#iEARN13 Workshop & Presentations

 

I am still coming to terms with the fact that I travelled halfway around the world to share my social media journey and experiences with The Global Classroom Project at #iEARN13.

Qatar was the venue for my first (three!) international presentations, including my first Global Classroom Workshop, and the launch of my first iEARN project.

Here they are, with links to explore further if you wish.

Connecting Globally via Twitter and the #globalclassroom Chats (Workshop)

I still can’t believe that nearly 50 people attended this workshop, which was live translated from English into Arabic. It seemed to make quite an impact, judging by the frequent informal sessions I held with new iEARN twitter teachers over the days which followed!

It was a pleasure to present in front of the @iEARNAustralia management team, who now have a much better understanding of what I’ve been trying to do with our organisation’s Twitter account.

This workshop was also the first time I experimented with a bilingual “Find Someone Who” activity as a brief 5 minute introduction to the ‘essence’ of Twitter – short, rapid fire conversations with global partners around a range of issues.

A huge thank you goes to @rawyashatila in Lebanon, who generously translated the document into Arabic! 🙂

Workshop Notes

Workshop Handout & (Crowd Sourced) Twitter Tips

@mgraffin Twitter Workshop
Via @FrisoDoornhof

 

Social Media Panel Contribution

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One of the unexpected surprises of the iEARN Conference was the invitation to contribute to the Social Media Panel Keynote, created by Khitham Al-Utaibi (@khitamah) and Rebecca Hodges (@ProfHodges).

Presenting alongside 3 academics, and one of the most globally aware high school students I’ve ever met (@AndrewNasser), was quite an experience. We had around 450 people in the audience, and I received some very positive feedback on my contribution. I suspect I went over my time allocation slightly, but I think this tweet sums it up nicely:

 

Building the Global Classroom: A Substitute Teacher’s Twitter Journey from Michael

iEARN Travelling Scrapbook Project Launch

This turned out to be one of the more productive sessions of the conference, where I took the opportunity to share the story of the #globalclassroom travelling scrapbook project, and discuss plans for an iEARN version.

I took away some hastily scribbled notes / suggestions, and a list of potential partners. I’m hoping to get this project running by September 2013, and will have to try and sort out the planning / organisation approach over the next week or so.

Science, ICT, and the Global Classroom (#CONSTAWA33 Keynote)

Last weekend, I presented the Dinner Keynote at the Science Teachers’ of Western Australia conference, exploring the topic: Science, ICT, and the Global Classroom: Exploring the Possibilities. 

Our Challenge: Engaging Students in Science

As a primary school teacher & global education specialist, being asked to present to secondary science teachers was an interesting experience 🙂

The central theme of the presentation focussed on the use of technology to enable teachers and students Engage, Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate in secondary Science – via connections with external organisations, experts, and science educators around Australia, and around the world.

Building Bridges with REAL Science

My most memorable science teachers were those who were passionate about their subject, and who went out of their way to CONNECT their students to REAL science. As was posited to me on the night, these connections should, and indeed MUST begin, in the primary school classroom, but I was interested in exploring the possibilities at the secondary level.

You DON”T have to be an Expert (when you’re part of a community)

I was also very keen to point out that teachers don’t have to be ICT experts to engage & connect their students in Science. The keys to success lie in keeping an open mind, and and being willing to learn and collaborate with colleagues and experts beyond your classroom walls through engaging in online communities, such as the Scootle Community and Twitter.

I finished up by sharing a crowd-sourced Google Doc, containing links and ideas for Secondary Science teachers interested in exploring the possibilities of ICT and global connections in their teaching. You can access (and contribute) to that document via the short link: http://bit.ly/CONSTAWA2013.

 

Post Conference Reflections

I was rather pleased with the reception I received at the CONSTAWA Conference. It was rather challenging to walk into an unfamiliar conference audience, but the feedback was very positive.

I’ve learnt a great deal through the experience … not just about how much work and preparation goes into these kind of presentations, but how I can personally integrate ICT and global connections into my own Science teaching in the future. The connections I’ve made … the lessons I’ve learned … will help me a great deal when I eventually find my own space and own classroom – one day.

Thank you to the long list of teachers, scientists, and experts who helped make this presentation possible. I am indebted to you – for your support … and inspiring example of what is possible when you ‘explore the possibilities’ of Science, ICT, and the Global Classroom.

Being part of something BIG – The Scootle Community

A few months ago, I was selected as an Australian Teacher Champion for the new Scootle Community, run by Education Services Australia.

And as the community goes live this week, I can’t help but feel that I’m part of something BIG …

Introducing … the Community

The Scootle Community is a social network designed exclusively for Australian teachers, helping teachers connect, learn, share, and collaborate with their peers around Australia, and access high quality teaching resources.

I see the Community as a bridge between traditional professional development and social media, making it ideal for teachers who are unfamiliar with social networking to explore, learn, and develop their skills in a supportive learning environment. It’s worth exploring, and sharing with your colleagues …

So what’s it all about?

As members of the Scootle Community social network, educators can:

  • Set up a profile as they would on a social network and join discussion groups, read and write blogs, ask questions and share expertise.
  • Connect with teachers from all over the country, bringing together rich experiences from diverse communities.
  • Find classroom resources from the Scootle website, relevant sections of the Australian Curriculum, and teacher conversations on a topic of interest with a single search.
  • Create a teacher network on the topic of their choice. Users can choose to create a private, invitation-only network, or one that is open to all interested educators on the site.
  • Join teacher networks, enter discussions, create wikis and blog on the things they wonder about or want to share.
  • Interact through live chats and blogs with special guest bloggers on subjects of interest.

How can you get involved?

If you already use the scootle.edu.au resources website, you can use your Scootle login to access the site at community.scootle.edu.au. You can access, the site on your tablet, desktop, or laptop computer, and there are iOS and Android apps in the works.

The Scootle Community is currently available for Government and private school teachers (and pre-service educators) around Australia.

There is, sadly, a catch – NSW and QLD public school teachers can’t YET access Scootle or the Scootle Community. There are discussions going on behind the scenes, but it could be a few months before they can join 🙁

Spreading the Word

Please help spread the word about the #scootlecommunity with your colleagues and PLN. You can download the Scootle Community Posters, and tweet about the network using the #scootlecommunity hashtag.

As Scootle Community Teacher Champions, we are looking forward to working with you as we develop and grow the Scootle Community into a valuable, in-time professional learning and networking resource for Australian teachers.

We hope you will join us.

Building a Western Australian PLN (#WApln)

Halfway through last year, a Twitter conversation with @suewaters raised the prospect of building the Western Australian online teacher community, with the goal of running our own professional development through unconferences led by educators, for educators. (There is a BIG event in the works, more details coming here soon).

One of the key issues raised out of our early discussions was our difficulty in finding local Twitter teachers,and the need for a specific Western Australian education Twitter hashtag. At the time we only knew of around 10 people, but with the recent efforts of @LouCimetta in the Catholic Education school system, there are now more than a 100 Twitter teachers here in the West.

In what we believe is the first step of a long journey, we are launching the #WApln Twitter hashtag. This is intended to be a universal Western Australian education hashtag – we welcome contributors from primary, secondary, and adult education – across the government AND private sectors, and in metropolitan AND rural areas.

Get Involved

1) Tag your tweets with the #WApln hashtag, and add it to your Twitter client (Hootsuite, Twitterific, Tweetdeck).

2) Subscribe to @mgraffin’s WA Educator’s Twitter list – instantly follow 100+ local educators!

3) Please help spread the word – through your blogs, school communities, and Twitter networks!

Learn More

What the heck is a PLN?

 

Introduction to Twitter (via @KerryMuste)

“The View Over the Hill” (#Slide2Learn Reflections)

Slide via @learnexchange

Last week, the #Slide2Learn Conference hit Western Australia for the first time. Normally, teacher-run ICT / mobile learning conferences such as these pass us by, but I’m really grateful that this one didn’t!

Sometimes you get a quote which just defines a conference, and this one from Ben Beaton (@learnexchange), sums it up nicely:

#slide2learn was an opportunity for early adopters,  ICT leaders, and keen life-long learners to help each-other stand on top of the hill, looking towards and planning for a future where concepts of ‘mobile learning’ and ’21st century skills” are obsolete, and just called “learning”.

Like many others at the conference, we believe that ICT and mobile devices are tools which can, and should be invisibly integrated into the teaching and learning process. We’re not interested in promoting the “next great revolutionary device” … we’re interested in promoting and supporting LEARNING through technology.

We came together with different skills, perspectives, and philosophies – but #slide2learn gave us the chance to connect, and make our voices heard – as we move towards the top of the hill … together.

Skype Keynote by @achurches

Through #slide2learn, I was able to:

  • Build & develop my professional networks through meetings and conversations with so many wonderful teachers, including many online collaborators I was meeting f2f for the very first time.
  • Meet the amazing @TonyVincent (thank you for being so welcoming)
  • Discover the language and resources to define my philosophy of teaching and learning … I learnt a great deal about “Challenge Based Learning” from the Apple rep. and @janeinjava.
  • Develop my skills and professional knowledge in relation to iPad VPP management, Augmented Reality, and use of iPads in Early Childhood.
  • Learn some valuable presentation skills from the Keynote presenters – most of whom I’d already met on Twitter 🙂
  • Launch the #WApln twitter hashtag (more info coming), and commence discussions with @JASONDARGENT and others about a TEDx ED Perth event in 2014.
  • Fit into a community of teachers who share my ideas, goals, and dreams for the seamless, and ultimately invisible integration of iOS devices into teaching and learning.
On a personal note, I am extremely grateful for @LouCimetta, who gave me the push I needed to come to #slide2learn. Lou, your support and advice is always greatly appreciated, and I hope to work more closely with you over the years to come.

 

Augmented Reality with @kmacc1 and @deanscanlon

 

Congratulations go to the AMAZING #slide2learn team, who pulled off an incredibly rich, diverse, and valuable learning experience.

You did such a great job that I will seriously consider flying over East for the next conference 🙂

via @KerryMuste

 

Congratulations also go to @KerryMuste and @AmieMeyer4, two amazing fellow West Australian teachers who presented at #slide2learn. 

@KerryMuste, #globalclassroom teacher presenting @ #slide2learn

 

And thanks to all those wonderful people that I was able to meet f2f for the first time … there are too many to list, but you know who you are.

Thank you for the conversations … I’ll see you online 🙂

The Power of Connections & Conversation

It is hard to believe that #ACEC2012 has been and gone. Yet, I will carry its legacy for many years to come.

For me the conference was not about the presentations or the keynotes, although they had their place. It was about the connections, the conversations, … and the food … (only partly kidding!)

Photo by @anouk_ratna, Student Photographer @ #ACEC2012

During the conference, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful, inspiring educators – some of whom I have known and worked with online for years. Some highlights included meeting @rgesthuizen, @ackygirl, @brettelockyer, @HenriettaMi, @losiath, @murcha, @tasteach, @alupton, @smadsenau, @melcashen, and frankly, the list goes on …

 

I took a great deal of confidence and affirmation away from #ACEC2012. 

Making my presentation debut at Australia’s national ICT conference was a personal milestone, one which I will remember for many years to come. The fact that I had a full house, and received such wonderful feedback on the ‘passion’ of my presentation, was a welcome recognition that my work is valued beyond the emotional roller-coaster of my day-to-day teaching practice.

I knew that my work in global education was respected by educators around the world, but I really appreciated the opportunity to sit down and talk to people whose teaching practice and educational outlook are being transformed through their engagement in the #globalclassroom community.

I’m a teacher. I may not have my own class, but I’m making an impact.

And I’m already looking forward to attending #ACEC2014 in Adelaide!

 

Skyping with @SAVSchool at #ACEC2012

Presenting at #ACEC2012

Cross Posted at The Global Classroom Project

On Wednesday October 1, 2012, I had the wonderful opportunity to present with Nigel Mitchell (@1nbm) on the topic: “Working in the Global Classroom” at theAustralian Computers in Education Conference

 

 

Despite some initial technical hurdles, including the fact that Skype was blocked at the school, the presentation was a great success.

We managed to Skype with Julie Lindsay, the co-founder of Flat Classroom Projects; and shared our global collaboration stories with a large local audience, and a small group of teachers in Taiwan, India, and the United States via UStream,

I hope you will take some time to explore our slides, and watch our UStream recording.

You can access, and contribute to our presentation notes here.

My Edublogs Awards 2011 Nominations


My PLN has been a source of support, learning, and encouragement, and along the way, I’ve met many wonderful new people, made new friends, and discovered some invaluable online professional learning resources.


Today, I’m taking the opportunity to nominate a few of my favourite sites, blogs, and resources for the
Edublogs Awards 2011.

 

The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.  The best aspects include that it creates a fabulous resource for educators to use for ideas on how social media is used in different contexts, with a range of different learners while creating an invaluable resource of the best-of-the-best on the web!network

http://edublogawards.com/


BEST NEW BLOG

Teaching the Teacher: http://traintheteacher.wordpress.com/

Stephanie (@traintheteacher) found me on Twitter some months ago, and I soon discovered her insightful blog (established Jan 2011) where she has shared her experiences, reflections, and learning as a student-come-beginning teacher.

We need more student and beginning teacher bloggers like Stephanie; as by sharing our stories, frustrations, learning, and achievements, we can build informed community understanding of new teacher experiences, and better aid their entry into the teaching profession.


BEST GROUP BLOG


Edublogs Teacher Challenge: http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/

With out a doubt, the Teacher Challenge blog is one of the BEST online professional development resources for teachers on the internet today. Written by teachers, for teachers, this is relevant, informed PD at it’s best. It has helped me improve my blogging skills, and build my PLN.


BEST ED TECH / RESOURCE SHARING BLOG


Education Technology and Mobile Learning:
http://educationaltech-med.blogspot.com/

There’s always something interesting in Med’s blog feed, and I’ve always appreciated the incredible effort he puts into his visual explanations of the latest education technology tools and resources. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning remains one of my most frequently bookmarked blogs in my Diigo library.


BEST TEACHER BLOG


Stump the Teacher:
 
http://stumpteacher.blogspot.com/

While I follow many amazing blogs, my stand-out teacher blog for 2011 just has to be Josh Stumpenhorst’s "Stump the Teacher” blog (). Josh’s blog has taught me a great deal about teaching, and about myself; and his work inspires and educates teachers around the world.


BEST EDUCATIONAL USE OF AUDIO / VIDEO / VISUAL / PODCAST


The Virtual Staffroom Podcast:
http://virtualstaffroom.net/

Chris Betcher’s Virtual Staffroom podcast remains the ONLY educational podcast I remain subscribed to, as his inspirational interviews with leading educators enable teachers to share and learn from each-other – around the world. I have followed the Virtual Staffroom for nearly 4 years, and eagerly await each episode.


Well, these are my nominations for the Edublogs Awards 2011.

I hope they will help inspire and educate others, as they have done for me.

Local Connections & Conversations (ECAWA 2011)

I recently spent a few days at the ECAWA State Conference 2011, hosted by my State’s ICT Association; attending a range of interesting presentations, and meeting so many amazing ICT teachers and leaders.


A few highlights:

  • Finally meeting Paul Fuller (@paulfuller75), the teacher who inspired me to follow my passion with Web 2.0 all those years ago
  • Tweeting up with a few local ‘Twitter people’ & a few who flew in from Victoria – @pcoutas, @hectpowles, @mrrobbo, @pchmb, @janelowe, amongst others
  • A chance meeting with the first Western Australian Global Classroom participant; an encounter which will hopefully lead to the creation of a ‘global geocaching’ project for Global Classroom 2011-12.
  • Meeting several members of the iEARN Australia team, an encounter which will have significant implications for #globalclassroom in the months to come
  • Learning about the incredible educational applications of mobile devices & iPads (I want one!)


Breaking out of the Isolation

For me, the greatest value of the ECAWA Conference was the opportunity to meet, talk and share with local ICT teachers and leaders. Teaching can be a very isolating profession, and when you specialise in technology and global projects, this sense of isolation can get to you.

While I connect and collaborate with a global network of educators through social media, I’ve long struggled to find local teachers who I can talk to, and work with.


So now, as I reflect on the local connections and conversations that began over those two days at ECAWA; I’m looking forward to a more active engagement with my local ICT community, exploring the opportunities and collaborations to come.

An Important Milestone – #RSCON3

The third Reform Symposium e-Conference has broadened my horizons and expanded my PLN.

It is hard to describe the Reform Symposium e-Conference, but the words ‘inspiring’, ‘informative’, and ‘insightful’ come to mind.

#RSCON3 was a wonderful opportunity to connect, learn and share with new and experienced teachers around the world; and it will have tangible impacts on my teaching and professional learning practice in the months to come, particularly when we launch the Global Classroom 2011/12 project later this year.

And presenting at #RSCON3 was an important milestone in my teaching career, as it was my first ever professional presentation. I’m proud that I was able to share my experiences, and “make my voice heard” on a global stage; and I suspect there aren’t many 2nd year teachers who can say they’ve presented at an international conference! (Thanks Shelly!)


My Presentation: “What the heck is a PLN?”

I shared my personal ‘PLN story’ at #RSCON3; exploring how my “Personal Learning Network has reawakened my love of teaching, supported me in tough times, and broadened my horizons.”

With the help of my wonderful moderator (and friend) @JoHart, I was able to lead a lively, interactive online session, attended by 33 teachers from around the world (although, sadly few Western Australians). And I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was received.

worldmap
After exploring the gradual development of my PLN, and discussing some of the online tools / resources I’ve used to build it, I handed over the microphone and whiteboards to my audience, asking them to share how they “connect, learn, share, and collaborate”. They did so with gusto!

connectandcollaborate


Themes and Takeaways

Having a PLN is a rewarding and transformative learning experience, but actually getting “out there”, and building your network isn’t an easy or rapid process. It takes time, patience, and perseverance – but you don’t have to do it alone.

By sharing my story and experiences,  I hoped to demystify the “Personal Learning Network”, and give ‘newbies’ a few ideas about where to start, and who/where to go for help and advice. With the assistance of the my session participants, this message came across ‘loud and clear’.

takeaways


Thankyou

I hope my “What the heck is a PLN?” presentation will inspire and assist new and experienced teachers to take that critical first step on their own PLN journey. If I can make a difference for just one person, I will have succeeded in this goal.

So, thankyou to everyone who attended my presentation, and all those people who will listen to the recordings. I hope you find it helpful, and I look forward to reading your feedback.

Recording Links

Presentation Slides

I get this question a lot, so I’m attending the “What the heck is a PLN?” session with @mgraffin #rscon3” – @teacherjenny6

Following @mgrafin pressentation #rscon3. My first session. This is amazing!!” – @louvre2012

Great job presenting at #rscon3. So happy to be a part of your PLN and have you as part of mine” – @ncarroll24

Quite a warm wonderful mood in the text chat of @mgraffin’s “What the heck is a PLN?” in #rscon3. Could be I’m just a softie though 😉” – @harmonygritz

Could confirm in @mgraffin’s workshop the power of Personal / Professional Learning Network! Great workshop Michael!” – @SilvioCamposELT