PLANE held their Festival of Learning (FOL) at Sydney’s Seymour Centre over the 19th and 20th October. If you haven’t come across it before, PLANE = Pathways for Learning, Anywhere, anytime – a Network for Educators.
In my wrap up of FOL, I’ll just comment on some of the sessions I attended, and not try to give a picture of the whole Festival. I’ll use my tweets to remind me of the learning and connecting experiences over the two days.
Gaming and Virtual Worlds
This was the strand I was looking forward to most as it’s the strand I have the most to learn about.
Quest Atlantis has been around for 10 years but this is the first time I’ve been to a walkthrough and discussion (as I said, so much to learn here). Dr Bron Stuckey explained the rationale behind Quest Atlantis and for me the most important feature is it provides a secure environment for teachers and students (aged 9 – 16) to learn through mission based activities in an online world. I’m keen to pursue this idea with some of our students next year and have other teachers involved too.
Lucas Gillispie, online from the USA, took us through SAGA (Story and Game Academy). I’ll save this for later reading and exploration.
Apps and Mobile technologies
With sooo many apps around now, I enjoyed the emphasis in the ‘There’s an App for That’ sessions on content creation and even building apps. iBuildApp.com seemed popular, pushing that move from not only content creation but towards making apps to suit your needs and interests.
I liked Greg Alchin’s advice that one of the best apps on the iPad is ‘Settings’….. dig into it to see what more it can do for you.
Here’s a jumble of the good things I took away from the keynote addresses. Adam Elliot’s infectious humour and enthusiasm as he related his story of winning an Oscar in 2004 – so many good points, it was a case of ‘pick your own metaphor’ as an example of making change happen. Dean Groom’s comment around ‘schools are no more built for the internet than high street shops are built for online shopping’ (or something close to those words). And Dr Jason Fox’s great technique of getting us to practise that age-old post-conference experience: you return to work, try to spread your enthusiasm and some people are, let’s say, less than interested. It was fun and useful to role play that scenario with someone sitting nearby.
Connecting with other educators
And so on to the most important part of events like FOL – they give us all the chance to connect with other educators. I met up with teachers who had similar interests and were exploring similar initiatives. A couple of examples:
– Caught up with a teacher who is using edmodo to connect with other classes around the world. We’ll be connecting one of our Year 5 classes with one of hers. Initial suggestion is to see how the two groups can share their learning in HSIE and Science.
– Met an e-learning integrator who is doing interesting work integrating iPads into learning and found out enough about Canvas Learning Management System (more here), FilesConnect app and Media Core to want to go looking for more. We’re arranging to visit each other’s schools to share more of each other’s initiatives and adventures in e-learning integration.
Wrapping Up Gangnam Style
Topping off the Festival was the mighty Gangnam Style dancing blast. Thanks @rolfek for posting:
Thanks to all at PLANE for putting on a great two days, giving us much to go on with to help us and our students to learn today and every day.