With the 11th Learning@School Conference planned for February 23-25 2011 the question needs to be asked….
Do schools get what they need from a conference experience?
There is no doubt that education conferences such as Learning @School and Ulearn provide a wealth of professional learning opportunity, but the degree to which conferences and workshops result in changed practice in the classroom is difficult to gauge. Ideas are swapped and generated, and stories are shared that have impact upon teachers’ knowledge and thinking during the conference itself, but where does this lead post-conference?
Many schools sometimes fall short of getting optimum return from staff attendance.
Professor Helen Timperley from the University of Auckland states:
“Teachers engaging in professional learning experiences must have some idea of what the desired outcomes are, otherwise their engagement is not likely to make a difference to their students’ learning”
(Teacher professional learning& Development Educational Practices series 2008 IAE)
Conferences offer a wealth of opportunity
Conferences offer many benefits including:
- Hearing a range of perspectives on global and local issues affecting New Zealand Education delivered by prominent speakers i.e. keynote and spotlight presenters.
- Access to workshops that showcase new ideas, tools, and resources most commonly used by NZ teachers.
- Exposure to the latest resources and tools necessary to actively participate in changing needs of students showcased in the conference exhibition.
- Opportunities to engage in and, directly contribute to the future of New Zealand education by sharing ideas with others through presentation and other discussion opportunities.
- And last but not least, an environment which encourages networking, and exchanging ideas with fellow educators from around New Zealand.
Learning@School and ULearn conferences provide in excess of 700 workshops focusing on current and future trends in educational theory and practice delivered by both international and local educators. Networking opportunities with 1200-2000 educators across all sectors of education, access to over 70 companies exhibiting resources and tools specifically focused on the education market.
So what is a more planned approach, and how can schools optimise their attendance?
Start by asking three simple questions…
- What do I want to achieve from attending this conference?
- What outcomes will result from my attendance?
- What is my planned approach?
To help you get the most from attending Learning@School or Ulearn go to the Conference Planning Template
Got your own suggestions to share?
We’d love to hear your views, suggestions, and comments. Please leave them below!
- Learning@School, Rotorua: 23-25 Feb 2011
- ULearn11, Christchurch: 17-21 October 2011
Sherry Chrisp co-ordinates educational events for CORE, as well as developing the programmes for the ULearn and Learning@School conferences. A creative thinker and implementer, Sherry thrives when working as part of a cohesive team to deliver quality projects.
Latest posts by Sherry Chrisp (see all)
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