Technology 4 Learning logo

Technology 4 Learning

Technology 4 Learning

Telephone1300 323 232

Emailt4linnovations@det.nsw.edu.au

Episode seven

The Virtual Staffroom Podcast

Episode 7: EduTECH Special - Riding the Rollercoaster

 

Joachim Cohen:

Welcome to The Virtual Staffroom, a podcast made for teachers ,by teachers and all with a dash of educational technology thrown in - and hold the phone! Stop the broadcast! This is no ordinary edition of The Virtual Staffroom. This is our EduTECH special edition, and this is day two. My name is Joachim Cohen, your host and the school's technology innovation lead with the Technology 4 Learning team here at the New South Wales Department of Education, and I'm so excited today to be joined by two members of the Technology 4 Learning team, Yvette and Linda, to talk all things EduTECH.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Yvette is an acclaimed author of the Ella and Olivia and Puppy Diaries books, but did you know she's also an English teacher, and yes, very certified for EduTECH. She's a Google certified innovator, but it is something else that has caught Yvette's eye at the moment. You're becoming a bit of a Minecraft guru I hear. Have you got the bug?

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

I've caught the bug. My brain's in overload, EduTECH mad, and Minecraft on top of everything else. I'm getting creative, but thinking about real world applications. Gosh, Minecraft. I feel like I'm very late to this party, but gosh, it's cool.

 

Joachim Cohen:

My gosh, you can't go to EduTECH for real, but you can build it in Minecraft.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Aw, don't give me these challenges now, Joe. Too much! How are you doing?

 

Joachim Cohen:

I am amazing, and I'm excited. We've got Linda in the house today too. So, Linda is the PEO of the stem.T4L program empowering schools across the state, and Linda, I think you and your whole stem.T4L team have been very busy this EduTECH with some awesome deep dive workshops as well as inspiration sessions empowering everyone to stem it up in the classroom.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Absolutely they have. There are so many courses we're running on the use of our kits, but you can use them even if you don't have one of our kits. Use it for the equipment you have in your school.

 

Joachim Cohen:

All inspiration aplenty. That sounds great. So, what's in store? Well, as we said, this is no regular edition of our podcast. We are on a professional learning overdrive, and all wrapped in EduTECH fever. It's Australia's largest educational technology conference, and it's gone digital in 2020. So, first of all what we're going to do is we're going to chat everything's that caught our eye in this day two. We are a bit exhausted, but we're going to do it, and then we're going to get onto our main event when we get the chance to talk to a true education change maker: The one, the only, Professor Pasi Sahlberg, as we unpack 2020 and look towards a new future for education.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Don't forget, this is our second EduTECH special, so make sure you go and listen to our wrap-up of day one, and check out all the details on our podcast page. And I know there's lots of you out there that are going, "What, I missed EduTECH Digital?" No way! You didn't miss EduTECH Digital because it's all available on demand and there's still plenty of time to sign up for passes all throughout 2020. So, make sure you duck into the show notes, click on the link because there's 10 free tickets accessible by every New South Wales public school. Exciting. So team, are we ready to dive in?

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Let's do it.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Okay. Now, Professor Pasi's almost ready to enter the building, but before we do, Yvette and Linda, what sessions did you manage to attend today and what opened your eyes?

 

Linda Lazenby:

Well, one of the sessions that I managed to get to was a session ran by Greig and Aimee from T4L on the why, what and how setting up and transforming your school with technology, and it's more for me that I thought, "What a great time of year to start looking at this and planning out what devices you might need." Greig did a great piece on your screens and what you might be looking for to purchase, and also what kind of educational pedagogy that links into. So, I think I would really recommend people go back and have a look at that. It talks through what you should be aiming to set up to ensure your teachers are utilised to build the capacity of all the great things they learn about EduTECH as well.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Suited to principals, exec staff, or is it one for everyone?

 

Linda Lazenby:

I think it's one for everyone, but definitely for principals and exec, and if you're a classroom teacher who watches it, you might need to go and give your executive a bit of a nudge and share with them what you've learnt, and maybe you can convince them to change some of their plans.

 

Joachim Cohen:

I know we get so many questions through our T4L innovations email inbox where teachers are always asking - oh which devices do I go for, which screens should I think about purchasing -and I really love, as you were pointing out, how this session goes back to not consider the technology first, but look at how teaching occurs.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Absolutely, and that's the critical piece to school planning is think about what do you want learning to look like, and then that will guide your device purchasing.

 

Joachim Cohen:

And it's great to see conferences like EduTECH that are going away from just being all about the products, and actually focusing on the learning, and I know... I'm looking through the schedule and seeing just about every technology provider is focusing on the learning outcomes first instead of looking at product, and even when you used to go to it physically, they had classrooms set up, kids running through. It was fabulous to see that change. It's technology for learning, not technology anymore.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Absolutely. Yvette, what did you get to?

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Look, you know I always wear my English hat. In fact, I never take it off. The Stage 6 team did a session today on leveraging technology with recursive writing, which is a really particular skill, but I think they unpacked quite well how you can utilise tech and certain platforms and tools to support recursive writing. I think this is a really tough thing to cover, but I really encourage you if you really want to develop those skills with the students, that the team have unpacked it really beautifully.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

I also just want to say I also watched the 3D Print it! The Power of Tangibility and Design in the classroom. So, two quite different sessions, but gosh, the 3D printing. It's good to see the amazing uses and what's possible in either a small amount of time or a longer unit of work, and with what kind of printer you may have in your school, or if you're thinking about getting one. Yeah, that was a really great session.

 

Joachim Cohen:

And it wasn't just 3D printing, was it? It was 3D design.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yeah. Looking at all those 3D design tools, which really is a 2D flat... I was going to say flat-earther, but no. I retract that. I'm so not that person, but I am a 2D person. Being a writer and I think it's really amazing to see that 2D element of design if you're getting the students to draw something, and really the power of using a program to bring it to life in 3D and then print it. I mean, wow.

 

Joachim Cohen:

And this has got a lot of links. I actually don't know what recursive writing, so that's why I went... like that, before I'm going, "I wonder what recursive writing is." Yvette, can you me tell me what on earth recursive writing is?

 

Linda Lazenby:

but I absolutely knew what it was.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Ah, okay. No worries. That's actually our homework, to be honest. Let's all go and figure it out. Oh, my God! Watch the session, people! Absolutely.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Watch the team because really this is... I'm really pleased to see the English team, and not just the English team, the curriculum areas is really responding to these challenges by using the tools out there, and particularly with the way the HSC's going, I think it'll be really interesting to even see how those papers go because they've just recently sat their first two papers. Yeah, I'm sure there's going to be plenty to unpack later.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Jo, what session did you get to?

 

Joachim Cohen:

What session did I get to? Well, I had a great deal of fun. I went to another one of the New South Wales Department of Education sessions run by Mona on another team, and it was called really excitingly, Privacy and Terms of Service - what and why? Now I know you're both about to fall asleep listening to that, but I loved it! It was so exciting. I learnt so much about why for every single teacher and every single student, they need to be considering about which services they're actually signing up to and what kind of data they're actually giving away, and that's what it went through.

 

Linda Lazenby:

And I think... look, this will be a really good one. I think I'll have to watch it, maybe Yvette will as well.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

I think I do.

 

Linda Lazenby:

But it's about... I think for a long time it's easy just to kind of cover your eyes and block your ears and go, "This is all too hectic," but I'm going to jump onto that.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Increasingly, we just have this expectation well, our students have read the fine print and to understand what they're entering into, and gosh, I can't think of any students that read that.

 

Linda Lazenby:

It's also not enough for us to read it for them. We need to walk through it with them.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Exactly. With all the platforms that they're on, they really need to understand what they're sending out into the world and also what can be trapped because we were just having this chat too in our office about who's watching, who's listening, and students... This is a part of their life. They've never had to have that, I suppose, lens on their discussions, their chats, their online input. Yeah, very good questions because if you're just growing up with a part of that as your world, you may not have that discerning eye.

 

Joachim Cohen:

I accept. Do you accept? I think we have to get people questioning that when they click on that button, and I think that's one of my big things for 2021 is to really make people consider that. So, really good fun. I recommend everyone goes and takes a look at that one.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Now, it is the moment you've all been waiting for. I think we are set to be joined by renowned expert in education. Not only is he the Deputy Director of Research at the Gonski Institute for Education at the University of New South Wales, but also he is acclaimed author and a schoolteacher. Woohoo! A teacher, educator, a researcher and a policy advisor who has studied education systems, analysed education policies and advised education reforms around the world. Now he's getting to add The Virtual Staffroom to his CV. Surely it's going to be a highlight.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Today, we are not only going to have a chat through everything he's been up to, but we're going to jump on board the rollercoaster everyone of you out there has been, and that rollercoaster is 2020. What have we learned and where are we going? Professor Pasi Sahlberg, we are so very honoured and very lucky to have you join us today. Welcome!

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Thank you very much. It's my pleasure really to be with you.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Now like you, we have been busy EduTECHing today, but we have all bookmarked to watch your amazing presentation, Australia in The Light of International Education Numbers on-demand, but how has your EduTECH experience been so far?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Well, it's been really interesting. This is an amazing opportunity, particularly in a time like this when there's so much online learning and teaching behind... Sit back and relax a little bit with these issues related to teaching and learning, and particularly how the technology can and should help us all. So, it's been great really. Thank you.

 

Linda Lazenby:

And Pasi, can I ask you just to give our listeners a bit of a wrap up on what you do each day and how you influence the future of education in New South Wales public schools?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah. I work as a researcher professor of education at the Gonski Institute, that is the UNSW's little place for us to work on things like equity in education. I run a big project here called Growing Up Digital Australia that is looking at how the technology is having an impact on young people here. I also work on Play, that is one of my favorite themes. So, my time really goes on reading and writing, and then I visit a lot of schools as much as I can during these difficult times, but I particularly work with the neighborhood public school that is the Kensington Public School. Beautiful small community school here. So, I work with the teachers and the leadership group there, and the kids and parents as well, trying to really create conversations about these three issues: The equity, the digital technologies, and the young people and parents as well, and play in children's lives. It's a good fun.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Fantastic it's Yvette here Pasi. 2020 has been a huge year for everyone and particularly for education. In terms of your session, looking at numbers, empirically - how have you seen education change over the course of the year?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, it's a great question. Of course many of these thing, we still don't know. It's too early to say how the year has gone, and how the pandemic and school closures have affected teaching and learning. Obviously, many things has changed. One year ago nobody would even in their wildest dreams to be able to imagine, that today, where we are today that many of the kids have been learning from home so long. And in Victoria for example, it's been just mind-blowing to try to imagine how this disruption has actually affected schooling.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

In one level we can say that many things have changed. All these idea of what the school is and what teaching and learning look like, but then on the other hand, it's interesting when anybody is digging a little bit deeper, taking a look at what the kids have actually done when they have not been in school, and now when the school's have reopened. It's pretty much just kind of a similar type of thing. They still study the same subjects, and often even when they were learning from home that they studied in the same way using textbooks and digital materials and other things.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

There's also room for this type of argument that the basic crammer of the school, that some people call it, has not changed that much. Maybe it's because all this happened so quickly that we didn't have time to really get ready for this, but now when we are hopefully moving out of this pandemic that this is the kind of battle and debate that we're going to have of how much of this kind of old crammer of schooling, teaching and learning and content and curriculum that we used to associate to school should remain, and what are these new things that we have learned and practiced during the pandemic, blended learning and more self-directed students doing things driven by their own motivation from home.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

It's too early to say exactly what's going to happen, but it's going to be interesting coming year or two now when the conversation really kicks off, and I think that parents will have a big role to play in this that they haven't necessarily had before now when they had this experience of seeing their children learning and studying, struggling often at home. Many parents have also realised how difficult actually the work of the teacher is.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Recognising that role of the teacher too. Understanding it a little bit in different ways, I guess.

 

Joachim Cohen:

So much more informed too, you're right, being able to actually have a much more informed way of participating in school decision making. Really interesting insight there. I guess listening to what you're saying there too, Pasi, are there some things you've seen that you think schools should consider keeping, and do we have this chance of having a new educational 'nirvana' in 2021 as a result of that?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, probably there will be a 'nirvana' or however you want to call it, but I think the one thing that at least... We have two children in my family, and they have missed the school and they have missed a lot of teachers face-to-face teaching. I think not only through my own children, but I think that what we need to keep in schooling more than we probably knew before the pandemic is this relationship-based interaction of human beings. That's something that most young people and adults as well have been missing, meeting the real person, and having a conversation about things that we should be learning in a school. That's certainly something that we should in the future make sure that all the children have access to a real teacher, they have access to their friends and peers. Not only because of the kind of social and emotional wellbeing, but also for the sake of deeper learning, so that they can associate what they learn to other human beings.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

I think this 2021 nirvana, I think it's actually going to come from the fact actually what we are doing here right now that we cannot have this conversations in the conference halls and meeting rooms. I think many teachers will be missing these opportunities that they used to have with the EduTECH before where you go to a huge convention center and you all these conversations there, and then you go and have a drink with your mates and you dig deeper in these issues. That's what the learning is all about, and I think certainly we'll have a much, much more informed and educated understanding about the role and opportunities that technology can provide us in teaching and learning in schools and also running conferences like this.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

But I think this nirvana, if it ever comes in any form, it's going to be this celebration of people getting to the same space and same bar and same table, and having these conversations that are... In the end of the day, they are the most important things, these human relationships. So, I hope that this nirvana will come and I hope that it will be like I've been explaining here to celebrate this fact that we can finally get together face-to-face and try to really connect ourselves to human beings.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Absolutely.

 

Joachim Cohen:

What an insight, hey? I think we've all been feeling it here in the room about the fact that for a little while, we could all do it. We could all do digital, but at the same time, I think we'll value those connections so much more, and actually turn off our devices and connect with people to make those amazing things happen.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

It's sad, and you can't help but think we're okay here in Australia for the moment, and you start to put yourself in the other shoes of those around the world and you think, 'what are the impacts going to be there for them longer term'?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, but just think about our sisters and brothers in Victoria, how hard the situation they have had. I'm sure there are many listeners who actually tune-in to this conference from Victoria, and I just can't imagine the difficulties and pain that people, teachers and children have had. Of course, Europe and the United States is another thing, but we have those folks very near here who have had a very different reality than we have.

 

Linda Lazenby:

We forget how very fortunate we've been so far. So, just to lighten it up a little bit, Pasi, we have pulled some words out and we'd just like your insights on where you think we're at educationally. So, things like blended learning. What can you share about blended learning with our listeners?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

I would say that it's going to be new normal, and it's something that we will be learning within the next coming years, and I'm also sure that there we're going to have a new insight into blended learning. I know that there have been some people who don't want to even think about the word, and then there have been many people who have been really excited about the blended learning thing, but I think that now after this experience that we're going to find this golden middle road and find the best out of this opportunity to blend different learning and teaching devices into the work that we do in schools.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Thanks, Pasi. Second idea is independent learning. What are your thoughts?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

I think independent learning I'm more and more thinking about self-regulated learning, or self-directed learning. This is really what the independence is. Independence should not mean that kids can do whatever they want to do, or they can learn whatever they want to do, but independence means that you are able to direct and take control of your own learning yourself independently from the authority for example, and I think that this one of my top guesses is actually the self-directedness that will come out of this experience when we move a little bit further. Those schools, first of all who have learnt to be more self-directed and not necessarily just autonomous, but take the chance of their own improvement and direction, that they come out and through this pandemic as kind of a smoother and easier way than the others.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

But then at the level of the children who are supposed to learn during these difficult times, that self-directedness. Those children who have learned and who have been taught in school before the pandemic to learn independently and take control and charge of their own study and their own learning, not only to learn, but also to evaluate and assess what they have learnt. They will do much better. So, it's a very important outcome of this thing.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Yeah, it's not easy, is it? I remember trying initiatives like that back in my classroom and how the students tend to dislike it because it's not the normal way that they're used to, and you're really challenging them. It takes time, as you're saying, for them to learn how to do it. Ah, gee. Making me think. I've got another one to throw at you, and it's flipped learning.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, when anybody says, 'flipped'. I tend to think about the flipped system, which is probably like a upper-level or meta-level of the flipped learning. Flipping the system means that we kind of turn the education system upside-down, and this is extremely important here in Australia because the education systems, basically all of them, all different systems here in Australia compared to, for example Finland or some other places, are much more kind of a top-heavy...where the schools are administrated and led, and the systems are reformed much more from the kind of heavy hand from the top, but this flipped system is giving more value and space and room for the schools, and individuals, and local players.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

That's why this flipped learning or flipped system is a nice metaphor for me because I think that here in Australia, it's the only way where we can take and create Australian public education to the next level. We have to be able to flip the thinking as well the leadership for change and improvement of what the schools and children and teachers too. It has to come from the grassroot level as well. This will be the other lesson from... My guess, from the pandemic. It's that probably in the future we need to learn to rely less on policy-driven change and reforms, and learn to understand and rely on the change and initiatives that come from the grassroots, from the individual schools and teachers and principals, and even young people. That will be the important change for us in the future.

 

Joachim Cohen:

The future sounds exciting, doesn't it? Wow. Pasi, I'm getting excited just listening.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Sure does. What about part-time learning?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, that's a hard one for me because my mind has been shaped and educated in a way that's... Learning goes on all the time, and I've been having a little kind of a friendly fight during this pandemic when some people have been writing, or some people have been arguing that the students' learning will stop now when the schools are closed and the systems are disrupted, and I try to argue and explain... You know how people to understand that learning never stops. There's no such thing as part-time learning. If we think that children's learning would some point because of, for example, the teachers aren't teaching them anymore, and I think we have a very different view on what the learning is all about.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

So for me, there's no such thing as part-time learning. Learning will go on all the time, and I think the school for children should be just a different place to explore their interests and work with the learning experts, who the teachers are, who are able to facilitate their own interests and exploration and experimentation in the school in a way that is different compared to what the learning is when the kids, for example are with their peers or with their parents, or by themselves. I would argue that learning goes on all the time and there's no such thing as part-time or full-time.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

That's right. This leads into the final one, and it's a goody, Pasi. It's the word play, and just your thoughts on play and playing, and the importance of it.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Wow. Now you got me.

 

Joachim Cohen:

We should've started with this one, yeah.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah. No, this is great. So, don't expect me to say that play is something you do when the real work or serious learning is done, and that kids should only be learning at home when they've done their homework, or that we should be playing when there's nothing else to do. For me, play is really a form of human condition. Play defines who we are and how we relate to the world and to one another. I can probably mention here that somebody who has been a great friend and a fan and supporter of EduTECH for many years was Sir Ken Robinson, who passed away a couple of months ago. Sir Ken was a close friend of mine, and partly because of this, I've lost somebody who was so dear to me and we all lost, humanity lost somebody who has so a strong advocate of play and creativity and learning.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

To think more about this play issue, and I think going to spend, this is what I promised to myself when Ken passed away that as long as I would be working that I always remember to continue the work that he started simply by trying to convince teachers and principals and children themselves, but particularly parents and grandparents that the play is important thing, that it's one of the most important things to do, and particularly now during the pandemic.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

For me, play is probably the most effective and certainly the cheapest way to positively influence children's mental wellbeing and social, emotional aspects of their personalities that have been often jeopardised and harmed by this pandemic. There's nothing better that we can give to our children than high quality, free, unstructured play daily, and that's something that the schools should be doing much more than they do now, here in Australia and everywhere else. So, don't get me started. Play is the thing, and play is something that we should all take it very seriously. It's almost like an oxymoron to take play seriously, but that's exactly what we need to do.

 

Linda Lazenby:

I heard yesterday, Pasi, you... I listened to an older podcast of yours, I think from The Game Changer podcast, about quantifying what that is for parents and teachers, and you talked about an hour in the school day at least, and then an hour after school. I know that's not hard and fast, and you would probably love a lot more, as would I, but it's a nice kind of goal to get to I suppose, just to think about it that simplistically. For me it is, as a parent and a teacher.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. This one hour of playtime every day for children, and when I say children I mean basically anybody who is under 18, like officially a child. This is something that is not my idea, it's not my recommendation. It's the medical doctors who are now telling parents if you want to do good things for your own children, if you want to make sure that they grow up healthy and happy, and sleep well and eat well, and physically develop, give them at least one hour free play every day. This is something that comes from the doctors, but then this school education side is much more my own and my colleagues and Ken Robinson's idea as well, that every day, every school should make sure that children have... Like they do in Finland now, at least one hour, a time for themselves for free, unstructured playtime.

 

Joachim Cohen:

I know we abide by that as well here in our office, Pasi, because we're the innovations division, and we are surprised by when we just start to play... We have technology tools to play with. When we start to play with it, we come up with some great ideas as to how they can be used in the classroom or some alternative uses, and everyone gets so excited and passionate about what we could do and what the potential could be. I think we need it for everybody no matter how old they are. I wish we could have a bit of playtime there, and I encourage all teachers to get out and play with tech too.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, yeah. This is what I often hear. I do a lot of work with the different schools here about this play thing, and mostly because they're kind of looking for new opportunities to have more play in the school. Frequent questions, such as last week I was in one of the schools here, was that how do we get more play opportunities in time for teachers, for adults, and it's a very important question. So, we should not just think about kids, who are of course, the most important things when we think about having more playtime, but it's equally important that we adults play either with the technology or something else. It is kind of having your minds tuned in a way that you're in a playful environment and you can have fun, and you can create new ideas, and you can take risks, and you can fail. You may look ridiculous at some points, but that's all good. It's going to make you a better person, a better teacher at the same time.

 

Linda Lazenby:

We will do our best.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

I do it all the time.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

I know you will. For example, taking this interview is one of those.

 

Linda Lazenby:

So, my question to you is teachers leave something like EduTECH and they've had two full days of great inspiration, and I'm wondering if you can help. I've had thousands of New South Wales teachers go to these sessions over the two days, what would be your piece of advice, or where should they begin once they're back in their classrooms? What's the one thing? I think I know what you're going to say, and it might sound like play, but what would you think that they should start with?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Of course, many of these things that we have been talking about earlier in this conversation, but my advice for teachers, and I say this because I've visited so many schools and I've met thousands of teachers here, is that basically keep the course. Don't stop now and say, "What should I do next?" Because most of the teachers and most of the schools here have done really great things. This has happened before the pandemic, but now particularly during the pandemic. So, keep the course and stick to your colleagues and one another in your school, and do what you think is the best thing for your children and for the community to do. That's by far the best thing to give as an advice. If there's anybody there who thinks that all the things that I've done before is wrong, or we have to design kind of a completely new idea of what we do, that's just going to be exhausting for you and for the school. So, that's really my advice.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

The other one is that we are now heading towards the well-deserved summer break here. We all, including myself, we all need a break. We all need to charge our batteries. So, my advice is when the date in December comes when you are heading towards the well-deserved break, do something completely different. Take your surfboard and go surfing, or take your bicycle, or take your family, your loved ones, your kids and do something completely different for a month. That's going to be the best thing for the new school year. It's not going to be much easier than this one because there will be a lot of unknown and things that we haven't been prepared for. So, the best thing to do is to recharge, stay connected. Don't exercise social-distancing. Exercise the physical distancing whenever it is necessary, but stay socially connected to all the people around you. That's extremely important now.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

I know that many people, and teachers are one of those who are kind of able to... They're like a little human machines. They keep on going until the very necessary end date, but then when the break comes, many people just suffer from the fact that they're too exhausted and too tired and that they have given everything. So take my word, take it easy and relax, and we can get back to the serious business in early February.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Good advice. Absolutely, and I love that term. Don't stay socially-distanced, but stay physically distanced. Sounds really important to... Important one to remember, but Pasi, look, we know it's been a long day for you. You must be exhausted after a whole day at EduTECH, but before you go, you have to play our game. It's called 'rocketship robots', and we do this with every one of our special guests, and it's what's that one piece of technology that you would take with you on a ride to outer space? What would it be?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yeah, I hope that the rocket ship is equipped with all the necessary technology to bring me back to Earth safely. So, if I don't need to think about those things, I would definitely leave me my smartphone here on my desk, but what I would take with me to a journey like this, I would take my high-end hi-fi system with the suitcase full of CDs and a good headset to play beautiful music, maybe some Australian music. I'm really waiting to get hold onto the Midnight Oil's new album. I would probably take that one with me and a good headset, and just play beautiful music there and watch through the window the planet Earth spinning and...

 

Joachim Cohen:

I think you've got it right, Pasi. I think you've got it right. It's really interesting to hear what everyone says, and so many people go old-school and I think yours has to have been the best we've had so far. It's quite funny actually because we've modeled this off something Linda found called Desert Islands Discs, which is all about which CD you'd take with you to a desert island. So, you've perfectly done it. It's gone straight back to Desert Island Discs.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Excellent.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, and Pasi, did you know already that every New South Wales public school has access to 10 free tickets to the EduTECH virtual conference?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Yes, I do. I know that, yeah.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Ah, fantastic! Absolutely. Do you think they should be all considering signing up?

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely, because remember, it's all available on-demand. You haven't missed it, people! It is still available on-demand throughout term four and staff development days next year. Pasi, we want to thank you so much. We are so lucky. We are so honored, and we want to make sure that every one of our guests goes back on-demand, tunes into Australia in Light of International Education Numbers, and you've warmed our hearts I can tell you today, inspired us and inspired every one of our listeners. Thank you for all the work that you do on our behalf. It's been a real and true pleasure and honor to have you on today. Thank you.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

Well, thank you very much, and let's hope, folks, that next time we will meet in person somewhere in the nice convention center, and I'll take you to a pub and we can have a pint and talk more.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Ah, sounds great.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely! Ding-ding, you're on.

 

Linda Lazenby:

Thank you.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Thanks, Pasi.

 

Pasi Sahlberg:

No worries. Thanks. Bye.

 

Joachim Cohen:

No, don't tune out. We still have one more little gem to share. We have to give you homework. Yes, whilst we have let every other formality go, homework in The Virtual Staffroom is omnipresent, but don't worry, it's not a laborious task. We want you to spread the word and share the inspiration, maybe it's encouragement to sign up to EduTECH because all sessions are going to be available on-demand.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

They are, and you might want to share this podcast out. Please tell your buddies, tell your colleagues, tell your principal.

 

Linda Lazenby:

And you might want to share something that you learned with, again, your teachers in your school or other schools.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely, or my favorite, maybe you're just going to go and play with something. Play with some edtech, play with something else, or maybe let your students play. Be a change-maker in your community. Yvette and Linda. Wow! How are you feeling?

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

I feel extremely inspired, ready to tackle the world. Just where to start?

 

Linda Lazenby:

Go back to Pasi and listen to what he said again.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely. Listen to all those sessions again. What do you think, how about you, Linda?

 

Linda Lazenby:

Absolutely the same. So much to take on after that.

 

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely. It's been an amazing EduTECH experience. It has been different, but it's been no less amazing. I can tell you my legs are nowhere near as sore as they usually are after EduTECH. So, it's feeling good, yes indeed. There are upsides to virtual PL, but we are harping on, but don't forget there is still time to sign up to the EduTECH virtual conference. You can get most of the sessions available on-demand. Don't forget, every New South Wales public school has access to 10 free tickets. So, Sign up, no excuses.

 

Yvette Poshoglian:

Just a little note. Please be aware that all views expressed by the podcast presenters, that's us, are our personal opinions and not representative of the New South Wales Department of Education. Discussions aren't endorsements of third party products, services, or events. And please note that as much as we sound like it, we are not experts in legalese, tech speak or anything in between. We're just passionate people keen to boost technology for learning in the classroom and to help build the skills in your students and for you to solve the problems of tomorrow. Do your due diligence, read further and if we've got something wrong let us know. We too are always learning and always improving

 

Joachim Cohen:

This podcast as been produced by the masterful Jacob Druce, with the assistance and supreme coordination of all the members of the awesome T4L team. Now, next time we return to our normal programming, so please press subscribe so you get the next edition straight to your inbox. I can tell you we have a ripper in store, so make sure you send us through your comments, your questions and your thoughts for new guests and segments. We're on a real mission to shake up our podcast for 2021 to meet your needs. If you like the podcast, don't forget to give us a rating and more educators will be able to find and be inspired to get a little bit techy in their classroom. Stay compassionate, everyone, and thanks for joining us.