— Sonya (@vanschaijik) April 15, 2015
Recently I attended the GAFESummit North Island sessions held at Albany Senior College. Last year we had 6 teachers attend the summit from Newmarket School and when we returned we moved very quickly as a school. As a staff we embraced Google Apps for Education and all planning became collaborative as we moved into the transparent environment. Each team had folders and a site.
But the changes really took place this year as team leaders took control of their team sites and team blogs. Each team member had full ownership rights to both. I watched with pride as the learning spaces evolved and the speed at which information was shared with both teachers and their students.
Then this year, I had three teachers and myself accepted to present at the 2015 Gafesummit. As their mentor, I felt huge pride at the process each teacher underwent to prepare and then present in front of their peers. They had fabulous feedback via Twitter. I was away for the week leading up to the summit and the team got together in my absence and practiced a run through. They gave each other feedback. The experience enabled them to tweak their session and step through what they wanted to share. The practice session also enabled them to share ideas and identify how they could make their presentations even better.
I have been at Newmarket now for nearly 6 years and I have seen the growth in professional learning blossom as our school leaders and teachers move into making their own learning visible.
Myself and the management team have recently returned from an international conference and the trip confirmed that we are well on the way with what we are doing with our teachers and to continue encouraging and developing them as leaders in education.
I have identified that we need to provide further opportunities for collaboration outside our school. Each teacher has a Twitter account, they are all on the VLN and they all have their pond account activated. As they continue to make connections with educators outside our school I know that this will continue to have an impact on their practise and thus affecting the learning for their students.
I know that the educators who presented at this years GAFESummit have been changed by the experience. They were ready for the challenge and will return to school buzzing with more ideas. They will identify what they need to do next and their enthusiasm will generate the next group to step up
Some of my takeaways from the sessions include
- Do not be a complacent expert but a restless learner
- How do we find the adjacent possible in our classroom?
- Disrupt Boredom
Myself I shared the TeachMeetNZ project and also took an advanced youtube session. I use youtube to mentor teachers and as a platform for them to share their learning.
Here are the teachers’ reflections who presented at GAFESummit
Here are the slides to my session ‘GAFE 2015 TeachMeetNZ’.
Here is my video introduction for my advanced youtube session.