As usually happens at these Innovative Teachers Forums, Stuart and I arrive with big plans to blog every day and become so caught up in the event, the workshops, and checking out the work of teachers from all over the world, that we never end up with enough time to write. Stuart has been Tweeting (look for him at innovativeteach on Twitter) and we promise to post a full report in the coming weeks, but for now, I’ll give you a quick run-down on what we’ve been up to so far.
On Tuesday, we arrived at our venue early to help our teachers set up their Virtual Classroom Tours. The venue is worth noting, as it’s the famous Hofburg palace in the centre of the city. The grand ballroom in which the event is being held is only 50 metres from the Austrian President’s office in the same building, and has been host to presidents, prime ministers, movie stars, and other global dignitaries since its construction. You can get an idea of the grandeur of the space in this photo of our own Stuart, presenting on stage.
We heard some amazing keynotes on Tuesday afternoon, including one from Austrian education consultant Franz Kuehmayer on the Future of Education, which I will definitely blog about next week.
The UK has had quite a presence at this event so far; most of Wednesday was dedicated to an interactive Enquiring Minds workshop given by Futurelab representatives Sarah Payton and Lizbeth Goodman. (I wrote about Enquiring Minds in January HERE.) Stuart’s presentation was a part of this workshop as well. Innovative teachers were divided into groups, told about Enquiring Minds, taken through the 4-stage enquiry process, and then worked together on activities to get them thinking about the concept of student-centred learning.
At left you can get an idea of content in the Futurelab workshop in the art created by the graphic notetaker we have at this event. Isn’t it beautiful?
After the workshop, teachers were set loose in Vienna for the afternoon with maps and free transportation passes, in order to create some sort of multimedia end product based on the theme. The groups of teachers will submit their end products and the best will win a prize. All of the projects will be up on the Innovative Teachers Network, so we’ll tell you when they’re available for you to look at.
And of course, we’re eating our fill of the best crisp apple strudel and schnitzel with noodles that Vienna has to offer. Today we have another full day of workshops and presentations and tonight is the famous gala dinner and awards ceremony. We’re pretty confident that the UK will be represented among the award winners – wish our teachers luck!