Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Ulearn 2016

uLearn16 took place in my hometown at Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre on 5 -7 October 2016. uLearn is an annual conference for educators in New Zealand that provides inspiration and professional development through three days of keynote speakers and breakout workshops. The conference also provides an ideal opportunity to network and connect with educational learners, to share ideas and grown as teachers.

Presenter: Jacqui Sharp @sharpjacqui
Jacqui took us through her own teaching style; from resources, planning and assessment, with a focus on student agency.

Key idea: Maths Student Agency = multiple learning opportunities for all learner types who can self-manage their learning and goals + MANY focused resources:

Planning game design with students using narrative structure as a scaffold.  Game design is a good collaborative project that can be used to allow students create something based on their own knowledge and research. It is easy to integrate this across the curriculum and have some fun.

Key idea: games and storytelling are engaging and allowing students to design their own games within this scaffolded structure can build collaboration and student agency.

Coding in the classroom with Swift
Swift is the OS programing language for coding apps. Apple have create Swift Playground to teach this language. However Swift Playground only works on iPads and Macs. Although an exciting coding workshop, I don’t believe it’s right for primary age. Better choices would be Scratch and HTML coding.

Key idea: anyone can learn to code apps.

This is a card game using teams who have to put together cards with clues and guess who or what it represents, then trade cards with other teams: basically a grouping game. However the card clues were difficult even for us, perhaps if we used the framework to create cards based on curriculum areas, but teamwork and trading would have to be scaffolded and taught. Seems very time consuming for little reward.

Key idea: a grouping game.

The concept is that teams must find clues to break into a locked box to solve a puzzle or mystery. Clues can be in almost any form, but the locks provide some interesting math problem solving.

Key idea: a collaborative puzzle challenge encourages communication and critical thinking; plus it’s fun.

Overall it was a fun learning and networking experience that has inspired me once again. Lastly a huge thank you to Otonga Primary School for encouraging and supporting teachers to extend their learning at @ulearn16.