How awesome it is to feel invigorated, rejuvenated and exhilarated!
I feel just that after attending the IWBNet Seventh National Leading a Digital School Conference which was held over the last few days in Melbourne. Not only did I get to attend the conference, but I also had the privilege of presenting on a topic I feel so very passionate about – the power of PLNs.
Being able to attend a conference of this calibre provides an opportunity to not only meet other educators ‘out there’ but to absorb some of the fabulous programs being driven by an amazing bunch of educators. I feel so very lucky to have had the chance to attend and listen, absorb and be inspired by so many.
Just some of the outstanding presentations included:
Peter Crawley, Head of School, St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast, Queensland who, after giving an inspirational and motivational talk about what and how we should be operating as leaders in our schools, went on to showcase the incredible achievements of the teachers in his school who have embraced iTunes U.
Elizabeth Howe, Director of Staffing Administration, Catholic Regional College Sydenham, Victoria, who gave a riveting analysis of Gen Z – a new generation of learners! With lightning speed, we traversed the stand out characteristics of the current generation of kids presently in our schools while participating in a number of ‘activities’ which had each of us focused, engrossed and numb with realization. Powerful stuff!
Lois Smethurst, Leading Teacher of ICT, Berwick Lodge Primary School, Victoria, highlighted, with an array of media presentations, the amazing achievements of students in her school. Her presentation, titled Students making IT happen – a model for professional development, outlined a powerful way to not only empower students but a viable way to help teachers get ‘on board’ with IT. So many powerful ideas to engage students were presented.
Having the chance to chat with so many of the other presenters as well as rub shoulders with a wide range of attendees from schools across Australia is a rare opportunity. Enjoying the back channel chats is of course an added bonus. A couple of sessions I attended used TodaysMeet as a back channel – such a powerful adjunct to the sessions. A constant twitter stream gives a conference an incredible depth which is hard to believe by those who are yet to dive into the Twitterverse. Using #k12digital, I’ve now got heaps of thoughts, ideas, links and contacts to explore!
And talking of Twitter newbies ….. Noticing I had just collected a new follower, I did what I always do ….. I checked the profile and some of the tweets that this person had made. Blow me down ….. her first tweet was just two days ago on the first day of the conference!
Realizing that this person had been really inspired by the conference, I couldn’t help re-tweeting her tweet with my added comment to which just a few minutes later I got a response:
The opportunity to present at this conference was amazing. Having experienced first-hand the power of PLNs on my own professional learning journey of the last few years, has seen me become passionate in wanting to spread the word and encourage others to take the plunge to develop their own Professional Learning Network. I truly believe that PLNs are a game changer in how teachers can embrace professional growth and rekindle the intrinsic spark that fires desire, imagination and drive – the very seeds we try to plant into the hearts and minds of the students we teach.
Notes and links which I provided to conference delegates attending my sessions can be found on the above Resources tab .
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