ULEARN 2016 - 5 - 7 October; What I Gained

ULEARN is pretty massive. I had never been, and only had the GAFE summit held in Christchurch to compare it to. The reason I got to go was because of Spark - MIT 2016. Again thanks so much for that opportunity.

It was substantially bigger than GAFE (I think) and they feed you very, very well. 1800 teachers attended this year and my first observation was of observing the local College students obligingly and efficiently organise the registrations of those 1800 teachers who are a) not good at following basic instructions and b) are crammed into a seemingly small foyer, with coffee nearby, not able to get to it til the registration was done at 8 in the morning...The students were awesome and moving through the teachers more quickly than the front desk. 

My key takeaways would be too many for one post. I am distilling it down to my top 10

From Andrew Ford of Sebel who presented a non-sales pitched presentation on how to effectively manage in an ILE/MLE space, using research and design thinking:

1) IDEO - This really clearly linked up with Sineck's golden circles so it was easy for me to grasp and made sense.

2) That our whole 'scary' concept of ILE actually comes from the work place, it is already quite well tested with a heap of research within places like architectural offices, design and advertising, Google, Yahoo, Spark, Vodafone... we are just taking those ideas and applying them to education, which is about effective rather than efficient education. Most jobs rely on collaborative process, education needs to reflect that more.

From Professor Michael Fullan who is a bit amazing, on everything because he is amazing
3) "Transformation always means disruptive and that is important. You need to exploit the disruption. Be a disruptor."

4) The New reality - social media is ubiquitous, it weaken hierarchies, which opens up lateral solutions, distribution and concentrated connection is the new power. E.g. our COL's are a distribution of power and if they ae working well, it is a new concentration of power. The young are the most connected and the least committed to the status quo. Students are the agents of change when you set it up right cultivate it and leverage it.

5) Discursive practice makes all the difference. Talking the walk into action, talking yourself into clarity with others around to support you - collaborative, creative, encourages critical thinking, develops your character, you have to hear and accept others views, develops citizenship - how you relate back to opposing and supporting views.

From Hekia Parata who is a very gifted presenter and had 10 minutes:
6) First be powerful leaders in your own lives, the opportunity to contribute is much more real and powerful.

From Hammersley Street school in Nelson - collaborative learning
7) Scaffolding has taken the place of try, fail, learn, try, fail, learn, fly

8)The definition of a well organised teacher needs a major shift in a lot of schools. Endless scaffolding and endlessly planned lessons, and structures in a class ultimately become a barrier to authentic learning if there are ever any challenges, student agency, choice or voice

From Rosemary Hipkins - making meaning across learning areas
9) I see, I think, I wonder - brilliant starter exercise to help move professionals into more of a growth mindset about project based learning. It was cool!

From Haeata Community Campus Senior Leadership Team on transforming leaership and school systems
10) Thats the way we've always done it #ttwwadi
Ncea and ero become excuses not to move forward. If its not broke… but ask why you cant do that because of NCEA, question it and find out why. Interrogate the why all the time.


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