At conVerge10 e-learning conference

Its been a while since my last post…… as you can imagine life is really busy at the moment. I have recently inducted 2011 innovation teams and my 2010 innovations teams are winding down, finalising their project outputs and getting ready for the NSW e-learning2010 conference. Checkout http://nswflexiblelearning.wikispaces.com/ for more information about how to register.

In all this business I some how managed to find some time to attend the Victorian conference ConVerge10 and I am really glad I did. This morning we were treated to some amazing keynote speakers.

Tania Major

Youngest elected regional council – 2007 Young Leader of the year

Tania presented a clear picture of life in an indigenous community near Cape York. What an amazing young person and such an engaging speaker. Tania really challenged my way of thinking. Tania highlighted the mismatch of giving indigenous students computers and the take up of technology. She said change our thinking from ‘build it and they will come’ to ‘Build them and it will come’. That is so true, technology isn’t necessarily the way to do it. It is more about the functionality and purpose of the technology for these communities that encourages take up. A good example is the need to use your ATM if you want to get your money.

Interestingly young people in these communities have and use mobile phones. Shouldn’t we be considering how these everyday technologies can help young people to learn so that they really make a difference in their life?

The second keynote speaker was Joyce Seitzinger – The Personal Learning Network (PLN), personal, practical and pervasive http://r2belearning.wordpress.com/. Joyce is a passionate educator who loves Moodle and Social Media tools.

Joyce highlighted that doing it is not the same as having it, if we are to teach our students we need to be doing it ourselves. This is very true. Using a simple activity Joyce got the audience to put themselves in the middle of a page ( or take a photo) and sketch the things that you are learning from. For me it was no surprise that my list included Twitter, facebook, wordpress, internet, tv, family, colleagues, wikis, SharePoint, youtube, texting, LMS. As you can see we have already moved away from traditional teacher networks. I wonder what your PLN looks like?

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