I was lucky to attend L@S this year - super PD for all. I enjoyed att my workshops and attended a variety of thinking and school-wide issue related workshops as opposed to techkie ones like last time (2008) I went to L@S. Highs were definately the ePortfolios breakout facilitated by Nick Rate (http://nickrate.com/ which is the 389th most popular blog in NZ) and included Belinda Johnston from Elm Park School (http://belindajjohnston.blogspot.com/ ), Jamin Lietze from Bethlethem College (http://lietze.org/ ), Deb Cowan from Russell Street School, Chrissy Butlet from BLENZ and Sharon from Rotorua Girls High School Childcare Trust. It was AMAZING seeing videos of an 18 month old accessing his ePortfolio blog with support! Jamin shared a neat presentation tool - check it out at http://prezi.com/ . As a parent of preschool children I was impressed by the way that ePortfolios invite parents into the classroom through photos, videos, audio and words. I can see the huge potential for opening conversations with young children and involving parents in the learning process. All children seemed to have a sound understanding of where they were and where to next and were empowered by this. I am very keen to trial ePortfolios.
ePals - www.ePals.com/ this is a social network for K-12 students in over 200 countries around the globe. Ideal for putting together collaborative projects, finding emailing buddies etc.
weebly - www.weebly.com/ very cool and much more professional looking alternative to www.wikispaces.com/
Super Clubs Plus - A very exciting initiative being introduced in NZ this year to teach children to be cybersafe. Current research shows that even when children know what cybersafety is e.g you don't give out your full name online they will still make risky choices and they respond well between the ages of 7-10 years to being able to practise cybersafe behaviour. This allows them to participate in forums, email etc but only with other children. Teachers are allowed to be members and teacher aides but noone else and all interactions are monitored by mediators. These mediators are generally ex-teachers. Research shows after 3-4 months of using Super Clubs that risky behaviours drop off. Has been very successful in Australia and UK. Possibility of being funded by MOE or subsidised. Supported by Telstra Clear this year. They are looking for schools to trial this. URL is - http://www.superclubsplus.com.au/
Pam Hook and Julie Mills SOLO assessment rubrics was another high - We are looking at getting some school-wide PD in SOLO this year which is very exciting.
Life-long learner educational waffle or achievable goal - this workshop by Trevor Bond really got me thinking and questioning. Very interesting to attend a workshop mainly populated by Principals. Lots of discussion in this session which was different but good!
Also enjoyed the keynotes - took away the idea that students should be working just as hard as teachers, don't underestimate, Alan November did a skype keynote and showed his desktop via skype so he could model things for us!!! Very cool - desperate to know how to do this if anyone knows and can teach me?!!!