Flat connections – end day 1 #flatconnect

‘What’s the other story?”

The question to ask is; are we finding answers to our question? And yes I think we are. The day started with a brilliant keynote by Simon Breakspear. I have to confess, I didn’t know anything about Simon before I came to this conference. I was pleased to hear that his message aligns with my beliefs, no surprise I suppose!  A small taste of his thoughts here. From his web-page:

As a passionate educator and innovation strategist, Simon works on systemic challenges in education reform and learning redesign. He has contributed to the OECD’s PISA and Innovative Learning Environments projects.

He promised me a copy of his Powerpoint and I will share more about his keynote when I get it. The world is changing, in how we connect and how we learn. Schools need to change as well. Driverless cars from Google exist now. What is stopping schools from changing? What do we need to do to make this happen? Just think about how travel, staying in hotels and transportation has changed! Today I signed up for Uber, recommended by Simon Breakspear and Michael Furdyk and plan to use it when I leave Sydney on Sunday! Stay posted if you want to know how that turns out!

Student and teacher collaboration

Teachers and students hard at workThe rest of the day was pretty much set for teamwork. Teams of teachers and students working together. I think this is the first conferance I have been to with true student/teacher collaboration. The first task was the 100 Minute Challenge! It was a  Joint LEADERSHIP and STUDENT activity to build empathy. Teams researched on ‘Emerging Technologies’ with the theme ‘What’s the other story?’ leading to pitches by students in rotation and shared via Google Hangout and other means. Living and Learning in a Flat World. Each team was allocated an emerging technology. The teams researched and collaborated on a final 2-min presentation that was ‘pitched’ by students to each table via a rotation.  The next activity was

To brainstorm, envision and propose (“pitch”) a flat-connections style project to promote awareness and global improvement based on the summit theme, ‘What’s the other story?’ This idea must potentially have enough scope to join classrooms and people from around the world and inspire action in some way.

Fireworks in SydneyNot the easiest task but I have to say I was impressed with the ideas I got to hear today! What a great experience listening to the teachers pitch to students and then other way around. Great fun and lots to learn today! The day was wrapped up by PLENARY – FLAT Talks: ‘What’s the Other Story?’ Conference facilitators share ideas and experiences with Dorothy Suskind and Rob King iEARN. And I had a chance to share my experiences with my class on writing our book connected learners. I promised to share my presentation, and for those interested it is found below! Video with students is on this webpage: Looking forward to day 2  Just fitting that this day ended with fireworks in the city. See view from my room Guess that was to celebrate the conference!

One comment

  1. Thanks for the presentation. It has given me so many ideas for my classes. After experiencing my first skype lesson along with using Google docs I can see how it has made learning come alive. So many unexpected positive results, from student engagement to the students taking control of their own learning with making their own Soundcloud and sharing on discussion forums.

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