Friday, August 14, 2015

Tumeke Tamariki! #GEGNZstudent Summit

"Take the people around you with you on the journey" via +Toby Carr, inspiring opening keynote for  the inaugural Google Educator Group NZ Student Summit last Wednesday.

Toby's words resonated with me throughout the day as I observed #GEGNZstudent participants immerse themselves in leading their learning. From the presentations to the hands on sessions students approached the day prepared to make the most of the opportunities offered.

This was also evidenced by how students responded to the unexpected. When double the number of participants arrive at your session or there's a hiccup in the network, how might you respond?  These students were not phased but confident to back themselves and their learning. Shout-out to the team from Alexandra Primary School in Central Otago who shared for the first time via Google Hangout on Air. Their presentation is available on-demand - Managing your Own Learning, Goals & Reflection. Also participants who travelled from as far North as Ohaeawai and the central Waikato to participate.

I valued the opportunity to immerse myself in the learning spaces, observe and listen to the conversations.  While many people contributed to enabling this event its success on the day is attributed to the students and the opportunity to engage in learning that is authentic and empowering.

Quick vox pop captures some of the awesomeness from the summit...Tumeke Tamariki!

"Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei"

Further links to explore: Summit Site

Hangouts on Air:
#GEGNZstudent Summit Keynote - +Toby Carr , DeXTech Founder & CEO

#GEGNZstudnet Summit Ambassadors

Thursday, August 6, 2015

"I've Been Globalised"

@Mr_Lincheck edcampGlobal Badge
As a long time EducampNZ fan I was keen to participate and contribute to edcampGlobal this year. A 24 hour learning experience edcampGlobal took the traditional edcamp unconference experience to another level of ubiquitous learning and networking.
The programme over 24 hours included a host of sessions to select from via Google Hangouts on Air, Twitter chats and Periscope.

I posted an invite to our educampNZ community and was joined by awesome kiwi educators and educampNZ organisers +Philippa Nicoll Antipas +Juliet Revell +Barbara Reid +Annemarie Hyde +Anne Kenneally

Below are Google Slides we used to guide our conversation and share strategies and resources for organising an unconference event, plus a recording of the Hangout on Air.  Can't thank the team enough for stepping up at 11am NZT on a Sunday!

I also took a couple of minutes to share some of my thinking about the value of social networking and user generated professional learning. Starting at 5:52 in the Hangout, notes are below.  

If we were to use pop culture and the celebratory tweet to measure the value of social media for professional learning I suspect the majority of my online professional learning communities would be gathering dust by now. However social networks that enable educators to connect, collaborate and engage in conversations that matter to their learning are recognised by many educators as critical to improving professional practice.

The belief that great learning is social is a concept that continues to resonate for me (via Dr Claire Sinnema... "Because context matters... inquiry is important")

This is in reference to Teaching as in Inquiry in the NZC… "a framework that teachers can use to help them learn from their practice and in response to the needs of their learners."

The teacher uses evidence from research and from their own past practice and that of colleagues to plan teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving prioritised outcomes. 

While Teaching as in Inquiry is informed by research the value of a teacher's past practice and that of colleagues should not be overlooked. 

"What good are the approaches, principles and mechanisms in the research? Why inquire if we know what works? ... Because context matters. 

The framework provides us with a common understanding and language for inquiry into our practice, the context is what brings life to the inquiry and to the learning.Dr Claire Sinnema

I believe this is where the true value of connecting and building a professional learning network via social networking, informal and participant driven professional learning can add value. Individuals are able to connect with a far wider community of educational professionals, in their context, while using the lens of their Teaching as Inquiry focus to inform decision making for learning and changing practice.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

In our own backyard!

@NZWaikato Taranaki #choccyfish 

educampAKL was hosted at Tamaki College this year. It's a bonus when events are close to home however when participants choose to travel from distances to contribute and learn it definitely adds value to user generated unconference events.

If you didn't make it on the day there is a treasure trove of Tweets, Smackdown and blogposts shared on the wiki ... and worth exploring.

Thanks again to the team at Tamaki College who went all out with the venue, awesome wireless (most participants turn up with at leat two devices) and the Geek Cafe who kept us fuelled on the day. +Carol Heka +Soana Pamaka +Russel Dunn +Eric Grundy

If you missed #educampAKL, August is primed to be a huge month. With five events across Aotearoa, if you can't make it on the day... #ThisIsAugust