ULearn15 Preparation

In my first six years of teaching which includes one prior ULearn conference, the added value one can get out of preparing for a conference is enormous. This post is about assembling some prior knowledge about the conference to maximise the value of the four days in Auckland next week.

To begin, I’ve found this post on this post on DIY Professional Development incredible helpful. With tips and links to help develop twitter as well as links to other helpful guides including a being Social Media Savvy guide.

ULearn this year has five strands, fully explained here.

  • Re-imagining learners and learning
  • Re-imagining teacher practice
  • Re-imagining leaders and leadership
  • Māori medium
  • Pasifika Strand

My conference goals based upon how these strands unfold are to:

  • Inquire into how I have developed learner agency this year. How can I develop and tweak my approach in 2016 to provide better learning outcomes and deeper student centred learning?
  • Channeling pastoral and learning into one. As a Dean I believe I have been using the role to be a learning leader and see the pastoral care role as being inclusive of gaining better learning outcomes under the umbrella of well-being. I want to learn about other approaches to promoting well-being, how to create behaviour change and building mana for better outcomes. Furthermore, how to engage communities in this role and as a classroom teacher.
  • Discover more models of MLE and how other schools are managing change.
  • Reflecting on the key question: What skills are required of leaders in this rapidly changing world? And what can I do to develop further as a learning leader. What are my next steps?

Keynote #1: Grant Lichtman – On the Road: Keys to Successful School Innovation in Times of Change

Link to the ULearn conversation. @GrantLichtman – Author of two books: #EdJourney: A Roadmap for the Future of Education based on his first-hand research with dozens of schools and hundreds of K-12 (primary and secondary) educators; and The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School based on his seminar in strategic and creational thinking.

His TEDtalk from Denver: What 60 Schools Can Tell Us About Teaching 21st Century Skills

The rate of change in the world demands that we re-imagine and restructure the foundational learning relationship among students, teachers, and knowledge. In September 2012, pursuing a decades-long passion for transformational education, Grant packed up his Prius and set off on a solo, nationwide research tour to discover what schools are doing to prepare students for an evolving future. Find out what he learned from three months on the road visiting 21 states, 64 schools, and the great ideas of 500 educators.

Keynote #2: Ann Lieberman – What do we know about Teaching Leadership, and what’s to gain?

Link to the ULearn conversation. Her latest book is Mentoring Teachers: Navigating the Real World Tensions (with S. Hanson and J. Gless). Her other books include Inside the National Writing Project: Connecting Network Learning and Classroom Teaching (with Diane Wood), Teachers: Transforming Their World and Their Work, and Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: Improving Teaching and Learning (with Lynne Miller).

What if teachers’ ran their own professional development through projects? And what if teachers themselves received funding for these projects? What if the purpose of such projects was not only to spur individual professional learning, but also to develop leadership skills and initiate an exchange of knowledge among one’s peers?

In Ontario, Canada, teachers pursue this kind of self-designed professional learning through the publically funded Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP). Since the 2007–08 school year, 1,500 people—mostly teachers—have initiated 225 teacher learning projects through TLLP, 83 percent of which have been collaborations among several educators.

This link further explains the model which I anticipate the keynote will address.

Keynote #3: Pat Snedden – The transformational journey to improve student achievement through public good partnerships in Manaiakalani at Tamaki

Link to the ULearn conversation. From his ULearn bio:

In 2011 Snedden helped to establish the Manaiakalani Educational Trust…The Manaiakalani Programme was set up to tackle learning challenges and offer full ‘digital citizenship’ to 2,500 primary and secondary students living in the lowest decile areas in New Zealand, 95% of whom are Maori and Pasifika.

The primary investors became the parents who funded their own child’s digital device through the trust. This commitment attracted the support of corporate and private donors, with the objective of not only improving educational results but also realising the potential for enhanced employment and life outcomes.

Pat will share his knowledge and insight into what has happened in over three years since the launch of the Trust and programme.

Link to the Manaiakalani Trust Website. From hunting through the website, I’m still not entirely sure where this sits among all the other PLD opportunities and why this is unique and getting a ULearn spot. I’m sure there’s a reason and a hook here – to be confirmed!


7 thoughts on “ULearn15 Preparation

  1. Can I also add to your list of “things to prepare for” – meeting up and connecting with the #WellyEd crew. It would be great for you to make face to face contact with us so we can continue our conversations beyond ULearn 2015.

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