Today i gave my first ever Keynote Address.
Nervous. Excited. Honored. Grateful.
In the past i have presented at numerous conference all a wide variety of ICT based topics and content. I can remember being asked by the GTAV, The Geography Teachers Association of Victoria, if i would be a willing a Keynote presenter, i jumped at the opportunity. In saying this, i also remember thinking what the heck do i know about the teaching of geography! In further discussion with GTAV, my presentation was to be technology based. Thank god!
Geography has always been i suppose a love or loathe type subject for kids. One that bore the pants of them, or, one that fully engages them! A real mixed bag. In saying this, and as i said today, the number one thing that drives students learning outcomes: good teaching. On top of that, the number one thing that promotes innovation in education: good teachers. We can have all the technology in the world in the greatest schools with the best resources. But good teachers matter most!
It is this notion of good teachers that makes me clearly remember my own Geography teacher from year 8, Mr. Kumar. A guy who went out of his way to ensure the content being taught was understood. Someone who would take time out of his day to assist you in every way. Now his teaching of geography was perhaps not the most engaging but this is not the point point. The point is that he understood the kids he taught and was willing to teach them accordingly.
I was overly impressed today by the amount of people in the room for my Keynote presentation. 350+. All just to see me. No, of course not. Who am i kidding! What i was impressed by was the willingness of so many people who enjoy the teaching of geography and were wanting to develop their own professional capabilities in this area. As i mentioned today, there are not too many other fields that this occurs well in.
My keynote presentation was based around the kids we teach. These kids digital natives. These kids knowing not but the technology that engulfs and enriches their lives. As educators we need to understand the kids we teach. The technology that is involved. And, how we can best integrate that technology to engage and educate.
So for all intensive purposes, i have embedded my keynote presentation below for your viewing pleasure. I hope that those who witnessed it today as well as those of you who view it online can take something away from it that leaves you thinking about your own teaching and the digital learners you teach.
Lastly, thank you to all of the GTAV staff who ran an excellent conference. A special thanks to Steve, Libby and Trish, who made me feel very welcome throughout the day and were extremely helpful.