Hong Kong #PhysEd Wonderings
As I prepare to head north in two weeks to visit Hong Kong for the very first-time feelings of excitement and anxiety are starting to set in. This blog post unpacks my emotions for the first time in preparation for the APPEC 2017 conference.
Two years ago I saw many of my idols in the PhysEd word converge upon Hong Kong for an amazing conference and workshops. Rich learning and connections saw conversations grow from twitter characters to mateship. I can’t believe that in 2017 I am very fortunate to be an invited guest of 21st Century Learning to help drive the conference through presentations and workshops.
My excitement grows as it did for Shape Seattle and CAHPERD17 where international Tweetmates become real life superheros right in front of me. The commonality of these Tweetmates is that even though it is the first time we met I have always felt that we go way back. You see Twitter does that to you. It drives you to create a strong bond with a circle of influences from right around the world to draw on when you need inspiration but to also give inspiration to. I consider myself an advocate for professional online learning and count myself very lucky to mix with some truly inspiration educators right around the world.
Hong Kong will be amazing. This two week lead up in terms of Ironman Triathlon is like our taper week. All the hard work has been done but know it is important to freshen up the mind, body and spirit to give a performance that will help create change and challenge the thinking of educators in attendance. My goal is to ‘poke the bear’ and ‘awaken the giant’ within each person. You see I am a numbers man…. My theory is simple…… If I have 30 delegates in the room who all take only one thing away from my session but then go and teach that to their 500 students then systematically I have helped challenge the thinking of 15000 school children who I may never meet. Times this by the 4 sessions I am running throughout the conference and the numbers push closer to 60000 students who will benefit from this one idea.
My excitement is clear to see but my anxiety at times is a wrestle. My thoughts have me wrestling with varying degrees of success….. what if delegates don’t like what I am presenting?..... What if delegates think that my ideas are old ideas?............ What if my stories do not connect with everyone?....... This are usual signs of nervousness and I often remind myself that delegates attend my sessions to seek clarity, guidance and confidence. They want to hear that they are on the right track, they want to hear that their PE program is high performing and they want to hear that their understandings of new age theories is where it should be. This helps! This makes my sessions comfortable to a point where my peers are as excited to be within the session as I am to be leading the session.
My good mate Mark Collard from Playmeo has said multiple times that Connections come before Content. This is so true. How can I share what I am thinking or concepts I am developing and have delegates place trust in myself as an educator if I have not built this trust the moment they start entering the room? Connections must be a priority to boost spirit but to also show teachers that we as educators must lead by example and engage students the exact same way. We must share with students the joy of seeing their faces come through the classroom door and have a desire to start an immediate game or challenge with them. This invites them to be active, to be a risk taker and above all to be confident that they can connect.
APPEC in Hong Kong will see me run a full day workshop on the Friday where I will be unpacking my motivation using Social Media, Assessment strategies using ICT to engage and motivate learners and finally using some secrets within Google Drive to eliminate the paperwork that often sits at the end of our desk and follows us home like a lost puppy. During the conference, my four sessions are title as follows:
Each session will be powerful and effective with concepts you will be able deliver to students the very next day. Each session will be fun and will share with you the ideal that experimental education can actually serve as a platform to engage, inspire and motivate learners of all ages.
My wonderings are simple: How can I be the best educator I can be? How will delegates respond to be theories? And finally, how will I react when I finally come face to face with some of my PhysEd Idols from around the world.
Look out APPEC Andy is on his way.