My take on EduTECH 2014

It was a career highlight and an absolute honour to be asked to participate in a panel at EduTECH 2014, held in Brisbane last week. The conference began with a keynote from Sugata Mitra, who is an interesting and thoughtful speaker and it was terrific to see him in person.


Seeing my name on a massive board was too much!

I was asked to discuss the role of the cloud in schools with Paul Hamilton and Paul Kenna. The focus questions we were given were:

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A few days before the conference, I received an email revealing the location of the panel. I was expecting a small room, but certainly was shocked to read that we would be in the Great Hall. I consoled myself that as there were concurrent sessions on at the same time, there would only be a small audience. My anxiety flared again when I read that our panel would be offered to both the K-12 Ed Leaders and Library Managers streams (I had attended EduTECh in 2012 and the K-12 Ed Leaders was a huge stream. Apparently over 5000 people were attending EduTECH 2014 within the nine streams offered).

Our panel session took place after a session from the wonderful Jenny Luca (talk about a hard act to follow!). Fortunately, my nerves were not too bad as the lighting meant that those on the stage couldn’t really see the audience until nearly the end of the panel when the house lights were turned on to allow questions from the floor.

That’s when I realised the audience was fairly sizeable, but thankfully by then the panel was in its concluding stages. I had never spoken to so many people before, but I had never been so relaxed either. Being a part of a panel certainly took the pressure off, as the focus was not just on me and the session really was just a conversation, which was nice. It was also fun to be offered a job on stage from one of the other panel participants!




Afterwards I received some nice comments online and in person, which was generous and reassuring.

Now that my formal commitments were over, I could relax and enjoy the rest of the conference. That enjoyment increased when I bumped into the one and only Sir Ken Robinson when I was returning to my hotel to rest. He was so sweet and inquired if I would be attending his session. If only he knew that I have such an educrush on him!

What a lucky girl to meet one of my heroes!

Sir Ken’s talk was passionate and engaging, he is such a brilliant storyteller weaving his stories into relevant points for us to ponder. It was amazing to see him in person as he had presented to EduTECH via satellite the previous two years.

I also enjoyed meeting up with ‘old’ friends (too many to mention in case I leave someone out) and meeting people like Sue Waters, Kim Tairi, Leigh Murphy and Matt Esterman for the first time.

Hearing the wonderful Joyce Valenza and the incredibly passionate Ian Jukes were also highlights. Ian Jukes was deliberately provocative and certainly had the Twitter stream going beserk.

One disappointment though was that Joyce Valenza, Ewan McIntosh and Gary Stager were all scheduled at the same time.

Sue Waters has kindly shared a Flipboard on EduTECH 2014 and Jenny Luca’s post is a great summary of the conference too.

Anyone considering attending in 2015, start planning now as EduTECH is one of those events that are not to be missed.

Finally… some news

There hasn’t been a post here for a while for a couple of reasons. Lots of things happening that I wanted to blog about but family illness has had my mind elsewhere for a while now.

But I can’t hold on any longer. I have to gush about the wonderful day SLAV put on at the MCG with the amazing Joyce Valenza.  All of her presentations and tools she mentioned are here and check out the #slavconf11 stream for lots more links and ideas.

It was also an incredible day as I finally got to meet some of the lovely people who I mentored during the VicPLN program in 2010. Awesome meeting the lovely Bev Novak at long last!

I also attended one and presented one #rscon3 session. What an honour to hear how Kelly Tenkely started her own school thanks to a blog post and a tweet! Thanks too, to the people who took the time to attend my session. You can access session recordings here and read how people have reflected on the symposium here.

I also was the lucky recipient of a magical quill. That’s right, on the first day of the Pottermore promotion, I snatched a quill and will be granted early access to the site. Pottermore will have interesting implications in teaching and learning due to the way it’s going to be using transliteracies, so as well as being a Potterhead, I’ll have an educational reason to spend some time there.

I’m also really pleased that my wonderful Principal (who sets great examples like helping tidy up the yard and remembering to ask after sick relatives – although I’m only part-time) has agreed to my idea of having a school cybersafety blog. We’ll have one post per school day and hopefully the information we share might help guide parents.

Last week I ran the first session for a small but enthusiastic group of colleagues on our semester long online learning program. Great to see a few of the teachers already have Twitter accounts!