Today, we kicked off ULearn 2014 in Rotorua with the Mobile Learning Day. I was clever enough to choose Tom Barrett's workshop on Learning as Inquiry for my first. Tom had a model of learning through inquiry which was very easy to understand and could be applied to many learning situations. Along with that model, he had Thing-linked a heap of digital tools which could be used at each stage of the inquiry. Thanks for such a useful morning, Tom. Here follows a little storify of mainly my tweets as I listened in. It is really great to be able revisit these tweets alongside his notes. Great prompts for remembering.
By contrast, I became frustrated and even angry at my afternoon workshop where the presenter had quite a few digital tools to address a pedagogy that, it was obvious that she knew very little about. Now I don't want to sound like a know-it-all but when the tools were being used just for showcasing the tools, the workshop became meaningless. There has to be some semblance of substance about the knowledge being learned. You can't crowd-source knowledge for two and a half hours from a crowd that had very little understanding of the topic. They were there to find out about the topic, and instead got to use some of the tools which could be useful once they had the knowledge. They made resources based on their lack of knowledge for the rest of the time.
I hate to see teachers going away from a workshop ill-informed, which is what they would have done. Teacher pd time is precious, especially for those who have give up out of school time.
I have to admit, my feedback was pretty scathing. And I am sorry for that, because it is not easy standing in front of a group of teachers and presenting a workshop. However, I do hope that she learns from that. During my teaching life I have been taught to take on board good feedback and discard any negative feedback that you don't think is warranted, but act on what you think is warranted. You don't need to argue or discuss, just do it. However part of me still feels ugly for being unkind.
So that's it. My first day at Ulearn 2014. The good, the bad and the ugly.