Saturday, 9 August 2014

EdchatNZ Conference Update 7

#edchatnz Conference Updates
Update 7
Take your online sharing face to face
Join the #edchatnz Google+ community.

Theme: To connect and empower all educators, especially #edchatnz
Date: August 8 and 9
Venue: Hobsonville Point Secondary School
Address: 70 Hobsonville Point Road, Hobsonville Point, Auckland 0818

What an amazing couple of days.

The steering committee has pulled together the #edchatnz conference in 18 weeks. Yes, you read correctly: 18 weeks. Our first official minutes were dated 3/04/2014.

As our group debriefed last night we know we had a meeting a fortnight before that date.
So technically we pulled it off in 20 weeks.

In 20 weeks seven educators from around New Zealand planned the #edchatnz conference virtually. We used Google Hangout and Google apps for education.

Our meetings ran for 30 minutes only and took place half an hour before the fortnightly #edchatNZ chats on Twitter.

We met for a total of nine 30 minute sessions.  Therefore we planned a national conference for just over 300 people in 4 and half hours. Really? No, it just seems that way when we track our virtual meetings. However when the minutes are read, it can be seen that each passing fortnight identifies the huge amount of work involved in between meetings.

Talk about collaboration. Here we have a group of dedicated educators who had made connections using the #edchatNZ hashtag. Together we worked collaboratively pooling our strengths and skills to bring in Kiwi educators from around New Zealand to meet each other face to face. The conference was the first time we met face to face as a committee.

Together we observed and were part of a group of full time working, passionate teachers lead by a ‘lone nut.’ We all have our own responsibilities within our own schools but we knew instinctively that this was an important education milestone that would change how teachers traditionally see conferences.

One educator has asked how we could possibly run a conference of this quality at a mere $20.00 per teacher? That answer is down to support. We wanted a conference that was attainable by most budgets. We also knew that most of the educators coming would be funding their own travel, registration and other costs. If you were one of those educators we also know that your schools would be funding a day’s relief for you. We knew that could be a challenge so again we had support for some of you. We wanted to bring all sectors together and again, through support, this was taken care of.
Through our personal contacts our guest presenters gave their time freely to share with the rest of the education community. With the time it takes to put a presentation together we wanted to thank them in a small way and again we had support for that.
Through our personal contacts we managed to get support with the food which is one of the biggest expenses when running a conference. In addition our delegates were given the choice of bringing a cut lunch or being catered for. The venue is another huge expense when running a conference but again we had support with that.

A conference is only as good as the swag you get. We did not have a conference bag. However we did ensure that you leave with a small personalised memento and yes we had support for that too. As educators we know how much we spend on our own professional learning. Therefore we wanted to bring you value for money, an opportunity to meet your personal learning network face to face, and a heap of memories through which you can rewind through the massive amount of #edchatNZ highlights.

Now that ‘lone nut’ is already onto her next mission. So if you want to be a part an #edchatNZ conference again, we do ask that you fill in the evaluation form.

We also want you to set a goal. Make it public by adding it to our #edchatnzselfie doc and tweet it out.
Add your reflection to our listly reflections and tweet that out too.


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