Keeping up with the digital

art-2-aToday’s school leaders and teachers are at the same time in an unenviable, yet exciting space.

Unenviable, because of the enormous pressures impacting on schools, and exciting, because there has never been a better time than now to push the boundaries of learning.

One of the biggest factors conspiring to mount the pressure, is the explosive growth of digital technology and the expectation that it will be used in schools to leverage teaching and learning.

Some may say that you can get away without delving too much into teaching with digital technology, but along with many others, we say you can’t!

Teaching and learning not facilitated by digital technology, is no longer an option.

Digital technology embedded in teaching and learning as a matter of course, is what most schools aspire to because they are aware of the opportunities this aspiration brings, including a better chance to: personalise learning; foster student autonomy and voice; encourage doing, creating and making; use large data sets to understand learners; imagine new ways of assessing and learning; move the classroom from a teacher-centric space to student-centric; join networks and collaborate; make global connections; and cater to a world of diverse learners.

Even though school leaders and teachers understand the benefits of digital technology, it is another matter to find the time and the money to keep upskilled. Many all over the country are “having a go” to keep up. They see it as their professional responsibility to do so.

With so many professional development opportunities available, making a choice about “the right PD for me” can be overwhelming.

art-2-bOne of the top choices among many, is the Leading a Digital School Conference.

This conference is designed to address several key features of a quality professional development opportunity.

PD with focus, cohesion, depth and integrity

Focus, cohesion, depth and integrity have been at the forefront in the design of this conference. The conference program hangs together. The mega themes of the conference have been chosen because they are among the key trends in digital technology that many schools are currently exploring. A smorgasbord selection of sessions has given way to themed selections with BYOT sessions available on day one of the conference, Flipping Learning sessions available on day two and on day three, these two mega themes are tied together from the perspective of asking the key question “and how do we change now?”

Expert input-keynote speakers

Keynote speakers have been chosen for their expertise in the three mega themes and their ability to motivate and inspire. Jill Hobson brings her skills and experience in instructional technology to share the way in which BYOT has been introduced to schools and school systems in the USA. Researcher Mal Lee and long-time learner Martin Levins, explore the global adoption of BYOT and the phases schools move through in the adoption of digital technology.

One of the pioneers in the flipped learning movement, Jon Bergmann, explains what it means to flip a class by asking the simple question “what is your best use of your face-to-face class time?” The answers are far from simple and lead to many different ways to engage in flipped learning. Phill Stubbs continues the discussion by offering a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by the phenomenon that is flipped learning.

Reflection and discussion around the old chestnut yet crucial issue of “leading and managing change” is led by Lee Watanabe Crockett and Will Richardson. Lee provides an account of the mindsets, heart states and processes required to deal with a world that is chaotic and Will makes sense of the explosion of devices and connections that are changing the landscape of education and learning.

Expert input-passionate school leaders and teachers

The conference program is full of enlightening school and classroom case studies that passionate school leaders and teachers have generously agreed to share with their colleagues. Whether delegates are interested in BYOT programs, Flipping classrooms and even the whole school, or implementing significant Change programs, what better way is there for them to move forward with their initiatives than to listen to, discuss and network with their peers – gaining expert advice from those who have already experienced the benefits and pitfalls? These practical, real experience interactions will allow delegates to walk away with the ammunition to make up their own mind and to move forward with what has the best chance of working for them in their classrooms, their school and their school community.

Unique opportunities to network

By adding a strong networking component to this face to face conference a responsive, cutting edge event has been created that cannot be achieved through online networking alone. Networking lounges are provided where delegates can sit comfortably in a relaxed environment to discuss with their colleagues the issues which are most important to them right now. Time is precious and investment in a conference such as this is great. So when delegates attend, they can expect to make the most of their investment targeting those with whom they would like to share experiences and learn new things. There is no better way to learn than this!

When delegates register for the conference they will get access to the conference networking portal during term three. Through the networking portal they create their own networking opportunities including: networking with delegates with like interests and in like positions; creating meetings with and sending messages to other delegates; and networking with any delegate or vendor they choose.

 The intimate nature of the well-designed Crown Conference Centre space offers plenary and breakout rooms, catering and exhibition areas in close proximity to each other. Out of a crowd of 300 to 350 delegates if delegates wish to meet somebody who is at the conference they will find them and secure a comfortable space to have a chat.

There are also opportunities to have dinner in a small group with Jon Bergmann (flipped learning expert) and/or Lee Crockett (inspirational thinker). Leave the dinner not only having experienced delicious cuisine but also stimulated by the conversations that intimate dinners of this nature offer.

A little bit of history

Since 2007, at the Leading a Digital School Conference, thousands of school leaders and classroom teachers have enjoyed the networking, the ideas generation, the inspiration and the practical advice for delivering great educational digital technology initiatives in their schools. The conference name signifies the exciting work being undertaken by school leaders and influential passionate classroom teachers who are leading their schools and classrooms in a disruptive digital world supported by educational digital technology.

Learn more

To learn more about the Leading a Digital School Conference which will be held at the Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne on 20, 21 and 22 August 2015, and to register, go to:


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