Good morning from Hamilton! I'm sitting in the auditorium at the Claudlands Events Centre in beautiful downtown Hamilton, waiting for the welcome/keynote speaker Ken Shelton to begin. People are flowing in steadily - it's going to be packed!
Ken's main message is that we have to be the agents of change. Change doesn't need to be huge or a lot. You can create huge transformation with just a small thing. He also believes that kids should publish, publish, publish! in all forms. you can see my notes (and many other great links) here.
My first breakout this morning is Googlefest. Here is my slideshow.
well, actually it's a few days later! just got too busy with all these ideas and great things going on around me, and meeting heaps of other teachers! after the keynote, i went to googlefest.
firstly, googlefest was quite scary - when we filled in the google form for the 'fest, i purposefully put my name in the middle of the list. after fighting my way to the venue with my trusty umbrella, scared to death i was going to fly away like mary poppins, but unlike her cool, collected self, be deposited into the river, i arrived wet and bedraggled, only to go on first! i was so nervous, i kept waiting for them to tell me to shut up, that my 5 minutes were done, but no! apparently i only went on for 4 minutes, even though it felt like forever. now i really know how my students feel. it was really interesting to see how different subject teachers were using google apps. so interesting that i forgot to tweet after a bit! i didn't even manage to take any notes on this session, because it went by so quickly. i meant to go back and top them up, but to my utter surprise, my name was drawn for the new chromebook! (it has a delete key - yay!) i'm still not quite over the shock of winning something! i haven't seen the picture that was taken after - probably unpublished as i stood there with my mouth hanging open looking like a dork.
i spent wednesday afternoon doing some shopping, and was so tired i totally forgot about the tweetmeet for dinner, and i was dying for mexican food to boot!
thursday started amazingly well, with ken shelton's google docs workshop. this was a fantastic workshop (and i'm stealing nathaniel's tweet idea - all credit to @nlouwrens!)
here is the list of things we did. this one is my complete set of notes so those things make sense. so many tricks and tips to make a teacher's life easier. seriously - my life this year could have been a LOT easier! from file names to searching within a document to creative commons - heaps of time savers. the citations tools made me so very jealous - thinking about all those hours (in high school) i spent in the library with our librarian's old upright typewriter, retyping the same page over and over to get the footnotes formatted correctly, and my students need only press a button! they are so lucky to have such phenomenal tools available to them, and all FREE. for goodness sake, do yourself a favour and follow ken at @k_shelton. he is one smart cookie, and not too hard on the eyes, either.
thursday afternoon i gave my own workshop on reading and qr codes that some of you will remember from NZATE in july. i added the qr code at the end so that my delegates could quickly save the resources. yet another purpose for qr codes.
thursday night was the dinner, and the theme was "all that glitters." i made a quick stop at the $2 shop for some glittery thingies (after a quick google of "dinner theme").
the primary teachers, as usual, put us secondary slo-mos to shame. they were decked out in amazing dresses, glittery suits & ties, and one memorable tutu! much dancing was had. however, us more sedate folks, @kaiakowilson and i, had a great time with our other seatmates (and what a yummy meal).
SOME of us had an early night, as friday was still a big day. i'm ashamed to say that i missed out on my first workshop, because although i arrived early in order to meet with some of the vendors in the exhibition room, i got caught up with eTV. it turns out that our school subscribes to eTV, and it's a great resource: you can view and edit anything off nz television - and you can request stuff from them too! i had a look at how many teachers from my school were using this resource i had heard very precious little about: a grand total of 0 teachers had used it in the last school year. seeing as how we had no PD at all on this, i spent quite some time at that booth learning about how to use the resources, and this will indeed be very helpful to me and my department, if the school continues to subscribe, and not cancel on the basis that no one is using it. many apologies to +Claire Amos - i had really been looking forward to your workshop, and thanks for the links on core-ed.
friday afternoon i gave my second presentation: text study in the digital age:
i have just discovered that you can add audio to slideshare, so will think about doing that! we had a lot of fun in this session, and the group put together their own inquiry-based presentation, though they were as loathe to present it as students are! you can view it here.
after the session, i immediately headed on the long drive home to napier, happy to see my husband and daughter again in time for dinner. and no, i didn't eat all the donuts on the drive home :)
don't forget, you can access the materials from all keynotes/presenters at the core-ed site here. and you can pick up links to collaborative notes, photos, and all kinds of goodness at #ulearn13.
as always, ulearn has re-energized me for term 4. next year's conference is in rotorua - a great venue. hope to see you there!