The week of the Learning@School11 Conference in Rotorua was one marked by huge events unfolding in Christchurch – and it was rather odd to still be travelling to attend a conference that week, especially as flights were in disarray (not to mention the people).
But, despite the tragedies unfolding for my colleagues, I was able to grab moments to appreciate what L@S11 had to offer. Here are my top 3 highlights:
- Powerful language for learning: Joan Dalton and David Anderson explored the way in which the language (including body language) that we use needs to reflect the pedagogy that we espouse. If we are to prepare students for a networked, connected, collaborative world, then peppering our relationships with instructions, closed questions, and imperatives will not foster the sense of community that we know is so important. Great anecdotes illustrated their message; the story of the student who was failed for producing a blog that showed collaboration – sorry, make that cheating – drove home the point.
- The ‘a-ha!’ moments as I met folk from my Twitter PLN – some old faces (not literally, people;-) and some folks who I only knew by their avatar but who already felt like old faces.
- The networking and conversations – everything from social networking for educators to the idea that risk on the internet is normative and should be re-framed as a challenge to be addressed rather than avoided (whole new post needed on that one). Great, mind-expanding stuff.
Roll on ULearn 11 (but not too much rolling for those down South)