WellyED Connects

In this series of blogposts, we’ll explore some of the other opportunities for you out there to connect with like-minded educators. In this post, meet the #BFC630NZ, written by one of its keen participants, Belinda Whyte.

If you have found yourself on twitter in the last year and a half, you may have stumbled across #BFC630NZ and wondered what it is. Then, upon discovering that it is a group of educators who are up at 6:30am talking teaching, you may have thought…what?! They’re up when?! Why would they do that to themselves?

Well, let me tell you why…

#BFC630NZ are the people you go to when you are needing inspiration. They’re the people you chat with when you feel like you’re the lone nut where you are. They’re the people who challenge your thinking, pushing you out of that rut you were in. They’re also the people who celebrate your successes with you and laugh at your attempt at memes.

In other words they are an online tribe. A virtual whanau.

Many is the time that myself or someone else in this tribe has spoken of how #BFC630NZ has kept them going through the tough stuff. Teaching can be hard at times and it’s good to know that someone is there for you who walks the walk as well as talking the talk. #BFC630NZ has come to mean more than just a twitter chat to many.

It is a “when you need, when you can” group, so there is no expectation to be there on time, although, most chats are over by around 6:50am. It can be good to scroll through the feed afterwards to see what ideas have come up. If it’s been a particularly juicy chat, it will often be storifyed and put up on the blog for #BFC630NZ.

Ideas come hard and fast in this group. It’s amazing sometimes – you don’t realise how much you know or feel about something until you get asked a question on it. The beauty of the chat is the one question limit. At that time in the morning, more than one would probably just be unfair! It means you can fit in what you want to say around making coffee, waking kids and eating toast.

There are many regular #WellyED contributors who participate. So, if you find yourself feeling like you need a boost, come join the #BFC630NZ crew for a natter. 6:30am NZT every weekday, Term time. I’ll probably see you there!

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WellyED Connects

In this series of blogposts, we’ll explore some of the other opportunities for you out there to connect with like-minded educators. In this post, meet the Connected Learning Advisory, written by one of its advisers, Philippa Nicoll Antipas.

If you aren’t acquainted with the Connected Learning Advisory (CLA), and you work in a state or state-integrated school or kura who has digital technologies, then consider yourself introduced!

The CLA is a free, Ministry of Education-funded service. It can help you to integrate and embed digital technologies for learning. Basically, if it can be linked to the e-Learning Planning Framework, then it’s in the scope of the CLA. Teaching and learning, infrastructure, strategic planning and learning, community engagement, professional learning – so many possibilities the CLA can help you with in your school.

And they’re not only reactive to queries from schools, they’re also proactive: writing resources, like this awesome checklist for going BYOD, or this strategic planning roadmap, running webinars, like this one coming up in Term 3 on supporting teachers with digital change, or even running free professional learning workshops – they will be in the Taranaki in August.

There’s a whole team behind the CLA with diverse expertise just waiting to help. And they’re all former teachers, so they actually understand where you’re coming from. Check them out when you next need a hand!

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WellyED Connects

In this series of blogposts, we’ll explore some of the other opportunities for you out there to connect with like-minded educators. Next up, edchatNZ, written by one of its moderators and conference organisers, Philippa Nicoll Antipas.

I’m hoping that many of you are already aware of edchatNZ and its fortnightly Twitter chats on Thursdays 8:30pm. After all, in many respects, edchatNZ is the parent organisation of WellyED. It was being connected nationally on this platform that sparked the desire to be connected locally as well, giving rise to WellyED over 18 months ago.

But did you know that there’s to be an edchatNZ conference in August?! Registrations are open now and tickets are a mere $30 – yes – $30!

In 2014, edchatNZ hosted its inaugural conference at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. It was spectacular. We pushed the boundaries by offering a low-cost, high-quality conference. With a registration fee of a mere $20, and over 300 participants, edchatNZ made its mark as a battle cry for the “lone nuts” of the world.

This year we’re back to do it again. This time, we’re setting the bar even higher with low-cost and high-quality as simply a given. We’ll be in Hamilton at the brand new Rototuna Junior High School in August for an eco-friendly event that disrupts conventional conference practice. Less sit and get, more think and do. Educators will find their tribe and be inspired to think deeper, inquire harder, and to challenge their assumptions.

If you’re unfamiliar with edchatNZ, let us say this by way of an introduction: Founded in 2012, edchatNZ is a unique community that has been primarily based online, using Twitter to connect New Zealand educators. It aims to build a collective of supportive, inspirational educators who collaborate and share for the good of the students in front of them – whoever and wherever they may be. And the community is flourishing: the fortnightly Twitter chats regularly trend on Twitter New Zealand.

edchatNZ’s aim is to empower New Zealand educators. We believe that quality  conversations are the key to a transformative conference experience. Therefore at the heart of the conference will be our “learning tribes”. Conference attendees will be grouped in tribes and guided by a tribe mentor. This will ensure that every single participant will have the opportunity to make personal connections and to be pushed in their thinking.

So, what are you waiting for? The conference will be an amazing experience, a learning challenge, and a chance to connect and collaborate. See you there!

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WellyED Connects

In this series of blogposts, we’ll explore some of the other opportunities for you out there to connect with like-minded educators. First up, Pond written by the lovely (and uber-connected) Leanne Stubbing.

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Sometimes you have to be the first to dive in. In a small pond you won’t find much and your ripple maybe me more of a splash or you may only just wet your toes. That is what it was like to be a Pioneer Educator in the Network for Learning (N4L) Pond. It was a completely new space to collaborate in and the temperature hadn’t quite reached bath tub for me.
 
Fast forward two years and that Pond is a bit bigger, a lot warmer and full of things to discover. I have rediscovered the Pond and I’m swimming around hoping others will join me.
 
So what is the Pond? The Pond is a professional space to share resources, lesson plans and ideas around teaching. The Pond is not Facebook, or Twitter, or like any other social media, which I’m pleased about. It is also only for New Zealand educators. The Pond is there to use as you choose so I am going to outline how I use it:
 
1) I have added the chrome extension for Pond onto my browser so whenever there is a news article or webpage that I think “aha! that would be good for <insert learning objective here>” I add it to the Pond and to one of my buckets.
 
2) I have set up some buckets within the Pond to collate resources in so I can find them easily myself and direct my colleagues to them too.
 
3) Users outside the Pond can use the Pond still as a search engine. I use a special hashtag on my buckets that I want my students to be able to find. They simply put in our class hashtag and the buckets pop up.
 
4) I search within the Pond and find stuff to add to my buckets.
 
I really like it because it makes my searching and collating purposeful. I can easily find things I’ve saved and alert others to it. My wish however would be for more educators to contribute to it. Why should we hold on to our precious lesson plans, web links and resources? To build a Community of Practice we must be willing to share.
 
So my challenge for you this week is to take a risk, dive in, the water’s good!
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Pizza and Pizzazz at Pukerua

Thank you to everyone who came along to Eduignite at Pukerua Bay School last week.  Despite the cold outside, the group was warm, enthusiastic, vocal and ready to spark!

A recap of talks:

  • Tara Taylor-Jorgensen got things going but reflecting on her leadership as Principal by using the principles of theatresports.
  • Tony Cairns compared good professional development (P.D) to not so good P.D (Periodic Detention) and summed up his experiences.
  • Urs Cunningham is challenging binary thinking, yes it can be this AND that!
  • Vaughan shared with us his “Lead the Dream” project to bring teachers together.
  • Jolene Butson showed us how she teaches Financial Literacy to her students by utilising the Banqer app to create a classroom currency.
  • Andrew Wooster introduced us to the joys of fishing (even taking time at the end of his talk to show us his favourite lures) and linked this to how we learn from others that inspire us and how they hook us in.
  • Paula Hay was able to give us her highlights of the recent EdTechAU conference she just got back from. Reflecting that we are doing some awesome stuff here in NZ that we should be proud of.
  • Rachel Bolstad and Dan Milward have created and developed Curriculum for the Future, a game that gets people discussing the future of education. They went through the process of how they conceptualised and iterated their game to it’s current form.
  • Matt Johnston got a couple of (larger than expected) truckloads of pallets delivered to the school grounds for some lunchtime making which turned into a large hands on building project that expanded to students designing furniture for a MLE.
  • Leanne Stubbing has been changing the culture of her maths classroom, moving from competition to collaboration, and seeing huge changes in the way that students engage with maths.

Huge thanks also to our sponsor Papa Rossi’s in Paraparaumu for the delicious pizzas that fed our tums while we fed our minds.

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EduIgnite Term 2

This term’s EduIgnite evening is being hosted at Pukerua Bay School on Thursday 2nd of June.
For those who have never been to an EduIgnite evening before it is a great chance to hear what other teachers are up to to in their classrooms and what ideas they may be pondering. Each presenter has 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 secs allowing for a succinct 5 minute “buzz” of an idea. That means you get to hear from a range of people across a range of ideas.
The first time you come to this event there is no pressure to present. Just come and absorb the goodness. The idea is that next time you will bring a friend or present your own ideas, contributing back into your professional network.
As with all our good events this one is FREE. Join us for drinks and nibbles from 6pm for a starting time of 6.30pm. Sign up here.
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Dream School Dreaming

Inspired by the EDBlogNZ March challenge, we’d like to invite you to dream with us…

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