Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL)
October 23, 2017 14:42 Age: 31 days

uLearn 17 conference – CONNECT, COLLABORATE and INNOVATE

The uLearn conference is New Zealand’s premier educational conference organised by CORE education. Core education is a professional learning and development organisation based in Christchurch, New Zealand whose main aim is to transform education with effective products and services that stimulate and enable modern learning.  uLearn 17 hosted over 1000 participants and exhibitors over a 4 day period at the Claudelands event centre in Hamilton, Waikato. The three (3) overarching themes or tagline for the uLearn17 conference was CONNECT, COLLABORATE and INNOVATE.

The conference schedule consisted of a daily 2 hour keynote and 2 breakaway sessions/ workshops, after morning tea and lunch. uLearn17 was mainly attended by Academic teaching and Support staff from Early Childhood Education to Tertiary institutions, as well as exhibitors/ businesses that were there to showcase their educational products and services. There were participants from as far as the United Kingdom and Dubai (UAE).  This year, the University of the South Pacific was represented by Pita Tuisawau and Ralph Buadromo from the Centre of Flexible Learning. 

  • Day one (1) – was a preconference titled Changing spaces held at Rotutuna High School. The Keynote was delivered by Mark Osborne. The breakout sessions were on Interactive Learning Environments/ Spaces (ILE) and collaborative learning. There was also a tour of the Rotutuna Intermediate Schools’ learning and teaching spaces.
  • Day Two (2) – was the official opening and the conference Keynote was delivered by Eric Mazur from Harvard University, stressing the importance of the inversed/ flipped classroom concept. Other sessions included Instructional design by Open Polytech and eLearning through game based learning or gamification by Code Avengers.
  • Day Three (3) – the Keynote delivered by Brad Waid, an educational technology specialist from the USA. He emphasised the importance of Technology, Relationships, Collaboration, learning and our environment (ILE) and the coined RULE concept. Breakout sessions included improving writing using digital stories and discovering LEARNZ by engaging students through virtual field trips. The day ended with an Opsshop themed gala Dinner in the evening.
  • Day Four (4) – the Keynote address was delivered by Ann Milne a former principal of Kia Aroha College and Public speaker on Maori Education. Her Keynote emphasised the importance of contextualizing learning and removing pre-existing stereotypes of our Pacific Island learners. Breakouts included converting text based workbooks to an online platform and developing oral language and interactions through digital technologies. The conference concluded with a guided tour of the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set in Hinuera, Matamata.

The Keynotes and breakout sessions (Infographic and Video) can be accessed at the following link: http://core-ed.org/events/ulearn/ulearn-resources/