Highlights of the Partnership for Global Learning Conference included the following:-
The Plenary sessions
- Unashamedly biased, of course, our “Technology – the Future of Learning” panel discussion was the highlight and my very reason for being in New York. The panel consisted of Steve Hargadon, Lucy Gray, Julie Lindsay, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano and me (Anne Mirtschin). Steve, Julie and Lucy with their social networking or global project sites have all played a key and instrumental role in the progress that both I and my students have made with global education. How amazing to be on the very same panel with them and spend time getting to know them further on a personal basis. I have also followed Sylvia’s work and used many of her freely given online materials.
- The Friday morning plenary with Liu Jinghai, Shool Leader, Shanghai China and Manogaran Suppiah, Executive Director, Academy of Singapore Teachers. These two trailblazing leaders have implemented reforms at their respective Ministries and Departments of Education. What I loved most was the fact that it brought in Asian educators (to a Global Asia conference) to the conference mix. Liu Jinghai required an interpreter. But far from this being a distractor it added further depth to the conversation and real meaning to global education. Different customs were also apparent eg when the audience applauded, the Chinese eduationalist would bow to the conference participants with palms facing inwards and upwards with head bowed in respect to the audience. So much was learnt from that panel
- Thursday morning plenary speaker, Marica Tate on “Worksheets don’t grow dendrites”, sharing instructional strategies for brain-compatible teaching.
The Student Work Display and Cocktail Reception – a display of student art work that related to the four domains of global competence. A student musical group entertained us with innovative and beat bopping pieces.
There were well thought out displays and pens for participants to add their ideas to the “Student Voice” poster. iPad screens nestled on tables scattered across the conference foyer displaying student work, voice and images.
All participants had full control over which sessions and workshops they wished to attend. Despite there being 500 participants, no-one was blocked out of sessional choice. I attended the following: Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon on Create Global Learning Networks, Julie Lindsay on the Flat Classrooms Projects, Take Your Classroom Global with Online Tools and Resources with Sarah and Kate Gatto, Use Digital Portfolios to Guide the Global Learning Journey with Honor Moorman
Full use was made of conference time. Each day started with breakfast at either at 8am and a keynote speaker spoke during part of this time. Lunch was also accompanied by plenary session.
The venue: The location was most attractive – New York city is popular with everyone. The conference rooms were large, roomy and plentiful with extra spaces for networking and conversations. It was easy to navigate. The hotel was within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge – a nice energetic walk, in the heat, with views across to Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. A short distance from the hotel was the City Hall and Brooklyn Courts of Justice, with many restaurants within easy reach. Brooklyn has much character and with the full ethnic mix of inhabitants offers a vast array of food types, shops, restaurants and markets and food carts.
Finally the networking – another great group of teachers and educationalists to meet and network with further. Congratulations to the conference organizers on a very successful conference. Thanks for the care and kindness shown to me and letting me be part of this network.
If you attended this conference what were your takeaways? What conferences have you enjoyed and why?
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