Monday, 22 July 2013

Explore Technology: #GREAT13 student conference

Earlier this month I was very pleased to give a keynote at the #GREAT13 student conference. The event was organised by 2nd year students of the Michigan State University's (MSU) MA in Educational Technology. One cohort of this programme is the Overseas Summer Cohort, which came to NUI Galway this year. The programme is aimed at primary and secondary teachers from all over the world, who come together to learn and to share their experiences, creating an international community.

The conference organisation, planning and implementation as a requirement for a Technology and Leadership course. Over just two weeks, the students have to act as a team to identify and invite keynote speakers, create a conference schedule, design a website, consider social media and conference promotion to the local community. Apart from the keynote speakers, the sessions themselves are prepared and delivered by the students, so they also have to put a lot of work into preparation and presentation. On the day, they are responsible for registration, technical support, delivering their own workshops, recording activities, opening and closing sessions. Wow - that's a lot of work.

In the run-up to the event, some of the activity was captured using Storify.

On the day, Dr Tony Hall (pictured) gave the opening keynote, describing some grand challenges for education; in particular looking at storytelling and narrative in education.

During the first parallel session I sat in on two workshops led by Emily Mullins, Jillian McSweeney, and Bobbi Jo Staley. The first of these, on Student E-Portfolios, was a comprehensive overview of the area, with some important considerations of issues and approaches. The second workshop, on Digital Citizenship, was particularly impressive in terms of approaches to teaching school children to be good digital citizens. Both workshops were well-prepared and contained plenty of useful information and resources.

I have to admit to skipping the third parallel session while I got ready for my own keynote. I spoke about some of the initiatives at NUIG involving the use of video to support teaching and learning. I really enjoyed the experience of speaking to an enthusiastic, experienced and informed group.

The highlights of the day were captured, again using Storify, through tweets, photos and video. The whole 2nd year MAET group is to be congratulated for the success that was GREAT13.

Finally, I'd like to thank Jess, Desi and Laura for their invitation to be part of this event. I look forward to connecting with you all in the future as part of my PLN.


Tilly said...

This is cool!

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