Last Saturday a few of us from N4L’s Wellington-based team had the pleasure to attend EducampWelly at Karori Normal School (with huge thanks to Rebekah Nathan and the teachers of the Kereru block for letting us invade your space) along with nearly 100 other individuals interested in education.

20160227_093545A great warm welcome came from Conrad Kelly, Principal of Karori Normal School.

Tim Kong, Carolyn Stuart and myself attending the event which was organised by the volunteer members of WellyED, and led by the ever amazing Philippa Nicoll-Antipas and her team of positive and dedicated people.

If you have not heard about an Educamp before, an Educamp is an unconference that is educator-organised and led, and the direction and content is decided on the day by the participants. There is no set agenda or break-out, but teachers share their current ideas, questions, tips, tricks or practice in a “smackdown”.  All participants were given the option to add to the smackdown slides, and on the day were given one minute to talk to each slide.

There was some great variety and enthusiasm shared from gamification in education (e.g.  curriculum for the future), apps currently being used in classrooms (e.g. Seesaw, Banqer), local organisations and events (ie, CLA, MENZA local music events, TEDx Wellington) and some great glimpses of life in other classes (ie, Socratic Seminars).

20160304_144959The day started off with a great ice-breaker activity of “pimp your nametag” where every attendee had the opportunity to express themselves through their nametag. Spot prizes were presented for originality and colourfulness.

Once the program was set, Tim and myself had the pleasure of tag teaming a session about Pond covering what has changed recently and showcasing some of the ways individuals are currently using it to help their teaching and learning.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating in a great discussion about Learning Through Play and hearing about school, classes and teachers journeys and future plans.  

Next was a session about Design Thinking led by Philippa Antipas (@akeenreader) from CORE (also organiser extraordinaire for the day). I found this session clarified a number of misconceptions from the participants and I certainly learned some more about Design Thinking (although I still have a long way to go to complete understanding!).  

For the last session of the day I found myself around a table having a fascinating discussion about “my dream school.”  What do you consider most important about a school? How would you design a school curriculum? Why?  

The end of the day wrapped up with a late lunch (which we are stoked to have been able to sponsor on behalf of N4L) and even more conversations and connections being made.

If you have never made it to an Educamp, I strongly recommend it. Check out the EduCampNZ Wiki page for info on when there is an Educamp event happening near you and get involved – for a few hours of your weekend, you can come away feeling energised, invigorated and inspired to try new things!

Other awesome blogs about the day:

More info about Educamps