Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Rest of Learning at School

On Wednesday the Learning at School Conference started properly. Here Mrs P 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 one of Miss K's 'fake photos'!Tiny Ted sat in on the conference and learnt a lot although he didn't take many notes!
Outside the venue is the Rotorua Museum. It is a magnificent building that was once a kind of health spa where people could go and soak in hot thermal springs. See that turret at the top. We walked up there and got a view out all over Rotorua.
After a busy day learning in the heat we took Tiny Ted for a swim at a very posh hotel! It had a huge sunken swimming pool surrounded by a restaurant where tourists could have a meal and watch a Maori cultural performance. We got out of the pool before the diners arrived though!
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.

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 above.

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!

Mrs P 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 had a little relaxation with a wine and cheese to celebrate his 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!

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Anonymous said...

Wow what a wonderful report from the Learning@School conference, the photographs linked to the story really bring it all to life - it is almost like being there - We in Wales are glad that our representative Tiny Ted enjoyed the conference and meeting new and interesting people ( and going for a swim!!).
Helping out and joining in the conference from the other side of the world was a fabulous honour as well, thank you for inviting me.
Mr H

Moturoa said...

Did Tiny Ted really drink all that wine or did you steal some glasses of wine from him, Miss K?

By Kyle

Moturoa said...

Tiny Ted only had a sip to celebrate his successes at the conference.

Miss K