Well after a spectacular conference dinner at the end of Thursday, things seemed a bit quieter on Friday with many people tired and recovering. Here are a few notes from the breakout sessions I attended and the final keynote. I was one of the tired ones so my notes ended up being a bit shorter and my tweets were also fewer! But here goes…
Breakout 5: Leigh Duncan & Waveney Bryant – Environmental education and ICT – an unlikely combination
- Garden to table programme:
- Don’t hold back – teach from early on to use knives (chef knives etc) in the kitchen. (so that students are ready to go for it at year 3)
- Authentic, relevant learning occurring where kids grow food, cook food – then put into place at home as well!
- Kids go home buzzing after ‘garden-to-table’ programme – it shows that is effective and engaging!
- http://ee-ict-meadowbank.wikispaces.com/ – Meadowbank school wiki for environmental education.
Teach students to grow, harvest and prepare food
Positive influence of food choices
Breakout 6: Derek Wenmoth – Future focused schools
I wish that this breakout had been earlier in the conference. Derek had so many good things to say but I didn’t manage to record them all.
- On the site of a future school. Some things to think about:
- We need to be thinking about educating for the future rather than educating in the future.
- “Organisations that are built to change have a clear sense of who they are and what they stand for.” – Lawler and Worley (2009)
- Learning should be part of the DNA of an organization/school. Not just students learning, but all learning!
- Educators need to speak to each other, bounce off ideas and draw from best practice. Share what we’ve got with each other!
· What would kids learn
· How would they learn?
· When would they learn?
· Who would they learn with?
· What would they learn on or with?
· Where would they learn?
· How will they/we know when they have learnt?
Keynote 4: Professor Stephen Heppell
I’m not sure if there was a title to this keynote address. I certainly didn’t get one. Professor Heppell was humourus, relaxed and inspiring. In an unusual style he seemed to be chatting about education through retelling personal stories. It was a very effective presentation style. www.heppell.net
- Experience vs expertise – experience is so important. More than just writing/talking about it – it’s actually practised!
- Stop talking about 21st Century learning. (We’re 10% into the century!). It’s difficult to talk about what schools could be like in the 21st century when we’re already well into it!
- Every turned off device is a turned off child”.
- Let the children go for it! Don’t limit them with our limitations.
- UK Minister of Education says that teachers need to be given professional freedom – ministry needs to ‘let go’. (a bit different to ours in New Zealand!)
That’s 5 key points for this keynote, however I want to add a couple of quotes from Heppell himself:
“When people come to their senses and stop talking about standardized tests…”
PDF = pretty dull format
So that’s the end of ULearn 2010. It was a fantastic conference and I really hope to attend next year! Over the next few days I hope to reflect a bit more about the conference and get down some general thoughts or key ideas that seemed to be coming through from the keynote speakers (and also through some of the breakout sessions.