On reflection, the EduTECH conference taught me my thinking is right. It let me know I was one of many thinking this way about 21 century learning and teaching. I am more able to contribute having had an EduTECH conference experience.
I met different people; had good and not-so-good conversations; and told a story or two myself. These interactions are the highlight from my two days at EduTECH17, Sydney.
I was a speaker. An exciting and trepidatious role. I spoke about 21 century learning and teaching practice in the vocational education sector and about new generations of Learning Management System. Enough delegates chose my sessions to make me feel I had something worth sharing.
Apart from the two moments I was on stage I folded into the crowd of 8,500 delegates. While my sessions initiated some great conversations, meeting and insights, just as much was gained from observing others’ sessions and speaking with sales people in the trade display area.
Overwhelmingly it was not the toys that were being sold, or the research completed that piqued my interest. It was the discussion of why the tools, toys and research was applied; what drives us to develop and inquire; what drives us to apply technology solutions to education.
It seems educators are using design for learning to connect learning theory with learner experiences. Yes, they have an interest in research at one end of the spectrum, and an interest in the ‘toys’ at the other. But, for many educators the focus is working with design for learning in their real-world situation: teaching practice, teaching spaces, digital platforms digital tools.
I am an advocate for design for learning to be informed by research and expectations, and for design for learning to underpin technology choices and use. The EduTECH17 conference taught me that I am part of the majority thinking.
I saw and heard many things, but what I learned was that my thinking is on task. I would be equally happy if I had learned my thinking should change. When bringing this approach to conferences 10 out of 10 would conference again.