Jenny Luca

Friday has arrived and at last the weekend. The end of the term rapidly approaches. Topics to complete, papers to mark, registers to complete.

And, naturally, time for the Friday Follow Twitter Interview and this week we have a special guest indeed, Jenny Luca. Here we have an educator with deep insights and a clear vision of how technology and social media can enhance the art of teaching and learning. Jenny’s recent journey is special. Her experiences have changed her life. Please read on…

1. Please share a little about yourself with the readers.

My formal qualifications will tell you that I am the Head of Information Services at Toorak College, an Independent Girl’s School in Mt. Eliza. I’m a mother and wife first and a teacher second, but I’m an information junkie all the time. (My family will quite possibly disagree with the ‘mother and wife first, teacher second’ statement!)

It’s the information junkie part of me that has got me involved with social media, and has renewed my enthusiasm for the teaching profession and the possibilities I see for education. It’s led to me writing my blog, ‘Lucacept – intercepting the Web’. I’ve been writing for three and half years now, and have had the opportunity to present at conferences both in Australia, and the United States.

In 2008 I won the World Teachers Every Day competition run by the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In 2009 I was the recipient of the John Ward Award for outstanding Teacher-Librarian in Victoria from the School Library Association of Victoria. In 2010 I was a recipient of the Australian Council of Computers in Education Australasian Educational Media Award. Recently I started writing for the PLP Voices from the Learning Revolution blog. None of this recognition would have come my way if I wasn’t sharing my thinking on the Web. It’s been life changing for me.

2. Describe the role played by social media in education.

Social media and education have seen some teachers connect and share their learning, but the union hasn’t transferred to the degree it could in regular curriculum. I think we are seeing some schools embrace the possibilities of the communicative potential of the Web, fired in large part by key teaching personnel who are involved in social media themselves and who realise how learning can be delivered and communicated differently. I think we will see societal pressures exert sway in schools as social media becomes more pervasive in our everyday lives.

3. Tell me about your relationship with social media. How do you feel about social media?

I love how social media has changed my view of the world, and especially my feelings about the teaching profession. I have always loved teaching, but felt that I needed something more and seriously considered leaving the profession. When social media helped me discover a world of passionate teachers who were happy to share their knowledge and ideas, my passion for what I do was renewed. I felt connected to a much larger cause and knew instinctively it was important that I helped my students discover the potential of the Web too.

4. What do you feel are you strengths?

I think I’ve always been an effective communicator, someone who was able to help people feel connected. This used to happen in my immediate circle of friends and colleagues, but now it extends to virtual spaces too. I like to share, and think it’s important that people help people. It’s probably why I always wanted to be a librarian; it’s one of those professions where being helpful to others is a job requirement!

5. What advice do you like to share with people?

Reach out and don’t be afraid to take risks with your learning. If you want to become a connected educator, learn how to use Twitter effectively, but don’t just lurk and take, be transparent and share. Look for educators whose words resonate with you, and read their blog posts. You will find substance and innovative thinking there, and you become more connected to the person writing the posts.

6. Are there any questions you would like to ask?

Here’s one that’s sure to set the cat among the pigeons!
When will we see women’s voices heard as loudly as mens?

Thank you Jenny. Thank you for your insight and thank you for taking the time to share. Yes, sharing with transparency are key to successful connections. This is true. You are an exceptional educator and your life experience certainly resonates with myself. Moments and experiences can have dramatic impacts on one’s career and life. Certainly happened to me. Yes, I too would like to hear the voices of women loud and clear. In fact I would be quite happy to hear the voices of women far more than those of men. History is littered with ruined nations and ruined dreams due to the blustering voices of men.

Readers please remember to subscribe to Jenny’s blog, ‘Lucacept – intercepting the Web’, follow her Twitter feed. and to check in at the PLP Voices from the Learning Revolution blog.