Ulearn10

I am home again after a fantastic 4 days in Christchurch participating in the 10th ULearn conference hosted by Core Ed. Over the next few weeks I’ll be processing the input from the keynotes and sessions I attended. Here’s my summary:

Tuesday

  • Unofficial Geocaching workshop – great to introduce newbies to the addiction
  • Pecha Kucha session in the Limes Room – I think this was filmed so will find the link for it
  • Twitter dinner

Wednesday

  • Keynote: Lee Crockett
  • Breakout One – this was my workshop <G>
  • Breakout Two – Inspiration, Ignition, Impact with Paula Jamieson
  • Keynote: Steve Wheeler (aka @timbuckteeth)

Thursday

  • Twitter breakfast
  • Keynote: Lane Clark
  • Breakout Three – Change, Creativity, Curriculum & Community: Succeeding in Spite of the System – Chris Betcher
  • Breakout Four – Apple sMacdown
  • Conference Dinner

Friday

  • Breakout Five – Trades Hall visit – had a quick mini-lesson on the Promethean board
  • Breakout Six – eCompetencies – Linking eQuality teaching directly to the Key Competencies with Kellie McRobert
  • Keynote: Stephen Heppell

Prizes

I won a couple of fantastic prizes and must thank the sponsors for those:

  • HP: My DP has already responded about the 42″ digital sign I won – we’ve just completed a new admin area and I know it will look fantastic there
  • Learning Media: I spent my 2 hours at the airport waiting for my flight reading the teachers manual for the Write Tools – can’t wait to get stuck in – and when Murray Gadd next visits I’ll do a show and tell with him 🙂

And as for the other freebies:

  • Xirrus – while I know the t-shirts I got weren’t so much a prize as a giveaway I want to say thanks for them – they’ll fit right into my wardrobe!
  • DLink – best gadget ever – the screwdrivers – a must for all us geeks
  • Apple sMACdown – my new earbuds are very welcome – they’ll be residing at school – and will be very handy for my kids recording using the iTouch/iPhone

As always one of the huge bonuses is meeting up with my Twitter PLN – it’s great to see the international tweeps here with us kiwis. Thanks to all my PLN the personal input was amazing!

Twitter Survey Post 1

First a huge thank you to all who answered my survey. 85 people responded from all over the world.

The demographic information I got from it goes like this:

Length of time on twitter:

  • 15 — 2+ years
  • 32 — 1-2 years
  • 10 — 6-12 months
  • 15 — less than 6 months

Occupation:

  • 37 — Teachers – both Primary & Secondary
  • 35 — involved in some kind of ICT facilitation – some as part of teaching job
  • 4 — Librarian or Library Specialists
  • 6 — Senior positions – Principal/AP/DP
  • 7 — Other jobs – some in education, some not (some I wasn’t quite sure what the job was!



I then asked why they used twitter. I discovered that there were some broad areas here:

  • Connection
  • Collaboration/Collegiality
  • Information
  • Fun

There were many examples under each of those areas – too many to post them all so I’ll pick out a few examples for each.

Connection

  • Link with people in NZ & around world with similar interests/global connection
  • Other teachers/educators have same vision for enhancing teaching/learning in their classrooms
  • Keep my thinking fresh by extending my prof. network & interacting with people I would not normally have the chance to connect with

Collaboration/Collegiality

  • Discussions, controversies, new thinking
  • Support when looking for new ideas
  • Coffee conversations with e-colleagues
  • 24/7 access to collaborators

Information

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Sharing tips and resources
  • Staying up-to-date
  • Keep in touch with what is happening in the outside world – especially important for people free-lancing
  • Creating wider audience for class blogs

Fun

  • Planning fun stuff like Flash Mob @ conference
  • Personal – friends & family
  • Sharing memorable and humorous events
  • Interest, curiosity, new things

Next I asked how Twitter helped professionally

  • Difficult to find funds to attend prof. dev. workshops – depend on Twitter & peers to learn and grow
  • Able to tear down the walls of my classroom & give my students a chance to connect with people around the world
  • Keeps me in touch with the outstanding role models in our (global) education system
  • Allowed us to restructure our classes to take advantage of Web 2.0
  • I’ve ‘stolen’ and used many ideas in the curriculum or own personal life; made friends; shared my own ideas; collaborated with others; reflected on my own practice and more
  • Has grown my PLN, challenged my thinking & ideas about education & specifically the impact of e-learning on pedagogy & student learning
  • First place I go to when I have a problem or need inspiration

I also asked them to make recommendations for people to follow — the top 5 people are listed below

  • @allanahk (13)
  • @teachernz (11)
  • @tombarrett (10)
  • @suewaters (8)
  • @wfryer (8)

Then I asked for “sage” advice for newbies.

  • Find strong people to follow
  • Make connections with people with similar interests
  • Enjoy the spirit of the community
  • Give yourself time to develop connections
  • Be eclectic in your mix of people you follow
  • Jump in & connect

And finally I asked for any last thoughts

  • Don’t worry if it takes a long time to ‘get’ – just about everyone says that
  • Visit the Blogger’s Cafes at conferences to meet up with people
  • 140 characters leads to tight, focussed writing/thinking
  • @dogtrax shared a poem he had written called “I dream in Twitter” – it’s worth listening to!

As you can see from this snippet there was a lot of information in the survey. It took me the better part of a weekend to pull this information out and put it into logical order (and work on my workshop presentation!)

I will write up my thoughts of what this all means in another post. I will also post a link to my finished slideshow (once I convert it to PPT from Keynote).

In the meantime the raw data is available here for people to look at. (Personal information removed) Please contact me if you want a downloadable version.

Thanks again to all who participated in this survey. You and your answers validated Twitter as an educational tool!

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