Saturday, September 1, 2012

Winging my way to #padcampchch

Here I am up in the clouds again… winging my way to the inaugural #padcampchch.  
 Just loving the illusion of the mountains and the clouds separating the land and the sky....

Just what MAGIC is in store for us today? 
Soon after the inaugural educampchch, Carol Kendall initiated  #padcampchch and I immediately booked my airfares.  Having been in Christchurch for four days last week I knew I could not afford the time for a five hour drive each way.  I also knew that I could not miss this professional learning opportunity.
I have had an iPad for over a year now and I’m running a BYOB class with a large number of students bringing iPads or iPods to class.  I am constantly in awe of the creativity and learning potential of both the learners and the tool and I am very keen to realise more potential in our use of it.  Yesterday was our class assembly and three boys in class chose to share about their use of their devices.  I loved listening to them talk about the ubiquity and ownership; the power of the device and the way they share their learning with others in little app fests.  They really are controlling the learning journey. 
I had a blended learning vision early in 2012 where the learners would be able to access learning online at anytime and face to face and collaboratively in class.  We do the face to face and in class learning well but I am still only beginning the fully blended online learning capability.   Our blog is fabulous for sharing our learning journey.  Our wiki is an amazing site where each learner is co-creating our learning journey.  Our Google sites are beginning to share the potential of a blended environment. 
I am also only baby steps along the journey of digital citizenship but every day brings an opportunity to share and discuss ownership of learning and sharing and collaboration. 
I was away from class last week and came back to find that my lovely class had not really managed their learning selves in the way they do when I am there.  It was nothing major at all, just little things like not taking responsibility for learning tasks or their individual responsibilities.  I was really disappointed and discussed it with them and staff.  My very perceptive teacher who shares my class told me to relax.  She likens my expectations of independence to senior high school.  This was a very welcome comment, as I was really beating myself up.  I was also questioning whether the learners were ‘managing themselves’ “just for me”.  Lots of great discussions and learning later and we are on a wonderful path to extending our self management. 

Looking out the window I am comparing my learner's self management to the tributaries of this river or the mash up of the patchwork quilt of fields... Certain things just have to happen to realise full potential...

Anyway – back to #padcampchch.  I am really excited about the potential of networking with amazing educators from around New Zealand.  As Jo tweeted this morning – it is MAGIC when the twitter family meet up face to face.  I am really excited about the entire focus of the day – creative use of the iPad.  This is not about the apps!  It is about using the tool to enhance learning opportunities and to empower creativity.  I often reflect on the cover of the recent interface magazine signalling the death of the desktop…. I wonder how far away we are from the death of the laptop.  The power of the iPad as a learning tool continues to amaze and inspire.
So, here I am on 1 September 2012, the first day of spring, winging my way to Christchurch on “Random Act of Kindness Day”.  A day to really ensure MAGIC happens everywhere all the time. 
I have been really unwell and my ears and nose are really blocked, my throat is aching… The wonderful air host just stopped by for a chat and MAGIC happened.  He bought me a container of carvel to sniff to clear my nose and ears and it is amazing.  They really are clearing.  So there we go… 7.35am and the first Random Act of Kindness has come my way…  
I wonder how many I can sneak in today to really make this the most special day it can really be.  We are expected into Christchurch early – so not long now til I catch-up with Jo, Tara and Pauline and we head off to Wairairi for the MAGIC of the day…

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