Well wow that is what sums up today! 3 different drinks receptions mixed in with some really hard work but a great experience! First off it was a Sunday and we were on the bus by 7:30am to attend the ISTE’s Leadership Symposium.
First of all I was up at 4am as my body clock is still on PMT time (Plymouth Mean Time!). At the event it was a select invitation to Leaders and administrators from Education, Technology and the Government. It was a great experience. The focus for the session was to start to develop a new national education technology plan for America. What a fantastic opportunity!
I was invited to be on the panel where I had chance to talk about the work of our school, our staff and students and really raise the profile of our school. When I finished many people came and said that they totally agreed with the vision for our school. Many people came up and said that they often keep an eye on our pigs and chickens and know of the work our school does. We also made many new fans who have taken a keen interest to what we are doing.
See the video of some of my talk here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkk5LE1iqdQ
After the panel we then had breakout sessions where we worked in small focus groups – I was part of a group that focused on student engagement. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with likeminded individuals!
Next we then attended the ‘Making it Happen Award Reception’ this was similar to our version of the teaching awards but instead of receiving a Oscar style trophy you received a pink jacket even the men although some had black ones (very confusing!) It was a jacket like the ones the pink ladies from Grease wear. There were also many people in the audience who already have a jacket and you become a member of this organisation – a select few, we were well looked after with food and drink supplied. This was a good chance to chat to some teachers from America and to share ideas.
Next we then decided to have a short break and get some fresh air so we went on a mission to find the white house and took some pictures there, very warm and humid so after a short while we had to run back to the convention to cool down in the air con.
We then attended another reception this was for all the international visitors, there were people from all over the world and we had another chance to share practice over drink and nibbles. It is amazing that every teacher no matter where they live and work has the same challenges all over the world.
We then had to rush off to hear Malcolm Gladwell speak about learning, he is a well known and successful author and he delivered a good keynote on Fleetwood mac of all things (linked to learning)
The essence of his speech was about successful learners being hard working, driven to succeed, resilient etc – I thought overall it was a good start to the conference.
Then to our poster sessions…
We were all presenting our posters to the entire conference (or that is what it felt like) We were based right next to the champagne reception and I thought it would be quite quiet and people wouldn’t really come and talk to us but I was wrong! For two solid hours I got to share the recharge the battery project and the work of our students and teachers – making some great potential contacts for global collaborative projects. Watch this space!
< And finally after a very hard day we then attended the special leadership drinks reception which was fantastic we could all relax and enjoy the free drinks. Microsoft has really done well organising our schedule and getting us access to all these different events so that we have the opportunity to meet lots of people. Just a quick couple of things I saw today that may be of interest: • Livestream - Broadcast LIVE streaming video You can have a full tv channel here. My understanding is that you can stream from your mobile too! May be good for students wanting to start their own TV channel or perhaps you could begin streaming your lessons? http://www.livestream.com/
• Education 2.0 – Edmodo – Free Private Microblogging For Education
This is a Microblogging service built for students and teachers – it is free so maybe worth having a go with some students – you can upload files etc too!
• Digital Bloom’s taxonomy – http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom’s+Digital+Taxonomy