On Monday and Tuesday this week I once again had the wonderful opportunity to attend VITTA 2012 – Reign of the Cloud, conference at Caulfield Racecourse. VITTA, or the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, run excellent professional learning programs with the VITTA Conference being their swan-song!
As like most other conference based PL, the process is the same in having to register, attend keynote presentations, and select workshops and breakout sessions to attend based on your interest and that of your setting. This being i feel the great thing about such conferences, the ability to select what learning you’d like to be involved in. Wouldn’t it be great if kids had the same opportunity! Hmmm…
OK. Starting with the Keynote addresses. 4 Keynotes. 4 very different presentations. 4 very passionate people. Now rather than go in to paragraph after paragraph about their addresses, i thought that i would simply let you all see them for yourselves. Below i have included the key note addresses for your viewing pleasure. Highlights for myself were certainly the talk from Yong Zhao and that from Greg Whitby. Two men very passionate about education, technology, and the path that both of these are taking heading towards the future!
To access the Keynote addresses, head to the following site: VITTA 2012 Conference Videos
More keynote presentations as well as videos from other presenters will be added over the coming weeks so watch this space.
From the two Keynotes which I found most relevant, i have outlined 10 dot points from each that resonated with myself and really got me thinking about not only technology integration and education, but in some instances life in general.
Yong Zhao – Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, where he is a full professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy and Leadership(EMPL). He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education.
1. Its not about the technology, it about the ICT skills and kids we want to produce.
2. Why when we have mobile technology and Internet, we place restrictions upon it for learners?
3. What kind of education can we give that promotes success and happiness?
4. In years to come, large workforces such as those found in factories will cease to exist. The only sectors to employ large groups of people will be education and governments.
5. Is humanity loosing key skills through being creative? I.e. The ability to grow food for yourself as to now simply be able to just buy it?
6. China is ranking as one of the ‘smartest’ countries in the world in mathematics, reading and science. However, they are one of the worst at developing entrepreneurs, unlike the U.S., which is the opposite.
7. The current curriculum is based on producing academics. Knowledge is very important, but it is by no mean imperative.
8. That all curriculum should be personalised and product based.
9. All learning should be taking place in a global context. i.e. – obaworld.com
10. We need to develop entrepreneurs for the future, not just kids who do well on assessment.
Greg Whitby – is the Executive Director of Schools and leads a system of 78 Catholic schools in greater western Sydney serving over 42,000 students and employing over 4,500 teachers and staff. He has extensive experience in senior system leadership and K-12 schooling in government and non-government sectors.
1. Staff and schools across Australia need to focus on developing better practices of teaching.
2. We can reflect over the past 150 of education here in Australia, but lets NOT base where we want to head to on where we have come from!
3. We need to build schools that enhance the professional life of teachers and promote learning.
4. We need to focus on change and adaptability. This being adapting teaching and learning where appropriate to the technology.
5. We need better teachers in Australia now more so than ever.
6. Diversity needs to be the norm, every teachers and student is unique and individual.
7. It’s all about learning. Period!
8. Data is not the driver. It is the catalyst. The driver is god instruction led by instructional leaders.
9. Teachers, Educational leaders need to shape the agenda of learning and teachers. Not others. I.e. Politicians. Governments.
10. It’s not about the device. it’s about the software. We all have a device, who cares what it looks like, it’s about what it can do!
I was was fortunate enough to present myself on a topic that seems to be quite hot at the moment in BYOD. I have embedded my presentation below and you have any questions, please email!
Over the two days i can say that i took away a lot of learning experiences from the sessions that i was involved in. Having attended sessions based upon iPad integration and app’s for learning, Adobe Photo-shop, Unity 3D and 3D Design, and Game Maker, certainly left me with a lot to think about and some fantastic new ideas to attempt to ‘smash’ my students with!!!
Thanks very much to all those who presented and made the conference what it was, that being a great success!