21CLHK Conference Reflection

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When we implement a new technology in the classroom, there are many questions we should think about. Will the tech help in pursuing the learning goals? Does it allow students to extend their learning beyond your lesson? What new skills do the students engage with?  And how can we find the answers to these questions? Dr. John Nash’s keynote at The 7th Annual 21st Century Learning Conference (21CLHK) helped answer those questions as well as contribute to theme of the conference with, ”Be a searcher,” and “don’t get ready, get started.”

This year’s 21CLHK, held this past December 13th at the Hong Kong Convention Center for the second year, continued its aim to promote the technological role in primary and secondary education as well as inspire a deeper pedagogical research in academia. Educators, from all walks of the technological spectrum, were delighted to be provided with a two days of inspired ideas and practical takeaways that can be shared with our faculties and implemented in our school.

The conference featured other inspirational keynote speakers, such as Dr. Judy Willis who spoke about “How to Strengthen Students Executive Functions” by neuro-logical classroom strategies. She revealed that concept understanding, creative problem solving, collaborating and communicating are the skills set that the employers most valued. She suggested that educators should teach students about their executive functions. And to fuel interest, she suggested that prediction curiosity and building cognitive flexibility are the strategies that can advance students’ achievement and development of their executive functions. 6                                                      @art_cathyhunt

Prof. Angela McFarlane added, “Effective teachers use technology effectively.” When we design a lesson that using technology, it’s not about what tool we use, it’s about how we use it. In Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR & TPCK session, his presentation explained how to use technology effectively. This is a hands-on and interactive session where we formed groups and built a SAMR ladder associated with different apps applied to the tasks. It’s important for us to think if the tech can allow for more creative and reflective task redesign and establish more ambitious learning goals for the students. TPCK framework and the Edtech quintet included: Social, Mobility, Visualization, Storytelling, and Gaming which are also useful when designing a lesson that leverage mobile and laptop technologies.1


Different schools shared many innovative practices @ #21clhk, for example, Creative iPad Classroom,  used social media in the classroom, gamifying education and etc. This year, two representatives from our Renaissance College, Ms. Dianne McKenzie and Mr. Jorgen Mortensen contributed engaging presentations. Ms. McKenzie, our primary school librarian, shared her  ‘Dovetailing Diigo with Easybib,’ while Mr. Mortensen, a primary tech coach, specializing in film, shared his video production techniques respectively. You can find more ideas and thoughts from these collected tweets of #21clhk as well as some of these presentations.

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