Well, I spoke at the futureEducation Conference this week, which was pretty interesting, and enjoyable too. The conference describes itself this way:

The symposium is an excellent opportunity to hear from leading international specialists about high quality education resources and their outcomes. This conference is feature packed and focusses on the pedagogical, economic and strategic value of Australian education and how it will shape the future of Australia as a highly skilled, globalised knowledge economy.

I think I was pretty much the only one from a school perspective so I was keen to strike a balance between the ‘big-picture’ needs, aspirations and work of teachers as a collective as well as the daily life of the digital resourcing in schools. Which was a challenge.

Anyway, it went quickly, the panel session was interesting afterwards and comments on the twitter stream were generally favourable (thankfully). Below, I’ve embedded my slides, which probably don’t make a lot of sense without the talk itself, which I don’t think was recorded. The ‘abstract’ of my talk was:

While schools and publishers are coming to grips with a changed paradigm and new possibilities for everything from libraries to textbooks, teachers are working with their students in the classrooms to create quality learning resources together.

I basically argued that teachers influence educational resourcing by ignoring offerings, by collaborating on what they find so that good resources ‘tweet their way to the top’ and by making their own resources, through a rang of (mostly) web tools. I was keen to emphasise the idea of the ‘classroom community’ or the Will Richardson idea that ‘networks are the new classrooms’.

Then, it was back to school to sit in on the planner meeting making sure the rooms for the parent-teacher-student conferences next year don’t clash and that reports can be uploaded in time. Such it is for anyone who works in schools.


I was invited recently to speak at a forthcoming publisher’s conference: futurEducation on a teacher’s perspective on the kinds of textbooks, resources and future needs students and teachers are going to have. In fifteen minutes. In two weeks.
Quite a tall order, and one that seems even more complex given some of the big picture ideas that the conference talks about unpacking such as:

What is the future of Australian education? What kind of high-quality educational resources will be required to underpin the Gonski reforms? As the mining boom winds down what needs to be invested in education for Australia to be at the forefront of the global knowledge economy? In a digitized world what economic and strategic value should we place on the production of high-quality education resources? How should we value teachers and pedagogical practice in Australia? How are these issues being addressed overseas — in Finland, South Korea and the Czech Republic?

Yes, quite. So, I spent most of today thinking about that, putting some slides together and thinking how I might respond. Even put out a call to help to Twitter (without any results) So much to say, but how do you frame all that. I’ll put the text of the talk up here some time afterwards, maybe the slides too.
Anyway, by 4pm I was pretty much fried and needed to clear my head with a good winter beach walk, complete with scudding clouds, clumps of dark rain and ruffled water and bright moments of sunshine, made briefer by the dark clouds already building up in the background. Perfect. I walked one of my favourite routes: along the beach in the wind, then turning up into the estuary, following the little creek inland in a big loop and home.