Edutech 2014 was fantastic. Was the message similar to previous years – yes….much of it was. It is a message that can be repeated however as its relevance is unquestionable.
Did the opening keynote live up to Dan Pink’s 2013 outgoing and engaging keynote? No, not quite. Sugatra is a quieter and more unassuming person than Mr Pink……but his message is no less important – of the need to question what it is that we do and the assumptions we make about learning and our students.
The rest was a fast paced and engrossing series of sessions and keynotes with people who have inspiring messages and a passionate voice. I relish opportunities like these as they provide opportunity to hear messages that I intuitively know and these people often provide the evidence…….and also, as much as I love hearing new things and things that challenge me, I also value the affirmations that come with being in the presence of like-minded people who have the confidence and determination to continue doing what they know is right for today’s kids…….
My take-aways …… if I had to pick 5 or 6 or 7:
1. Ken Robinson – brilliant presentation by Sir Ken with the same enduring message that mirrors his beliefs and passion. Being in the audience was an honour and a privilege. Something new for me in this presentation was his use of organic farming as a metaphor for education. See my post below for further.
2. Gary Stager and the power of students making, programming and using computers in powerful ways. With the Technology Curriculum fast approaching, his presentation was particularly relevant and brought up many ideas which are ‘on the agenda’ for me. At the forefront of my mind is the need to ensure that the digital technologies strand is integrated throughout current areas of the curriculum and that it doesn’t become some extra for teachers to accommodate in an already overcrowded curriculum.
3. The importance of a 5 year plan, a vision and strategic movements towards this vision as a community.
4. Innovation is not experimentation – it is based on good theory and backed by sound evidence.
5. Let’s keep the focus on the student and what they need.
6. SOLE – self organised learning environment. In a crowded curriculum, can we find one session a week in which take a question from the curriculum (much of it is meant to be inquiry based anyway) make it more interesting if necessary and allow students to work in groups to answer it. Should Legacy be more like this? ( Or should Legacy be in addition to this?)