AISACT Colloquium: Innovation and Collaboration

On Thursday the 18th of August our Director of External Relations, Kelsie Long, had the exciting opportunity of attending the Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT) Colloquium at the Australian National Museum. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:

Kelsie was pretty excited to attend the colloquium.
Kelsie was pretty excited to attend the colloquium.

The colloquium’s main aim was to bring together teachers, outreach organisations and other educational partners to instigate engaging discussions around the day’s themes of innovation and collaboration.

Through keynote presentations, workshops and plenary events, participants learnt about what is happening in the wider education community and were equipped with methods to transform what is learned into practice within their schools.

EZRobots ready for the workshop
EZRobots ready for the workshop



Naturally I picked all the workshops that involved robots. Robots are slowly making their way into schools and humanoid robots in particular can be a way of connecting with students that are otherwise disinterested or disengaged from more traditional learning. I was very interested to learn more!

One of the first speakers of the day, Lora Bance from Brindabella Christian College, encouraged participants to try out Sketch noting which is essentially pictorial note taking or doodling. The challenge: to Sketch notes for the rest of the colloquium. I rose to that challenge and so the rest of this report will consistent of my “Sketch notes”, perhaps you will be inspired to try out doodling for your next lot of notes!

Keynote speaker Eric Tsang, talking about “Liquid innovation”:

The first workshop, Monica Williams “The impact of humanoid robots on student learning”:

The second workshop, Joachim (Jo) Cohen talked about “Inspiring the next generation of innovators with digital technologies”:

The third and final workshop, Ross Duncan on “Using EZRobots to engage, encourage and inspire’:

My main take away from the day was that one of the biggest challenges faced by schools is the effective integration and implementation of new technology into the classroom. It has to be more than just giving every child a laptop, we need to provide ways these new technologies can be used to engage and challenge students to find innovative solutions to the world’s current and future problems.It is about supporting teachers to gain the skills they need to develop workshops/classes that engage, motivate, challenge and inspire students.

This resonates strongly with the work Engage does; bringing hands on workshops to regional primary and secondary students to encourage them to work together, using technology, to solve problems and inspiring them to consider the opportunities that a university education can lead to.