Over the past week, I have been a part of some amazing learning experiences and each was connected by one common thread…the power of the room. What do I mean by this? I am talking about professional development that looks not to big name keynotes, consultants or edu-celebrities but professional development that celebrates the stories (and power) of those in the room.
At Ivanhoe, Jason Coleman (@jc_igs) and ! have been working to get TeachMeet style PD sessions off the ground and last Monday, we kicked off with our first one. The sessions were run by staff for staff and helped to inspire great conversations, celebrate great teaching and learning and empowered staff voice. Our next session takes place tomorrow night and I look forward to this style becoming the norm at my school.
On Thursday and Friday I attended the Trident Education conference. Trident is a company that Ivanhoe has had a longstanding relationship with and their education conference is always a key date on my calendar. The conference is an education conference that is generally made up of IT Managers, technical staff and eLearning leaders. The theme this year was “Think outside the box” and the conference schedule is made up of IT folk from schools around Victoria sharing their stories. I was asked to present this year to share our journey with learning space design and primordial learning metaphors and absolutely loved the experience. You can find my slides here. I find the IT manager’s network to be so open, welcoming and professionally cooperative. Trident work really closely with many of the schools in this network and they celebrate the great work done by all by asking them to lead their conference. Well done Trident!
The last experience was one I witnessed from afar but one I know to be amazing, having presented last year. #DigiCon15 or the annual DLTV conference took place on Friday and Saturday this week and as I was still at the Trident conference, I missed out on physically attending. The Twitter feed and Periscope sessions (thanks @jjash for beaming the conference into my lounge room) were fantastic. DigiCon is really trying to redefine the conference experience and their innovative structures, interactions and sessions really are putting it amongst the best in the world. My favourite part about the conference is the DLTV’s dedication to celebrating local talent by having them speak as keynotes. Thanks to Jenny Ashby and the Twitter feed, I got to hear great local educators such as Corrie Barclay (@CorrieB), Celia Coffa (@ccoffa) and Hamish Curry (@hamishcurry) sharing their insight and stories. What better way to celebrate voice and the power of room than by looking at the DLTV community and promoting innovative local educators as keynotes. These are the people that I want to hear from and hats off to the DLTV organisers for having the courage to do something different.