It’s difficult for me to put into words why attending ISTE13 changed my teaching. The number one catalyst was probably that I’ve had the chance to become a learner for a while. At the heart, most teachers love learning and want to ignite that love in our students; to never stop enquiring, to keep asking questions, to continue verifying understanding and to pass on that knowledge to others.
Much of what occurred, in my mind, was validation that NBCS and what we’re doing in Stage 3 is not only on “the right track” but it’s the signpost for much of the world. When Lou and I went to the ISTE Study Tour session, they raved about NBCS. The wording in their article was that NBCS provides “… compelling examples of spaces that could simultaneously accommodate learners in multiple phases of their learning quests.” Lou and I were able to contribute to their understanding of Australian education and of the pedagogies of NBCS.
Naturally, there were times when I was able to reflect upon some of our current practices. Although the Stage 3 Numeracy program is excellent, it could still incorporate more Project-based Learning including making. There are amazing technological tools developed out of the Maker Movement that would enable deeper learning in both Numeracy and Science. I intend to help the Stage 3 team make these changes promptly upon my return.
It was clear that Stage 3 at NBCS is a world leader in Flipped Learning. Our contributions to the panel session with Aaron Sams demonstrated our expertise in implementing Flipped Learning by using Edcanvas and Edmodo. However, again, there is progress to be made. Greater education for our NBCS community regarding the richness of Flipped Learning is required.
One of the best take-always was from Alan November’s session. I loved the idea of having a student take notes of his/her learning throughout each day and then posting it on a blog or Edmodo. This is a great way for teachers to assess that student’s understanding and also makes a great revision tool for the rest of the students. I intend to coach the Stage 3 team in making this idea part of our learning process.
Naturally, there were many opportunities to network with educators from home and abroad. We solidified connections with educators from Shore and Inaburra schools. In addition, we had the privilege of meeting the creators of Edcanvas, Brainpop, Zondle and Educade. The start-up movement is such an important cultural shift that’s vital for today’s learning environment.
ISTE13 was an invigorating and exhausting experience that inspired me to continue to help my students become lifelong learners. I am so grateful to the NBCS Board for allowing me to attend and my colleagues for releasing me to go. Be ready to be ISTEfied when I return!