in their schools. I work in the learning and teaching area a lot - it was only a few years ago that I was a teacher. Although my focus with teachers was learning with ICT, I work on some projects in schools such as the Contemporary Learning Project where we have a Government secondary school working with Melbourne Catholic Ed's Contemporary Learning Research Group.

One of the things I was interested in when I was in a school as a teacher (also supporting other teachers through ICT professional learning) was how we could use online forums to share ideas and to have a voice in large organisations. I was interested in what made some of our online forums fail and what made others succeed. We also worked with student forums and how they used online environments to communicate in different contexts.
I have been thinking about Will and Sheryl in our meeting today when they said that we would be taken out of our comfort zone. One thing I think about a lot in terms of teachers and students is an idea about how we might 'read' or respond to people and situations. We might adopt an approach of suspicion or we can 'read' with belief (this idea could be a result of bad French translation but I really like it). I personally have been really good at suspicion but lately think I would like to try belief more. This leaning towards belief is morphing into one of my deeper values in terms of schools and learning. I think we can learn more when we are willing to go along with an idea for a while instead or cutting it off too soon, maybe because it is complex and challenging.

Also I live in a very green area close to the Dandenong Ranges National Park - and at least once a week I go for a walk in the forest. I have three adult children who grew up and moved away but who I still love deeply. That never really changes.
email: mccarthy.cara.v@edumail.vic.gov.au
website: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/elearning/default.htm