Learning at School in Rotorua

On Wednesday the Learning at School Conference started properly. Here Nikki and I sit ready for a session on Building an Engaged Thinking Classroom. See that other man- he doesn’t have a computer! That is because we ‘borrowed’ his computer for this photo!

The highlight of the conference for me, apart from being able to share our learning about podcasting, was to hear David Warlick’s keynote speech about Telling the New Story in 21st Century learning.

He talked about trends in the expansion of information and how we need to shift from an education designed to meet the needs of the industrial revolution. The 21st century needs creative, connected, collaborative people. He was really entertaining as well as informative. In this video he talks about ‘flat classrooms’ and how they might be when knowledge can be found in a click of a mouse.

Then on Thursday came my presentation on Podcasting- Getting Connected Globally

I made the wiki to support the people in my session when they got home. You can see it by clicking on the link to the right.

We got there really early so everything would be set up and ready to go. Unfortunately the entire internet network for the building went down and stayed down! I had prepared for the worst and had a back-up plan but it was un-nerving having three technicians whispering techno-babble to each other as to how to solve the conference centre’s problems as I was doing my bit!

Nikki took this photo as the internet came on at end of the presentation. I was so pleased it did as I had jacked up with Paul H in Wales to have a quick recorded chat in Skype to show people how it is done. He came through for me which was really great. See that lady on the edge of her seat and everyone facing the right direction!

People seemed really keen on the concept and hopefully the wiki can give them some links if they get stuck.

After all that hard work Tiny Ted our geocaching bear had a little light relaxation with a wine and cheese to celebrate our success!

This pou whenua graced the entrance way to the conference centre. It was a magnificent thing as it changed colour and dominated the foyer.

Then on Friday I went to workshop on digital literacy and using RSS to bring the power of the web to your computer. While I was there I put my laptop on the front podium and let Paul in Wales listen live to the presentation as Dave Warlick told us about Technocrati and Bloglines. I already use Bloglines and will investigate Technocrati some more. Paul later podcasted the talk and emailed David and asked him if it was OK to publish it. David emailed him back and said that would be fine as long as he told the story of how the podcast came to be. How is that for connected-ness???

Afterwards I was cheeky enough to have my photo taken with the man himself!
As the conference finished we flew back into the cold, wet wind of Wellington.

The conference was over and we had enjoyed every minute of it despite the exploding vehicles, lack of booked hotel rooms, the heat, the power outage and evacuation and the dodgy internet connections.

My next steps will be to create and edublog to record my thoughts on learning & teaching and to move forward the notion of getting a national educational podcasting network underway with the help of TKI and Learning Media! All made more possible with the connections made on conference.

What made the conference special for me was the personal networking I was able to do with ‘movers and shakers‘ from all over New Zealand and internationally. Dave Warlick talks of side trips in education being of value in education and these side trips are so valuable for me also. These are the extras we learn alongside the planned lessons in life!

And here we are! My edublog is born!

2 thoughts on “Learning at School in Rotorua

  1. Hi Allanah
    I enjoyed reading your account of Learning At School. I agree the best part of these conferences is meeting up with like minded people again. Sometimes we are looked at as the ‘geek’ or at least as ‘rather strange’ in schools 🙂 so it is nice to be in a conference full of people with the same drive and passion. Well done on creating another blog for me to put in my aggregator. BTW I do like the look of this blog site.

  2. Hi Allanah.

    Congrats on your edublog!!! This certainly will keep you busy and provide a place for all your ideas and musings. Well done! I look forwards to reading more ‘insightful’ posts and keeping up to date with all of your happenings 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *