Top 5 Takeaways from 21CLHK11

1. The Maker Revolution is real.

Over the past few years, the emergence of Makerspaces in schools has become more and more prevalent. Early adopters had rooms kitted out with 3D printers, laser cutters etc. which sounds amazing but where does it all fit into the curriculum? I attended a number sessions over the few days that discussed the integration of this idea into a more simple, albeit kid friendly and teacher attainable idea. The Maker Culture, as it was referred to, is much more than 3D printing and robotics, it is a process of design, creativity, inquiry and student-centred learning that doesn’t necessarily need a dedicated space or even a large budget. I saw many examples of Maker Culture being integrated into all areas of the curriculum, enriching the learning experience and empowering students authenticity towards their learning. The Maker culture is real, and I love what it is doing for education - how will you embrace the maker culture?

Stu Lowe -   Isabella Liu -   Jane Ross - Dave Lee - 

2. Leadership Matters.

As education is a now a global industry superpower more than ever before there are many elements that make up our schools of 2019. We are impacted by social, political and economic pressures that are driving change in seemingly unchartered territory. As educators and leaders, we are under pressure to make change and move with the times. Andy Hargreaves’ keynote regarding Collaborative Professionalism stated the need for collaboration and the need for leadership, particularly ‘leadership from beneath’. How are teachers assisting their leaders in creating a sense of community, a sense of improved leadership? So, what are you doing to lead from within, even if you don’t ‘hold’ a position of leadership? How are you making the highest version of self? (Jess Kuemmerlin)

3. Wellbeing is more important than ever.

Student wellbeing is no new concept. As educators, we are implicitly teaching and modelling behaviours every day without even knowing. There is a need more than ever with the increase of social media, our students are able to access and portray their emotions anywhere anytime. The Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School have taken an approach to focus on positive character strengths in order for their students to flourish. Their model of learn, live, teach, embed is engrained in their school culture of wellbeing and positivity. How do you explicitly teach, learn, live and embed positivity into your learning environment?

4. PLNs continue to grow.

‘Hey, I think I follow you on twitter’ was a common phrase I came across throughout the conference. In a globally connected world, it is hard to not to be connected with other educators. My personal Professional Learning Network (PLN) seemly grows on a daily basis (digitally) but is well-established when you meet these people in person. You automatically feel connected and supported by them and feel comfortable in reaching out far beyond the timeframe of the conference. How well extensive is your PLN? Do you utilise it? I personally do many times a week and think it is one of the best ways to learn and grow as an educator in 2019. Except try to avoid any awkward moments of ‘you don’t follow me back’…. by hitting ‘follow back’ next time ;) - click on these guys for some inspiration!

5. The future is unknown...

This goes without saying, the best we can do now as educators is to prepare our students the way best we know how.