• Hi

    These is my log of professional, political and sometimes personal thoughts and observations. I am Bettina Walter, a Senior Information Architect (IA), Interaction Designer and Usability Professional.
    I am co-owner of PunkLogic.

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    Interaction Design

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A Queensland Mum’s Rant!


This letter was handed out to parents at our primary school.

My daughter had taken these tests Anna Bligh refers to last year. She did very well and the teacher had skilfully protected the children as much as she could from the stress it could have potentially injected. This was the teacher’s achievement, and I was grateful for it. Generally me and other mums found the testing process itself still disruptive to learning and also hard wearing on my 8 year old.

Some comments from our Mum’s mailing list to the letter above were:

E. said
Was anyone else horrified by the Anna Bligh letter re our children’s education and the testing which went out to grade 3,5, 7???

A. said:
Wow – I hadn’t seen it before.  What the??  … Is she saying that passing the test is paramount and requires rote-learning/practice…. as opposed to the more obvious strategy of lifting our standard of education overall through best practice teaching and appropriate funding??
Way too much emphasis on one bloody test… it obviously reflects poorly on the government and they are trying to cheat their way out of the bottom ranks through scare mongering.

H. said:
I don’t think there is much I can add to this except – I concur.
I was most put out with the letter E., was wondering if I was the only one.  C’s teacher has pointed out that it is now in May where it used to be in August, putting even more pressure on the kids and teachers, as they have less time to cover the ‘stuff’ to be tested.

my thoughts:

Improve test results with more testing – BRILLIANT IDEA! It gives the message that we don’t really want to improve standards in numeracy and literacy,  we just want students to get better at being tested, so we use school time to run same tests more often.
It’s  like trying to reduce teenage pregnancy by dishing out more pregnancy test kits.
Whatever happened to the idea of an education system aiding the forming of well-rounded, creative and truly educated citizens? Showing our children how to learn, how to investigate, how to be creative, how to find REAL SOLUTIONS to problems creatively instead of running more mind numbing test procedures.

The tone of voice of THE LETTER itself makes me feel like putting on a dunce hat and standing in a corner!
…’I was disappointed with the overall results’…
Well Mrs. Bligh, I am not happy with your attitude! I’d like to have you and Professor Masters take theses tests a few time in a row, just to see if it advances your growth in any way at all.

But you know what takes the biscuit for me as a Web usbility professional??
Follow Anne’s link and tell me where the booklet is.
Mrs. Bligh couldn’t ‘arrange’ for an easy to find link, or a search field or even arrange to include a DIRECT LINK to the booklets in her letter … ok – poor usability on government websites regularly gets my goat… BUT STILL!!
( I followed ‘Assessment Bank’ on a hunch and found it – but considerate, helpful or polite this ain’t!!)


Westwing on flickr

Originally uploaded by Barack Obama
I’m hooked.

US Primary, social computing and attention to detail.

The quality, functionality and sophistication of Obama’s website and Clinton’s website blow me away. The blogs, the shops, the features, the use of social computing… – both candidates are doing well and setting very high standards. The attention to detail especially with Obama’s online campaign are astounding – check the well design, coherent, custom made icon set!

And check their respective flickr sites – Clinton here, Obama here.
BOTH campaigns are running a photo commentary on flickr. BUT check the number of contacts and see how the Obama campaign blazes ahead again in the ‘attention to detail’ department.



Let me catalyze you!

So it turns out I have been elected for the Noosa Creative Community Leadership Program – a 12 month project including a two day seminar with Richard Florida’s Creative Class Group.

From the Commitment Letter:

The purpose of the Noosa Creative Community Leadership Project is to empower you and 29 other leaders to work together and in teams to effect initiatives that will make the Noosa Region an even better place to live, work and play for all its inhabitants, current and future.
To accomplish this, the Noosa Civic Creative Alliance has partnered with the Creative Class Group to develop and implement the Noosa CCLP. The Seminar will teach you the Four Ts of economic development, Technology, Talent and Tolerance, and Territorial Assets, analyzing the region using the 4T Metrics and developing a framework that will assist to further the region’s economic growth and quality of place.

I am very much looking forward to it and I shall endeavor to keep you informed, dear reader.

Enrique Peñalosa

PS: Enrique Peñalosa is speaking in Brisbane on the 7th of February. The event is booked out. If you are attending or know of any reports, pictures or notes from it afterwards – please drop me line. Thanks.

Where I live

KEEN – Big Bob and Joe Natoli show down
This was a good night (sorry not such a good photo) at Noosa Gallery – a meeting of Noosa’s Knowledge Entrepreneurs to pick the brains of the mayoral candidates for the post-amalgamation Noosa-Maroochydore-Caloundra Super Shire.

Coinciding with this I came across Enrique Peñalosa – former mayor of Bogota, Columbia.

Continue reading

Super Tuesday – truely mashed up!

Google twitter mash-up. Superb!

Note to self: Got to move my blog onto my own server. Hosted WordPress cleans out scripts.