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On Monday 6 July, St. This is a great analogy for many of the activities of the day: educators shared their expertise and knowledge in short bursts with lots of colleagues, many of whom they had never ly met.
That means that attendees can go to the sessions that interest them, and it means that we can cover a wider range of topics: more attendees are able to lead sessions, and share knowledge in whatever topic they have expertise in. These sessions, while led to begin with, have a big open forum component. We do this to encourage sharing, as opposed to a regular conference in which one speaker is telling the audience what they think they need to know.
I was able to share what I know, and then build on that and get related tools 45 minutes later! The organisation process begins by canvassing schools in the cluster and brainstorming with colleagues on themes they are interested in, sessions they would like to lead or contribute to, and current workplace issues. A website is then created, and people are able to log in and view the various sessions, creating their own relevant timetable for the day.
This way participants can make the most of their precious time, choosing sessions that will benefit them. Those attending BLCC unconferences enjoy the freedom of being able to choose sessions that are relevant and interesting to their teaching careers.
While we do try to break the traditional conference mould where possible, we do still enjoy listening to key note speakers share their expertise. In her speech Cheryl talked about the vastly different post-school world facing students today. To illustrate this idea, she told the gathering that in October there will be an office block built in Dubai entirely by 3D printer.
This method of construction will make for considerable savings in materials and time, and seems likely to become the future of construction; meaning that an entire employment field is destined to change drastically, with as yet undreamed-of roles becoming important. Cheryl made the point that we all know that the world is changing, so we need to think about what exactly we should be preparing our children for.
How we work is changing rapidly, so how we educate needs to change as well. Cheryl talked about future-focused learning, and how we must be open to retaining the values and experience of our past, while at the same time embracing change. As educators we have to be continually looking out for als and trends, balancing the past and future with the immediate needs of our students.
There were more than 50 different sessions throughout the day, with many specialists leading discussion, including:. Rosie Sorensen from St. The Growth Mindset session was also popular, containing some excellent follow-up from a professional development seminar held in Christchurch earlier on this year.
Nineteen teachers from three schools and four early childhood centres participated in this group discussion. The general consensus was that early childhood education ECE centres and schools need — and want — to build close, two-way relationships. ECE centres need new entrant teachers to visit their future students, and experience their early childhood environment, making connections with the children they will soon be teaching. There are, of course, existing transition programmes out there, which are about building great working relationships between all parties.
Universal feedback from participants seemed to be that everyone got a lot out of the BLCC unconference, and enjoyed making new connections with others in the same field. The Burnside Learning Community Cluster is an amazing group, achieving things as a collective for the benefit of all our staff and students. We aim to hold another successful unconference in Speed dating christchurch 2015 To view the keynote speech external link.
ULearn15 took place at the SkyCity Convention Centre in October this year with over delegates, presenters and exhibitors.
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