Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Power of Learning from Peers at #educampchch

Hello blog! Remember me? Its been far too long! Time for us to get reacquainted......

I have come to the startling revelation that I have more drafts and unpublished posts in this blog than I do published posts. Eeeek. So one of my many summer goals is to remedy that!

So I'm going to start working towards my goal of recording my thoughts more with a post reflecting on the amazing learning fest that was #educampchch.

On Saturday 22 November, teachers from all over Canterbury met at St Margaret's College in Christchurch to learn from, encourage and support each other. The unconference was initiated by the wonderfully passionate and generous Pauline Henderson with support from the very talented Allana Taylor from Springston School.

Like all good professional learning events, we began with caffeine, sugar and networking! It is always so great to put faces to twitter handles! I was excited to meet Shaun Wood, @mrwoodnz, who I had not realised was now based in Christchurch- what a win for Chch kids! It was also great to meet educators I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting including Stephen, Jared, Surin, Ruth, Carolyn and Blake as well as catching up with lots and lots of educators who I have previously had the pleasure of meeting and being inspired by. Christchurch is full of fabulous educators who are passionate about teaching and learning and strive to better themselves for the sake of their learners.

After we were suitably "caffeined up"  the Smackdown got underway. Well, it would be more accurate to say that Part 1 of the Smackdown got underway for this smackdown was the mother lode of smackdowns, unlike any Smackdown I have seen before (How many times can I use the word Smackdown in one sentence?) Each slide was presented with enthusiasm and passion and there were questions and comments and it was a big and beautiful thing. There was definitely something for everyone!

This was followed by a selection of workshops including Scratch, blogging, using twitter in the classroom, filming lessons and other gems. My teaching partner, Maker guru, Liz Fairhall led a workshop on using Makey Makeys to teach about circuitry and problem solving amongst other things and this workshop was very successful and loads of fun. It really highlighted how much fun hands-on and discovery learning is for everyone, children and adults.

Liz shares movies of our girls at Selwyn House discussing their Makey Makey creations.  
Blake, Stephen, Ruth and Gerard are very engaged in experimenting with Makey Makeys. 

Educampchch was followed up with more revelry at Brigitte's. All in all it was great day for learning, connecting and feeling refreshed at this exhausting time of year. Educamps are such a fantastic way to learn from our peers and I now find myself wondering if we could have an educamp in my classroom.........perhaps without such vast quantities of coffee!


  1. Hi Bridget,
    What a great post. I followed #educampchch from afar - the first I have ever missed! It sure was an amazing SMACKDOWN! I think it would be MAGIC to have a class educamp.... Keep me posted if you go ahead with this fab idea!
    Anne K

  2. Hi Bridget, it was great meeting you too, one of the perks of Educamps. I too have many draft blog ideas that I tend to forget about, but I'll be looking forward to reading your new posts over the holidays :-) Sorry to disappoint the Christchurch kids as I have just accept a job in Rotorua for 2015.