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2014 ACCE Study tour October 15, 2013

Posted by Tony in Uncategorized.
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  Join Aussie educators for a 16 day edTech study tour to the USA 

  • network with Australian and international teachers and edTech leaders
  • visit ICT enhanced learning environments
  • tour ICT corporations
  • enjoy VIP privileges at the 2014 ISTE conference

San Jose San Francisco New York City Atlanta San Jose San Francisco New York City Atlanta 

Typically the ACCE Study Tour will have site visits or briefings at a series of ICT corporations. While not all sites will be visited in 2014, we will select from those we’ve seen across 2009-2013 (Promethean, Adobe, HP, Intel, Google, Cisco, Oracle, and Apple). As well as this tour’s focus on the gamification of education, the 2014 tour will include visits to institutions which enhance teacher training and professional development through the explicit use of ICT. We’ll also delight in the opportunity for some professional play time at technology museums in San Jose, San Francisco and Manhattan and enjoy some quality face to face time with leading ICT educators from the USA.

The ACCE Study Tour package includes your registration at the ISTE 2014 Conference. With over 18 000 conference participants, ACCE Study Tourers truly appreciate the privileges afforded us, especially the VIP seating at all keynote presentations and study tour group meetings with ISTE Board Members and North American ICT industry leaders. Of course, the invitations to attend conference receptions provide us with further international networking opportunities.

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Oh .. so wrong! October 14, 2013

Posted by Tony in Education comment, Education Notes, Uncategorized.
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My dad drilled into us as kids –  if you don’t have something positive to say in a conversation, think of something!  He didn’t mean don’t have your own opinions, or don’t argue or don’t participate in a conversation, but he did mean at least find something positive to comment on, as there is always something good to be found.  I do wish our national papers had listened to my dad.

I was horrified by what was written in a major Australian newspaper about digital resources designed to support  English  in the Australian Curriculum.  It was the tone and the implications (and it was so uninformed!).

“STUDENTS will create an artwork from trash, play the logo quiz, study car and perfume ads, and watch YouTube videos in their high school English class under lesson plans produced for teachers by the national English teacher organisations.”

I thought the Primary English Teaching Association responded well.

(My dad, on principle, would find so much good in the Australian Curriculum ….)

I do think teachers should visit the site.  A visit by someone who knows what happens in a classroom will see how wrong the journalist was. Check out the site –  E4AC

Also while browsing have a look at these sites:  Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, The Arts. as they are fantastic examples of digital resources that are appearing to support the new curriculum.

I am starting to think I should put our national education journos in the same category as I have Collingwood Football Club supporters; but then again, that might be doing a dis-service to those black and white fanatics.

Australian Professional Teacher Associations October 12, 2013

Posted by Tony in Education comment, Education Notes, ICT in education, Uncategorized.
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I had the great fortune to attend the Qsite conference recently in Queensland.  I enjoyed the two days and learnt a great deal.  I did, though, have a conversation that has made me think, so I thought I would share it and see how oz-teachers respond.

My experience went like this …. “Tony, you are President of ACCE (the Australian Council for Computers in Education), you must be worried about the number of IT conferences next year, in an ACCE conference year, as that would be how you are relevant and make money for the association!”

So my thoughts …. Yes, it does worry me, as there does seem to be conferences appearing everywhere, as they are are perceived (rightfully or wrongly) as money makers.  There are a number of private operators who run conferences as a business, good luck to them, if they can make a profit.

What I really think, though, is that ACCE (and in turn, many of the other professional associations in Australia) are much more than a conference and are very relevant for many reasons.  The conference, in ACCE’s case, is a time when Australian Educators meet and celebrate what has happened in the past two years from a variety of perspectives.  Yes they listen to keynotes, they go to workshops, they present referred and non referred papers, but what they also do is they network and celebrate achievements and are connected to all that is happening.

For example, in the past 18 months, ACCE (acce.edu.au) has had three representatives working with ACARA on the Australian curriculum – digital technologies, one representative working with AITSL on a teacher focus group, has launched a $30,000 grant program to support the resourcing of the digital technologies curriculum, lead a successful study tour to the ISTE in the US, worked with Google, Oracle and Promethean, supported the oz-teacher community with a grant to help maintain its hardware,  initiated the Monday night online professional learning network (ACCELN) for Australian teachers, held a national conference in Perth and released a number of journals, including a new online version.  These things aside, ACCE has also maintained its normal work load of supporting the state and territory associations and giving them the opportunity to share ideas and resources, it has worked with the ACS (The Australian Computer Society)  on a number of initiatives and recently been involved with the Group X initiatives.

Yes the conference, ACEC2014, is really important, and yes, it does make ACCE money, but not a great deal!   And importantly, ACCE seeds what profit it does make, directly back into the Australian Digital Technologies community; but there is still something more that the original Qsite questions has made me think about and has lead me to ….

…. Australian Professional Teacher Associations, not just ACCE,  are important as they give teachers an opportunity to share across state boarders, they allow teachers to have a focused input into national initiatives and a chance to influence national policy; and I think they give teachers an opportunity to belong and be supported, outside the jurisdictional structures.  In fact, i think they provide an opportunity to belong!

So my answer ….. Australian Professional Teacher Associations are as relevant today as they have been in the past and they have an important part to play in our Australian education community because they do a great deal.

See you in Adelaide next year and you can tell me what you think … 🙂