Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Emerging technologies ~ ITSC workshop
December 5th, 2008

This week I received a telephone call from Westley Field. He is the Diretor of Online Learning at Methodist Ladies College in Sydney as well as the force behind Skoolabarate.

Westley asked if I could help him out of a bind. He is scheduled to give a two day workshop on Emerging Technologies at the forthcoming Innovative Technologies in Schools Conference at the University of Technology, Sydney. Westley can not make it to the first day of the workshop due to a pressing commitment so he asked if I could replace him on the first day. I secured approval from my boss and I will be heading up to Sydney for the conference on that day.

This is a description of the workshop as it appears on the ITSC web site…

Technology changes the way we work and live. And the types of technologies that are emerging have tremendous implications for the future of education. Schools will need to adopt new practices and new skills for teachers, if they are to remain competitive. In this presentation we will explore new technical directions as well as learn the strategies that worked in establishing a successful global collaborative initiative in teen second life. From beginning to end. Participants will learn of practical strategies and administrative considerations that make these projects work, viewing video footage of student experiences as well as interacting with students and partners during the presentation. With a focus on international collaboration this session will look at the incredibly successful Skoolaborate project ( and have you teleporting within days.”

Westley and I have been friends for years. We met back in the 1990s when we were undertaking postgraduate study at the University of Wollongong and working on projects with the Interactive Multimedia Learning Laboratory. We have both had the chance to work in Singapore as well this year. I managed to get Westley a gig at the Good To Great Teaching Conference at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore earlier this year. That was a great conference. Tom Reeves presented as well. The three of us had a great time. What a fantastic week that was!

Westley and I worked in Singapore together once more later in the year. I did some work with NTU, the Hwa Chong Institution and Singapore Airlines. Not bad for a school teacher. It has been a good year indeed. I am most fortunate. I am proud of my achievements.

I suspect the ITSC will be just as excellent. Stay posted for related materials and contributions.

2 Responses to “Emerging technologies ~ ITSC workshop”

  1. Steve Collis Says:

    Hey John – I recently spoke to Westley on the phone regarding our wish to set up a TSL island. He was very helpful. I won’t be at the ITSC conference but I wish you well and am sure you’ll fill the shoes just fine (I found your text messages during the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony much more rewarding than the live video coverage on TV, so I imagine you’ll be similarly interesting in real life!) Actually if I am around we could meet for a cuppa… if you have time?

  2. Simon Brown Says:

    Hi John, what a great opportunity to help teachers help each other to help students – I’m sure that you’ll enjoy the experience. I’ve heard a lot about Skoolaborate from both Westley and Dean in world and I’m always envious of schools that join the program. Looking forward to reading how it all went. Simon