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Ways of Working

K12 Online Conference Presentation 2009


The K12 Online Conference is an annual professional development event for educators. It is run in a virtual space, with a combination of pre-recorded and live events released onto the web over a 2 week period. It is visited by educators from all over the world.

This presentation explores a range of ideas that teachers could use to make a real-world task richer and more meaningful for their students. Using a large public art event as the focus, it looks at a number of ideas for enriching student learning with technology that could be modified and applied to nearly any context.

Resources and links mentioned in this presentation

Research Tools for collecting information on a topic

RSS Aggregators

Phone Tools

Digital Storytelling and Media Tools

Virtual Worlds

If you find other relevant links and resources, by all means add them! This wiki is public and open for editing.

A bit of trivia about the making of this presentation

  • When I put the submission into K12Online this year, it contained the basic idea for this presentation, but I had no idea of the specifics. The concept of using Sculpture by the Sea as the core theme for the presentation came to me as I was driving to see it on the opening weekend.
  • All the live action footage for this presentation was shot on my iPhone 3G S. The screencasts were made using Screenflow. It was editing entirely in iMovie 09.
  • I ended up visiting the exhibition three times over a two week period. The first time I was there we shot enough footage for the Teaser video (below) and a few scene shots that we used later in the real video.
  • Some of the tools and techniques mentioned in the video were learned during the creation of the presentation (which actually took about 6 weeks to make, on and off) There were technology changes and updates that happening over that time, and some of the things I mentioned did not exist when I started making the video! That's an example of the sort of thing we mean when we say "we are preparing students for a future that does not yet exist".
  • Because of a tweet I made about the Layar app, I got to meet @nambor, the creator of the BuildAr project and the web designer of the Sculpture by the Sea website. I ended up having a 2 hour conversation with him and others one afternoon in the park at Bondi, where he showed me all sorts of new cool AR technology just over the horizon, as well as a great chat about technology in society in general.
  • Because I was in the right place at the right time, I got interviewed for Radio 2SER's science show by Ian Woolf about how schools were making use of some of the AR technology and the potential for the use of AR projects in education.
  • I interviewed at least a dozen teachers taking kids on field trips at the site, asking them about the sorts of projects they would be doing back in the classroom. Many of their ideas and suggestions helped shape this presentation.
  • One of the random teachers I met on the site told me that he reads my blog all the time. :-) Small world.
  • The finished full-res video file was about 300Mb, but the folder of resources, photos, raw footage and planning files was just over 3Gb!
  • I had fun making it, and probably learned more than anyone who watches it!

Excerpt from a post about this project on Betchablog

As so often happens, the intention of what I wanted to do was quickly drowned out by the time and resources I actually had to make it happen, so the presentation morphed into what you see above. It’s not exactly what I’d planned, but I’m still pretty happy with it… it still looks at most of the things I wanted to include, but just not in the way I’d originally envisioned.
It was an interesting experience to hang all this stuff off a single focus point, in this case the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition that takes place in Sydney each October/November. I particularly liked the idea of using SxS as the core for the presentation because I know of quite a few schools that do actually use it as the basis for a thematic unit of work for their students so I know that it really does have a “real world” use in education. I was also quite fascinated with the way that social media and web technologies have infiltrated and expanded the event over the last few years, and I think it offers a great example of how the web and the real world can collide in a good way. I also liked the notion that the use of technology in schools can (and should!) be used to support real live physical events, and that technology really can be used to enrich a real world experience. And finally, because K12 Online is such an international event, I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a bit of Sydney, this beautiful city in which I feel so lucky to live.

Oh and this was the Teaser video I made to promote it in the leadup to K12 Online