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.
so much for all the kind words guys!
by Renata Phelps
College Professor at Southern Cross University Lismore, NSW,
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 Adrians 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.
Adrians 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.adrianbruce.com/reading/games.htm)
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 Adrians 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. Adrians
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
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.
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.
Hes 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 lets 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 Adrians 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 thats 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 Adrians 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
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 dont 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. Adrians 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 Adrians 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. Adrians creative approach
demonstrates that it doesnt 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
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
4. Testimonial from Barbara Braxton (4)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages
5-12) at Palmerston District Primary School
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
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
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
During 2004 I was lucky enough to undertake my final year of teacher training
in Adrian Bruces 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 Adrians 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.
Adrians 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 Adrians class, the childrens
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
Adrians 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 Adrians 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
To whom it may concern,
Adrian Bruce was my daughters 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 Adrians 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 Evas 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 Adrians
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.
Michael Judell. Byron Community School Management team.
7. Testimonial from Peter Macinnis (5)
Other at writer, teacher for 36
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
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
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.
8. Testimonial from Melanie Hughes (5)
Educational Consultant at Association
of Independent Schools NSW
Adrian Bruce is an exemplary educator. He is particularly adept at creating truly
integrated learning experiences for the students he teaches. Apart from this Adrians
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 Adrians
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
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 Adrians 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 parents
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
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
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
Regards, Maurice Cummins. Coordinator of ICT Programs The Scots College Sydney
11. Testimonial from Cindy DePoy (6)
Teacher Elementary/Primary (ages 5-12)
at American School of Valencia
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 readers 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 readers 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 Adrians
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 years 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
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
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.
13. Testimonial from Eva Judell (7)
Student at Byron Community School
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 couldnt
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 didnt 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 didnt 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 didnt 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
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.
15. Testimonial from Tim Bleakley (7)
Assistant Superintendent at St. Joseph's
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
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
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.
18. Testimonial from Gregory Furney (7)
School Board Member at Byron Community
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 todays
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 Adrians 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
As Chairman, I appreciated Adrians professional attitude towards not only
his students, but the whole school.
19. Testimonial from Sean White (8)
Other School Administrator at St.Patrick's
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
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!!!!
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