Sunday, July 22, 2012

The MAGIC of educampakl

The eve of  #educampakl  And so begins another MAGICal journey.  I am onboard NZ674 bound for Auckland.   As a self confessed educamp groupie, I viewed the educampakl wiki and my yearning began.  I eagerly watched grabaseat but last week it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen.   Kind words from my exceptionally supportive family saw me book flights late last week, after a very kind offer of host from Helen King – fellow e-fellow!
Although bursting with excitement I decided to keep my journey the length of NZ quiet. 
So, let me share a little of the MAGIC of the past two days…
Last night, the worst kept secret of Mosgiel was confirmed.  St Mary’s School, Mosgiel is moving over the road.  Reasons for this are: future proofing the school, greater land area and an opportunity to locate the school within the Parish grounds.  True utopia would see a rebuild, but we are going for a move and a re-fit.  However, last night’s plans show an innovative reconfigure which will see five classrooms opening onto a learning pod, a shared, collaborative learning space.  All these classrooms will have glass sliding doors opening onto the pod.  The cosmetic refit will also see our school well placed for the education of future generations. 
A complete rewire will see fibre/conduit placing us ready for the UFB roll out!  Many decisions are yet to be finalised but the potential is there for input from the school community into the final colours, cosmetics, and surrounds. 
Reasons I believe this will work:
·         The refit will see us with collaborative learning spaces;
·         We will gain significantly with ground space;
·         A complete face lift will really brighten, lighten and modernise all classes.
·         Community involvement will strengthen our home/school partnership;
·         A new start…
·         Future proofed – room to expand….
·         Appeal – already we have kept a year 6 student who was looking to leave – staying to be a foundation pupil of school on new site..
·         Opportunity to leave our mark – and opportunity to make our mark – time capsules will be essential at both ends…
·         Change – change is GOOD!
Back to the adventure at hand - #educampakl
Why am I so uber excited ?  What is the appeal?  For me, it is definitively the people – he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!  Gathering with like minded people charges me, amps me, inspires and motivates me.  This journey is a bridge for me – it is the connection from my inaugural educamp, #educamptaitokerau in 2011 to the future.  There has been a lot of water under the educamp bridge – from Tai Tokerau, to the inaugural dunners, to the second dunners, to the inaugural educamp chch to #eudcampakl…
For me, tomorrow will be all about the connections, the networking, the discovering, the sharing…  As I anticipate reconnecting with tweets I visited on Twitter tour 2011 I am hyped and empowered and charged for learning.  To return to Stonefields is utopian.  As I relive the MAGIC of my visit there in 2011, I feel the power and connection to the transition our school is about to undergo.  Although we will not have the open learning hubs, we will have the collaborative space which, I believe, will be very beneficial for the teaching practice of all. 
Here on this flight I anticipate the reconnection with Helen King, Fiona Grant, Barbs, Michael, Amanda. Paula, Tina, Anna, Chris, Sarah, Jane, Stephanie,
And meeting f2f for the first time, those from my PLN.
For me – it is all in the Holstee Manifesto…

·         Start doing the things you love;
·         Ask the next person you meet what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them;
·         Travel often;
·         Some opportunities only come once – seize them;
·         Open your mind, heart and arms to new things;
·         We are united in our differences;
·         Go out and start creating;
·         Life is short – live your dream!
So, here I am again, poised on the brink of the MAGIC of educamp!  What it will be that will really light my fire I cannot say!  But I know my fire will be lit, my battery will be recharged, and my passion will be shared.  Perhaps that is the key, my passion to learn, to share, to inspire…. Yes the MAGIC of educamps for me, are the opportunity to really live your passion….
I arrived in Auckland to be greeted by Queen Helen and Princess Marika and the MAGIC continued… What a wonderful welcome and a great night spent chilling with a very cool family….
Up early, uber excited for an adventure we set off to deliver Princess Marika for her play date then visited Pt England school.  It was truly AMAZING to visit Helen’s class and fel the inspiration, passion and learning in the room.  It is always so special to really feel the heartbeat of a classroom.  One day I must return to meet these learners…

Then out for breakfast with Helen and Helen –amazing eggs Benedict!
Over we go to Stonefields… déjà vu – the memories of my visit flooding back, the MAGIC of the conversations with Sarah, Chris and Kirstin, the MAGIC of the learning hubs, the MAGIC of the visible learning journey….
Walking in with Helen, we are greeted with the passion and depth of feeling that is made possible by the online connecting and the face-to-face meetings.  To reconnect with Helen, Fiona, Stephanie, Caroline, Sarah, Barbs, Allanah, Michael, Anna, Kirstin, Sonya , Rachel, Amanda, Paula, Jane, Shaun, is amazing.  To meet face to face for the first time is also magical, Kimberley, Becky,
The energy and passion in the room is palpable!  Fiona’s welcome to the fifth #educampakl is amazing! Stealing Stephanie’s chocolate fish for the furtherest travelled not so amazing! J  The welcome and passion of the Stonefield’s story shared by Sarah is inspiring.  What an incredible venue for an educamp.  TheSMACKDOWN inspires, ignites and illuminates the learning in the room.  The collaboration, sharing, networking inspiring again.  I find myself sifting and sorting and encapsulating what I can use now with my learners and what I can store for later. 

My first discussion group is an in-depth look at the ease of use and capacity of evernote with Barbs.  I am inspired to encourage all learners to download this and we will trial this for the development of our e-portfolios for term 3.  The ease of capturing written word, anecdotal test, photos , spoken word and video make it an extremely powerful planning, storing and reflection tool.  The time to share and discuss the potential and capabilities are all part of the MAGIC of the educamp experience.  The right people are here having the right conversations, sharing and inspiring. 
A lunch journey with Barbs, Allanah and Susan allows time for chat, laughter and fun!  Returning to rejoin discussions on Aurasma, Google apps and continue networking.  I am recharged, inspired, motivated anew. 
#educampchch 4 weeks ago, now #educampakl today.  Heading towards 3 weekends of MAGIC…  #educampcentralotago, e-fellow master class, #padcamp!  Life is truly good.  Yes I am living our vision – Confident, reflective, risktaking, life long learner!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Helen King for welcoming me into her family.  Thanks you to all of those organising, hosting and attending #educampakl, thank you to educamp Queen Fiona Grant for making the dreams of so many come true – to cause learning to happen, to motivate, inspire and SHARE!  You are a legend.
The day rounded off with a wonderfully mellow catchup, reflection and chill at the flying Moa.  Yet more MAGIC in store when Helen treated my to a visit to Sylvia Park where I immediately found and fell in love with a gorgeous leather handbag – purchase, giftwrapped ready for my husband to give me for my birthday.  He has an amazing way of picking exactly the perfect gift!  Teehee….

Then out for dinner to Nuffield Street!  A truly MAGICAL time…
Home for sleep and up at 5.15am.  I flew in after sunset on Friday, fly out before sunrise today.  Was I really here for only 35 hours?  YES!  Life is short – choose the moments that take your breath away!
And now, on the flight home more MAGIC ensues… A gorgeous air hostess comes and gets me and moves me to a window seat in a row of my own so I can spread out and blog! Home on the eve of my birthday, poised on the brink of another MAGICAL adventure…

Beginning our descent into Dunedin – arriving to a predicted 3degrees…  Katie is meeting me and we will travel to Wobbly Goat for a welcome home coffee…
Thank you!   AMAZING what can happen in 35 hours.....


  1. You inspire me. Your enthusiasm and boundless energy is a motivator for us all. So happy to be a part of it all.

    1. Teehee, thanks Barbs! AMAZING adventure! MAGIC to connect with my amazing friends again!

  2. We are so lucky to have so many ways to communicate!

  3. Great post Anne... It was the best surprise seeing you at educampakl! I think the change and challenge with re-fitting your school sounds exciting. It sounds like you are the perfect person to be involved with that and challenge and inspire the kind of school you can vision. What a great thing to be part of!

    1. Thanks Amanda, was soooo hard for me to keep it quiet! Was truly MAGIC to be there! Was sooo great to see everyone again! Last year on the road made me realise quite a few things! Life is short, our country is small and full of amazing people. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to travel to see so many of you in one hit!
      Very exciting times ahead for our school! Life is good!!!

  4. and WOW how cool it was to meet you face-to-face too! What an enthusiastic lifelong learner and school leader you are, I was sure you could't possibly have all of that energy in real life, but you do!!!! Looking forward to more collab through twitter!

  5. Oh shucks! Was so great to meet you too! Wish I'd had more time to chat and thank you for all the wonderful links I use from you.... especially "how to train your dragon' and many more... I loved the chance to pop up for educamp! I really ama groupie! Twitter and online are fantastic but face-to-face is MAGIC!!!!