A new journey in education

My take on SWSR

with 5 comments

Firstly I would like to thank the organisers for such a great venue and the WiFi provided. 7MB down was awesome and i’m sure others like my self who do not have such luxuries took advantage of this.

SWSR at ANZ Stadium

SWSR at ANZ Stadium

One of the first things to catch my eye was that my tweets with the #inspire2011 tag were not showing on the big screen. I guess someone has blocked someone, some where along the line.

The four keynote speakers were awesome to say the least this year. For me I wanted to hear Will Richardson. Will was one of the first prominent educationalists I followed on twitter. Having heard both Will and Steve Haragdon speak I was a little miffed. I have friends who live in New York State and in Washington State in the US. When I speak to them they only talk of how bad education is in their local public schools. Repeatedly it is that they have none or limited funding, old technology computing systems which are virtually unusable, and old text books that everyone works from in crowded rooms and so on. Steve and Will spoke like they had full access to modern technology in classrooms, were they could blog, connect to people outside their education system and more to improve what their students were learning.

Will asked the question about filtering accessible content, i.e. are they 2 million pedophiles or 2 million teachers online? You can see his keynote here. This is the same problem facing us, as many who know me, have seen my struggles with the filter and process.

I guess the point I am trying to make is the issues facing us in producing engaging education practice now and in the future are the same on a global scale. It’s not just Australia trying to catch up it is the world. Institutions world wide need to move from the Industrial Age education model and move to a newer less walled garden one that does not focus on English, Maths etc. The world has passed that point, its children are well passed that point.

I am sure everyone reading this has had a normally engaged student ask “why do we have to learn this?” with your response being “it is in the syllabus and the exam!” All of which will more than likely never be used again in the students life time.

The answer to this future however is hard to find or agree on. I do not know of an over arching answer, do you? I do believe however we cannot keep following failed attempts in other countries like we have in the past and that the National Curriculum linked to Teacher performance will not address the future issues either.

So back to the conference, I was enlightened and finally glad to catch up with Dean Groom and hear his Keynote on gaming as a learning tool. Yes Mr Groom I will be doing my homework from your workshop after this post.

Andrew Churches presented the final keynote which again was about connections in and out of the classrooms and how to introduce new techniques and technology into the learning space. Inspiring stuff.

Next year though I do believe we are going to have to find a way to stream live in HD and record and share all the keynotes presented at this superb conference. For my region there was 4 to 5 teachers who were out numbered by regional technologists (I think thats what they are called). We need more ground troops to see what is around them and encourage them to move with those of us who have been inpired to try to innovate our practices.

The future is bright, we just need to get the word out…

Written by themolisticview

April 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 am

5 Responses to 'My take on SWSR'

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  1. Nice reflection on the conference. I wasn’t there, but it seemed that many delegates were inspired, judging by the backchannel on Twitter.
    Your thoughts on the “why” of education is one of a growing questioning voice amongst educators. I believe that as soon as the powers that be realise that (a) not all kids want to go to uni, and thus the entrance exam at the end of Year 12 is not necessary, and (b) the old way is not the only way in 21st C education, then the sooner things will shift.


    2 Apr 11 at 3:46 am

  2. I agree. Word of mouth is the most powerful thing we have. I wouldn’t have known about inspire if I hadn’t of seen you talking about it on Twitter. You should share this stuff with the staff. I am sure there are a few young (and maybe not so young) minds that may be interested.


    2 Apr 11 at 3:51 am

  3. Thanks for the great feedback! Agree that venue & internet was fantastic. Have to admit to a bit of selfishness – as a personal follower, I also wanted to see these keynote speakers myself. The aim of these conferences is to inspire and get the word out to as many educators as possible so we are definitely looking into live streaming of our keynotes for inspire2012 (fingers crossed). Sorry your tweets didn’t show on screen but unable to say why this happened as this free application refreshed every 20 secs & we follow you (go figure…). Stay tuned for inspire2012!

    Jennifer York (#icteach)

    2 Apr 11 at 4:05 am

  4. While I only attended hte conference fo rone day, I walked home with a sense of excitement for a) where we sit in NSWDET having VC equipment in all classrooms and Laptops in half of our high school learning environments. We have come a lon way in a short time.

    In saying that, they is a long way to go too. This is the hard work. Ensuring that the technology is enhancing learning outcomes, in a sustained manner. Through conferences like this, we can make a big impact across many schools. As long as everyone who attends collaborates and pays forward their experiences then we can perpetuate and promote change that will benefit students and their roles in 21C workplaces. Thanks Warrick, you have made me think how I can do this in my workplace…


    2 Apr 11 at 9:26 am

  5. Nice post, the streaming of keynotes is something we need to look at in 2012. Although we still need attendees to be paying participants to cover costs of keynotes and venue. The twitter feed on the big screen was a free ppt active x tool from sap2.0. It was following the tag and is not tied to a user. I guess you were unlucky not to see yours, I thought I did.

    One comment here talks about getting the word out, school biz has limited publications of pd to appear once rather than the old in principal which was twice. We also are going to try and lock in a date for 2012 ASAP.

    A question for readers here is “who do you want to hear a keynote from”.

    Another question is “what area of research and development would you like to hear about”

    Jim Mallios

    3 Apr 11 at 12:38 am

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