"I like to approach every day like it's the only day I will ever have."
- Attributed to Gene Simmons
Disclosure: My attendance at FutureSchools 2017 is under a media pass provided by the organisers.
FutureSchools is shifting to a new home for the 2017 iteration. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will be hosting educators from across Australia in a setting vastly different to that of Australian Technology Park where previous FutureSchools events have been held. I am looking forward to attending, not least because I genuinely enjoy being in Melbourne, but it will be a chance to see FutureSchools from another perspective.
Time is running out to register your place in one of the six masterclasses or the five conference streams. If you are not sure which conference stream is right for you, then keep reading. if you have not yet booked your place, include a Gala Dinner ticket in your registration and use code BTS150 by 11:59pm on Friday 10th February to receive $150 off which effectively makes the Gala Dinner ticket is free.
The Future Leaders conference is focused on looking at the future of teaching and learning through examination of current global trends and developments in school education, including changes to the: schooling system; society; behaviour; pedagogy; curriculum; technology; professional learning; and learning spaces. This conference will include the plenary keynotes from Dr. Milton Chen, Jan Owen AM and Prakash Nair as well as case-studies and presentations from current education leaders and teachers. To read more about the Future Leaders conference, click here. I am hoping to hear Michael Ha's session which will focus on taking the professional and student learning opportunities that arise from technology.
The Teaching Kids to Code conference is focused on teaching students to code through professional development for teachers around the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum. This conference stream will explore the challenges of teaching students to code and why we should be teaching students to code as well as provide a forum for collaboration in driving STEM, computational thinking and coding beyond the classroom. This conference will include the plenary keynotes from Dr. Milton Chen, Jan Owen AM and Prakash Nair as well as case-studies and presentations from educators currently utilising coding as part of their pedagogical practice. To read more about the Teaching Kids to Code stream, please click here. I would particularly like to hear the panel session focusing on the national digital technologies rollout and the opportunities and trouble areas that have arisen thus far for integrating the curriculum.
My usual FutureSchools home, the ClassTech conference has a broad agenda which focuses on how to use various technologies and technology-based pedagogical practices in the classroom. I've written extensively over the last two years from the ClassTech conference stream and this year looks to be as good as ever. This conference will include the plenary keynotes from Dr. Milton Chen, Jan Owen AM and Prakash Nair as well as case-studies and presentations from educators currently utilising coding as part of their pedagogical practice. As I am currently working in a team-teaching context, I a particularly looking forward to hearing Sally Wood and Simone Segat speak about how team teaching can enhance digital technology learning. I have heard Joel Speranza speak about using videographic feedback previously and can also recommend his session with cnofidence. To read more about the ClassTech conference, please click here.
The Special Needs and Inclusion Conference (SNIC) is aimed at presenting practices that are working for educators around the country when it comes to integrating and support students with difficult backgrounds or who have learning disorders and disabilities such as auditory processing, Autism Spectrum Disorders, behavioural issues, dyslexia, as well as those students whom are identified as being gifted or talented. The focus is to provide innovative, proven and practical ideas that can be implemented in your classroom within existing frameworks and taking advantage of special needs technologies. Delegates will also hear the plenary keynotes from Dr. Milton Chen, Jan Owen AM and Prakash Nair. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Karina Barley speak about creating a space in which an autistic student can feel secure and engage with their learning.
I am actually looking forward to a number of the sessions on the Young Learners agenda this year. I have to admit that in previous years I have not looked at the agenda as I have been teaching upper primary, however, this year I have shifted to Stage One and so it has become rather relevant. This conference stream is focused on examining how Early Years through to Stage One teachers can tap into digital technologies to provide new and enhanced learning opportunities, with practical sessions allowing delegates to get hands on and confident with various tools. This session does include the plenary keynotes from Dr. Milton Chen, Jan Owen AM and Prakash Nair. As a new parent, I am particularly interested in hearing from Dr Kristy Goodwin who will be addressing the impact of digital immersion on a child's physical development, health and well-being, and learning and how this can redefine not just the role of educators, but the approach.
There are also six Masterclasses to choose form, however, I will publish a separate overview of those early next week. I look forward to meeting some of my readers at FutureSchools 2017 and remember to register before 11:59pm Friday 9 February to take advantage of the BTS150 giving $150 off the registration price when a Gala Dinner ticket is included.