Friday, October 9, 2015

#ulearn15 initial reflection...

Homeward bound before I slowed down for long enough to write up my goals for Ulearn…

So I am reflecting without the written goals…

Has it really only been five days since I left home? It seems improbable that so much has happened in one week. It seems impossible that we are already reflecting on #ulearn15. It seems inconceivable that so many educators have made so many connections, so many aha moments, so many new wonderings and challenges, so many calls to action.

Where to begin?

Let me start with the absolute declaration that I am privileged to work for the MOST amazing whanau in the world – CORE Education Ltd. From the initial preparations, through to the opening, the connections, the presentations, the sharing, through to the closing waiata – Tatai Aho Rau, our whanau have embraced us all in the heart of learning. So long ago I was speaking of the dream of wearing the ‘yellow lanyard”. Three years in and I am privileged to wear the lanyard with pride, embracing all that it means to learn, share, laugh, dream, connect, embrace, celebrate and just BE ME in our CORE whanau. Celebrating my third year as part of the Social Media / Connected Educator team is a true blessing and privilege. To BE where educators need us, to support their next steps in a connected journey is such an incredible opportunity.

To share three sessions with delegates at Ulearn15 is an awesome privilege. Each session unique and MAGICAL…

Links to presentations to come…

Lets have a little look at my week…

Monday – arrive in Auckland, connect and collaborate with Vicky as we prepare and embrace mindfulnees.

Tuesday – Permission to play – tweeting from sessions, connecting with educators, setting up rooms at ACG, conference showcase, e-fellow dinner.

Wednesday – Keynote seat drop, Tweeting from key note, vox pop filming, Presentation on Twitter and connecting, tweeting from Grant Lichtman’s workshop, Connected Educator Lounge party, Twitter dinner

Thursday – Tweeting from keynote, Connected Educator lounge, Presentation with amazing crew – Mentoring, Presentation Driving your Professional Inquiry, Connected Educator lounge, Reflection time with Connected Educator team, Conference dinner

Friday – tweeting from Derek’s reflective panel session, Connected Educator Lounge, Pam Hook’s Solo workshop, Thanking Pam Hook, Tweeting from closing keynote,

Running on the adrenaline of the week, til now, the yawns have set in…

I want to capture some of my highlights…

· Mindfulness with Vicki on Monday.

· Grant Lichtman really lit my heart and soul with the challenge of hearing the story, listening to the people, reflecting on successes and challenges.

· Deliberate Acts of Facilitation from Grant Lichtman’s session. I am totally in awe of the way he used the power of the people at the table to collaborate and share, then share with others… very clever facilitation.

· Sharing my story of the transformative power of my journey, being mentored. Sharing a very personal story, from my heart, holding my tears.

· Feedback from my session from Whare. We all need validation, but to be quoted by Whare and to be tweeted this by my twitter buddies bought tears… Aroha and gratitude…

· Being a part of the Connected Educator team. My dream and belief that connection with others is EVERYTHING, socialisation and collaboration is everything, means it is a privilege and a honour to be part of this team. Gratitude and respect to Tara and Catriona for leading us this week.

· Sharing our twitter / connected educator session with educators so hungry, so thirsty for connection, online, outside their own back yard.

· Sharing my session ‘driving your inquiry through networking’ with such a beautiful group of people. The feedback from the session bought tears to my eyes. We must never forget to validate, and accept validation. We must never stop connecting and acknowledging the power of connecting to move us to so much more than we are capable of alone. We must never stop dreaming, believing and achieving.

· The socialisation – small group, one to one, face to face, e-fellow dinner, twitter dinner, showcase dinner… We are all about the learning and this conference is so focused on the learning. The socialization, the relationship building is what takes us beyond this just being #ulearn15, empowering us to connect and maintain the relationship online until our next face to face.

· The visual recording of the keynotes. A powerful way to capture ‘the story’ in a way offering another way to connect with and engage with the story.

· The power of the story within us all.

· The showcase dinner deserves a mention all of its own. WOW just WOW! The high seas was the place to be…

· Ann Lieberman’s keynote was an incredible story of the power of the teacher, leader, learner. Some incredible challenges issued to us all. How I am I going to share my learning, how am I going to lead?

· Pat Snedden’s keynote was an incredible privilege to hear. I have such an inside view into the life and MAGIC of my dear friend Helen King who is instrumental in transforming. I have renewed awe.

· Fionna Wright’s post on the CORE Education Ltd blog this week challenged me and heightened my awareness this week. “Every action of ours serves to include or exclude’. WOW what a challenge. I was very mindful this week of every opportunity I had to include. Thank you to everyone who included me!

· The buzz, the hype, the absolute ‘learning’ focus of CORE Education Ltd. What a privilege to work for this company. Tatai Aho Rau!

· Living in! This is an absolute highlight of the conference. Being able to return to our rooms, being able to take a lighter bag, being able to have space – thank you for this beautiful privilege.

· Being in amongst almost 2000 passionate, dedicated, educators who create MAGIC for learners daily.

· To acknowledge the incredible team who work to make this possible. From tech, to events, to media, to minders, and everyone involved, CORE Education Ltd you are MAGICAL.

As we approach landing, I am thinking about how #ulearn15 must be much, much more than a week in the life of learners. It must be a catalyst, an affirmation, a challenge, a connection, a trigger. It MUST impact on learning and learners. It MUST impact on us, our hearts, our minds and our ways of being. It MUST call us and challenge us. It MUST sustain and nourish us to take action. It MUST be oh so much more than a conference.

Personally, #ulearn15 is etched within me. It is in my breathing, as I breathe deep, mindful of my privilege of being an educator. It is in my movements, as I walk many paths, facilitating, ‘making easy the way’ of educators, it is in my mind as I reflect, synthesize, integrate, embrace new learning. It is in my eyes as I see new ways, new horizons, new opportunities. It is in my ears, as I listen, really listen to the voice of all, learners, educators, leaders, whanau. It is in ME!

Ulearn15 has called me to action. I am going to create a doc to share all of our reflections from Ulearn15, as we share and connect and continue the journey.

Thank you for the privilege.

I would love to hear your highlights, reflections, calls to action…


  1. In your own words - "Go ahead and affirm." So I affirm you and all the beautifulness that is you and your very special gift you share with thousands. Like a 3 yr old, I wish I didn't have to "share" you with thousands, but the joy and MAGIC you bring to a room, a conversation or an idea is too good not to. The way people ignite when your name is mentioned, is electric- you are a taonga special lady.
    Much love. xx

    1. oh Helen, aroha and gratitude to you! I am at my happiest when with people! I am so blessed to be able to find MAGIC everywhere... and it is everywhere! Even in the skies that welcomed me home tonight... maybe it is because I pause to notice! I am trying to always pause and notice the little things. Like tonight, the MAGIC of Grant being there when I stepped of the plane - MAGIC! Like the privilege of sitting beside a young mum on the way home who was genuinely interested in teachers and learning. Like the privilege of our MAGICAL face to face time keeping us mindful of each other and our journeys... agh so much MAGIC... Like the MAGIC of seeing your princess on screen... I could go on and on! Thanks so much for taking the time to affirm. Imagine the world if we all did this... xoxo

  2. Wow ... this is something I need to get to next year! Let me know how!

    1. Anneke, how wonderful to hear from you. It if a MAGICAL opportunity... and you can register interest already... Wouldn't it be amazing if you could get there. So many challenges, connections, learnings, and wonderings... so many more reflections to share over the weekend... Thanks again for connecting.
      Anne K

  3. I think part of your enjoyment of things is down to the way that you approach them. So full of energy and excitement and giving your all. Your reflections catch the moments and essence of the conference. Thanks, Anne.

  4. Thanks so much Anne. What a wonderful conference indeed. I have sooo many highlights and that was just reflection one... lots more to come. Amazing to catch up with you almost everyday. Loved catching up with you and Viv at the Twitter dinner and meeting your whole family was a real treat! Catchup again real soon I hope.