Rob Sbaglia's Blog (24)

Six Months in a Leaky Boat

I'm embarrassed sometimes by the attitude some Australians have to our neighbours, New Zealand. Frankly, I'm a bit of a fan of the kiwis. They've given the world plenty, but for mine, their finest contribution has to be the Finn brothers...

One of the more mundane challenges of global learning, as I'm quickly discovering, is the lack of coordination in…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on June 12, 2012 at 9:59pm — No Comments

Find and Be Found

I'm often asked what the point of the Writers' Club is if you are already blogging. Surely having a global audience is not exactly revolutionary - all you need to do is to start a blog, and theoretically, you have a global audience, right?

Well, yes and no. The big problem I have found with blogging in the classroom is (a) finding the blogs of others, and (b) having your blog found by…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on June 10, 2012 at 11:16pm — No Comments

Humanising the classroom

I was preparing a presentation for differentiating mathematics using technology recently, and ended up editing a TED talk by Salman Khan.

What struck me was Khan's idea that technology can humanise the classroom - which, as Khan acknowledges, is in some ways counterintuitive. Indeed, when I talk to teachers about technology in the classroom, they have visions of a very inhuman scenario, where students have their eyes glued to the screens, interacting…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on May 28, 2012 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Bahasa Bahasa

Since learning to speak a language myself, I've valued the role of languages in schools. One of the most life-changing periods of my life was when I went to live in the city of Perugia as a part of my PhD studies in 2000-2001. Immersed in Italian language, I went from knowing a few words to becoming close to fluent in three months. It was an astonishing transformation, one…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on May 10, 2012 at 5:18pm — No Comments

Castlemaine, Shanghai, Colorado

What could these three diverse places, a small town in country Australia, a large international city in China, and a mountainous state the US, possibly have in common?

I must say, when I started dipping my toes into the global education water, I had my doubts. It’s not that I thought global education wasn’t worthwhile… I thought of it as a “nice to have” rather than an essential part of my classroom. Like the best discoveries in life, the benefits of connecting globally have revealed…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on April 28, 2012 at 6:08pm — No Comments


This photo is of my brother and I in 1994. This is our first car, which we shared ownership over. If you can believe it, I'm the guy on the left! The colour of the car, if you're interested, is "Cypress Metallic Green".

If there's one thing I've been acutely aware of since working with teachers, it's making sure I don't rob teachers of a sense of ownership. I think this is because I know how I…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on April 22, 2012 at 11:15pm — No Comments

100 reasons to join the Writers' Club

Right, if this doesn't convince you, nothing will!

100 reasons to join the Writers Club

1. It's free!

2. All the legwork is done for you, by me

3. It gives your students an authentic audience

4. It's an already functioning community, not just an idea

5. It's secure - only community members can comment on…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on April 16, 2012 at 1:24am — No Comments

Weak Ties

Reposted from

If you could teach your students one lesson from outside the curriculum, what would it be?

For mine, it would be that old chestnut, "It's not what you know, it's who you know".

I used to think this phrase was a synonym for nepotism, but either I had it wrong all along or, with the advent of social media, it…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on March 11, 2012 at 11:18pm — No Comments

Fish is Fish

One of the most beautiful things about having a child is how it reconnects you with your own childhood. Over the holidays, with Georgina spending more time at my mother's place, her grandmother went scurrying into the bedroom and dug out some of my old books so I could read them to my daughter. One that caught my eye was one I have vivid memories of, 'Fish is Fish'. The illustration above particularly sticks in my mind.

The storyline goes along the lines of two…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on January 1, 2012 at 8:58pm — No Comments

Epic Mindshift

It isn’t often my whole conception of how I teach shifts, but it did yesterday. I had one of the most powerful conversations around education of my career yesterday. And the people who shifted my thinking were thirty-eight students between the ages of ten and twelve.

You may have picked up from my writing lately that the idea of gaming in education has been swirling around in my head since the Teaching and Learning with Vision conference. These two TED talks have also shaped my ideas…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on November 23, 2011 at 2:43pm — No Comments

A global community emerges

I really couldn't be happier with the way the Writers' club is shaping up. Check out this conversation on one of the student writer's blogs....

An author from Drysdale in Victoria, Australia is encouraged in his writing, and receives feedback from, students at Castlemaine North in Victoria, Australia and a student in Lahore, Pakistan. This occurred without prompting from the teacher, and…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on November 21, 2011 at 11:29am — No Comments

Lahore, Guadalajara, Castlemaine

What do these three places have in common? At first glance, almost nothing - situated on three different continents, a small town and two large cities, three languages, two religions (at least)... yet all three schools share our Writers' club, and this week we at Castlemaine North Skyped with Lahore and Guadalajara as a way of introduction.…


Added by Rob Sbaglia on November 11, 2011 at 8:32pm — No Comments

Around the world

I'm currently attending the Teaching and Learning with Vision conference on the Gold Coast, and while my wonderful daughter has decided to wake up at 4am, I thought I would write a quick blog post.

I've been very fortunate to have my proposal to present at the Global Education Conference accepted. And while I acknowledge that I am still a novice at international collaboration, I have made some… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on November 3, 2011 at 1:59pm — No Comments

Who is my teacher? Who isn't my teacher?

This is the question a couple of my students could be asking themselves, having just been awarded third prize in a state-wide immunology competition. This is their entry...

The curious thing about this is that these students found out about the competition not from their "teacher" (in the official sense), but from one of our Virtual… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on October 15, 2011 at 8:52pm — No Comments

Building communities of bloggers

So having outlined the reasons why I decided that blogs were the way to go for teaching and learning, what is the best way to do it?

I remember a talk given by Tom March once, and he said that everyone should have their own domain. I took his advice, and his recommendation of the hosting service Siteground. I registered my own domain names (well,… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on October 5, 2011 at 6:13am — No Comments

Blog for your life


Technology has come a long way since these were games. These were around when I was a primary school kid. The main difference I can see is that we've gone from consumers of content to creators of it.

If you're not familiar with how we work at Castlemaine North, I guess one of the most important things to know is that we are big into kids creating content. To do this, the guts of… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on October 2, 2011 at 4:13am — No Comments

Computers for Everybody

Whilst out and about in sunny downtown Bendigo, I stumbled across this book in an 'op-shop' for $1.50 and I knew I had to buy it. Published in 1983, despite loads of funny-looking pictures, there are some insightful things mentioned. There is a whole chapter devoted to computers in education. For example, this is in a section called "The De-Schooling of Learning".

The point is that we…

Added by Rob Sbaglia on September 28, 2011 at 9:51pm — No Comments

How to Breathe

I thought I'd do an opinion piece today. There is something that has been bothering me for quite some time, and I'd like to express my thoughts on it.

I have an issue with the word "e-learning". I was wondering at what point we are going to ditch the "e" in front of "learning". I assume "e" stands for electronic. Did we have "p-learning" before that, when kids used pens for learning? It seems, to some, at least, the tool that is used to make the learning happen is considered more… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on September 10, 2011 at 1:01am — No Comments


Perhaps if you read this blog, you might think I'm a workaholic with nothing more on my mind than teaching, ICT, and the mathematics progression points. You'd be wrong. I have many interests, but none more pervasive than my love of travel.

My love of travel began by realising that not everyone has my ethnic heritage. On this blog, I have mentioned my Italian connections, but on my mother's side, my ancestry is Serbian. This is a more subtle influence on my life, visible only through… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on August 28, 2011 at 5:04am — No Comments

Feu Follet

For me, the internet is as much, or more, about creating and sharing as accessing the work of others. However, creating in a vacuum isn't how creating is done, and great ideas can be built upon the input and ideas of others. Doing this legally in 2011 is not always easy. Copyright laws can make it a minefield for teachers and students. These laws seem contrary to not only present day technology, but also when compared to what existed in the past, as Larry Lessig (a bit of a hero of mine)… Continue

Added by Rob Sbaglia on August 19, 2011 at 6:03pm — No Comments


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