Ma te tokomaha ka ka te ahi
(By the hands of many the fire will be kept burning)
On Saturday, 27 February, WellyED held its second annual educamp. This is an ‘unconference’ style event – a truly democratic professional learning experience whereby the people in the room on the day determine the sessions, which are discussion-based, rather than being led by a ‘talking head’ at the front of the room.
What WellyED offered educators was a fire place, somewhere to come together to spark a light, to stoke up the embers, and to keep those brushfires of innovation alight. We were very proud to see a good mix of primary and secondary teachers, as well as educational researchers, educational friends, and overseas educators present. A dynamic mix leads to rich and robust conversations.
We wanted to encourage playing with ideas, to suggest educational innovations, so that we might transform practice for the betterment of Kiwi kids. We aimed to set the scene for all of this right from the get go with our “pimp yo’ name tag” station in the registration room.
We also had a Makerspace running the whole day, offering parallel sessions. There were student learners working in the space too, working in Scratch, nutting out game designs, and generally tinkering and having fun.
The Smackdown set the tone for the day, with its quick-fire approach to ideas, tips and tricks. A number of sessions directly arose from what was showcased in the Smackdown. You can see the slides here, and they are also embedded on the educampwelly page.
From a tsunami of post-it notes, the sessions were timetabled. The themes of playing, innovating and transforming were clearly reflected in how the day shaped up.
Everything from playing with ideas (design thinking and the very popular Socratic Smackdown), to discussing learning through play, to wondering about how we might transform education and innovate our practice by considering curriculum integration, or (and?) game design, was on offer.
Here’s Becka Nathan leading the way in one of the Socratic Smackdown sessions:
But, most of all, it’s just heart-warming to see over 80 educators dedicated, professional and curious enough to be prepared to offer up much of a Saturday to their own learning. Thank you to you all. Thank you to the organisers. Thank you to the sponsors.
See you all again next year!
(But stay tuned for our next event, an EduIgnite at Pukerua Bay School on 12 May.)
A number of amazing, dedicated bloggers have written about their experiences at educampwelly already. So, in case you don’t believe us about how fabulous it was, check out their first-hand experiences…
- I’m sorry if my idealism offends you…
- #Educampwelly Ideas and Adventures
- 2016 Educamp Reflections, Actions
- Take your PLD into your own hands
- Wonderful Weekend
- Breaking down the walls