Tuesday, September 29, 2009

KnowledgeNET Conference 2009

I was lucky to attend the KnowledgeNET Conference - site for this is www.knconference.co.nz - in week 9 and had an opportunity to listen to 3 excellent keynote speakers: Mark Treadwell, Lester Flockton and Owen Alexander. Some of the things discussed were slightly controversial and definately the opinions of these individuals but I enjoyed listening to all of it immensely and certainly it got me thinking and talking with my colleagues which was very interesting.

At one workshop by Janet McCarroll and Jana Benson, from St. Mary's Catholic School, I was introduced to the powerful tool 'Jing' for formative assessment. Jing is free to download from: www.jingproject.com/ and you can record using a laptop camera or webcam or if you don't have one of these take a screenshot and then record using audio either on your laptop's microphone or an external mic. At St. Mary's they used it to record conversations between student and teacher to discuss the WALT and success criteria for the piece of work and discuss the achievement of this within the piece of work and then feedforward to the next piece of work. This was uploaded onto the school's KNET page and parents were able to comment. This formed the Term's e-Portfolio sample and was schoolwide. I think this was something that I would be keen to try and certainly take back to school to discuss with my colleagues.

I went to another great workshop by Amanda Grimsey from Cornwall Park School where they do not use any external web 2.0 tools they only use KnowledgeNET's tools which I thought was a very interesting concept! They don't use Blogger but instead blog within KNET which removes any problems with uploading student images and naming students within photos as everything is password protected. There isn't the potential for an audience outside their school community but it strengthens the school/home connection and involves parents and other family members in a totally transparent way. They raised the question - how important are the opinions of people we don't know and will never meet?! I am not sure what I think about that as there is the possibility of opening a dialogue with other schools through Blogger blogs which wouldn't be possible if you could only access these via passwords, still it's an option I was unaware of till now.

Sarah Ingram exelled again! She shared her ideas for e-Portfolios and Jing again featured. I find Sarah excellent! She did my training in-school several years ago on KNET and was professional and prepared and offered good ideas. I am very interested in investigating e-Portfolios after this Conference.

Julie Lynch and Lisa Keilman from Takapuna Normal Intermediate both ran great workshops on integrating KNET into the classroom and webquests. I was interested to see their use of MIMIO as well.

Excellent experience - I love PD! They even played live music and had a dance troupe perform in the lunch breaks. Very well organised Conference. I was a bit disappointed with the Trades display, I think the layout wasn't very condusive to encouraging interaction with the vendors.

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