25 August 2007

Future Teaching Today

Last week over 180 teachers from Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lismore gathered at St Augustine’s Primary School in Coffs Harbour for a ground breaking conference on interactivity in the classroom.

Dr Anne Wenham, Director of Catholic Schools believes, “This conference is the first of its kind and a great testament to the existing skill base in our school. This technology has enormous potential to improve classroom learning and student engagement. We are proud of our staff and feel that these changes will gather momentum.”

The conference used the skills of over 20 teachers employed in local Catholic schools plus two invited keynote speakers, Dr Renata Phelps (Southern Cross University) and Judy O’Connell (Parramatta CEO) both known for their expertise in this area.

Conducted over two days and using classrooms with students present, this conference took on a very different approach to usual professional gatherings. Teachers participated in a variety of workshops on movie making, using Google in classrooms, Learning Objects, school intranet sites, Flash presentations, data projectors, podcasting and how to set up and use blogs and wikis. The classroom focus involved SMART, Promethean and Interwrite boards.

A wiki has been set up for follow up comments and ideas. Evaluations of the two days were extremely positive. Many teachers commented that this was the best professional development they had received. Already teachers are asking about next year’s conference. We would recommend this model of professional development to other school systems. If you are interested in more specific details of the conference please do not hesitate to contact us.

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