After a hectic 3 days at #ACEC2014 conference in Adelaide where students were pushing the barriers of active involvement in advancing education and technology integration as outlined in this post, I want to provide a wee bit of reflection.
The students as a Digital Leader Thought Group were such an integral part of the conversations, the thinking, the social media presence and the media creation/curation that they simply could not be ignored. Their presence, insight, fearless approach to awkward conversations and willingness to think deeply for 3 days resonated with all that came into contact with them. They worked hard, they behaved professionally and grew as the conference developed. For a small insight into their their reflections, I urge you to read: this reflection, thoughts on the value of workshops and a further reflection of a personal change one of the students describes. Furthermore, you can also read about how a parent sees the effect of being a Digital Leader at this event had on his son. For a taste of their extensive tweeting just take a look at @ACECDLs the profile they used to cover the conference and lastly, it is worth having a look at some of their media work
Yet, the huge success of the Digital Leader Thought Group could not be achieved without the energy and flexibility of key players. Myself and the mega-trooper: @alupton, know how much we put into this but there were other, important players in making this work: @gabyr115 and @melissamulh. These two teachers at Wirreanda High School, were such a vital ingredient in making it work as it did. They took up the mantle from the start, provided structure and guidance but ultimately rolled with the punches as the whole thing shaped differently during the conference. I can’t wait to see how the conference and their students involvement in it is used to affect their school.
If any educator has reservations about involving students in educational thinking, staff development and the advancement of teaching and learning then what happened in the last few days needs to be looked at very closely. I urge someone else to now take up the mantle and push student involvement, student action on to the next level. Surely a conference without students is missing vital ingredients from this moment on…
These three days have been phenomenal and being part of Digital Leaders- thought group is one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. Everyday has been a great experience, and every day I have learnt something new. Listening to keynote speakers has been a wonderful experience and the best part has been the capability to put our sentiments out there, where everybody can see our point of view related to the topics.
There were four keynote speakers, Alec Couros, Kathy Schrock, Alan Noble and Sally Ann-Williams, all of the presentations were brilliant in their own way, but my favourite was Alec Couros. The motivation behind why it was my most loved is on account of how I felt more connected with it and I could plainly see what he was attempting to say and I agreed with the majority of the topics.
Alec Couros’s theme was ‘Beyond selfies, likes and pokes’ His presentation was about how we can use technology to build a connection with people, and how technology is beyond selfies, likes and pokes. What I gathered from the presentation was that the main purpose of it was to persuade people to use technology in school to build a strong connection between students and teachers, however I don’t think that this was fully demarcated. Alec revealed the true power of technology and how we can use it to make better connections, and a better environment. Before that day, to me technology was basically just talking to friends, posting pictures and liking, however after the presentation I realised the value of the technology.
I consider myself very lucky because if I hadn’t attended #ACEC2014, I would have missed a presentation, which has totally changed my perspective on technology usage. We can shape the future with technology that we have access to, which is a very powerful tool we all have. An example would be: with networking and just social media tools we can connect to other students, teachers and share ideas and create an environment which will make education more than just going to school doing assignments and passing.
This is a change that has developed in me after going to ACEC, and after going to a Alec Couros speech I realised something that I probably never could have in my normal life.-Isbah
Today on the 2nd of October Daniel and I attended the 2nd day of the ACEC 2014 event hosted at the Adelaide convention centre. We attended the e-portfolio presentation held by Anthony Speranza. His presentation was based around the idea of using various google apps to cover certain literacy parts of the school curriculum. He wasn’t disregarding the use of pen and paper or physical work, just the fact that digitally, work is more interesting for students to achieve better in when its online or on a device. I agree with Anthony’s presentation, as being a student I find that working on a device increases my work ethic and makes my world look more presentable and fluent then it does on paper.
In Anthony’s presentation on Google Apps, the primary focus was incorporating technology into teaching. It is not a complete replacement for the traditional method of using pen and paper, rather a supplement. He emphasised the simplicity of using many features of Google to compliment each other (google docs & google drive ect.) Using these programs, students will be able to create an e-portfolio that they are proud of (not throw away after school) and build on from primary school, throughout high school and beyond. It however, it not limited to portfolios. It can enhance standard work as well, making it more professional and accessible from anywhere.