Reflecting on #edchatNZ Conference

Reflecting on #edchatNZ conference

There are many things that I came away with from this amazingly awesome conference.

I learned a lot from this conference and can now visualise the faces behind those @twitter handles.

However, it was a personal reaction that gave me my deepest reflection. After the completion of my ‘Design Thinking’ presentation @nomokaiako came up to me and said “I would love to visit your school”. My first reaction was ‘but my school is just the same as every other ‘cells and bells’ school. It was at this point that I realised that there is a disconnect between what I am saying and what is happening in my classroom. Upon further reflection I accept that I am being somewhat harsh on myself and that my students are indeed engaged, usually, in Real Engaging Authentic Learning.

So what is the taxonomy of moving from teacher centred to student centred learning? I believe that it is a three step process. The first step is to change from within, to change our fundamental beliefs or at the very least gain new Pedagogical Content Knowledge; this requires a growth mind-set. The second step is to change the way we teach, the way we deliver lessons, the way we see learning taking place, and the place we see of the learner in the relationship. The third step is, the utopian, but achievable pinnacle of changing the way students learn. To change from differentiated instruction to intimate learning, from raising achievement to empowering learning. I realise that I am not in that utopian space nearly as often as I would like, but at least I know where I am going.

The inaugural meeting of the @edubookchatNZ group was also an example of how an un-conference can work. We came together in a common space with a common passion for reading. The group gelled quickly and the discussion was rich, warm and humorous. This was a group of people who are committed to attaining excellence in their teaching and have found that professional reading is a way to constantly challenge yourself and drive your performance. I am amazed that the @edubookchatNZ account now has over 160 followers in less than one week. We are all keeping a close watch on our mail boxes as our copies of ‘Key Competencies for the Future’ arrive.


‘Hashtags are the paperclips of twitter’ – @mosborne01

‘Developing agile thinkers’ @DianeCavallo

‘Future focussed learning – what will this look like in five years time? – @Mosborne01


Learning; @hpssprojects with Sarah Wakeford

Has to make a difference

Be authentic – a partnership

Provide opportunities to learn

Provide diversity – big enough for every student to make a contribution

A special thanks to Karen Melhuish-Spencer  at  CORE education; I was extremely fortunate to win the prize to have my conference costs paid. Karen’s keynote presentation certainly finished the conference on a high point ” It’s not about the tools, it’s about making a difference”. Don’t forget @ConnectEduNZ



And, lastly, two more, certainly the biggest, highlights

  1. Meeting f2f some amazing people who have and will continue to inspire me.
  2. That I got to spend two days at the conference with my wonderful wife, Lesley. We wrote down our preferred choices and found we had a lot in common, so had some great conversations about them. For the other sessions where we went our own separate ways we then had great conversations about what we had learned during the breaks.


Thanks @edchatNZ

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