Day three (final day) of the ULearn07 conference ended with a challenge to all delegates from Tony Ryan in his final keynote address. He provided a set of questions for each of us to ponder and contemplate just how we plan to act on some of the things we’d heard about or discussed over the past three days. Tony’s questions are:
- What could you do?
- What will you do?
- How and when will you do this?
- How will you maintain success?
With such a range of ideas, challenges and new thinking emerging for everyone over the past three days I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of actions we can take in response to these questions – it’ll all boil down to how committed we are to turning these ideas into action!
Just a few of the highlights of this year’s conference for me were…
- the number of principals who were present with groups of staff from their school – such a great model of excellent leadership and commitment to building a sense of collaboration and ‘team’ among staff.
- a secondary teacher who came to me at the end of day one to share how deeply he’d been challenged about the ‘mediocracy’ of his teaching and what he currently does in his classroom – then returned to speak with me on the final day to share some specific actions he’d take to begin making some changes in his thinking and practice when he gets back to his classes on Monday
- the 100 or so early childhood educators who participated fully in the conference, with many presenting workshops that were well attended and appreciated by their school sector colleagues
- the lines of “back-chat” that were occurring throughout the conference, with many people using their blogs to record reflections with others commenting etc, and the increasing use of Twitter by a small but growing group of participants who found this a great way to maintain discussions about the workshops they attended and keynotes they listened to. Proving that participation in conferences such as this extends well beyond the synchronous here and now of the three days we were together!
I’m off now to make the trip back to Christchurch (driving from Auckland with my family) – so will have plenty of time to think about the things that affect me personally and are challenges that I need to act on when I get back.