Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Professional Learning 2016: Why you should come to DEANZ

A highlight of this year promises to be the DEANZ2016 conference in Hamilton in April. As organisers and speakers, we are eager to promote the conference and to urge everyone to come along! When we go to conferences we are looking for fresh thinking, a good balance of theoretical insight and practically relevant takeaways, an opportunity to hear, meet and talk with fascinating educators and thinkers, and hopefully some quality catering (definitely great catering!!! - Noeline's aside)

7 reasons to get to DEANZ

  1. Fresh year, fresh thinking - DEANZ reinvented as FLANZ - innovation is the order of the day. DEANZ, a national organisation, started 31 years ago, evolving from the Distance Education Association of New Zealand, to the Association for open, flexible, distance learning, and the New Zealand association dedicated to making ako accessible for all. This conference announces the formal name change to FLANZ - Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand. This shift highlights the emphasis on flexible technology-supported learning options for learners today and in the future, and demonstrates how much this field of learning by distance and with technologies has altered in two decades. The conference programme encourages delegates to embark on critical conversations and experience practical examples that will most likely trigger reflections on past lessons, offer solutions to current conundrums and promises new directions in flexible learning. 
  2. The variety of presentation formats - keynotes, the great debate, posters, speed sessions and workshops. The great debate promises to be a highlight, with the moot:  “That online and face-to-face pedagogies are identical”, a hot topic for educators.
  3. International and national speakers - DEANZ2016 welcomes delegates from the US, Canada, Africa, Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Malaysia, Turkey, NZ, UK, Australia and the Pacific rim. Keynote speakers and invited speakers:
Professor Curtis Bonk (University of Indiana) - highlighting past, present and future innovations in the field. Curt will also run a workshop on quality learner engagement in digital learning contexts (see his photo below)
Dr Dianne Forbes (University of Waikato) - highlighting innovations in teacher education, via an historical look at Waikato's mixed media programme, as the blended Bachelor of Teaching approaches its 20th anniversary. 

Carolyn Alexander Bennett (FarNet) - highlighting innovations in NZ in the primary/secondary schooling sector, via the NZ Virtual Learning Network Community (NZVLNC). 

Phil Garing (Synapsys) - highlighting innovations in NZ industry with a look at learning and development in a commercial context.

Joyce Seitzinger (Academic Tribe)- highlighting innovations in designing personalised learning experiences.

4. The conference has wide appeal across all educational and private training sectors that have an interest in flexible, online, distance and mobile education. The 2016 conference is initiating the inaugural Best Postgraduate Paper Award sponsored by WMIER to recognise quality research amongst emerging scholars.

         5. Cross-disciplinary - education, health, engineering, environmental studies - how digital and flexible approaches can enhance learning across a range of disciplines.

          6. Tourism and education - conference dinner at Hobbiton. A rare opportunity to enjoy an evening tour of the shire, and a great time at the Green Dragon.

           7. The University of Waikato - a leader in digital, connected, mobile and blended learning, Waikato introduced New Zealand to the internet, mixed media  online initial teacher education programmes. In that sense, it is a world leader. This is the first time the conference has been hosted by The University of Waikato in Hamilton. its traditional conference settings have been Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

Register as an early bird by the end of February. See you there!