“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 🙂

Helping Build “The Global One-Room School House”

Logging into Twitter this evening, I came across a fascinating, thought-provoking video entitled “The Global One Room School House“.

Containing excerpts from John Seely Brown’s Keynote at the 2012 Digital Media and Learning conference in San Francisco, it explores the notion of teaching and learning within “a global one-room schoolhouse” based on networks of imagination. (Reference)

The Big Idea

Some of the key themes of this video include the idea that “Entrepreneurial Learners are fundamentally makers and tinkerers”, and that as networked learners, “we need to invent new institutions, new social practices, and new skills to enable us to use technology to enhance and inspire learning.

I believe that teaching and learning is not all about the technology.

As stated in the video, Learning the technology is the easy part. It is about building, and participating within the wider, networked community. The video describes this concept as “entrepreneurial learning”, and I’ve blogged about it before, under my musings on becoming a 21st Century “Teacherpreneur”.

In the video, Brown argues that “we are no longer isolated learners or creators … we are part of a networked community”. This means we are not creating (or teaching) skills and knowledge which are stable and unchanging, but knowledge and skills which are destined to evolve over time and across different social and learning contexts.

He concludes by arguing for the “need to build a global one-room school house”. A community where learners can connect, teach, and learn from each-other; and “play” with new tools and concepts in a supportive, safe learning environment.

Building Educational Change 

It is hard to believe that through my work in building and leading The Global Classroom Project, I am helping to make John Brown’s inspiring vision an educational reality.

We are, in effect, building educational change – by creating a network of interconnected learners, and endeavouring to engage and inspire them to participate in, and help us grow a community of 21st Century teaching and learning practice.

We live in exciting times. Who knows where they will take us in the years to come?

 

 

 

Engage, Connect, Inspire: My Teaching Philosophy

 

Whist preparing a recent job application, I took the opportunity to update my teaching philosophy statement, the ‘reflective ‘manifesto’ which defines my beliefs about 21st Century teaching and learning practices. I’ve posted it here.

What impressed me the most was not that my ideas and approach had necessarily changed over the past 3 years, but how I now have the practical experience and language to describe how I apply these ideas in my professional practice.

And then today, I found this video (via @HonorMoorman), and was lost for words … It seems I’m not the only one who believes in the power of technology to Engage, Connect, and Inspire …

I couldn’t explain why any better myself.

Exploring iPads in Education – The #ECUTips2012 Project

 

One of the many reasons why I haven’t blogged here much this year is because I’ve been busy blogging elsewhere!

Since February this year, I have been assisting Dr Jenny Lane with her TIPS 2012 iPad project, an exciting research project happening right here in Western Australia.

For me, it is a wonderful opportunity to blog, visit iPad schools, and learn a great deal about integrating iPads across the curriculum. This is really exciting stuff!

 

Are you an iPad Educator?

If you’re interested in iPads in education, I highly recommend exploring the TIPS 2012 blog.

There are a wealth of resources, links, stories, and quality education app reviews to be found there, and if you complete the Tips2012 iPad Research Survey before June 6, you could WIN a $50 iTunes voucher!

We are particularly keen to feature teachers’ iPad stories with our significant & growing international audience. So if you use iPads in education, or have a story to share, Dr Lane would love to hear from you. You can contact her via Twitter (follow @EduJen), or email: TipsProject2012@gmail.com.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the blog for some exciting announcements coming soon!