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Home August 27, 2007

Posted by navcon2k7 in Navcon2K7.


Three days … three keynotes … twenty-three spotlights! Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, generation.com … just when you think you’ve heard it all before, a curve ball is thrown and you’re theoretical mind and practical ways are sent scurrying to the back of the room by that outrageously challenging, perhaps even controversial comment made by your peers …

…Now it’s your turn to splutter a reply!

… welcome to the navcon2k7 // generation.com blog

This is an opportunity to take the plunge and offer others some of your deep thinking to the issues raised by the conference Keynote speakers and Spotlight presenters.

Your task:


This blog site provides links to virtual creative spaces, to allow you to place your comments about the conference, the Keynote speakers and Spotlight presenters.

how to I contribute?

>> You may add a comment about the conference and its theme by clicking on ‘add a comment’ at the top of the “home” page.
>> The Keynote and Spotlight areas each have their own blog space where you can add a general comment or you can use the menu on the right-hand side to access individual Keynote and Spotlight blogging spaces.


… be challenged, and contribute to the thoughts expressed by our international Keynote speakers and leading Spotlight presenters.

Conference Site

The ‘youtube’ video below gives us further insights into our ‘generation.com’ students. It challenges us, as teachers of ‘generation.com’, to reflect on ‘Where to Next?’. Care to share your insights? Add your comment at the top of this page.



Navcon2k7 is a collaborative professional learning opportunity brought to you by the Navigator Schools Consortium (Navcon) and the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) – Diocese of Broken Bay, Australia.



1. gailmitchell5352 - October 3, 2007

I was privileged enough to spend a full day with Dr. Yoram Harpez and Dr. Adam Lefstein yesterday as they shared their vision and thinking about establishing and implementing ” Communities of Thinking” in our schools.
This was so affirming and confirmed that the Inquiry model that we use to create communities of thinkers at Bucklands Beach Intermediate School in New Zealand engages students in thinking about and acting on authentic, real life problems through a process of fertile questions, knowledge saturation, questioning, hypothesizing, researching and concluding performances, with continual referencing and revisiting of the fertile question.
As a Year 7 teacher of 11 year old students, I am not restricted by Standards testing or NCEA assessments, so I have some freedom and flexibility in rearranging my timetable to support this kind of learning.
I would like to share some of the meaningful thinking and learning that my students recently engaged in. Our fertile question was
” Can we have rights without responsibility? ” and the context to support this learning was Human Rights.
The presentation tool used for the collaboration and presentation of thinking and learning was a wiki. ( http://www.wikispaces.com).

I invite you to view the thinking and learning of my class community of thinkers at http://communityrights.wikispaces.com
Gail Mitchell
Bucklands Beach Intermediate School

2. Michael Stevenson - October 6, 2007

Who is the teacher?

My experiences over the past four days have made clear some axioms that can be bitter pills for many of us to swallow. I think the main idea about conferences like navcon 2k7 is that they force us to reconsider what it means to be a teacher and a student, and how the two are in fact inextricably linked.

I began my presentation segment with the fact that I am indeed still a beginning teacher – within 5 years of of having qualified and taking the classroom plunge. Now at the end of my fourth year, I wonder whether the sage advice given to me by my mentors – that becoming a teacher takes five years – will prove true.

I suspect, in a sense, that I’ll never be a teacher; at least, that’s what I’ve decided over these last few years. Far better, in fact, to remain a student in this wonderful world, following paths, the direction of which none can determine. How mundane to suppose for a second that by becoming a teacher in the ‘old school’ sense one would or should stop learning!

Technology continues to challenge me, largely through the professional relationships that I’ve built online and the sense of awe I have when I grapple with the collective wisdom of so many minds working steadfastly towards the benefit of humanity. What also truly inspires me – and this is evident in the people I met at navcon 2k7 – is the truly democratic nature of the way in which people share knowledge and skills so generously and freely with one another. How exciting to gather for four days and meet such amazing minds in person, to see the sincerity, generosity and humanity in the flesh!

Thanks so much for the wonderful experiences I’ve had and rich insights I’ve gained. To change one’s perspective in a day is to change one’s life forever.


Michael Stevenson

3. Mick Prest - October 8, 2007

This won’t be anywhere near as reflective or insightful as Michael’s post above ..however, as one at the other end of the teaching/learning continuum I just want to say how refreshing it is to meet up with people who share the same ideas and passions. I certainly intend to keep learning (or is that teaching?) for many years yet.

A couple of reflections from Navcon 2K7:

you will learn something from everyone you meet so never think you know more than they do – they often know different stuff;

what a struggle it is to change a system – the reality of such a big place as Glen Waverley, or Brian’s wrestling to do good things within the NSW Curriculum at Stanhope Gardens … no wonder people like Leigh think of sending their kids elsewhere … they won’t meet Jonah or Jam’ie however if they stay at home???

Leopard looks good ..especially the Server.

Judy thanks for showing me more of Twitter – I’m slowly being convinced…

etc. etc.

As a parting reflection: would anyone like to “meet” and discuss possible alternative structures for IT Conferences. Navcon was great but the reality is that such ventures are very expensive (in educational terms) and, I’m not being negative at all, I think we have to ask what the cost/benefits are. I would like things to be more accessible for “ordinary” teachers and am interested in looking at alternatives. If you want to take this up get in touch try doing it by the “navcon” group in Facebook.

Thanks for a good time and great people.


4. sherryn moore - October 16, 2007

I have come away from NAVCON with mixed emotions-on one level there is excitement about 21st century education and all that it promises for our children – how could you not be (I would love to be a child today!) On the other hand the more I learn the more overwhelmed I feel – I sometimes feel like I am drowning in Web 2.0 tools – and with the influx of 30 – 40 new tools each week- I have given up on the idea that we should nor ever will know it all.

So I leave NAVCON pondering the question – ‘How do we motivate teachers to want to use the emerging technologies?’ Where and how do we begin to persuade teachers who were just feeling confident with a repertoire of applications that have supported their Learning and Teaching to date? We convinced them to take up the IT challenge but the influx of web 2.0 tools is more than overwhelming for many of our teachers- I feel we need to find a way to make this more manageable for our teachers and to assist by sifting through these tools and providing support structures.
In light of my question ‘How do we motivate teachers to want to use the emerging technologies?’ I believe this is more than an educational challenge – it’s an issue of equity and entitlement- all children should be offered the opportunity to experience learning that is relevant and significant. Significant to the learners and the digital world in which they live, learning that will promote and encourage our children to become globally responsible digital citizens.
I believe this is a challenge for principals – if we are serious about this it will require a whole-school approach. If there is a level of expectation and the necessary support structures set in place by the principal, aimed at encouraging teachers to explore new technologies and pedagogies and opportunities for forums to share their experiences and successes with other staff members, success is infectious! This would promote a healthy learning community. We need to raise the bar of expectation and take up this challenge for the sake of our students.

5. Kate Bowman, St Joseph's Catholic College, East Gosford - October 17, 2007

Navcon 2K7 was an excellent conference for me and it lived up to all my expectations. The topics covered the areas of Thinking, eLearning and Leadership as promised and the conference was presented in comfortable surroundings, was very well organsied and had a happy but professional atmosphere. The food was delicious, too.

The three keynote speakers covered distinctly different areas of education. Yoram Harpaz presentation had a different approach and perspective on pedagogy and his ideas warrant further study and consideration. Leigh Blackall’s presentation was very switched-on, exciting to observe, thought-provoking, and sent a big challenge to me to up-skill big time and embrace a wider range of information and communication technologies. Comment was made that Leigh was on his honeymoon and I could not help but think that along with education and technologies honeymoons have also changed since I was a bride! Adam Lefstein’s address contained many new terms for me, such as, communication regimes and dialogic teaching, which I found very interesting and want to pursue further.

The workshops and spotlights, however, were where I learned the most. So many practical and useful ideas, hints, websites, and generous people willing to share their obvious expertise and talents. All the sessions I attended were excellent.

The moment that was the most insightful educationally for me was in a workshop given by Lenva Shearing and Gail Mitchell titled If we can do it, so can you. In describing a certain section of her wiki Gail indicated the place where she can give her students “feedback and feedforward” about their work. “Feedforward”, what a powerful word! While we know our students need feedback about their work and we are always ready to give that, Gail’s term “feedforward” is about the future and the next step they need to take to improve and continue to learn.

Navcon 2K7 gave me a huge amount of feedforward.

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