Early May 2019 saw FutureWe founder and St Peters Lutheran College ICT Trainer Jonathan Nalder invited to present four sessions at California’s leading lesson design conference, ‘CUE BOLD’. BOLD is all about blended and online lesson design, and Jonathan was tasked to contribute ideas around both big picture planning, and practical lesson ideas centred around areas St Peters has been pioneering.
In particular, Jonathan presented about ways to use 3D design software CoSpaces. This software allows even primary schools students to create 3D, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) spaces to match subject content they are studying. This not only provides a more immersive medium for students to be working in, but also starts them on the track of developing next generation presentation skills that will help them stand out in the future workforce. Jonathan shared the work of St Peters teacher Belinda Byrnes’ extension English class who last term created VR and AR versions of the medieval stories they had been studying. He was also able to present the best practice protocols for VR headsets in schools that the Information Systems and eLearning teams have been developing together at St Peters, a topic that was very popular seeing as it’s such a new but potentially powerful area.
Jonathan was also able to up his own skills and make new contacts for a couple of areas that match to what teachers in Australia are exploring at the moment. The first of these focused on rooms with extended writeable surfaces. Of particular note was the work of Maths Teacher Ed Campos who also now works for Brown University and his idea of ‘360 Math’ where students learn how to sketch out their maths problems on whiteboard surfaces as a way to reduce the ‘maths anxiety’ that some students feel. The second area Jonathan got to experience was the way that BOLD conference ran teacher PD in general — with short, sharp PD sessions each of which was mapped to a common lesson planning framework. It’s a format that has seen the BOLD conference grow each year even though it runs across a Saturday and Sunday. Several of the presenters expressed interest in coming to Australia to share with and learn from teachers here so the idea of a joint event may even be a future possibility.
Check out a Twitter recap as well via Wakelet here: https://wke.lt/w/s/g-xKk8
Jonathan Nalder is an out-there creative who chose Education in a ‘get a real job’ moment and ended up still loving it 20 years later. In this time, he discovered the power of personal learning tech to empower students to teach themselves, and has now spent 10 years teaching teachers across Australia and the globe how to transition to digital pedagogy. After a 6-month research sabbatical in 2016, Jonathan was shocked at how fast AI and new tech were changing the workforce. Inspired by this, he founded the FutureWe.org community to help teachers show students how to invent their own jobs and solutions, no matter what their futures bring.