I find myself in my eight year of teaching English at a comprehensive public high school. Having completed my B.A at Sydney University in 2003 and being the mother of a vibrant 18 month old son, I chose to complete a Dip. Education via distance education at University of New England. In 2004, whilst working towards my teaching qualification in English and Drama, my husband and I welcomed into the world our second son. In 2005 I was fortunate enough to begin working fulltime at my current school.

Whilst the years flew by with many varied teaching experiences, I can only really say that I feel that I have become a ‘true’ teacher having established a twitter PLN in August 2009. Since the introduction of DER my edu world has expanded before my eyes and I now engage in daily discussions about education and learning.

PS: The ideas I express in this blog are mine entirely and do not reflect those of my employer. OK? 😉

43 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Bianca –

    I work for Ogilvy PR and am helping with the Microsoft Office 2010 launch in Australia.

    To celebrate the launch, Microsoft is hosting the world’s first “Office Mayor Meetup” on Tuesday 15 June. I wanted to invite you to the event. Here are the details:

    What: The Office Mayor Meetup 2010
    Who: The Foursquare ‘mayor’ of your office (it can be your home office, cafe where you work, or anyplace where you conduct your daily business)
    Why: The chance to get a copy of Office Home and Business 2010
    When: Tuesday, 15 June at 12:10pm – 1:10pm
    Where: Martin Place, Amphitheatre area, Sydney CBD

    How will it work? The first 110 mayors to ‘check-in’ on Foursquare at the Office Mayor Meetup in Martin Place will be able to win a copy of Office Home and Business 2010, valued at AU$379. The 110 winners will have a chance to get Office Professional 2010, valued at AU$849.

    We’ll also have T-shirts to give away, light refreshments and a chance for you to mingle with “mayors” as part of this social networking first.

    Want more info? Go to Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-Mayor-Meetup-2010/133862756624348

    Hope to see you there!


    PS Follow us on Twitter #OfficeMayor

  2. Dear Ms. Hewes:

    I enjoy reading your blog, and was wondering if you would like to do a link exchange. My book blog’s url is educationanddeconstruction.com. Every week, I make a nonfiction book recommendation in the topic areas of education, history, technology, biography and/or humor. I have already put up your link. Please reply if you would like to do a link exchange. Thank you.


    Sally Friedman

    • Hi Sally,

      Sounds great! Love blogs that are about books and education – even better when they focus on technology and its role in education in the 21st century.

      Goodluck with your blog!

      Bianca :0)

  3. Hi Bianca,

    I just came across your site and loved what I saw. I love anything to do with self-education and especially English. I have just published an interactive ebook entitled: Vocabulous You! An Interactive Guide to Building Vocabulary for Standardized Tests, College, On the Job and Everyday Life. I’m writing to see if you might be interested in reviewing this new title.

    As a college professor, author, and former test-prep instructor, I know first-hand how much older teens (juniors and seniors in high school) and college students need to build their vocabulary. It’s required to pass all of the major standardized exams for schooling and even to get into the military – not to mention that a lot of students just don’t understand what their teachers are saying! Working professionals – and those who seek to join the workforce – are also in great need of boosting their verbal and writing skills. Excellent skills and experience will not do much for you in an interview if you can’t deftly communicate all of your assets to a potential employer.

    For years, I’ve seen the need for a book like this. And now that the ebook format has become so prevalent, I’ve finally developed a way to write a vocabulary guide that makes sense, is interactive, and takes full advantage of what an e-reader can do. I’ve developed files for Kindle, Nook, iBook, and other readers that support .epub and .mobi files. I also have an interactive PDF for those who prefer to work on a PC without an e-reader.

    I would be happy to send you a copy of the book in your preferred format for review.Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you!

    Robin Kavanagh

  4. Bianca,

    I am also an English teacher, and my school is moving towards PBL for next year. Of course the English teachers are the hardest ones to get on board. They don’t think that you can teach all the skills the students need just doing projects. It doesn’t help that all the sample projects out there are mostly geared towards math and science classrooms.

    Since you and other English teachers at your school have embraced PBL, I was wondering if you would be willing to share some projects with us? Having some working English PBL projects might be just the thing to get the other English teachers here on board. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you!

    – Amanda Brantley

    • Hey Amanda 🙂

      Of course I am happy to share what I have done. I will post up all of my project outlines and some student products for you to see as an example. Just a bit flat-out at the moment with some writing. But very happy to share!!


  5. Hi Bianca,

    Thanks for sharing. I am moving toward PBL and launching fully in September with the start of the new academic year. I thought a good way in might be to do a ‘What is PBL?’ PBL unit if you get what I mean. As you’ve already experienced the pitfalls as well as the successes, I was wondering if you’d be willing to give me some advice on this?
    I’ve got material from the BIE site including the intro video which is great but having your input would be very reassuring.

    If you are willing, please let me know; my email is submitted.


  6. Hi Bianca,
    I listened to your presentation on EdmodoCon about PBL. It was excellent. You might be interested in a new product that provides a number of tools for educators and students, including blogging, media albums, canvases, resource kits etc. Here are links to some examples:

    http://learnweaver.com/Canvas/Weave/C88822 (built by a 9 year old)

    http://learnweaver.com/Canvas/Weave/C49294 (showcases the tools capabilities)

    http://learnweaver.com/FeaturedAlbums (media capability)

  7. Hi Bianca,
    I really enjoyed visiting your site. It’s great! Self-education is now becoming a great mission..
    I’d like to know if you’d be interested in a Guest Post. How about something like these topics?
    1. 5 Top Ways To Have A Virtual Classroom
    2. Tips To Have A Great English Class To Non Native Speakers
    What do you think about these?
    For your information, all of our articles are custom written by our writers for your blog, and are absolutely FREE.
    If you are interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you – or if you have another topic you’d like to see covered, please do let me know.

    Thanks and I look forward to your response.
    Dana B.

    Guest Post U
    “The University of Great Content”

  8. Hi Bianca

    I am a Grad Dip student. I have to do a classroom management plan and would like to use your ideas and pictures of your classroom for the section on class arrangement. I will credit you of course. I read your article in Metaphor and googled you. I love your waterhole/campfire/cave design and concept. Regards Margo Fleiser

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  10. Hi Bianca
    I stumbled on your blog and am now really interested in the idea of PBL. I teach English and History at a school for disengaged learners and am very interested in how PBL may help to engage my students. I’ll continue to search your site but in the meantime i’m really curious about your thesis and what final conclusions you drew about PBL and new technologies in the classroom.
    p.s I know you’re busy (who isn’t?!) but I’d love to communicate more with you about this.

    • Hi Inga,
      I totally forgot to reply to this post – hoe rude of me! I didn’t finish my Masters because I wanted to focus more on my practice than on theory based one it 😉
      Good luck to you!
      B 🙂

  11. Hi Bianca, I came across your blog while seaching for an online summary of “Campfires in Cyberspace”. Do you realise that you are a Montessori teacher? I taught for 12 years before I found out. We should have a chat about it sometime.


    Jack Rice
    Canberra Montessori School

  12. Hi Bianca,

    We met at PBL World a few weeks ago, and you were kind enough to tell me a bit of your story and some of the projects you’ve been working on. I am doing some consulting work with BIE and would love to feature one of your projects in some of the materials I am writing. I am particularly interested int eh Romantics website and the Catcher in the Rye project.

    Would you be willing to chat via skype or email?


    Todd Felton

    • Oh hey Todd! I’m still on holiday in the US and completely forgot to email you – sorry, mate!
      Here’s my email: Bianca (dot) Hewes (at) det (dot) nsw (dot) edu (dot) au.
      I’ll try to email you today if I can find your card. Chat soon!

  13. Hi Bianca,
    I am one of the organisers of the Queensland Education Resources Expo (QUEDREX) which is a free admission event brought together to provide educators, from all levels and positions, with the latest information and resources for their career.
    I would love to share the event information with you and your readers. It is on 24 & 25 August in Brisbane and we have visitors attending from all over Australia.
    I will send you some information by email just in case you would like to share on your blog or in social media for educators who are available to attend.
    Kind Regards,

  14. Hi Bianca,

    I just stumbled upon your blog whilst researching an assignment for my Dip ed. I just wanted to say that I find the work that you are doing incredibly inspiring, and your posts have given me heaps of ideas for my programming. I’m designing a unit for Advanced Module B, using Winton’s Cloudstreet as my chosen text. Have you taught this text? Any tips?



    • Hi Michaela,
      Thanks for your very kind words!
      Unfortunately I haven’t taught CloudStreet and therefore don’t have and resources to share. I would suggest using the Frames to teach Module B – it really helps to focus your students on their evolving appreciation for the text. If you search ‘Bianca
      Hewes slideshare’ you will find my Yeats and Orwell Mod B units both of which use the Frames. It’s basically an idea stolen from Mark Howie – you could google and maybe find his stuff too.

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  16. Hi Bianca

    I’m writing a feature for the Teachers’ magazine, Australian Educator. I wanted to talk to you about teaching digital citizenship. Can you send me an email or number where I can reach you? Or call me?

  17. Hey Bianca,

    My name is Zander fields and I lead the Education Outreach Team for Concordia University – Portland. Our team is always looking to connect with passionate education professionals to share insights with our growing community of active K-12 teachers and educators.

    The New Year is coming around, and even if we don’t always quite live up to them, we love New Year’s resolutions-especially teaching-based ones! Sometimes they’re inspiring, sometimes they’re interesting, and sometimes they’re even a little odd.

    We’re compiling a list of New Year’s resolutions from teachers around the world, and would love your contribution. We will attribute the resolution to you and link back to your blog.

    If you’re interested, please send your resolutions my way before December 27. Of course, you can also reach me by phone through the number listed in my signature, so don’t hesitate to give me a ring (not that kind, though! 🙂 ).


    We recently published an article titled Teacher HACKs: Fast Teaching Tips and Strategies: http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/teaching-strategies/teacher-hacks-fast-teaching-tips-and-strategies/ where we gathered and collected fun, quirky tips from teachers on a variety of teaching topics. We would love it if you had a chance to contribute there as well!

    Zander Fields

    Concordia University | Education Outreach Coordinator | 5949 NE 30th Ave. | Portland, OR 97211 | E: Zander.Fields@education.cu-portland.edu | T: 408.412.5471 | F: 408.369.2263

  18. Bianca –
    I’m in Australia for 2014 on an international teaching fellowship and planning my professional learning goals for the year. I’d really like to see your class in action and hoping you’d be open to having a visitor for a day. Certainly don’t want to add to your workload and I’m quite happy to do what I can during the day with you and the students. miles(at)macfarlane(dot)ws if you think this is something we could do. Thanks!

  19. Pingback: Reflection #5: Bianca Hewes: The importance of reading aloud to teenagers | Bonnie Bailey

  20. Dear Bianca,
    I have read your blogs and it’s encouraging to note the passion you have for the use of Edmodo inside your classroom.

    My company Harness has recently launched an app on Edmodo called Unio Class. This is a classroom collaboration app designed for synchronous learning.
    An enterprise version of this app is already being used by 5000+ students in India and Middle-East.
    You can download Unio Class or Unio Class Pro from the Edmodo App Store and it will automatically get added to the groups you select. I would like to request you to try out Unio Class and I am confident it will make teaching and learning more fun!

    If you have any suggestions on how we can make Unio more useful, please do let us know.
    Many thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

  21. Dear Bianca,
    as you know from May 1st to October 31st, 2015 Milan will host the Universal Exposition, around the theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.
    We invite you to visit the international portal TOGETHER IN EXPO 2015, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, which is addressed to all Italian and foreign schools, to make them all protagonists of EXPO Milano 2015.
    A digital space, featuring educational materials, contributions, storytellings developed around the thematic routes of EXPO Milano 2015. A place to engage students in digital challenges.
    Discover our MISSIONS, to ensure that, through games, quizzes, activity inspirations and our CONTEST, they will overcome boundaries and differences and draw together a sustainable food culture, in the sign of EXPO Milano 2015, to be shared and spread, through their direct testimony.
    We kindly ask you to please spread the message of the initiative among your blog, staff and schools, inviting them to browse the website and to participate, by simply filling the REGISTRATION FORM, so to be involved in the initiative.
    TOGETHER IN EXPO 2015 constitutes an excellent opportunity to exchange views and ideas on the issues of sustainable, supportive and fair food; to establish and renew relationships with schools in other countries; to map and understand experiences and good practices, sharing them with faculty and students from all around the world.

    TOGETHER IN EXPO 2015 Coordination Centre
    For information, inquiries, reports: info@togetherinexpo2015.it
    Toll Free Number (from Italy): 800.11.77.60
    Skype: togetherinexpo2015

  22. Hi Bianca ,

    I wanted to share an interview I did Cheryl McNeil, a public school teacher who visited the countries her students are from to relate better to them.

    Feel free to share the link below with your audience:

    If I can be helpful in anyway, please let me know.

    Happy to write a guest blog if you are interested.


  23. Hey Bianca,

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    I’m doing an expert roundup on my site and I think many new English teachers looking at good education technology products for their classroom would love to know your answer to this question :

    If you could only use 3 Education technology tools/apps/sites for your teaching which 3 tools would you choose? e.g. Grammarly, Remind, and Skype.

    Thanks in advance!

    As soon as I’m done compiling the results, I would inform and link back to your blog.

    Thank you!

  24. Hi Bianca
    Is there any email address I can contact you on? I wanted to ask you some questions about PBL. Thanks, Pat Hordern

  25. Hi Bianca! I think I found your blog this weekend when I was searching PBL related stuff. I have really enjoyed your blog and I think I might finally be joining Twitter because of you! haha. I’ve been hesitant for ages about joining twitter but once I took a look around yours I realize it is probably a rad way to connect with other rad teachers…..

    In the meantime, feel free to check out my blog. Thanks for all your awesome reflections on here!

      • Hi! Thanks for the comment – OK that’s it I am finally joining Twitter! Haha – time to connect with more awesome teachers like yourself! See you soon! 🙂

      • Hello! Thanks for checking in. I had Twitter for about 2 weeks and saw so many cool ideas, but in the end I quit again because it’s just not the platform for me. I actually have no social media in my life at all and love it that way, so making the leap to a professional Twitter was kind of strange. I think my blog will be the only thing I maintain…really as a place for me to reflect. I am about to check out your blog again now actually. Oh and PS – I tried Edmodo and fell in love with it, only to find out that Qld schools aren’t allowed to use it…how awful!!!! How is your Term 4 going? 🙂

  26. Hi Bianca. I wonder if I can get some advice re Project Based Learning – how to implement as a Librarian at a Public School. New to being a librarian and boss wants PBL which I’ve never done before. Had 2 days PBL training. I only see classes 1 hour once a week and they need to borrow books too.

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