CORE Education eFellow and self-confessed ‘educamp groupie’ Anne Kenneally shares her experience of educampchch, which she travelled up from Dunedin to attend. EducampNZ is a user-generated ‘unconference’ focused on e-learning and education.
The journey towards educampchch began way back in 2011 at the inaugural educampdunners. Pauline Henderson travelled down from Christchurch and as we shared the day we dreamt of a time when Christchurch could celebrate. Again Pauline travelled to Dunedin for the second educamp and the dream became a real possibility! We spend a weekend planning together in Christchurch and the dream became a reality!
The 23rd of June dawned and we gathered at Burnside High School – an AMAZING venue. We gathered from across the sectors, across New Zealand, on a Saturday on the penultimate week of term 2. From the outset the MAGIC of the educamp phenomena was evident.
The MAGIC began as we welcomed people to their first educamp, as well as reconnecting with those who are self confessed “educamp groupies…”. A highlight in particular was celebrating the MAGIC of the inaugural educampchch, as we shared in the resilience of the amazing Canterbury educators. Participants gathered from afar (Auckland, Wellington, Reefton, Timaru, Dunedin, Darfield, Springston and in and around the Christchurch area) to share their learning expertise.
Like other educamps, educampchch was participant driven, with educampers having the opportunity to discuss current successes, challenges, motivations and ideas, as well as having individual choice over the discussion groups they joined. The willingness of people to engage and share; sharing, not only of skills, tools and knowledge but practical discussion around how to enhance learning opportunities is what makes the educamp experience in particular so MAGICAL. The collaboration between primary and secondary further enriched this experience; having so much wisdom in one room was all thanks to the people—he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
Specific successes of the day were the SMACKDOWN, with a wonderful smorgasbord of innovative tools and sites, with an opportunity to see how we might use them to cause learning to happen; discussions around the concept of BYOD (or BYOB—bring your own browser, as it is becoming known). With the wisdom in the room, and around New Zealand with contributions from those following the Twitter hashtag for the day, it was possible to share successes and challenges and to look to the future, sharing policies, links, and opportunities to hand the learning over to the learners, and encourage ubiquity of learning.
The sharing around Daily5 and CAFÉ was enriched with the expertise of Judy McKenzie and Amanda Signal. Their experience not only encouraged and motivated others, it has set up a collaboration that is only possible when online meetings, become face to face meetings and the learning is transformed.
A designated Secondary School session allowed time for specific sharing in this area, while discussions across the sectors throughout the day allowed for a developing understanding and collaboration which is part of the educamp phenomena. Opportunities for sharing favourite iPad and iPod apps, were extended into sharing of favourite accessories of the day: iRig Mic, iRig recorder, iPad cleaning cloths. Another MAGIC opportunity in the day was hearing about the GCSN, and really celebrating the resilience and innovation of educators in the greater Canterbury area. As educators celebrate the ‘recharge’ and ‘motivation’ of educamps, they return to their workplaces determined to continued the collaboration and networking that is made possible on the day!
A HUGE thank you to Pauline, Burnside High School, and all who attended this AMAZING event and are committed to continue contact and collaboration.
What was the MAGIC in the day for you?
Emma Potter is the Marketing and Communications Officer at CORE Education. She started with CORE following her university education, where much of her study was focused on news and the news media.
Latest posts by Emma Potter (see all)
- ULearn12 reflections - October 18, 2012
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- Another chapter in the story of educamps…The MAGIC of educampchch - July 11, 2012