Monday, May 11, 2009

Unconference 09

The Unconference held on Saturday May 9 at Pt England School has shown us again what a great opportunity these kinds of events are for educators to come together for high quality professional development at no cost (other than giving up a Saturday at a very busy time of the year). Thanks to the organisation of Fiona Grant and the ACES committee the day ran very smoothly and the NEN trial's wireless solution at Pt England was given a thorough workout by the attendees and proved it's mettle.
The day began with a couple of rounds of Speed Geeking to provide a bit of greet-and-meet, and also to get a feel for what people were wanting from the day. Peter Hall from Summerland School set the tone for the day with a challenging presentation about honesty and transparency in our classrooms and from there people found their own levels of interaction with a variety of venues to gather in and share. Fiona reminded us about modelling what we teach our students in terms of acknowledging sources, and reminded us of both the power and the importance of hyperlinking.
A particular feature of this unconference was the number of 'newbies' who had braved the event and so a series of workshops were set up to help them get some specific skills sorted while the serious geeks screen shared and networked in other places.
One of the interesting quotes of the day, "Why would you pay to attend a conference when you can attend an event of this quality for free?"

Thanks to Fiona and Russell for the photos. And to Joel, Russell and Phil for the technical support on the day. And particular thanks to Chrissie, the coffee cart lady from Car-puccino, who parked her mobile Cafe outside the school and kept us injected with caffeine!
*Update* Adding a link here to a wiki created by Sonya with extensive notes and links from what she learned at this event. She shared this on Twitter.


  1. Brilliant- sounds like you all had a great day out.

    #may was pretty busy on Twitter.


  2. Thanks for your kind linkage, and for an incredible day. Pt England was just the place for it. A coffee cart and wireless is all teachers really need when the chips are down! :)
    Today my kids watched the great blogging slideshow you shared in your blogging set and we've really started to make changes to our focus for the year.
    Thanks too for the opportunity to present as you sorted through the post it notes. I had a blast!

  3. Nice write up of Unconference a perfect description of the day. Loved the coffee chick too.
    Lovin the photos display - using what web 2.0 app please - ch'n would love that!

  4. @Allanah It was a great day - a pity you didn't have the Vid Conf bridge as Russell had that working crisp and clear - next time.
    @Pedro and @Cheesy -Chrissie from Carpuccino was a master stroke I thought myself :)
    You are not going to be happy to hear that the Photos ain't no Web app. They are a nifty little programme I bought from a company called Aquafadas. The programme is called BannerZest and has a whole range of widget like things you can make for your webpages and blogs. I host mine in my .Mac account to embed in the cluster blogs and web pages.
    They are a real helpful crew too - anytime I get stuck I just fire off an email and they get back within 12 hrs (I think they are in France). Mac only too I think...