Reflection of ECAWA 2011

Recently I had the honour to co-present with Mr Trevor Galbraith at the Educational Computing Association of Western Australia’s state conference (ECAWA). This was my first time presenting at ECAWA and it a very diverse audience of individuals representing all sectors and levels of ICT competency. I would like to add my thanks to the committee that ran the event for the two days, I know personally, how much work it takes to run events that cater to such a wide audience.

Keynote Speakers – Thursday and Friday

Jarrod Robinson –  Physical Education Teacher from country Victoria, Australia. http://thepegeek.com/

It is not often that you hear of someone from the Health and Physical Education studies discipline being a leader in ICT but I had the pleasure on the first day of listening to a keynote from Mr Jarrod Robinson. What stuck me about Jarrod’s presentation was that so often when I present now I am always providing the theory of how ICT should be done and often forget to reflect on the simple, yet truly innovative ways that disciplines can do that make real differences in the lives of our Students. Jarrod reminded me of this fact as she showcased his journey from a ICT literate PE teacher through to a change agent at his tiny school in Victoria.

His website, linked above, is a must read for any Department Head of Health and Physical Education, as it gives the blue print for how staff in these departments can engage students in a world we often don’t see technology integrating into easily. Was was truly humbling, perhaps the main point, was the way that he had achieved what he did on, well, no budget at all. One bookable iPad…. Making a difference with second hand mobile phones donated from parents…. and his own money for app creation is really what make his story something to listen too.

I strongly recommend that everyone have a read of his website. Great resources and a great story.

Tony Brandenburg Educational Advocacy –

For me, Tony highlighted some very citical and troubling issues. It was almost a State of the Union address and a call to action! T&E or ICT specifically is approaching a cross roads when looking at all the different curriculum pressures coming into play with National Curriculum. The fact that we need to have a united voice when dealing with the consultation process and not simply sit back and then complain once it has arrived is a key point that I have been aware of for some time now, but today, the call to action was presented and obligations accepted. The message of, control only what you can and work with changing policy with one voice at a national level was highlighted. Accept that their are things that you cannot change and work with them in ways to be constructive and finally stand up and be counted were all messages to be heard.

Thoughts from the two days…

Was was very clear to me after presenting a session on my journey and my experiences that it is more than ever critical to share as much as I can to help others. This notion of hoarding information and processes is something that we as teachers need to stop. We say we are good at sharing, well I think we are terrible at it, we ask our students to collaborate, when we cannot even do so ourselves. I guess I reaffirmed that commitment over the past two days to help others and to continue to put my efforts into helping all schools and teachers with ICT.

Secondly, I think that Jarrod’s presentation said it all. Teachers, you don’t have to be the boss to make change happen. You are the change agents, simply little things make a difference and students will vote with their feet and give you satisfaction individually. Sure, it is easier when you have leadership supporting you, but those at the conference, you already know that you are probably the ICT leader in the school so now its time to lead, even without the title.

Lastly, I pay tribute to the wisdom at the conference but also acknowledge the serious lack of young staff attending the conference. I worry that without more support the future looks bleak. So reflecting when writing this I will do my part and help to promote and voice the importance of our discipline at a local and national level.

One Response to “Reflection of ECAWA 2011”

  1. Mrrobbo 6 November 2011 2:40 am
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    Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed ecawa as I certainly did. I look forward to following your blog