Monday, 14 October 2013

Did I Learn at ULearn?

My mentor, Hazel Owen, asked me before I went to Ulearn, if I was going to blog during the 3 day event.  Well, I hadn't thought about it but, sure, I said, I will try.
So, on the first day,  at the keynote by Ken Shelton, I busily started to take notes in blogger.  His was an interactive session so, not being a multi-tasker, I soon began to get bogged down.  How can I keep up?  I know, a quick flick to Twitter on my phone, enter the hashtag, #ulearn13, and voila!
 All the notes and links I would want. Right here! Awesome!  A rich, rich resource of many highlights of the 3 days!
Now just the time to sort through. But how powerful to have the notes taken during the actual session, reminding me of the important points.
I also went to breakouts that weren't being tweeted about, though.  We need more tweeters in the teaching profession.  Yes, I know I should have done more but it is so much more exciting when you can join in the tumble of tweets filling the pages on your phone .....9 more tweets since you last looked, 13 more tweets, 39 more tweets and so on.
So now you have to rely upon my recall of some breakouts without the tweeting twittering away.
I was fighting off a dreaded lurgy at the time and so apart from missing a few snippets of information, I also missed several breakouts.  So here we go.
Firstly I gave a taster session on Flipping Learning which I did enjoy even though the technology was fighting me at the time. Then,  I went to "Building on the Skype Project" by Bronwen Glass from Botany Downs Kindergarten which was about using Skype, as a very cool way of transitioning ECE students into their schools.  Could be applied from Primary to Secondary and Secondary to Tertiary, if only these institutions talked to each other more often.
After that I went to Matt Griffiths presentation about using Google "Sites, Apps and Dashboard in College Classrooms" at Tamaki College - an amazing application of Google in the School, supported by their Head of Maths (Nolene Dunn) and their Head of Social Sciences (Dorothy Apelu).  Awesome again!! And their resources were freely shared. Here.  This really showed how a teacher could manage all of the personalised learning that was going on, supporting their learners as they pursued online activities and assessments.
On the second day, I went to an excellent workshop called Developing Future Oriented Learners and Teachers by Ian Suckling and Esther Casey, two facilitators working on the same project as me.  This was based on the 6 themes of 21st century learning:

  • Personalised learning, 
  • changing roles for teachers and learners, 
  • new relationships and partnerships, 
  • new views of equity and diversity, 
  • a culture of continuous learning for teachers and leaders, 
  • and a curriculum that uses knowledge to build capacity for learning
Again, an excellent workshop that had attendees thinking and talking hard and fast. Their activities are here.
That night, the Ulearn dinner, always a breakout happening there.  Lots of good music, wine, men and song.  Enough said!
On the third day, after my second presentation on e-portfolios, I had to admit defeat and drive home.  My head was pounding and throat croaking and so home at the end to a weekend of laryngitis and sore throat.  Think my husband was grateful.  And it meant I couldn't talk to the gathering of reporters outside my house for which I am even more grateful.  (Yes, Mark Lundy has moved in 2 doors down).  Strange way to end a very good week.  Hope I don't get distracted.  I learnt heaps at Ulearn2013!

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