Over the last two days in Dunedin we have held our annual Kidz @ Conference. This is the third year this event has been running and we seem to have ironed out a lot of the kinks. One of the aims for this year was to make sure that the students' work made it online, the last two years this has been a bit of a mission but this year I think we cracked it!
The theme for this year was "I have a dream". Students attended four sessions through out the two day conference learning how to use various technologies: I Can Animate, Garage Band, Lego Robotics, Beebots, digital photography, movie making, green screen, Google Sketchup, Scratch and Wikispaces. And making new friends across the various schools attending. The key to the conference is collaboration, communication and technology.
The Kidz @ Conference is a remarkable two day event for those students lucky enough to attend. There are only places for 100 students (year 5 or 6) and teachers can attend with the students to sit in on the sessions as professional development. The buzz of excitement is contagious. On the first day the students arrive and are given their conference packs and a t-shirt. They then file into the lecture theatre at the University of Otago College of Education where the conference is held. One student was heard to exclaim:
Wow! Look at the seats!Every part of the conference is an event for the students. After rifling through their packs they were entertained by some very cool dudes from the John McGlashan School band .
These young men from the band then spent the day at the conference running sessions called "Jam with the band". Students could learn how to play their instruments and have their jam session recorded. These sessions can be found on the wiki.
The theme of this year's conference was apt. The Kidz @ Conference has been a dream of the organisers for a very long time and was realised in spectacular fashion this year. A big thank you and well done goes to all the session facilitators and conference organisers who come from schools and education institutions around Dunedin and volunteer their time for free to put on this event. It is a privilege to be involved and I look forward to next year's event.