ACEC 2014


I’m just back from the Australian Computers in Education conference. At this time of year I usually attend ACEL, but when Julie Lindsay invited me to co-present a workshop on global competence and social change with her, I jumped at the chance. We presented much the same workshop that we presented at ISTE in July, although with 90 minutes rather than 60, Julie was able to extend her ideas on social entrepreneurship and I was able to model the use of a global thinking routine with participants. The feedback from the people in our workshop was very positive.

I particularly enjoyed Henrietta Miller’s workshop on revolutionising homework with student blogging. It directly fed into my thinking about the power of blogging over traditional essays, authentic audience, and the ease of feedback. Anthony Speranza presented a polished workshop on e-portfolios and I liked how he focused on process as well as product. Both Henrietta and Anthony’s work ties in nicely to my interest in promoting Reggio-inspired approaches in high school.

Stephen McGinley presented an interesting session on leading technology with pedagogy. The focus on strategic planning was helpful and I’m going to see if we can Skype him in to our professional learning forum sometime next year.

Greg Gebhardt presented thought-provoking ideas about wearable technology (like smart watches) and the internet of things.

It was good to catch up with Nick Jackson and see his work with Student Digital Leaders in action. The students were active throughout the conference videoing, photographing, and often asking direct questions that we wouldn’t dare. One asked Alec Couros what his keynote on social media had to do with education! I’m going to try to get Nick to my school next year to talk to some teachers and our Student ThinkTank, as well as ICT and Library staff to see if there are synergies we can build on.

As always, it was nice to meet people face-to-face that I had only previously met via Twitter. ACEC had a very different feel to ACEL. It was smaller, more intimate, and more innovative. I would love to see a combined ACEL/ACEC hybrid conference. It is at the intersection of usual ways of thinking that innovation occurs. Both conferences have their pluses and minuses. As usual, I question the whole concept of sitting and being spoken at for long periods of time, but now I’m left itching to get back to school and start making more things happen, and that’s surely what it’s all about.


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