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My introduction to HTML in 1996 was three nights of intensive tuition from the Sunrise Laboratory staff at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). As a project leader for the Distributed Professional Development Project (DPD) I was to prepare curriculum materials for teachers to share via the internet. I submitted an Antarctic Curriculum Unit and an Aboriginal Student Assignment as html files. Primitive efforts!

This was followed by a one day workshop in advanced web authoring in the Mac lab at RMIT in Melbourne. By October of that year I had created a website for Mt Clear Primary School (new site August 2004) where I was teaching. This developed into a large site over the next 5 years as curriculum projects were documented and student work was published electronically.

In 1997 our Keypals in Florida alerted me to a grants program in the USA. A submission via the internet to conduct a Kodak Educational Technology Project resulted in a free Kodak DC50 digital camera. I became self-taught in manipulating digital images but I didn't feel confident about the compromise between quality and size until 1999 after completing a 6 month Graphic Art short course in Advanced Photoshop at the School of Mines Ballarat (SMB) now a campus of the University of Ballarat. And I'm still learning!

In 1996-97 I was fortunate to be a member of the Central Highlands Region Educational Technologies Task Force (ETTF). For one day each month I was free of school duties to work with and learn from the innovators in our area. I believe that this network formed a pool of expertise which hastened the uptake of information and communications technologies in local educational institutions.

In 1997-98 for 2 years I was one of a team 12 teachers chosen throughout the State of Victoria for the Digital Resource Gathering Project (DRGP). We evaluated, reviewed and submitted websites to form the education cache for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). The funding allowed me to work from home and to get to know the internet really well. All the best sites became curriculum links to improve the Mt Clear PS website as well.

It wasn't until 1999 that I started a personal website and it quickly became apparent that the internet was an excellent means of sharing family history information with people around Australia and on the other side of the world. It was so quick and relatively inexpensive. Most of my genealogical research was done as a pencil and paper task in the pre-computing era. Rather than do more desktop publishing I decided to put the information directly on to the internet. I am still experimenting with the most efficient ways to present different types of information and this may take another lifetime!

From 1993-99 I was IT coordinator at our large primary school which meant surviving the trauma of networking and struggling with limited tech support. The Notebook Computers for Teachers program greatly increased the amount of professional development especially internet training.

Since I retired from teaching in January 2001, with the computer and software of my dreams, I have been able to devote more time to web authoring, mostly for community groups. I have since upgraded to a MacBook Pro with a cinema display and now just a MacBook Pro Retina.

In 2001 I also joined the Board of cBallarat to continue my interest in developing IT in the Ballarat region. After three busy years of helping to make Ballarat a 'Televillage' I resigned to devote more time to my other retirement interests.

      Antarctica Curriculum Unit

      Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens Inc (now maintained by the group)

      Australian Aborigines Curriculum Unit

      Australian Breastfeeding Association Ballarat (redesigned by Goldlinksweb, presently down)

      Ballarat Botanical Gardens 2002 at Ballarat.com

      Ballarat Botanical Gardens Education Kit 2002 at Ballarat.com

      Ballarat Environment Network (redesigned by Goldlinksweb, now BIRD wiki)

      Buninyong Botanic Gardens 2002 at Ballarat.com

      Canadian Creek Community Revegetation Project

      cBallarat : Connecting Communities (taken down after 3 years) Now re-invented at Ballarat ICT

      Geoffrey D'Ombrain & Dem Recordings

      Environmental Education at Mt Clear Primary School

      Friends of Ballarat Botanical Gardens Inc

      Kodak Technology Education Project

      Lake Wendouree 2002

      Statues & Coffee Walk - Sturt Street Ballarat

Several websites taken over and re-designed for City of Ballarat website but links keep changing. e.g. Ballarat Botanical Gardens (2002, 2007, 2010), Ballarat Botanical Gardens Education Trail (2007, 2010), Ballarat Region Conservation Strategy (late 1990s), Buninyong Botanic Gardens & The Gong 2002 onwards, Lake Wendouree 2002 onwards) LINCS Project (late 1990s). A search might bring them up.


Created : 28 June 1999
Last Modified : 10 February 2017
Email : jburrell@ncable.net.au
URL : http://users.ncable.net.au/~jburrell/web/index.html