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My study tour focuses on how the latest learning about new and emerging technologies, such as non-medical DNA analysis, can be shared effectively and ethically by teachers across the curriculum and state, using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in an effort to genuinely personalise learning for students.

Personalising Learning in the Age of Knowledge

My luck has been good this year and it has been both humbling, and thrilling, to win a NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship to complete research in the USA during 2016.

The Premier’s Adobe information and Communication Technologies Scholarship was advertised as follows:

One scholarship of $15,000 will be awarded to a teacher in a school or a TAFE NSW Institute to study information and communication technologies.

but I guess it would be accurate to say that I am using these technologies to facilitate sharing that helps students and their teachers to learn more about non-medical DNA analysis. My professional experiences teaching Big History and exploring citizen science with the Genographic Project lead me to believe that we can do better, innovating systemically, to make the most cutting-edge knowledge accessible, and more importantly, engage our students with very deep knowledge that is personally relevant to them.

My plan is that students benefit, across the state, as more teachers are able to access information to help understand how non-medical DNA analysis can be employed to support their classes. Partnerships will be forged with other schools, universities and companies to assist with increasingly sophisticated opportunities for learning in our classrooms. 

Most of my time travelling will be spent in New York, Washington and Dallas as well as at universities in Sydney and Wollongong meeting with academics, scientists, school leaders and teachers. I am excited about learning from the teams at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and National Human Genome Research Institute, as well as meeting Josie Holford and learning about the impressive, progressive policies espoused at her school in Poughkeepsie.

I have a varied and challenging program of visits but am particularly looking forward to meeting with scientists at the cutting edge of their fields and connecting NSW students and teachers with stellar opportunities for citizen science in coming years.

I intend to disseminate the fruit of this scholarship as widely as possible via principal, deputy principal and teacher conferences and in a wide-variety of print and online publications. I will blog regularly while overseas and endeavour to use a wide-range of tools including Adobe Voice, Adobe Connect, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC. The DEC Yammer and other social media sites will hear plenty from me during this time too.

Stay tuned!

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The Secretary, the Recipient and the Education Minister

What about you?

What research would benefit your students and colleagues? If you are Australian and interested in applying for one of these scholarship next time round click here for an alert. There’s quite a range of scholarship opportunities, regardless of the kind of teacher or school leadership position you have.

I am happy to assist, if you’d like any tips when applying.

Last but not least, I’d like to congratulate the other scholarship recipients and wish them well for their study tours next year!



  1. […] I will be in The Lake District, London and Stratford-upon-Avon, York and Durham, on the South Downs and the Isle of Man this September and have been dipping into a swag of books about New York and Washington too in preparation for a research trip to the USA next year. […]

  2. […] has been more than merely helpful in my ongoing quest to learn more about genetics and DNA prior to traveling to the USA next month where I will meet some leaders in the field of non-medical DNA […]

  3. […] making a documentary about my trip to the USA next month […]

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