Reflections from #educampScience

Now that a week has passed, the dust has settled and I have been laid up with a cold (serves me right for flying about the country and having to many late nights) I have finally made some time to reflect on educampScience. It took a lot of thinking, a lot of stressing (and more stressing), a lot of travelling and a lot of energy. But as always, you get out what you put in and I really did have an amazing day.

The thing that always strikes me is how good being face to face is. The depth of conversation is always so much better when you are across a table or room rather than the length of the country. While there were slightly less people than we had hoped for, their was enough for broad ideas and a really good program. People who came were willing to share and open to discussion, and perhaps most importantly willing to connect and collaborate to find some different ways of doing things.

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The organising team of Chhaya, me, Paula and Michael. Pretty sure we all had some WTF moments getting everything sorted, but it was AWESOME on the day 🙂 A big ups also to the team from Elim who just got stuff done and did an AMAZING job.

The smackdown gives a great overview of the discussion from the day. I also did a storify of tweets.

And then people did their thing and decided what they wanted to go to. Kareena and I had the job of turning post its into a program…. while everyone had a morning tea (thanks ASTA and everyone who brought baking)

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I attended 2 sessions and ran 2 sessions. The first session was Faye on open ended learning opportunities. It was a really meaty discussion around how to stop teaching with predetermined answers. I was in awe of some of the NCEA assessments being done – I need to get braver in this regard. I wonder how I can pitch this to my department – this is where not being the HoD can be challenging!! But I think the flexibility is there with NCEA – we teachers just need to be more open to exploring these ideas.


Then I went to Ruby’s session on OneNote. She really is a super star and does super things with her learning programs. My favourite quote from her presentation was

‘We need students to stop thinking the tech will do the learning for them’

as I think it can be flipped around – the tech isn’t going to the the ‘teaching’ either. The tech can make certain tasks easier, or provide a different tool, but the role relationships and discussion in learning will never really go away.

Then I did a session on Hour of Code. It went well and lead to some good discussion about different platforms for coding in the classroom. And it opened some eyes to how it doesn’t need to be hard. It is ok for teachers to be learning along side their students. There was also discussion around how there is is a need to distinguish between ‘ICT’ and Computer Science. In many schools the ‘computer course’ is full of formatting documents and working through unit standards instead of genuine learning. I’m not really sure how to change this either……

And then one of my favourite things, making winogradksy columns. We sat outside on the deck by the classroom and played with mud and talked over the day. Shared experiences and knowledge and just chilled.

Other sessions included maker spaces, Hacking NCEA, Science Snippets, Robots, data logging and all sorts of things. It was a great program

The day finished up with some pizza (thanks N4L) and then the stayers headed for some drinks. After all of that Paula, Michael and I headed for an ice cream

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So it was an amazing day – thanks to everyone who came and contributed. It was an absolute privilege to be part of the day.

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