Best of March 2009

Busy, busy, busy but still productive! I still have a few more people lined up to contribute more content than ever before so stay tuned. Just in case you missed it - here is what happened in March 2009.

Shift happens - a paradigm shift for teachers I found this YouTube video the other day and was just fascinated with the statistics regarding globalization, our global community, the use of emerging technologies and the speed that information is being published and then superseded.

It also reinforced the notion in my mind that teachers are increasing becoming learning facilitators and not dispensers of information.

Unit 3 VCE biology 2009 podcast - need questions

The next podcast interview for the VCE help radio program will be with leading biology teacher and fellow podcaster Andrew Douch, who produces some high quality biology podcasts for VCE students.

Later this week (the last week of term - woohoo) I will be recording the interview and as per usual...I need the help of all VCE biology students.

Usually I ask some generic questions about:

How to best prepare for the Unit 3 course and strategies for leading up to the exam
Top 3 concepts that students have difficult with and strategies to best learn them
The practical way to improve your French

Don't know where to start with VCE French or other languages? Struggling to balance your listening comprehension with reading comprehension practice as well as essay writing?

Well, don't worry. I had the same problem with VCE French last year...before I got organized that is. Here is how to get through it all without compromising study time for your other subjects but still being thorough.

What I found worked well for me was to complete my vocab work and essay writing after school, reading comprehension in class and any extra reading or problems from class go over at home - leave listening comprehension until bed time.

National Careers and Employment Expo

Just saw an ad for the National Careers and Employment Expo which is happening this weekend (27-28 March) at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. It is free admission for all.

According to the website:

The National Careers & Employment Expo is a community spirited event, which provides free careers, employment & training advice to people of all ages.

The Expo is a national event which travels to states and regions throughout the country bringing students together with more than 300 exhibitors nationally.

How do you define failure?

If you ask 10 different people what they think "success" is you're bound to get 10 different responses. Some people would say having enough money to pay the mortgage, others would say being healthy or happy, another may say making a sporting team. Success is different to every single person and is very much dependant upon what your goals or vision/mission are.

I bet though if you ask 10 different VCE students they would probably all have the same similarly themed response regarding a particular grade, a high mark or even an enter score. Is this the case in your life as a VCE student? An interesting observation I have made while speaking at over 50 VCE student workshops over the last few years is that never have I witnessed any more than 10% of students in the group confirming that they have written goals for their VCE and beyond.

Maestro study guide

Hi all, was doing some research and found this great VCE English study guide on Maestro - enjoy.

Maestro: - By Peter Goldsworthy - VCE Study Guide

Background information on the writer - Peter Goldsworthy

This is his first book. Prior to writing this he had been writing poetry. These days Peter Goldsworthy has been said to think of this book as an immature attempt at writing.

VCE English - A Gattaca Essay

In the 'not-to-distant future', the world of Gattaca is where genetic engineering has become the normal approach to procreation. Gattaca's society involves a culture of self-advancement through genetic determinisms, a caste system of valid and in-valids and social discrimination based on 'genoism'.

This sterile and cold society of elitist collaborations like Gattaca promotes competition, isolation and discrimination. This is something that is dangerous to individuals and relationships and shows an arrogant belief to the world of science.

Despite this hierarchical world it isn't the technology that stands alone as dangerous to individuals, instead it is the human spirit or lack of it and the desire one has to reach their dreams that have an innate effect on ones future.

Inheritance powerpoint slides

I've been meaning to upload this for awhile on the topic of Inheritance - some good powerpoint slides on the VCE English topic of Inheritance.

VCE english gattaca notes

Genetic Engineering (superior and imperfect)

- The assumption that in-valid cannot meet corporate demands destines them to remain laborers lacking future prospects or advancement.

- Ceaser exemplifies this class of 'inferiors', as he sees to bring Vincent 'down to earth' when he say, 'don't clean it (the glass) too well...You might get ideas'. Vincent before becoming Jerome could only be a cleaner at Gattaca, looking up through the windows at genetically enhanced employees ascending escalators or through skylights at the shooting up, leaving him below.

- Society's obsession with defining people by their genetic 'background' magnifies the importance of genetic material.

VCE Business Management Websites

The following are a list of vce business management websites that could be used for research purposes. This page takes you to the VCAA business management website. It will have the assessment guide, links to past exams, exam criteria, assessor reports, articles and other useful items. This should be your first point of reference for all information relating to this subject.

VCE Design and Technology websites

We have searched high and low to find the best VCE Design and Technology websites. Make sure you bookmark this page as websites are constantly being added to this resource.

This page takes you to the VCAA Design and Technology site. It will have the assessment guide, links to past exams, exam criteria, assessor reports, articles and other useful items. This should be your first point of reference for all information relating to this subject.

How to ace the media analysis

I've got a confession to make. VCE English Media analyses are not as complicated as you think! They are tricky to get the hang of at the start because there are so many structural aspects to remember on top of actually analysing, understanding and annotating the article.

However, if you stick to the same pattern each time, the way I did, you will pick up the technique quite quickly and each analysis will become like a formula in which you just have to sub in different quotes and arguments.

How to make accurate notes and save time pre-VCE exams

Coming from a humanities background, there was a technique that I used religiously and lived by, when summarising and compacting my notes, which ultimately saved me an abundance of time and stress before the exam period.

The VCAA study design was my bible. It was a resource that I relied on 100%. Each subject has a study design and course outline which can be obtained through the VCAA site by going into the "studies and resources" link. When learning about each Area of Study (AOS) I would continuously look back over the study design to understand and see that what I was learning was relevant and examinable come October.

VCE SAC preparation

Not too long ago the VCE system was made up purely of CAT's instead of SAC's. CAT's or Common Assessment Tasks were completed by each student (one per subject-per unit) and was an extended piece of work that required lots of time, effort and energy. The system was unfair because teachers could not verify what work was being completed by students outside of normal class hours.

Hence the introduction of the SAC system or School Assessed Coursework where assessment tasks are completed by students (under direct teacher supervision) & then corrected by teachers. (CATS are still completed but they are usually referred to as just the exam CAT in each particular subject.)

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