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…