Testimonials for Adrian Bruce

 

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In 2005 I received an honourable mention in the 'Global SchoolNet Foundation's Online Shared Learning Award based on my work and what my peers had to say about me.

Thanks so much for all the kind words guys!

Nominated by Renata Phelps
College Professor at Southern Cross University Lismore, NSW, Australia

Adrian Bruce is an exemplary ICT using teacher. He is a classroom teacher in a regional Australian primary school; Byron Bay, Australia with 14 years experience.

I wish to nominate Adrian for the GlobalSchoolsNet award. I am a lecturer in educational information technology in teacher education at Southern Cross University, Australia. I became aware of Adrian's inspirational work when his class (the Starfish) won an international award for their ScienceWow Factory Website, a collaboration between students from Spain, Australia and America (see http://gvc03c32.virtualclassroom.org/ This site has inspired many classroom teachers and university teaching staff alike in Australia and internationally.

Since becoming aware of Adrian’s work I have followed many of his ICT activities and visited his classroom. His capabilities in integrating ICT, and facilitating online collaborative learning are exceptional. Adrian has created and maintains a website (http://www.adrianbruce.com) where he freely offers resources and lesson ideas to other teachers. Adrian has a strong focus on using games to help make learning more accessible and fun. He also focuses strongly on showcasing students’ work and distributing this work to a wider community. His website gets 25,000 downloads every month and many of the users are from countries like Sudan and Ghana where teaching materials are scarce. For instance, he recently shared this e-mail feedback from a Sister Guyana with me “I am a missionary in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. I work several days a week at a orphanage for little girls. There are several little girls that cannot go to public school because they don't know how to read. I have limited supplies and money and so it is nice to find something I can use to help them learn. These little girls have received a lot of abuse in their short little lives and it is hard for them to learn. I will make a match game to help them learn the alphabet. Then we will start on the sounds. If I can get them up to first grade level the school will accept them and they will be able to go to school. Thank you for the free material. As we progress I will come back to your web site for more material.”

Adrian’s maths resources, and in particular his symmetry activities, have now received 300 000 visitors (http://www.adrianbruce.com/Symmetry/). The network that he has established through this work has meant that he is increasingly collaborating internationally in his teaching. I understand that presently he has teamed up with a teacher in Ireland to create more educational games which will be incorporated into the site. The Reading Games site (http://www.goteachthis.com/reading) recently received the EduNET Choice Award for sites that "provide and maintain valuable educational content" (http://www.edunetconnect.com/awards/index.php).

I have been particularly impressed with Adrian’s innovative use of programs. For instance, his Starfish class were involved in creating Martian postcards (http://www.byroncs.nsw.edu.au/starfish/science/mars/mars1.html) and Animated poetry (http://www.byroncs.nsw.edu.au/starfish/poetry/index.html) using such programs as Swish and Ani8to. These motivating and educational activities created by his students provide models for what other teachers can achieve.

Adrian is a teacher who achieves large educational outcomes with whatever resources he has available to him, something which in itself is exceptional modelling for other teachers. He predominantly utilises shareware and freeware and effectively utilises a range of older computers in his classroom, clearly demonstrating that effective ICT integration does not require large amounts of capital outlay. Adrian’s spirit of sharing his ideas and experiences with others means that he is a truly collaborative ICT using teacher. He has been invited to present at numerous venues (for instance http://www.studentnet.edu.au/aispd/).

In summary, Adrian is an inspirational teacher who focuses on sharing resources and learning with teachers internationally. His class website has enabled his students to reach out to an international audience with their work and to receive international recognition and encouragement in their learning.

The section below lists the testimonials that have been reviewed and approved by the candidate.

1. Testimonial from Minh McCloy (1)
Media Specialist at Byron Community Primary School
Australia

Working with Adrian for the three years we spent together at the Byron Community School was a professional highlight. A quote from my farewell speech last year will give the flavour of that time.

“Adrian working with you, planning & designing for learning has been invigorating. We were riding the leading edge of a cascade of changes in technology & pedagogy but were grounded in the exciting reality & immediacy of the kids.”

He’s generous – professionally open and sharing with his knowledge & skills. Others have spoken of his liberality with regards to the resources he freely makes available to his colleagues in that global staffroom the Net has created. The number of downloads are impressive because they indicate the quality & utility of the resource made so freely available. The games are pedagogically sound, easy to use & pleasant to the eye. They are well-designed & useful.

During the Global Virtual Classroom project the intense focus in his classroom was on the need to create resources which could truly be shared across the world. The children acquired the necessary characteristics and perspectives & the dynamics arising from the collaboration & co-learning were marvellously engaging.

As Learning Support Teacher at the school I was in position to both observe & participate in many aspects of the process. Here was a classroom where collaborative learning had escaped the shackles of the fad & the buzzword. You knew something pertinent – you shared it; you had an appropriate skill – you passed it on; there was a gap in the knowledge/skills/concepts – let’s see what WE can come up with.

That this class won an award which went to groups which understood the need to share, to ‘give back’ via the net is not mere serendipity.

The enduring legacy of Adrian’s time at our school is that there are 40 or so kids who are certainly competent users of ICT but more importantly have acquired that competence in an intensely collaborative milieu. These children know that the Net is for sharing.

And that’s not a bumper sticker, that just good pedagogy.

Adrian will continue to explore the frontiers looking for the interplay between technology & learning. His students will become his co-learners, his fellow explorers. Some of his colleagues will be fellow collaborators. And under the auspices of the Internet, with Adrian’s skills & character, none of this will be limited temporally or geographically. Collaboration, collegiality, cooperation entwined with technology and pedagogy – leading edge indeed.

2. Testimonial from Carol Lacy (2)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at Bayou View Elementary
United States

Carol Lacy National Board certified teacher Gulfport, MS, USA Currently teaching 4th-5th grade quest lab program Field trainer linking teachers with technology resources e-mail: singley at infionline.net

Adrian Bruce is the most valuable resource I have linked to through the Internet. As a field trainer, I guide teachers to numerous resource sites, but Adrian provides more than resources. He shares an enthusiasm for making learning fun through games and discovery. He empowers teachers and students with clear, non-intimidating, instruction that inspires them to experiment with, and learn to use, free technology tools. Teachers are often intimidated by the lingo of techies and are afraid to venture beyond the expensive programs peddled to the masses. Adrian provides links to free resources and uses clear, non-technical language to guide students and teachers. I met Adrian in the fall of 2003 when our classes were randomly assigned to work online together in a virtual classroom contest. We also had a third partner classroom in Valencia, Spain. This was the first experience any of us had with this competition. We chose Adrian as our leader and he led us to a first-place international award. But, I don’t think any of us were even thinking about trying to win anything as we worked together to build a website. Our collaboration was an extremely valuable and enjoyable learning experience. We three teachers agreed at the beginning that we really wanted this project to inspire a love for learning science and began seeking discovery learning activities that would make students say, “Wow.” Adrian’s vision was for us to create the website using free resources so that the only technology expense for each of us was a computer with Internet access. He set goals, created a plan and guided us online as we learned together to use the software. It was also his idea to have the students create cartoons to illustrate the site and write Readers Theatre scripts to guide others through our science activities. His leadership inspired us all to a higher level of achievement and helped us create a resource that can be used by students and educators worldwide long after the competition is over. I have never had a group of students be as excited about writing. They spent hours clustered around our computers improvising and revising humorous scripts to present our science activities. The students were authentically engaged in learning through the science activities and the synthesis of creating scripts demonstrating their understanding. Adrian created a plan and design for sharing and evaluating each others’ scripts and activities. He went even further in creating clear, illustrated instructions and links on our website, telling how we did it, so others could create their own sites. This project created a lot of excitement among the parents and partners of my school as well. After the win, a local communications firm sponsored a celebration for my students and parents. The parents watched as my students had an online chat with Adrian and his students. Adrian, realizing that I was tied up with media interviews, took on the role of maestro from across the ocean and led my students, and his, through an improvised on-line lesson. He asked guiding questions that had them thinking and learning as parents watched the chat on a projected screen. Our students also basked in the recognition from media and peers. Adrian is first and foremost a talented educator who sees the true value of technology in education. Too often computers are used in classrooms passively to entertain the restless or as another source for rote learning. We have continued collaboration since the project. Our children are learning through sharing travel buddies and e-mails. Most recently, my class has downloaded Adrian’s reading games and has been using them to tutor younger students in our school. Teachers and students are really enjoying this and the students love the games. Adrian’s creative approach demonstrates that it doesn’t take huge amounts of money for schools to integrate technology in a meaningful way. He is very deserving of recognition and support for his work.

3. Testimonial from Debra Talbot (3)
Other at Association of independent Schools NSW
Australia

As the Primary Science Consultant for AIS NSW, I first met Adrian in 2003 at a course I was presenting to familiarise teachers with a CD ROM aimed at assisting primary teachers with successfully teaching the NSW Primary Science and Technology Syllabus. Adrian made an impression on me that day because he was one of the few primary teachers I had worked with who demonstrated a genuine understanding of the enthusiasm that primary-aged students have for a student-centred, investigative approach to science learning.

When Adrian contacted me to ask if I would be willing to become one of the 'on-line experts' who his students could communicate with in order to clarify their science understandings I was very excited. The students had developed several scripts for science demonstrations as part of the global project they were involved in. They emailed the scripts to me to read and comment on. We also 'chatted' several times on-line in a group which included Adrian and a teacher from the USA.

Throughout the project I was constantly impressed by Adrian's skills and talents as a an educator. At all times he demonstrated for his students what a life-long-learner really looks like by showing them that he was a learner in the process along with them. As questions relating to the scientific content arose he did not pretend to be an expert in all things but explored solutions with his students. At the same time, his expertise in managing an on-line learning environment was evident to his students and ensured the project ran smoothly. He supported his students in their learning adventure in ways which ensured that it was a positive and successful experience for them. For example, when they had trouble formulating an on-line question he was there to provide contingent scaffolding without removing ownership from the student and at all times he helped them to ensure that the tone of their on-line conversations was appropriate.

Adrian's students expressed their interest in and enthusiasm for both science and technology through their on-line conversations. Their level of engagement and learning was evident and consistently at a very high level. To achieve such outstanding outcomes for students makes Adrian Bruce, in my estimation, an outstanding educator.

4. Testimonial from Barbara Braxton (4)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at Palmerston District Primary School
Australia

In a country that likes to chop down its tall poppies so they lie wilted and dying among the chaff, Australian teachers and students alike are very lucky that the slasher has not decapitated Adrian. For we need him to stand tall, and attract us with his innovative use of ICT in the classroom, particularly in a culture that is rooted in scope-and-sequence lock-step prescribed-outcomes education.

For years, Adrian has been working with very young children, allowing them to explore and create projects that clearly demonstrate their learning yet involve ICT software and skills deemed by those-who-think-they-know to be beyond the capabilities of such early learners.

While they are creating, the children are constantly reflecting on their new learning, and making new connections. They are developing a positive attitude about school and learning that will carry them through their school lives and beyond.

After the children have completed the task, Adrian has published their work on the Byron Bay Community School site http://www.byroncs.nsw.edu.au/starfish/index.html But he has not left it at that, as so many do - he has used his profile and influence on a national teachers email list to promote the children's work as examples of what can be achieved if you throw off the shackles of a constricted and constricting curriculum.

He also invites us to give the students feedback so they can see that their work has a real purpose and wider value as teachers use it for inspiration with their own classes.

By leading by example, Adrian has inspired many others to have a go, to acknowledge and build on the ICT knowledge and skills that the children bring to school with them in this digital age, to allow students to show evidence of their learning in a format that has all the elements of colour, sound and movement that appeals to them. He has shown what is possible and challenged us to emulate it, all the time ready to give personal help and guidance. He demonstrates the reality , and then gives the support so others can make it happen too. It is this willingness to be a mentor to his peers through the Oz-teachers online community that makes him stand taller than the other poppies.

As a former finalist of this award, and one who also spends hundreds of hours involving little ones in global, national and local ICT-based projects and showing their teachers what they can achieve, it is a blessing to continue to work with such a committed colleague as Adrian towards a shared vision, and a privilege to write this testimonial for him.

5. Testimonial from Erin Azzopardi (4)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at Casual Relief Teacher
Australia

During 2004 I was lucky enough to undertake my final year of teacher training in Adrian Bruce’s classroom. My experience with using computers in the daily running of a classroom had been minimal up until that point, with most teachers I had observed preferring to ignore the fact that they had computers in their room, and leave ‘computer time’ to the computer lab. Adrian demonstrated that computers can be used at all times throughout the day for a range of activities; things that it would never have occurred to me to use them for.

When I first joined Adrian’s classroom they had just been awarded first prize for the Science Wow Factory, which involved the children collaborating with children in Spain and America to write readers’ theatre scripts. The children were visibly excited about their achievements, and the level of motivation that was created from this project was enormous, because the children had not only contributed something to the world wide community of internet users, they had been recognised and awarded for it. The success they had with this project displayed to me that schools do not need big budgets to create meaningful technological experiences for their students.

Adrian’s class website was also a huge inspiration to me as a beginning teacher. Children create so much quality work that most teachers display on the classroom wall for only a select group of people to view. In Adrian’s class, the children’s work would be displayed on the web for the world to view, and this sort of motivation is priceless when you are a teacher. Imagine how excited the children were when they would get feedback about their poetry from the other side of the world! Many classrooms have their own link on the school website, but what was unique about Adrian’s is the amount of links that were included on it. He had included links to most curriculum areas, so anyone viewing the website could get a fairly detailed idea about the sorts of things that go on in his room. As a beginning teacher I found Adrian’s class website, and of course his own website, extremely beneficial in giving me teaching ideas and at giving me a glimpse at just how far you can go with your teaching by incorporating technology.

6. Testimonial from Michael Judell (5)
School Board Member at Byron Community School
Australia

To whom it may concern,

Adrian Bruce was my daughter’s teacher during 2004 at the Byron Primary Community School. I believe Adrian to be an exceptionally gifted teacher. His effect on my daughter Eva was profound. Under Adrian’s tuition Eva changed form having a vague interest in school work to developing an enthusiastic hunger and love for knowledge. Adrian addressed the children intelligently and respectfully and the kids seemed to respond in the same manner. During Eva’s year with Adrian she developed many skills. She developed a strong interest in science, became very proficient in computer skills, learnt how to access and document information from the internet and books, absorbed a sophisticated vocabulary and developed a strong and witty sense of humour. I am thankful that Eva was exposed to Adrian’s intelligent teaching craft as I am certain that the positive developments she made during 2004 were due to his influence. I believe Adrian would make an invaluable addition to any educational institution. Talents such as his are extremely rare. Adrian was loved and respected by his students.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Judell. Byron Community School Management team.

7. Testimonial from Peter Macinnis (5)
Other at writer, teacher for 36 years
Australia

Rather than write a special testimonial, which can always be a bit stilted, I wish to tender the following spontaneous comment which I made on the Oz-teachers list in August 2004.

My qualifications to comment: I have worked with computers since 1963, I have taught science and technology since 1970, I have taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and I have a fearful reputation for bluntness.

I have edited the following to remove a couple of bluntnesses, and to clarify a couple of local references for readers in other countries. The comment was a rsponse to some stuff Adrian had put online.

************

With intimations of mortality and advanced-middle-age fogeyism creeping upon me apace, let me first admit that Adrian Bruce used to teach in a feeder school of mine, so I have met him in meatspace, and might be biased, because he's a nice bloke.

Let me, however, point out that I gave up being a bureaucrat many years ago, because I was annoyed at being expected to endorse things I disagreed with -- or worse, being expected to promote them. I preferred to be in the classroom where I could speak my mind. So wearing my free-agent, dont-owe-nobuddy-nuffin hat, let me just say that I knew Adrian as the sort of welcome feeder teachers who sent his Year 6 boys to be Year 7s in my secondary classes, already knowing what I expected Year 10s to leave with -- and I am delighted to see that he has lost none of his enthusiasm.

Adrian, take a bow, you are an ornament to your profession.

And the rest of you of my era, sinking into say-I'm-weary, say-I'm-old, say-that-health-and-wealth-have-missed-me semi-somnolence, go look, go see, go have your socks knocked off. That may give you chilblains on the toes, but it will kindle quite a fire in the belly, and it will all even out in the end.

I see that I will now have to put off for some years my plans to complain about the younger generation not being up to it. It's not only Adrian, there are dozens of them. We are leaving the world in safe hands, but his are to the fore.

Harumph and good night.

Peter Macinnis

8. Testimonial from Melanie Hughes (5)
Educational Consultant at Association of Independent Schools NSW
Australia

Adrian Bruce is an exemplary educator. He is particularly adept at creating truly integrated learning experiences for the students he teaches. Apart from this Adrian’s resourcefulness together with his willingness to share with his teaching colleagues are what make him stand out amongst others of his profession.

I was made aware of Adrian in my capacity as Educational Consultant with the Association of Independent Schools NSW (AIS). It has been my pleasure to involve Adrian in several education conferences hosted by the AIS, a not for profit organisation, whose function is to support and provide professional development for independent schools of all sizes and religious affiliations. These have included Technology themed conferences; where the emphasis has been on how best to foster learning through the use of technology in the classroom and our K-6 Conference, showcasing outstanding educators and their methods for the benefit of their primary colleagues. Through his involvement in these events, Adrian has inspired many teachers with his innovative ideas and has always provided himself and his teaching materials at no cost. For many, the most exciting part of hearing Adrian speak has been sharing how he has provided enriching learning experiences for his students with very few resources and on an extremely limited budget.

His last teaching position saw him in a small under-resourced school in regional New South Wales. Here, Adrian wanted his students to have the opportunity to work with technology to not only fulfill syllabus requirements but also to enhance learning in all key learning areas. Since the school at which he was based had only a very meager budget to buy appropriate technology Adrian sourced second hand computers from the local community and sourced freeware and shareware programs covering all manner of skill sets from the Internet. As a result, his students have been able to create their own artwork and illustrations, build websites, animate poetry and narratives online, write scripts and conduct science experiments, perform mathematical tasks and compose music all with these inexpensive and for the most part free resources.

His students have been involved in collaborative learning with students in Spain and the U.S.A as part of a global learning project and he has accessed subject matter experts (some from the AIS)via Internet based chat programs to give his students an opportunity to ask difficult questions and solve problems online and in real time. Adrian is resourceful with people as well as with materials. He has involved parents and local community members in his students learning and in particular their learning of technology. He has created team-teaching and professional development opportunities for his colleagues where none existed before, thereby extending learning opportunities to other students in the school as well as his own class. It is to his credit that students from such a small school with little funds have had as valuable a learning opportunity as if they had been attending a school with every available resource.

Adrian has also created an extensive website on which he posts many of these inventive lesson plans, resources and work samples for other educators to use free of charge. It was entirely developed in his own time and is hosted at his own expense with an aim to share his ideas with others. The site has received thousands of hits over the years and has given assistance to many educators in poorer parts of the world who do not have access to classroom materials and or who simply need inspiration.

Aside from providing his students with a great many integrated learning opportunities, assisting and motivating other teachers has long been a goal of Adrian’s and from my observations he has certainly succeeded many times over and continues to do so.

9. Testimonial from Ruth Ostrow (6)
Media Specialist at Byron Bay Community School
Australia

I have had experience with Adrian in two capacities. My daughter was one of his students for two years, and I had the privilege of teaching beside him on several occasions over that period. I am a writer and a journalist with a national newspaper The Australian and Adrian regularly invited me into the class to pass on my knowledge to his students and to help them prepare their work for publication on the website.

With regard to the first capacity, I was delighted with the profound knowledge of the world-wide-web my daughter was receiving being in Adrian’s class. She would often surprise me with how competent she was becoming in all matters to do with the web including how to surf, how to design WebPages, how to access research data, how to connect with other human beings using this wonderful medium -- among other things.

With regard to the second capacity, it was a pleasure to watch Adrian working with the kids. His passion, commitment and intelligence were like music to a parent’s ears, and I often joked that I wanted to come back to school and be in his class.

Certainly when I saw the standard and sophistication of the website that he had meticulously and lovingly designed with his students, I realised that my own web designers had a lot to learn -- as did I. Watching him tease poetry (and music) out of the children for the site was also an inspiring experience for me.

I can say with no doubt that Adrian ranks amongst the finest teachers I have known. Sincerely Ruth Ostrow

10. Testimonial from Maurice Cummins (6)
Technology Education Director at The Scots College
Australia

I met Adrian in my previous role as an education consultant for The Association of Independent Schools NSW. He attended an ICT workshop that I facilitated. It became evident to me during this workshop that Adrian was implementing an advanced array of ICT strategies and initiatives in his classroom. I was particularly impressed with Adrian's collaborative approach as he had attended the workshop with another teacher from his school Byron Community School and was able to provide scaffolded support to enable his colleague to learn new ICT skills.

Subsequently I invited Adrian to present at several AIS conferences including twice presenting for the annual Technology Showcase, a conference for ICT leaders across the independent sector and the AIS K-6 conference. Adrian received excellent feedback from participants including comments about his practical integration strategies.

I am also a member of OZ Teacher Net and another state based email list. I am aware that the resources Adrian has produced are widely used and appreciated by classroom teachers across the country.

Adrian is an innovative, responsive and thoughtful educator who is deserving of this award.

Regards, Maurice Cummins. Coordinator of ICT Programs The Scots College Sydney Australia

11. Testimonial from Cindy DePoy (6)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at American School of Valencia
Spain

I had the pleasure of working with Adrian Bruce on the Global Virtual Classroom Project during the 2003-4 school year. Adrian was the leader of a three-school team made up of his school in Byron Bay, a school in Gulfport, Mississippi and the school where I work in Valencia, Spain. The project was designed to promote international cooperation, understanding and communication. Each of us taught 9 to 10 year old classes of varying academic levels. My class was made up primarily of non-native English speaking students. For me there were several interesting things about working with Adrian. He volunteered to be the leader in our group, and as he had more IT experience than I did, I readily agreed. I knew I wanted a science focus to the project, but I did not know exactly what I wanted to do. Adrian suggested developing reader’s theaters on amazing science experiments with our students. This idea not only allowed me to work on the science area, it also made it possible for my ESL students to write at their level, always striving to do a little more. We read the reader’s theaters from the other schools, but we did not feel the need to compete with them linguistically. In other words, Adrian created a working environment where each school did what it could without pressure from the others. Another thing that impressed me about Adrian was his ability to keep both students and teachers constantly informed and motivated. Our communication was so constant and fluid that we felt we were really a part of something big and not just waiting to receive instructions. Adrian achieved this by including lots of fun details in the project as well as e-mails and Nicenet communications where we talked about things not related directly to the project. The atmosphere was one of hard work, but pleasant and relaxed at the same time. Above all, I appreciated the way Adrian tried out new programs before presenting them to us. Sometimes a program or idea would not work the way we expected, and so we eliminated it, without further hassle or stress. All of the programs we used were downloaded free from the Internet. In a society where we think we have to pay a lot for good things, this was a welcome bonus. I think the children were impressed. And we all learned to use each of the programs thanks to Adrian’s clear instructions. Adrian also understood the language limitations of my students. He had taught ESL in the past and knew that you have to work with the level the students have. Otherwise, I would have been writing the scripts instead of the children, and that was not the idea. Our project was very well-rounded in the sense that the children used their investigative skills and lots of creativity. The ideas presented by my school and the school in Gulfport were always taken into consideration and usually incorporated into the project. Of course, winning first prize was a really exciting experience. One of my students wrote in her journal this year that last year’s GVC project was the best experience of her life. I think a lot of the students had similar feelings. I still keep in touch with Adrian and learn from his web site and other ideas he sends me. If I ever have a question about education or IT, I send it off to him and always receive a thoughtful answer. He is a person with a deep interest in education, technology and children.

12. Testimonial from Sue Shaw (6)
Parent at Byron Bay Community School
Australia

Adrian was my son Christopher's classroom teacher for two years (grade 3 and 4 for Chris in 2002 and 2003). Chris is an academically gifted child but he had been mostly bored and disinterested in his school learning until he came into Adrian's classroom.

Chris was excited and fascinated by the science work he did in Adrian's class as part of the shared online science classroom Adrian had organised. Chris delighted in demonstrating science experiments at home and was keen to explain the phenomena we were experiencing. Even more exciting for me as a parent was Chris's adoption of critical, scientific thinking in attempting to explain phenomena he noticed in the world around him. He would say ' I wonder why that is happening' and 'How would Adrian explain that?'

Adrian recognised and used Chris's areas of strength to engage him in learning activities. Although Chris already had well developed abilities in writing and graphics he had not previously shown confidence in these. Chris proudly showed us his contributions to the Starfish webpage. Chris blossomed under Adrian's care.

Adrian is an excellent teacher who employs all sorts of interesting and fun techniques in getting kids learning. I highly value Adrian's contribution to Chris's education. I wish we could have kept him as Chris's teacher for a few more years.

In my view Adrian fully deserves an award for his great teaching practice. He is inspiring and innovative. I wish him well in any venture he undertakes.

Sue Shaw

13. Testimonial from Eva Judell (7)
Student at Byron Community School
Australia

I think Adrian was one of the coolest teachers in the world, because he gave us a challenge that we had to work on as a team and we all thought that we couldn’t do it but Adrian got us to do it and worked us until our task was complete. For instance, he bought the class a Lego robot and the goal was to program it (on computer) to go around the obstacles.

Something I really liked about Adrian was the homework, we didn’t get those boring maths sheets, we got stuff like we had to write about a generous thing that we did on a weekend and then turn it into a poem.

But out of all those the class novel was the best. Every school morning for twenty minutes we would read the class novel and whenever someone didn’t know what a word meant he would get a student to look it up in the dictionary and we would learn it. Adrian said that if you learned ten words every day you would know every word in the English dictionary by the time you are forty.

I hate maths and I didn’t know most my times tables but Adrian worked me through it and now I know all of them.

Adrian is one of the best and he gave me Lots of education.

By Eva Madeline Judell.

14. Testimonial from John Vallely (7)
Principal/Headmaster at Casino Public School
Australia

Adrian Bruce was employed as a casual teacher to replace the support learning teacher for stage 2 classes during term 4 2001.

His employment in this position was based on his skill, knowledge and experience in literacy teaching and learning support. It soon became obvious that in addition to his abilities in this area Adrian had a wealth of knowledge in the use of technology, especially computers as a tool to enhance learning and communication.

Whilst relieving at the school Adrian designed and established the Casino Public School website (www.casino-p.schools.nsw.edu.au). The site has been very well used by parents and other people. Many people, local, from within Australia and overseas have commented on the design and quality of the site.

With no further employment available at the school and the restricted recruitment practices of the NSW DET our school was unable to offer Adrian any ongoing employment. He secured employment elswhere.

Since leaving the school in late 2001 Adrain has maintained contact with our school through email, providing us with ideas and practical examples of computer use in children's learning.

In term 4 2004 Adrian presented an information session to Casino Public School staff and visitors from surrounding schools. This presentation was well received, inspiring many who attened to try some new ideas with their students.

I fully support the nomination of Adrian Bruce he is a highly skilled teacher and a person who inspires staff.

John Vallely

15. Testimonial from Tim Bleakley (7)
Assistant Superintendent at St. Joseph's Alstonville
Australia

Adrian Bruce was responsible for motivating the Richmond Region Primary Assistant Principals at a recent cluster meeting. Adrian demonstrated what can be done in the classroom by empowering the students through the use of technology. Adrian demonstrated Claymation and animation activities that inspired a group of leaders who were becoming frustrated by teachers using Powerpoint and word processing as the sole IT use in the classroom. Adrian's knowledge, skill and passion for the use of technology in the classroom has had an enormous impact on the progress being made in schools in our local area.

16. Testimonial from Denise O'Mara (7)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at Tannum Sands State School
Australia

I first 'met' Adrian on the Ozteachers email list, where he has been a positive, active contributor for a number of years, and this is where I became aware of his website and the invaluable resources available there. These I have been using in my own classroom, and now in my role supporting KLA's in various Early Childhood classrooms (Years 1-3). I find the games extremely effective in consolidating skills with those children experiencing learning difficulties, and also to extend the skills of the more capable students. I have also used them as part of the intervention program for Year 2 children caught in the Year 2 Net for both literacy and numeracy, with encouraging results. They motivate and involve the students, and the best part is, thanks to the way Adrian has created them, they can be changed or adapted to suit the task or skill for which they are being used. Other teachers at our school are also now utilising them in their classroom, and in my roles as a Key Teacher for the Year 2 Diagnostic Net and a Learning Place Mentor, with Adrian's permission, I am also promoting their use to other teachers via The Learning Place website and in my work with other teachers in the Gladstone District (Queensland). Adrian has created a practical and motivating resource site, which he is regularly updating, and willingly shares with others. Thankyou Adrian so much for your commitment, innovation and generosity!

17. Testimonial from Cheryl Smith (7)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12) at St Joseph's Mundingburra
Australia

As a fellow educator in the Primary School field, I have found Adrian Bruce's website to be inspirational. Not only does he model new technologies & ideas in action via his class webpage, he also freely shares top-quality games, charts, posters & teaching ideas. I first came across his site through membership of 'Oz-Teachers' & have been a regular (& envious) user ever since. There is always something new & exciting to think about, explore & put into practice in my own classroom. I have been a teacher for over 30 years & have found his website to be one of my most valuable teaching tools, especially in Technology. Although I have never met Adrian personally, his enthusiasm & dedication to the teaching profession & to the field of classroom technology transmit through the computer screen. I appreciate the many hours that he has obviously spent to provide quality learning experiences in his classroom & beyond. I firmly believe that Adrian would be a deserving winner of this award. Cheryl Smith.

18. Testimonial from Gregory Furney (7)
School Board Member at Byron Community Primary School
Australia

I am nominating Adrian Bruce for the GlobalSchoolsNet award. I have known Adrian for three years in my capacity as Chairman of the Byron Community Primary School (BCPS). I am also a parent whose child was fortunate to have Adrian as a teacher for two of those years. Adrian was an invaluable member of the BCPS.

Firstly, Adrian is a great initiator. Within his classroom, he looks for new ideas and methods to introduce to traditional areas of learning. One example of this was in the area of poetry – perhaps not a favorite area for most 10 year old students! However, in 2003, his students’ poetry was incorporated with self portrait digital photography, placed on the school website, printed in the school newsletter and submitted to a national poetry competition – the Dorothy MacKellar Poetry Awards. The students were totally involved and responsible for each process – and Adrian was there only as a support, if required. Through creating a culture in which children take initiative, the students developed a love for learning, and they became self-motivated learners.

Adrian adopts a long term view of his students. He is aware of the child growing into an adult and is conscious of the future environment in which they will live. Therefore, within the field of computer technology, Adrian was aware that today’s computer programs will be superseded, and therefore he passed on to his students’ technical skills and approaches - as opposed to teaching individual computer programs. His classroom was an environment of research and excitement.

He adopted a global perspective to the community-based classroom. This was done by establishing chat lines with international schools, and thereby introducing cultural exchange. For example, students in his classroom enjoyed eating soy grits whilst students in a U.S.A. classroom tasted vegemite sandwiches for the first time!! Through these experiences, students in Adrian’s class developed an increased global awareness in an entertaining and stimulating approach.

Adrian willingly trained other staff members in the areas of computer literacy, internet and digital photography. In particular, his input into our school website was exemplary. It generated feedback from teachers, schools and parents creating global networks.

As Chairman, I appreciated Adrian’s professional attitude towards not only his students, but the whole school.

19. Testimonial from Sean White (8)
Other School Administrator at St.Patrick's Macksville
Australia

I have known Adrian Bruce for fourteen years as an educator and close friend.

I have always considered Adrian to be an inspiration to those around him in the use of technologies in the classroom.Such inspiration has manifested itself over the years in pedagogically rich learning environments for students.

Adrian can clearly be the candidate for this award. One only needs to look at the testimonials provided by other professionals associated with his work.

Evidence speaks for itself.Adrian: * has an educational webpage (see Byron Bay 2004) with user-friendly strategies for teachers.This webpage showcases work by students that indicates creativity. The number of hits this webpage has had is awesome. *has the ability to involve other professionals in projects to give these projects an edge. This has included overseas teachers and consultants.Adrian's development of telecollaborative projects is testimony to this. *has knowledge, skill and patience-a brilliant combination which allows other professionals to develop as well.

Adrian is the candidate for this award.

20. Testimonial from Linda Martin (8)
Other School Personnel at Clarence/ Coffs Harbour District Educati
Australia

Over the last 4/5 years, I have been a member of OzTeachers Net. Adrian is an occasional contributor. Over this time, particularly in the last year, I have downloaded and used, Adrian's reading games. I am a Designated Support Teacher Learning Assistance in the Northern Rivers area. I work in small schools, a number of which are classified as disadvantaged. The children I work with are at least two years behind accepted year levels, specifically in literacy, and must be specifically referred by schools. I am constantly seeking new ways to do the same thing- insofar as the kids I work with need much reinforcement to gain full understanding of key concepts. Adrian's games have proved invaluable, as I can constantly revise key concepts to ensure full understanding, but the kids don't see these games as "work", but are fun. Obviously, this makes my job a lot easier, as these are often "switched off" kids, and they are motivated to work with me as we "play games"! The fact that these games are free saves our extremely limited budget so much. Oh, for more Adrians!!!!

Linda Martin

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