Friday, 10 October 2008
ULearn Day Two
Started the day nice and early with another brisk walk through the streets of Christchurch to the Decadence Café for the Bloggers/Twitterers breakfast. This was a fabulous way to start the day, nice food, good company, time spent catching up with my online friends – just brilliant! In fact I could have stayed there longer just talking, getting to know each other better & just chilling. Thank you so much for organising it Simon, great idea, nice to have the opportunity.
After breakfast it was off to the conference venue. I sat at the Blogger’s café for a while just getting in the zone. Was feeling a little nervous by this point as I had to present later in the day and this time it was my “big one” the 90 minute interactive presentation!
I was interviewed & videoed by some of the fabulous kids from the Media Team. They were talking to me as a first time presenter about how I found the whole presentation process. Not sure what happens with all the video next, but it was neat to be asked.
Off to the keynote next where we got to see the awards ceremony for Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the year. Some stunning work being done by educators in schools around New Zealand. The posters to support their presentations have been on display in the foyer – just amazing. The speaker who followed – Steve Carden was just terrific. Made some interesting points, was a fantastic story teller. It was great to hear form the perspective of a “non educator”. I made a few comments on twitter about points he made that resonated with me. If you can hold out for 24 hours I shall add a quick post on my thoughts – I just need to retrieve them from Twitter when I’m able to be online again & have time to think it through.
After morning tea it was off to my first breakout of the day with Sheryl Naussbaum Beach. I have to admit to being just a tad star struck & when she shook my hand and said “Hi I’m Sheryl” it just made my day. An amazing lady, very knowledgable, very genuine. Her session was fantastic and shall be the source of another blog post I think as again I have a lot to ponder.
Highlight of lunchtime…finally getting to meet Mr Woody, another member of my PLN. By the time lunch rolled around all I could handle was a banana! & a glass of water. I sat upstairs in the presenters lounge with David and Marnie and just took the time to chill and try to calm my nerves. Then I headed over to the Crown Plaza to prepare for my presentation.
The room was a bit of a comfy fit for everyone (and I’m sure I had ring ins as I think there were more than 26 in there – but it was all good. So I just launched in and went for it! I think people really enjoyed learning about the Pacific Northwestern Tree Octopus & having the opportunity to view my live specimen! I actually think I tried to cover almost too much. I think next time I might break it up and do a few things, or maybe offer a session for beginners and then one that’s a little further along the continuum. I didn’t quite get what I wanted happening with the wiki – ( a time factor again) but it was all good, as really I just wanted people to take some time to play, explore and discover. The idea of creative commons was new to most of the attendees so I was pleased to have a chance to really plug that one! Other than all that, I had some great feedback, really positive, so I hope people got at least 1 thing out of it to take away with them. I figured that they could always revisit the wiki and explore things for themselves when they had the time and were in the head space to do so.
My last breakout was with Will Richardson, again I thought it was terrific and it was fun adding comments to the back channel he had streaming alongside his Google Docs presentation. I sat with Allanah & we back channelled our “talk to your neighbour” discussion!… he he he. Some valuable and thought provoking stuff once again. I’ll revisit the ideas further in a future blog post – to be honest, with presenting as well and trying to get around and meet everyone it’s been a bit hard to find time to just sit and reflect – I’m figuring I’ll roll the ideas round in my head and then blog them once I’m home and have time to think it all through.
The final part of the day was the conference dinner. Totally awesome! Excellent live performances going on, good band, good conversation, great food – it rocked! I was able to catch up with a few of my PLN friends and really enjoyed having the opportunity to catch up with Simon and have a good, long chat.
So now it’s really late and I need to catch a few hours sleep before the final day of Ulearn08. I’m off to interact with classroom bloggers tomorrow at Dorothy Burts breakout, then I finish where I started back with Andrew Churches learning about his Digital Taxonomy – really looking forward to both of those.