It is the first Monday of the school holidays after the busiest, most productive semester I have ever had. It was a term of complete focus, of bringing home work, of giving up days off to complete a project. My quest required even the abandonment of reading for pleasure and all of my personal writing endeavours for most of the last term.
The project was one of those rare opportunities that stimulate, challenge and compel. It had all the useful hallmarks of a big project–steep learning curves, tight deadlines, and wonderful collaboration. I could not begin to recount the things I have learned, but I think a cute milestone of my progress is found in the newest app on my iPad: a coder’s cheat-sheet. Yes, not only did I have to wade through all kinds of techno jargon and extricate myself from self-made IT pickles, I had to learn to do a little HTML, a digital coding language, to set out various aspects of my project. *little pat on back*
The feeling of completing the project before the commencement of the school holidays was sheer, air-pumping joy. I might have high-fived a few dignitaries and wooted in the library. I may even have done a victory lap or two around my office.
So what do I have to show for this outpouring of my blood, sweat, and tears (intermingled with the ink of many cartridges)? Check out my website eQuipped (www.e-quipped.com.au) on cyber-safety and parenting. That is one barrel of my double-barrel shotgun of safety for the families in the College where I work as a school counsellor. Begun in June, the site now attracts regular visitors and has quite a few subscribers. It is a resource for parents and staff who may not feel confident about technology so they can find quick answers and tips on parenting in this increasingly digital age.
Barrel Two is a safety curriculum for the secondary students of the College. I can’t share a link in this case, because the iPad P-Plate Program is loaded into our Moodle intranet learning system and is therefore private. In 2012 students will be allowed to bring iPads to school; the curriculum provides an introductory learning package to equip them with strategies to stay safe, protect their investment in the device, and engage responsibly with media.
Of course both parts of the project will require ongoing maintenance and tweaking, but for the most part I am now free to write for myself. I have approximately six weeks to unlock another story, which is exactly what I intend to do today, this first Monday of the school holidays. Bliss.