Sunday, 18 October 2015

#EdBlogNZ Challenge Week 2

#NotAtULearn15 - Get thinking Deeper!
So this week's challenge I've decided to do a bit of a combo and while I've done a few posts already on events that I've participated in during #ULearn15, for the majority of the week I've not been at ULearn15!  On the Friday morning there was a panel discussion that was streamed live facilitated by +Derek Wenmoth that I watched firstly on my phone then Chromecast to our 50" TV in the comfort of my lounge!  I love how Pam Hook challenged the status quo and didn't necessarily go along with the "group-think".  I'll add more detail of my points of highlight (when I find the notes I hand wrote at the time of watching)... watch this space

Here is the Twitter feed from the discussion that I kept an eye on while watching the video:

Saturday, 10 October 2015

GEG_NZ at #ULearn15

I became part of the Google Educator Group New Zealand (GEG_NZ) community on Google Plus right from it's inception in July of 2014, this year I was asked to join the leadership team, helping to organise events.  I jumped at the opportunity to Learn.Share.Inspire.Empower myself and other educators associated with this community.

Our session at ULearn was co-led with +Fiona Grant, myself with +Rob Clarke joining us virtually through Google Hangout.  It was also great to have an international contingency in the room with +Kimberley Hall and +Jim Sill. Fiona and I ran a tag team through the face to face presentation with Rob contributing through the session. It's fantastic to be such of a supportive group of GEG leaders and community.  I learn so much each time we meet and connect, along with the contributions made to the G+ community for GEG_NZ. 
Here is our slide deck from the session:
Here's some tweets from the session:


This year I organised the annual #twitterdinner that coincides with the #ULearn conferences each year in the October school holidays for educators in New Zealand.  Each year the event alternates between Auckland and Rotorua (previously held in Christchurch too). The evening was awesome with 58 educators that connect on line, face to face in the same room ready for great conversations, food and connections!

The dinner was held at Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen.  On arrival tweeps checked in with me to get their name label and +Megan Croll gave them their free drink token (thanks to +Jenna Kleine of Class Dojo and +Alex Le Long) and the mix n' mingle bingo sheet.  The bingo sheet was a great icebreaker and our guests being the connected individuals they are, were up for the challenge of completing it to truly embrace the opportunity for rich connections to start the evening.  Delicious canapes were served and circulated during this time.  Then it was time for a word from our sponsor from +Alex Le Long and +Campbell Potter in support of Class Dojo.  I said a few words of welcome and then the rest of the evening rolled out into a great talk, food and photo fest! The photo booth props were a fun addition (although a little under-used). We trended on Twitter and here are some of the tweets from the evening!
I enjoyed organising the evening and would do so again if the opportunity arises - my one wish for next time would be to circulate more! I felt that I didn't really get the opportunity to do as much mix n' mingle at the beginning with checking everyone in and of course, once you're sitting and eating that can be a bit restrictive too... however I thoroughly did enjoy myself and l look forward to hopefully attending next year's one in Rotorua!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

#EdBlogNZ Challenge Week 1

Inspiring Bloggers
The challenge is to write about a legendary blogger that inspires you or makes you dream bigger.  I am in awe at how some educators write reflect so frequently on their blogs.  Two bloggers that I follow and read regularly both bear the same name Stephanie Thompson!  I wonder if they are connected on line too?

First Stephanie who is the author of Four Seasons in One Kiwi I first met her at a two day Solutions Focus Coaching Master class. Stephanie is a primary school principal and as I aspire to be a principal I was really impressed with what she had to say about leadership and growing a coaching culture in her school.  Her blog posts reflect her leadership wonderings and I find them useful to read and reflect how her message resonates with me now (in my role as an acting principal) and to store for my future leadership experiences to come.

Second Stephanie who is the author of Train the Teacher I had connected with her many years ago on twitter and first met a few years ago at an Ignition Conference held at Albany Senior High School.  At the time she was a classroom teacher in Wellington, a tweeter and edu-geek.  I was impressed for a beginning teacher how she used blogging to collect evidence of her practice and labelled her blogs as a great filing system.  Now Stephanie teachers overseas and posts almost daily of her educational learning journey, whether she is reflecting on what is happening in her classroom or from one of the many conferences that she attends.  Her latest post about participating in a disruptive strand at a conference reminded me of the robust conversations I had at the Google Teacher Academy where we put our big ideas into an action plan for immediate steps in our learning community.

I often fear that my reflections will just be aimless ramblings and not worthy of the deep reflection I read in the posts of others.  I do believe in projecting positivity and continuous improvement, so to move forward, I feel you need the time to look back and reflect on your practice to improve. Like ripples in a pond, ideas can grow, reverberate and merge to create new circles of ideas.  I wonder if participating in the #EdBlogNZ challenge will help me get into a routine of weekly reflection (or at least fortnightly) for my leadership and/or education learning journey?  I hope so!