Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ulearn 2012

This past week I attended my second Ulearn conference where teachers and other professionals get together during their holidays to learn, teach, collaborate, share, network and inspire one another. 
I presented again this year along with my collaborative teachers to share our journey and hopefully inspire others to give it a go.
Abstract: Collaboration is about producing something greater than you can on your own, its output is better or greater than the sum of its parts. As a team of co-teachers we have discovered the benefits of  cooperative and collaborative teaching. In this presentation we will share our experiences of moving from a single teacher directed classroom to a cooperative and collaborative studio where three teachers share guardianship for teaching and learning. We will share our successes and failures, ideas and tools that have aided us on our journey so far, and explore some models and research that guide us.

Keynotes, Breakouts and Tasters
What I love about these conferences is that you see true collaboration being modelled at many levels. 
Twitter: #ulearn12  -  conference participants tweeting teaching and learning gems from a huge range of keynotes, breakouts, presentations, workshops and tasters. 
I won a uTunes voucher for the best tweet that summed up the theme of the conference.

Google Docs: There are so many good events that we miss but collaboration happened on a large scale at Ulearn12 as all Ulearn shared notes are shared and it is easy to get notes from other workshops.
Our school staff all collaborated on one document for all our notes as well. It is wonderful to have collaboration happening as a norm across our whole staff.

Google+ and Hangouts: aside from some workshops covering this, they were very quiet digital spaces.




Some of the keynote and presentations I attended:

Keynote: Dr Jason OhlerNew Media, New Kids - New Literacies, New Citizens
  • Be a door opener - be the teacher on the screen in 50 years that inspired greatness
  • Everybody has a customised work space - what about customised learning?
  • Personalising learning through mobile technology and connectedness.


What is good thinking?  by Mary Anne Mills

  • What is the evidence that your students’ achievement is rising now that they are learning thinking skills? 
  • She spoke not about strategies but the 7 Dispositions of good thinking. 
  • We train kids to ask questions, but do we ourselves good ones ourselves? 
  • What are the assumptions they make and how do we unravel them?
  • We need creative thinking that is thinking outside the square and we need to provide the right dispositions for them to thrive.



Universal Design for Learning - Lynne Silcock 

  • See CAST website for more information.
  • Aiming at reaching the students who are not special needs but failing in their learning.
  • Autism >1 per 100  -  Hearing = 10/100  -  Dyslexlia = 5?7?10? /100 - ADAH = 2?6?/100?
  • How many are special? MoE target the bottom 5% but what about the rest of low achievers?
  • The Class (Studio): diversity is valued = greater diversity (range of needs)
  • The curriculum is designed for the “average”
  • Universal Design for Learning is a approach to learning / a flexible framework
  • (designing your curriculum so it meets the needs of more students, especially those ‘under the radar’).
  • The big picture: designing your curriculum so it meets the needs of all students using multimodal 


Keynote: Khoa Do 

  • Focus on what we have, not what is lacking - be grateful.
  • If you get knocked down you have to get back up... Resilience.
  • Tell authentic stories.
  • There are ways to cross every barrier!
  • Knowing your teams weaknesses are better than knowing their strengths


Keynote: Kevin Honeycutt - Collaborate, innovate, educate!

  • Record yourself so you can teach collaboratively with yourself (Flipped Learning).
  • Kids need us in their digital playground.
  • We should be collaborating as a community for kids.
  • If we get kids doing great things with technology they won't have time for the bad things.
  • Authentic audiences make you a better writer; blog.
  • Create - don’t just snack on other people’s brilliance.
  • The trick is to help them learn to do it(digital) responsibly and safely.
  • Help students manage their devices and not vice versa.
  • There is no age limit to learning.
  • Work with brain - talk to brains takes away judgement of appearance.
  • Don’t wait to be good at something before you try - just do it!
After Kevin's inspiring keynote he happened to end up with us for a tea break. We chatted about our school and how we could connect again in the future. 


Learning to Inquire: Developing curious minds, and deep understandings for a changing global environment by Chic Foote /Helix Consulting 

  • http://todaysmeet.com/ULearn1 (like Twiducate) but you can transcrip the discussion  however neither has a widget for embedding.
  • Learning IS inquiry - What do we mean by inquiry?
  • Being inquirers ourselves help solve the challenges of teaching.
  • We don’t have to always teach our students literacy through the same lens
  • - Global Competencies Matrix


3 Teachers 3 Classes 1 Vision (The Learning Hub) 

  • Started with "what if": create collaboration with single cell classrooms?
  • Spaces are important.
  • Using wiki/blog to deliver some content.
  • Year group (Y2, 5, 6) mix well, special needs kids fit in more easily.
  • Students get to mentor / tutor / support each other.
  • Classrooms connected with “learning street”.
  • Students can work at their stage not age.
  • Use one teacher teach other roam / support approach.
  • James Nottingham - Challenging Learning (been working with PD) allow kids to wobbly etc solve problems ‘pit’ on own but knowing the there is support 
  • I like that they teach the student the vocabulary and concept of ‘the pit’.


Again my brain is bursting with learning, growing, and having fun at Ulearn12, till next time. . .