2012 Conference a huge success!

Perfecting the Blend Conference 2012 – A perfect mix!

International quality presentations blended with innovative local expertise produced an outstanding selection of workshops this year.  Our keynote presentations by Rowena Gerber (Miami Country Day School), Myf Powell(Microsoft), Joyce  Seitzinger(Deakin University) and Chrissie Hosea (Yale University USA) were well received and delegates appreciated the opportunity to workshop with these experts during the day.

The innovative expertise in the Grampians Region was evident in the workshops and the 2012 State-wide status of the Conference allowed for participants from as far afield as Malaysia and the ACT to benefit. “It was great to see the hands-on experience of the Wimmera teachers and the emphasis on good-teaching as a starting point for virtual learning.” (Peter Maggs DEECD Central) The Malaysian delegation’s presentation illustrated how many of their issues are similar to those we encounter in our schools around integration of blended learning.  

Congratulations to the Polycom Excellence in Teaching major winners both of who came from Grampians: 

1.      WINNER  – Award ONE – (iPad) Alistair Lethlean from Ballarat High School

2.      WINNER  – Award TWO (Polycom CX100 portable PC Speaker/Microphone) Valerie Lobry – Ararat College

With an Innovation Award going to – David Staehr (VCE Kaniva College) – who won a Blue Screen for his innovations in his class room

Honorable mentions in the Grampians or our new South Western Victorian Region included: 

1.      Abby Schultz – Dimboola Memorial College

2.      Johanne Reyntjes – Buninyong Primary School

3.      Cameron Stow – VCE Hopetoun P-12 

4.      Kathryn Hilder – VCE Heywood & District Secondary College

Specialist content providers were a feature this year and in particular Science, Language and History were well catered for. With workshops by leaders such as Questacon, there were outstanding models that could be replicated by schools wishing to specialise in content provision. Our expert panel concluded Day 2 with an interesting Q and A format, drawing together some of the big picture ideas from the conference.  Many new networks and school partnerships were formed with international and local plans already in place for 2014.   Peter Henry announced that Gary Schultz and Jo Tate would continue working as a blended learning focused team but on a State-wide level in 2013.

Our sponsorships from Electroboard, Microsoft and Polycom ensured a nominal registration fee for an International standard conference and we are very grateful to them for their ongoing support.  We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Grampians teachers and Regional Staff who contributed to making this year’s conference a high profile event.

Evaluation Comments – a sneak peek more soon:

  • Thanks to the team for putting this event together. Looking forward to 2013.
  • It was excellent, I just wish we had something like that in the Eastern side of the state. I had to come from Bairnsdale.
  • It will be good to be able to have the conference in the middle of the year and at the end of the year. I’d like to be able to be involved in all the workshops.