Sunday, 21 October 2012

Flying high at #fol12

Tweeting away at the top RHS with @malynmawby Panoramic pic taken by the amazing @rolfek

If you are unsure what PLANE is, a simple click here will help you discover. Take a minute to register in order to hop on board. PLANE is an acronym for Pathways for Learning Anytime Anywhere - a network for educators. You will need to use one of the accounts below to log in.

For those of you that do not have an account such as Twitter or Facebook, perhaps use your Google account (or set one up if you do not have one). You can do so here: register a google account. If you have an Android device, you would have a google account.

PLANE is a valuable online resource available to K-12 educators in the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors.

PLANE's blog: Click here

Utilzing PLANE for PD at your school? Click here

Learning on Plane? Via "skill snacks" (QR codes, exploring sound in movie making amongst others)  "asking an expert", embarking on a quest, visiting "gateways" (portals to content eg History, virtual worlds, primary science) Plane programs and games (discovering through play)
As you can see, there is a journey available for everyone.

To stay true to the theme of PLANE,  it can be described as an abundance of travel agents working together to bring you a plethora of resources, ideas and avenues to travel further via online PD.  It also presents you with a ready made network of Australian educators to offer support both ways, connect with and collaborate with. Once you join (obtain your passport) and set up your profile (KLA, interests, specialties etc) PLANE suggests other travellers similar to you to "team up" with. The site is easy to navigate and the best advice is to explore. Take a look at the main coloured tabs at the top as a starting point. Gamification is built into your experience. As you explore you will obtain points and badges. Under My plane/my dashboard you will be able to view your achievements. (points and rewards). You have various missions on each level. Don't be concerned; you are rewarded by visiting pages or simply revisiting (frequent flyer). Easy. You start on the "entry level" make your way to the "hero level" and progress to the "wayfarer". There appears to be another level which I cannot see. Please add a comment in order to share with others if you know.

Trending on Twitter over Friday 19/10/12 and Saturday 21/10/12 was a hashtag called #fol12.   Tweeters were asking "What is #fol12?" Tweeple travelling on trains in Scotland were chiming in, to let us know how much they were enjoying the backchannel on their way to work. Others from USA thanked us for the awesome links.

So what was #fol12?  It was the backchannel to the Festival of Learning 2012 
(official Launch of PLANE).  See here for further info advertising the event.  

Created by @vivientuckerman

The beauty of PLANE is embedded in its engineering. "PLANE is managed by a consortium consisting of the NSW Department of Education and Communitiesthe Catholic Education Commission NSWthe Association of Independent Schools NSW and the Council of Deans of Education NSW together with industry partners Adobe and Microsoft." PLANE PROJECT

My introduction to PLANE came via Twitter and Edmodo. The PLANE concept was also presented at a #teachmeet I attended, calling for HAT (Highly accomplished teachers) to assist in the development of PLANE. I was keen to attend the Inaugural Launch and I thank my school for supporting my attendance.

Meeting and playing with inspired educators is invigorating. Taking time out of the schooling routine and environment is much needed "chicken soup" for the teachers soul!  I wish this opportunity for every educator once a term. Having a chance to soak up the conversations, challenging thoughts and ideas of others and having time to listen and ACT upon your learning is invaluable.  

The Festival of learning provided us with four themes.

Main takeaways/reflections?
  • Just as PLANE is a resource available anytime, anywhere one must remember that all educators are "on board" different flights. Educators are here and there!  Same have taken early flights, reached their destination and are keen to explore and keep travelling. On the other end of the spectrum, some "travellers" are still browsing in the travel agencies and flicking through travel brochures. And that is more than OK. What would their reaction be if they were either refused travel or access to an information session/consultation about travel? How would they react when other travellers say "Yep, already been there. It's great! Why haven't you been? Sorry, gotta dash to my next flight?" Now, imagine the opposite.  Extending opening hours, showing them travel photos and mementoes from your travels. Sharing your travelling experiences.  More likely to gain ones interest? Wet their appetite? I think so. We must remain positive and support those that wish to travel.
  •  Looking after yourself prior to travelling is another must. This philosophy is a well known one, but one we do not action enough! As educators, we need to be reminded to place that oxygen mask on ourselves before assisting others. Dan Haesler presented on well being. He is always engaging to listen to. It is worthwhile dipping into his blog here.
  • The introduction to Dr Jason Fox and Mark Treadwell. I hadn't heard of either of these two presenters previously and was delighted to absorb their reflections on education. Jason's work focuses on Motivation and Mark's on the science of learning. Two areas I have a keen interest in. More info here: The Paradigm shift: Mark Treadwell and Making clever happen: Dr Jason Fox The difference between INquiry and ENquiry here. I look forward to further reading of their works.
  • Adam Elliot (Oscar winner "Harvie Krumpet")  reminded us all of the importance of imagination and design through his engaging reflections regarding his early career. Dr Jason Fox's Doodle on Adam's keynote can be found here.
  • The persistent and binding message through most presentations, was the utilisation of DESIGN thinking and effort in the learning environment. Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein The pedagogical approach behind my own curriculum area (Design and Technology) is the design process.  Problem, options, sourcing solutions, creating, feedback and evaluation/reflection. A validation that students benefit from this approach and skill set. 
  • Digital technology must be as "invisible" as electricity. It is no longer a "new".  Technology is ANY tool, product or system that assists in achieving an objective. A pen or wheelbarrow could be deemed as technology. It makes our lives easier. To progress we must provide learning environments that challenge students thinking, ask more questions and not provide as many answers, listen more and talk less, don't accept, be open to curiosity, explore more, fail forward and negotiate.  
  • Team #spicejet rock!  Spice things up. Students, as well as teachers get bored of the same old same old. Our team for the conference was #spicejet -what an appropriate name!  See photo below of our team (the ones we could muster!) It was lovely to meet many new educators. Educators who are willing to say "I don't know; but boy, do I wanna learn!" Educators that are willing to take risks, to call out for help, to share resources, to support your learning as well as their own, educators who are personable and capable, persistent and innovative. Educators who say YOU matter. STUDENTS matter. Personal well being, resilience and navigation skills (research, collaborate, create) are worthy. Knowledge acquisition IS desirable but not the ONLY aspect of a child's schooling. 
#spicejet team

Jason Fox, the conference doodler provided an amazing and effective wrap up of the conference using his doodle images. Once he shares these I will provide a link here (do yourself a favour and take time to appreciate Jason's efforts) as they were such a wonderful visual way of capturing the main ideas presented. A shout out to my #bff from the apple (moi) to the banana (@dbatty1) Great flying with you!

GUIDEBOOK:  what an awesome app!  Loved this! Have a look here. Free to download and then search and select PLANE festival of learning. Below is a snap of the main page. The Twitter feed, my schedule and coloured dots (themes of the day) made for tip top organisation and communication. Like.
I used this on the Nexus 7 and it worked like a treat!

To play or "Have a go" is the simple key. 
Persistence and willingness to play further, keeps the door open.

Interested but not on social media? Contact the PLANE crew via

Other Blog posts on #fol12

Rolfe Kolbe @rolfek PLANE Festival of Learning
Malyn Mawby @malynmawby Festival of Learning day one
Malyn Mawby @malynmawby Festival of learning day two
Vivian Harris @vivianharris45 FOL12 Day 2 reflections
Tamara Rodgers @tamararodgers74 Halfway through the flight
Mike Weadon @mikewh Plane festival of learning 2012
Sunny South @sunnysouth12 I'm ready to fail but excited by the prospect
Summer Howarth @edusum Do it, Share it, lead it.
Viv Tuckerman @vivientuckerman #plane festival reflections
Henrietta Miller @henriettami PLANE- festival of learning

Other presentations and resources from #fol12

Tweet archive by Greg Swanson @gregdswanson
Dr Michelle Bruniges  How can I build (and sustain) effective professional learning communities?
The goodwork project
Kate Booth's Sim on a Stick Virtual world information
Leap 21 Pip Cleaves presentation @pipcleaves
Wallwisher "OK, could do better" from Dan Haesler's session
Story Engineering
Quest Atlantis
Top URL's generated on #fol12
Greg Thwaites @thw88z Apps for MUSIC
Online events following #fol12
Stages of a HERO'S journey
The SMART classroom (Queensland Government)
Vivienne Tuckerman's Slide rocket Global Classrooms presentation
Experiential Mobile learning with @jackiegerstein

This is one to watch. One and a half minutes of happiness shared by @danhaesler  Watching this kid brings a smile to your face.  Dedication, effort and commitment!

Keeping the conversation alive AND inviting you to fly high 2012!
(If you are on Instagram, join our learning journey @foodatoakhill and encourage your Food Technology department to create an account @foodat(insert school name here) A great way to link with others around the world! To borrow from Planes' driving message:
Do it, Share it, Lead it.
Kind regards @7mrsjames

Post conference resources/reflections:
See below for "vibes from #fol12" by @edusum


  1. This is such an outstanding reflection. I love how deeply you process every learning opportunity; it is such an inspiration and joy to be your friend and co-learner! FOL12 was a great event, and one of which I saw many great people put their hearts into creating. I appreciate this post so much, as a it crystalises my thoughts about PLANE, FOL and PD in Oz.

  2. Wow, what a fantastic round-up of the PLANE FOL. It's great to see you got so much out of it, it was an incredibly inspiring few days. I love how you finished your post with the video of the ukulele boy, it seems to sum up the spirit of the festival, a lot of laughter, people uninhibitedly trying to excel, fear of failure eclipsed by the joy of attempting something new, and just being out there.

  3. Hey Jeanette, looks like you've covered just about everything there was at FOL! You captured both the range and the spirit of the two days - choice, connections, learning and fun.

  4. Gee, thanks Summer! Love, love,love all the conversations we have. And what an awesome way to wind up the conference with drinks and dinner. Like my #ravoties post, writing a blog post helps me to reflect, clarify ideas and provide a resource for others #payitforward.

    Howdy Mark and Mike! Great of you to stop by, take the time to read my reflection and comment. Very good of you to do so. Thanks.

    Rolfe emailed me his comment as it wasn't appearing on the blog.Level up! Mission accomplished. :-)

    Thanks for your great record of a super event! It was certainly an excellent learning and sharing time. Thanks for collating a whole lot of resources as well an thanks for the call out as well. You are a champion. 
    Cheers Rolfe.

  5. I always love to read about excitement and energy in Term 4. So easy for people to get caught up with the host of 'business' that Term 4 brings, but to see it through your unbounded enthusiasm always sparks everyone else.

  6. Thanks Steve. First 2 weeks crazy this end, feel like I can breathe today! Next, assessment feedback and grading before reports. Can get tricky affording time to quality learning environments..that is the frustration and importance of a #pln!

    Thanks also to Greg @gregmiller68 who replied to this post here: I am enjoying following Greg's journey as school principal at Mater Dei Catholic College, Wagga Wagga (NSW, Australia) If you get a chance take a look at his most recent post