Holiday reading , research and WWW links

Hi all,

Here are some of the key reading and research for the holidays.

What business can learn from the greatest comeback
Gratitude is the new willpower
Turn your next interruption into an opportunity
The Habit Action list – turning goals into action
Meet the invisibles – the people who get tings done
15 ideas to generate new ideas
12 Actions of 21st century servant leaders
What gets in the way of listening
Time to retire from online learning
What gets in the way of listening?
Here is how the most brilliant people schedule their day
4 types of leaders you shouldn’t be
Internet safety sheet for teacher and parents
Rethiunking Capitalism
Genius routines
5 lessons I learnt about leadership as a sergeant in the Israeli army
What does success mean to you?

I am

I Am is a 2010 American documentary film written, narrated, and directed by Tom Shadyac. The documentary explores Shadyac’s personal journey after a 2007 bicycle accident, “the nature of humanity” and “world’s ever-growing addiction to materialism.”The film, shot with Shadyac and a team of four, contrasts sharply with Shadyac’s previous comedic work.

i am

I watched this in April 2014 – did not know about it for 4 years. The key for me was not only the message but also the people he interviewed and what they have written which I want to follow up. Below is a list of the contributors.

This post is about what I want to follow up and use in some presentation I get to give students during the year.

Some Ideas:

His focus is two questions:
1. What is wrong with the world?
2. What can we do about it?

I often think in terms of the following:

but I like the notion of:

We are hardwired for a compassionate response to  the trouble of others

Every word you utter to another human being can have an effect.

Dali Lama to the question on the most important type of meditation:
1. Critical thinking
2. Action

Two parts to this:
a. Discern your world- know the plot and the scenario
b. Figure out where your talents will make a better world

David Suziki Sacred Balance


Lynne McTaggart The Field


Dean Radin Institute of Noetic Sciences


Thom Hartmann Last ours of Ancient Sunlight


Dacher Keltner Professor of Psychology University of Barkley


Noam Comsky Professor of Linguistics MIT


Chis Jordan Photographer


Howard Zinn A peoples history of the United States’s_History_of_the_United_States


Daniel Quinn Ishmael


Marcia Barasch Fieldnotes in a compassionate life


Desmond Tutu Archbishop Cape Town South Africa
Rollin Mc Craty Senior research Heartmath Institute


Elizabeth Sahtouris Evolutionary Biologist


John Francis Planet Walker


Colman Barks Poet/ Author The Essential Romi


Gee there are a lot of interetsing people in the world.

Yet to decide if some of the science is a con or not?


cheers Martin







“Sometimes it is just about the technology”


I’m struggling with extremes

For a number of months now I have been thinking about the notion “it’s not about the technology”.  These thoughts have come purely through Twitter and my involvement in more than one Professional Association. I am struggling to come to terms with this idea.

I am a geography teacher who has learnt how to use technology in the classroom.  I would struggle to go to a school which does not embrace techology the way the schools I have worked in to date.  This tells me it is about the technology – especially now as I have thrown out hundreds of folders of notes.

Even though I often want to talk about this  I feel it is politically incorrect  of me to focus on the technology tools first. I just feel I am in the minority. So I  bite my tongue in discussions and later see adoption taking place.  A mate of mine often said to me patience is a virtue.

If it is not about the technology what is it about?

Of course it is about learning, the students, pastoral care, good organisation, preparing students for examinations and for life beyond the school gate.  However, I am increasingly of the opinion  it is about the technology first.

The Zen in me believes in the  middle path though at the moment the Libran in me believes the scale to weighted too much in the direction of  “it’s not about the technology”



The extremes

For those promoting technology they often had to adopt the posture that “it is not about the techology” to simply get a foot in the door.  This was because of the resistance to adopting technolgy in the schools.  This was particularly the case a decade or so ago. Though I witnessed similar arguments  over the past five  years over the adoption of social media which is now almost mainstream.

For those not interested in using technology for learning the case was simple “its not about the technology” – hold the line and the fad will go away.  For a long time this worked and in some cases still works in whole schools or in individual departments in schools.

Both extremes used the same argument “its not about the technology” to achieve their  different goals.




Everywhere I look I see technology driving things first. Maybe I am just looking for things I want to see.

At the recent ULearn Conference only 6% of the delegates were ICT integrators though it could have easily just been a conference solely for those interested in learning technologies.  No matter what session I attended such as  literacies, learning,  pastoral care and  administration there was always a focus related to technology.  Whether it was digital multi-media for literacy, iPads for learning, digital citizenship for pastoral care or cloud computing for adminstration I often found myself in the middle of a chicken and egg discussion.

In the recent US Election I was aware of the use of technology to harness votes.  It was only after the election when I came across this very good article. It provided evidence of the time and money spent on the people and the technology to achieve the out come – though initially they did not know how things would unfold.  Once committed they then worked out how best used  the tools to get the job done and the outcome required.  They of course started with the question that they wanted more votes.  Both parties did but one  did it better than the other because I believe they put the focus on the technology first while the other party was not fully committed. Was the difference that one party went for it and the other took a more measured approach?  Both approaches have their place  and some times in seeking a middle way you need to make a decision.

I don’t want to labour the analogy, however, now and then you just have to grab a piece of learning technology use it, upskill yourself, experiment , evaluate, perhaps toss it ,  hopefully improve it or find something else.

Sometimes there is just too much thinking  and posturing rather than just doing.

cheers Martin




My Publications – updated

Unpublished Manuscripts
Plüss, M. (1990) Nonformal Education in Asia and the Pacific: A Critical Survey and Synthesis M. Ed. Dissertation.

Plüss, M. (1983) The Evolution of an Elite Area: A Study of 19th Century Strathfield, Honours Thesis, University of Sydney.


Plüss, M (2011) “Australia and Asia trends in mobile, internet and social media usage with student learning” Geography Bulletin 44 (2) 20-23
Plüss, M (2011) “ICT Update Augmented Reality” Geography Bulletin 43 (4) 34 – 39.
Watkins, B and Plüss, M (2011) Alliance “”Social media: how do schools traverse the landslide” p 21
Plüss, M (2010) “Head in the Clouds: you must be on the right Track” Teacher March (34-38).
Plüss, M (2009) “Twitter for Geography Teachers” Geography Bulletin 41 (2) 55-59.
Plüss, M (2008) “Twitter: Viral Professional Development and Networking” Teacher November pp:58-60.
Plüss, M (2008) “Innovation Social Bookmarking” Professional Educator, 7 (1) April 2008 pp:14-17.
Plüss, M (2007) “ICT in the classroom” Teacher February 2007 pp:56-58.
Plüss, M (2007) “Using Bloglines” Geography Bulletin 39 (2) pp: 32-34.
Plüss, M (2007) “Communities of Practice”, My Teaching Career, Teacher Learning Network pp:34-36
Plüss, M (2006) “About Blogging…Blogging About” Geography Bulletin 38 (2) pp: 30-37.
Plüss, M (2006) ” Strategies for Implementing ICT in the Classroom” Proceedings of IT Integrators’ Conference 2006 14-15 September 2006 at Wenona School in North Sydney.
Plüss, M (2005) “ICT Update: Blogging ” Geography Bulletin 37 (2): 56-61.
Plüss, M (2005) “Getting the most out of Google ” Geography Bulletin 37 (3): 43-45.
Plüss, M (2005) “e-learning How is your school sailing? ” Teacher April 2005 pp: 52-53.
Plüss, M (2004) “Digital Divide in Australia ” Geography Bulletin 36 (4): 56-59.
Plüss, M (2003) “Beyond the Generation Gap: learning technologies” Geography Bulletin 35(1): 43-46.
Plüss, M (2003) “Geoquest Australia” Geography Bulletin 35(2): 78-83.
Plüss, M (2003) “Beyond the Generation Gap” Campus Review 18-24 June p.48.
Plüss, M (2003) “Beyond the Generation Gap: learning technologies” Geography Bulletin 35(1): 43-46.
Plüss, M (2003) “Geoquest Australia” Geography Bulletin 35(2): 78-83.
Plüss, M (2003) “Beyond the Generation Gap” Campus Review 18-24 June p.48.
Plüss, M (2003) “Geographical Dimensions of the Digital Divide” Geography Bulletin 35 (4):162-164.
Plüss, M (2002) “Global Perspectives: A Statement on Global Education for Australian Schools” Independence 27 (2):51.
Plüss, M (2002) “IT Update: Online Cultural Geography” Geography Bulletin 34(1):41-43.
Plüss, M (2002) “Geography Fieldwork Awards 2000″ Geography Bulletin 34(1):8-9.
Plüss, M (2002) “Learning Technologies in Geography” GTA Country Conference Mudgee March 2002.
Plüss, M (2002) “Computing Skills Assessment in Stage 4 and 5 Geography” Geography Bulletin 34(2):89-90.
Plüss, M (2002) “ICT Update: Learning Technologies and Structured Internet Learning” Geography Bulletin 34(3): 132-143.
Plüss, M (2002) “ICT Update: Online Assessment in Geography Geography Bulletin 34(4): 174-179.
Plüss, M (2001) “Using the Internet” Workshop Presentation GTA NSW Annual Conference August 2001
Plüss, M (2001) ” Global Education: Linking the development perspective with the syllabus and the WWW” Geography Bulletin 33(2):87-88.
Plüss, M (2000) “Beyond Browsing” Geography Bulletin 32 (2): 82 -84.
Plüss, M (2000) “Wetlands: a study for school Geography” Geography Bulletin 32 (3):104 – 114.
Plüss, M (1999) “Virtual Geography Classrooms” Geography Bulletin 31 (2): 17 -19.
Plüss, M (1998) “Reflections on the Social in Human Geography” Geography Bulletin 30 (3): 85 – 89.
Plüss, M (1998) “The GTA NSW Home Page” Geography Bulletin 30 (1): 12 -13.
Plüss, M (1998) “Education, Information Technology and the World Wide Web” Geography Bulletin 30 (2): 52 -53.
Plüss, M (1998) “Electronic Mail” Geography Bulletin 30 (3): 94 -95.
Plüss, M (1998) “The Internet for Geography Teaching” Geography Bulletin 30 (4): 132 -133.
Plüss, M (1998) “Integrating Information Technology” In One Day Teacher’s Conference: Stages 4 and 5 Geography GTA NSW.
Plüss, M (1997) “Introduction to Nepal” Geography Bulletin 29 (3): 81 – 86.
Plüss, M (1996) “Large Cities: Los Angeles” In The Way Forward, GTANSW.
Plüss, M (1996) “The Use of the Internet for Geography Teachers “Geography Bulletin 28 (4): 129 – 130.
Plüss, M (1995) “A Water Management Project in Malaysia: the Muda Irrigation Project” Geography Bulletin 27 (4): 153 – 157.

Plüss, M (1995) “The Pattern of Work and Settlement in Rural Village Communities” Geography Bulletin 27 (1): 12 – 19.
Plüss, M. (1994) “Zombies in Cyberland” The Australian Feature Letter 21 November 1994.
Plüss, M. (1994) “Settlement and Work in Areas with Nomadic Communities” Geography Bulletin 26 (3): 81 – 90.
Plüss, M. (1993) “The Influence of Restructuring in Los Angeles: the Downtown and a Selection of Urban communities” Geography Bulletin 25 (4): 143 – 148.
Plüss, M. (1992) “Two Global Cities and the World Economy: New York and Tokyo” Geography Bulletin 24 (3): 85 – 90.
Plüss, M. (1991) “Global, National and State Factors Affecting Oyster Farming in the Lower Georges River, Botany Bay” Geography Bulletin 23 (4):123-126.
Plüss, M. (1990) “A Food Production Unit in its Areal Context: Oyster farming in the Georges River” Geography Bulletin 22 (1): 55 – 53.
Plüss, M. (1989) “Geography and Peace Education” Geography Bulletin 21 (1): 13 – 20.
Plüss, M. (1988) “Movement Encounter and Rest” Geography Bulletin 20 (1): 35 – 42.
Plüss, M. (1988) “A River Case Study on the Southern Highlands: Maguires Creek” Geography Bulletin 20 (2): 39 – 42.
Plüss, M. (1987) “The Evolution of Strathfield” Geography Bulletin 19 (3): 131 – 150.

Plüss, M. (1985) “The Evolution of Strathfield” In I. Burnley and J. Forrest Living in Cities: Urbanism and Society in Metropolitan Australia Allen and Unwin.

Web Publications

Plüss, M (2003 – 2008) Tara Intranet
Plüss, M (1996 -2011) Geography and Education Online GTANSW Home Page
Plüss, M (2000 – 2001) Geography at Tara Home Page
Plüss, M (2000) Basic Internet Skills
Plüss, M (1998 – 1999) Northholm Grammar School Pastoral Care Home Page
Plüss, M (1997) Fieldwork in the Classroom for Geography Teachers