All conferences now moved to over 20 roundtable and breakout session on a wide variety of topics.
My first roundtable was Neil Bramsen on the topic of STEM programs and 21st century learning (K-6). This session was very helpful and gave me so many ideas of project based learning to do at school. He talked about creating smart learning spaces with unique identities. Name rooms something new and creative, such as ‘The Hive’ What do you want the space to be? What do you want children to do in that space? These spaces need to be places of discovery, creativity, play, fun and learning.
Some of the great resources and projects he mentioned were:
- Teach Wild – authentic learning in the real world
- Birds in Back Yards – school yard survey
- Novel Engineering – studying a book and incorporating STEM activities
- The Tinkering Studio – including a cool vibrating cup activity
He said it was very important to reflect on the things we do, work out what we can do better next time.
My second roundtable was meant to be about robotic clubs, however, there were so many people around this table it was impossible to here the speakers so it would have been a waste of time staying there so I moved to a table chaired by Shahneila Saeed who was talking about coding in schools and good resources to use.
The third and final roundtable was on 3D worlds (Minecraft), the Oculus Rift virtual reality device and Raspberry Pi. We were shown these technologies and were told about some ways they could be utilised, but information was vague and examples were not specific enough to be truly useful. I did get to try on the Oculus Rift which was really cool.
The roundtables and breakouts were a good idea, however, some tables were so overpopulated it was impossible to hear the chairperson, which was unfortunate. As all sessions were in the main hall it was loud and busy so hard to concentrate as well.
Last order of business was a workshop with Dr Tim Bell from CS Unplugged.