Monday, September 3, 2012

Up in the air again…

In more ways that one I am up in the air again.  I am flying home from a MAGICal weekend in Christchurch, so I am literally up in the air.  I am bursting with new possibilities and imaginings and innovations so I am also metaphorically up in the air.  I am up above the earth, above the fog, way above the clouds, cutting through the turbulence.  I am looking down at the fluffy clouds knowing the soft landing possible for ideas that don’t ‘fly’, and looking up, seeing the infinity of opportunity. I am looking out to the east as the sun is breaking through knowing the light possible with opportunities and looking west at the mountains on the horizon knowing the importance of acknowledging intrepid terrain and majesty of opportunity. 

As I fly I recall the AMAZING ignite talk by Stephanie (traintheteacher), recalling her expression FAIL = first attempt in learning… What a wonderful concept to keep at the front of our minds as we teach and learn, unlearn, re-learn and grow through the experience.
Saturday was an amazing experience, New Zealand’s first padcamp in Christchurch.  Using my metaphor of flying, I liken the journey of mobile learning devices into the education arena as a long haul flight… We are carrying a HUGE number of passengers, we are delivering to an immense client base in our schools, we are cutting through new territory, we are realising ubiquity!  All of these concepts are remarkable, admirable, innovative and somewhat MAGICAL given that I remember carrying the battery pack for the first cell phone we used in the field with the Customs Department many years ago. My challenge is this; are we seeing a comparable change in pedagogy to match the MAGIC of the learning tool?  Are we realising the potential of mobile learning devices?  How are we ensuring they are not digital worksheets or app based fillers?  Is their professional development available to facilitate the change in pedagogy required? Are we ready?  Are we coping?  Are creating and innovating with these mobile devices?
#padcampchch was all about creative use of the iPad.  It focussed on acknowledging and realising the potential of the device to enable learners to be creative musicians, storytellers, movie-makers and more… It was run by the people for the people and the MAGIC of the day, you guessed it, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!  The passion and potential of the device was shared in and around the room as we journeyed to create a quilt of learning opportunities shared in the SMACKDOWN and in the shared notes.  Greater than either of these though, was the opportunity for networking, connecting and collaborating with passionate educators.  Conversations and connections lead to co-operation, collaboration and creativity.  The growing surge of passion for the use of the mobile device was overwhelming.

As I am now approaching my decent out of the clouds, I know that my head will remain up here with the passion and potential of the device.  Conversations and play – yes PLAY on the devices has allowed me to return to earth with an even greater passion for the power and creativity of the device.  I cannot wait to share my new learning with my amazing class who I just know will take this learning up to the greatest heights possible.

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