I heard so much about Australian educators prior to my trip to Sydney to keynote and share at the EdTechTeam Sydney Summit and then for the single day deep dive MasterClass Tour stop at Google Headquarters. Passionate about their professional development, innovative and cutting-edge, and over the top friendly and fun all were accolades my PLN showered upon the AussieEd scene. After having spent a week learning with over 300 educators I can honestly say I’m leaving a piece of my heart here in Sydney.
Our first stop of the MasterClass Tour was at Google Headquarters just steps away from the stunning backdrop of Darling Harbour. Over 50 educators joined us for a full day of big ideas and lesson creation all stemming from 3 amazing books: The HyperDocs Handbook, The Google Infused Classroom, and Dive into Inquiry. Lisa, Holly and I designed the event so participants would gain a deeper understanding of all of our books, have the support of all of the authors, and create a lesson or series of lessons that weaves in strong tech use with powerful pedagogy. We’ve dubbed the approach as a #BookSmash. There are so many rich connections across our work and books that by combining them for attendees everyone leaves with much more than any single one of us could have provided alone.
Holly leading the cohort through making learning visible and enhancing lesson design with powerful tech tools
Holly Clark kicked off the morning with a hilariously engaging activity to get everyone networking and broadening their PLN. It wasn’t long until the room was alive with laughter and an energy that would shape the entire day. Lisa Highfill then took the lead and guided the cohort through the big ideas around strong lesson design using the HyperDocs framework to package our lessons for the day. Working in pairs or teams attendees collaborated, shared, and built the structure and direction for their lessons while simultaneously integrating rich and engaging resources. Striking the perfect balance of providing informative support and on-task design time, Lisa set an amazing tone and shape for the day’s learning.
We then transitioned to Holly guiding the cohort through enhancing their lessons using powerful tech adoption by infusing a few amazing apps, extensions, and platforms into our lesson plans. Both Lisa and Holly’s approach to learning beautifully supported the cohort in building lessons that were richly connected to the 4Cs of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.
Combining highly engaging and informative support with meaningful on-task design time, the morning flew by and before we knew it we were off for lunch to Google’s infamous cafeteria.
When you’re as creative and innovative as Googlers are you need to fuel up on some delicious grub and coffee.
After an amazing meal and refuel we were back together and ready to package our lessons up with an essential question, the first step in adopting an inquiry approach in the classroom: my turn at the helm. I guided the cohort through an essential questions activity that took them from topic, to a brainstorm of questions, to an essential question that would transcend and direct our entire lesson. This backwards design approach tied together all of our work and helped attendees reflect on what we constructed throughout the day. We finalized the session with some collaborative sharing and reflecting on the process via Padlet. Have a look and see the excitement and energy for yourself HERE.
Some of the amazing responses to the day’s learning.
The MasterClass Sydney #BookSmash was an amazing day for all involved. Combining the big ideas from 3 books that have such naturally powerful connections provided the framework and expertise for deeply rich lessons to be created. I can’t wait to do it again throughout the rest of the MasterClass Tour!