Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Update 13 August 2014 - #edchatnz conference

Hi all. Here we are in week four of term three already.  What have got planned for the rest of the term? Many teachers I have spoken with lately are currently preparing for school musical.  How I loved this time, when every learner got a chance to shine, be it singing, dancing, performing, stage set, tech support, promotion.  How do you ensure all your learners get a chance to shine?

This week I am sharing highlights from the #edchatnz conference and issuing my first set of challenges to you all.  

#edchatnz began as a dream two years ago by Danielle Myburgh.  She realised her friends and family were not always that interested in her educational successes and challenges, so she looked for a medium to connect and discuss.  She began #edchatnz which is a moderated twitter chat help every second Thursday night online between 8.30 and 9.30.  Over the years the discussion has been diverse, meaningful, challenging, supporting, and very collegial.  Danielle had a second dream, to run a conference to allow the people who connected via #edchatnz to come together and meet face to face.

"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."

#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

Challenge 1
If you attended the inaugural #edchatnz conference at Hobsonville Point Secondary School I would like you to respond to this update by answering the following questions which are being shared as a blogging meme started by Reid Walker.  If you have already completed the blogging meme you could share the link to it by replying to this update.

1. How did you attend the #edchatnz Conference? (Face 2 Face, followed online or didn’t)
2. How many others attended from your school or organisation?
3. How many #edchatnz challenges did you complete?
4. Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?
5. What session are you gutted that you missed?
6. Who is one person that you would like to have taken to #edchatnz and what key thing would they have learned?
7. Is there a person you didn’t get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Wh
8. What is the next book you are going to read and why?
9. What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #edchatnz
10. Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?

Challenge 2
If you did not attend the conference I would like you to post a response to one or more of the resources shared today.  

Challenge 3
If you have not joined twitter, consider joining to develop your professional learning network. Connect and collaborate with educators around New Zealand and the world.

So on Friday the 8th of August 300+ educators gathered at Hobsonville point and the MAGIC began.  Reconnecting with friends, meeting new friends, attending workshops, discussing, challenging, networking, learning and growing together was the agenda for the two days.  

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 tweacher (tweeting teacher) face to face for the first time,  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!

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 these two days?  

Thanks to Hobsonville Point Secondary School for the amazing venue! You can read Maurie Abraham’s blogpost about the event.

Where to now for educators in New Zealand.   
Can you:
  • Run or attend an educamp?
  • Begin or reignite an e-teach group?
  • Join #edubookchatnz?
  • Run or attend an #eduignite?
  • Attend a conference?
  • Run a techni breaki at your school?
  • Blog your journey?
  • Share your Teaching as Inquiry?
  • 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!

I would like to highlight two sessions that were incredibly valuable for me:

Booktrack is an incredibly powerful tool that is user friendly, flexible, creative, and is changing the reading experience.  Not only can readers add sound effects to published works, they can record their own story and add effects to this.  The aspects of writing and reading have the potential to be greatly enhanced. I have shared links to booktrack in the past.  I even had a go at booktracking this update if you want to read it here enhanced with sound effects.  I woud love to know what you think!

Solo Taxonomy for Primary schools was a very powerful session.  Pam is one of the slickest, humblest, down to earth presenters I have met. Her session empowered us all to use what is a simple, robust, credible, research based, extremely well resourced tool.  

#edchatnz reflections by educators around New Zealand are available.

Finally, for all of you who were unable to take part in this amazing pd... here are the links to lots of the presentations shared by Alex. #edchatnz: Super Post of Resources

Anne’s Literacy Links and Look ups…

NZLA conference Surfing the Literacy Wave
Tauranga, 28 September – 1 October 2014

Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
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