I woke at 5:00am on Saturday morning and, as I headed down the highway, I knew it was going to be an amazing day. As the sun rose, it was like witnessing the unveiling of a beautiful canvas right before my eyes. The countryside was truly breath taking.
The first highlight of the day came via the keynote presenter, Margaret Meijers. I was immediately impressed by her humble nature as she made a remark about being nervous presenting in front of so many incredible teachers. This from an amazing educator who has travelled the world and won numerous awards! As I watched, listened, laughed and madly took notes, there were several things that made an impression on me:
“The impact of ICT in schools is only superficial. ICT just sits on top of our curriculum.” (Agree!)
“Some teachers are still clinging on, trying to be the experts.” (Agree!)
And lastly, perhaps my favourite: “Learn how to learn with passion and curiosity.” (Very nice!)
Margaret told the gorgeous story of “The Heffalumps” which she has now posted to YouTube. It cleverly highlighted just how silly the “ban the iPod, ban the mobile phone…” approach can be.
Margaret also spoke of a new technology known as PicoCricket, the next exciting development in robotics that is appealing to both girls and boys. PicoCricket is even more engaging for students because they create their own items, add materials they choose then program their creation to react, interact and communicate. Although still quite expensive to purchase in Australia, it is hopefully another form of technology that will quickly drop in price, making it more accessible for schools. There already a number of movies posted on YouTube showing wonderful examples of the use of PicoCricket.