Saturday, August 9, 2014

#edchatnz Reflecting on a MAGICAL two days...

WOW on board flight NZ551 bound for Christchurch!  Time to reflect on the MAGIC of the past two days...

Danielle had a dream...
She believed in her passion for education...
She knew that her family and friends didn't want to talk about education 24/7...
So her dream became a reality two years ago with the inception of #edchatnz.

#edchatNZ is a community for New Zealand educators across all sectors to discuss all things education. Please feel free to use this hashtag to share anything relevant about New Zealand education. #edchatNZ conference Friday, 8 August 2014 at 9:00 AM - Saturday, 9 August 2014 at 3:00 PM (NZST) Auckland, New Zealand

In April this year Danielle's dream reshaped to allow for the MAGIC of #edchatnz online to become a f2f reality.  
"The steering committee has pulled together the #edchatnz conference in 18 weeks. Yes, you read correctly: 18 weeks. Our first official minutes were dated 3/04/2014."

So, yesterday, at the amazing Hobsonville Point Secondary School the MAGIC began as educators arrived from 8am. Words can't really convey the feeling of hugs as connections are restored, hugs as new connections are made and the tangible pulse of the potential of this inaugural event.

I have always held the belief that online is fabulous but face to face is MAGIC. The upward spiral is evident when we meet a tweet face to face for the first time, but we have a shared journey, a kindredness, a virtual connection. Online connections make the face to face connections more meaningful which in turn make future online connections more meaningful - a true upward spiral of success.

From the very first moments in the darkened auditorium listening to the student on the piano, to the Hobsonville learner sharing her poem, to the Hobsonville primary students sharing their learning journey, their agency, through every workshop... this conference focused on transforming opportunities for our learning.

With the most important space in the classroom or school being the space between the teacher, leader, learner's ear's this conference truly connected us, challenged us, empowered us, engaged us. We were given agency to make the learning over these two days work for us. We were challenged, motivated and inspired by each other. We had fun!!! So much fun!

I really find it hard to encapsulate the MAGIC of these two days in a blogpost, because it is so much more than a blogpost is possible of sharing.

So many opportunities for us as educators to make a difference in the everyday life of our students!!!

A HUGE thank you to Danielle, for having a dream, believing in the dream and making the dream a reality. As 300 educators gathered, how far will the ripples flow? Conservatively each educator has opportunities to impact on thirty learners, meaning a very real possible impact on 9000 learners immediately. Then, what of those following the stream from afar and indeed globally? What is the potential reach of the goodness of the past two days? It is phenomenal! It is MAGIC!!!

Thanks to Hobsonville Point Secondary School for the amazing venue!

Thanks to every tweep who is in my PLN and who is such a part of who and what I am everyday.

Thanks to everyone who connects, cares, shares, gives...

Where to now? Counting down til October! Connected Educator Month is going to be the most incredibly powerful opportunity for local, national and global connections on a scale not seen before in New Zealand.  
  • What are you going to do to embrace the MAGIC of this opportunity?  
  • What are you going to explore in your area?  
  • What are you going to connect with?
  • Who can you engage with?
Can you:
  • Run or attend an educamp?
  • Begin or reignite an e-teach group?
  • Join #edubookchatnz?
  • Run or attend an #eduignite?
  • Attend Ulearn?
  • Run a techni breaki at your school?
  • Blog your journey?
  • Share your T@I?
  • Attend or start up a local f2f group?
  • Join in a webinar?
  • Join and contribute to the vln?
  • Join or connect with a new group through social media?
  • Support learning and connecting at a local retirement home?
  • Support a collaboration between ECE, primary, secondary or tertiary groups?
  • Become a mentor?
  • Find yourself a mentor?
  • Join a quadblog group?
These are a few ideas I have. What could you do? Please share your ideas in a comment and let's really connect and collaborate for the good of all!


  1. Wow
    What a fantastic and thought provoking post. It goes without saying that the success of the event was also due to the amazing people who participated and put in the effort to attend the event. One suspects Anne that you probably travelled the furtherest, nearly the length of the country, to get there, so thats a huge compliment to you. Also with the digital profile that you have great for you to be able to share your journey and the experience. Danielle did an amazing thing, a crazy thing, that just happened and its a testament to her drive and energy that it all went ahead. As you say when you think of the numbers who were involved it is amazing of the students who would have been directly affected. As for the future, great to think about how many educators that would have been inspired by your post.

    1. Oh Myles,
      As always, you inspire me. Thank you for not only taking the time to read my post, but also for commenting. I really appreciate it. It was an incredible conference! Yes, it was a HUGE distance to travel but I would do it all again tomorrow for the MAGIC of the face to face connecting. I am just home after a long roadie home from Christchurch today!
      I cannot only imagine the improved opportunities for learners around NZ from tomorrow on, all thanks to Danielle having a dream, making it a reality, and for the passion of all the educators present, face to face and following virtually. I am so excited for Connected Educator Month, right throughout the month of October. Can you imagine 31 days of connecting and learning?
      I would love to catchup again. Wonder how I will get to Taranaki...
      Thanks again
      Anne K