Making magic with PLSM13 (our #tmhogwarts presentation)

Yesterday was awesome. Lee and I presented together at the raddest TeachMeet yet – #TMHogwarts which was Harry Potter themed! So much fun… and great presenter gifts! Big thanks to the amazing duo Townesy and Malyn. To prepare for our presentation, I wrote a few words down – I felt I had to get my Harry Potter analogy just right. It’s posted below for you. Sorry if it seems completely random, promise it made sense yesterday. (It did, right?)

At the end of last year Lee and I were feeling like Harry at the denouement of the Goblet of Fire – really fucking mad! Why was Harry mad? Cos no one was listening to his warnings about You Know Who… the Ministry said he was a liar! Well Lee and I  were preaching passionately about the power of PBL and the need to devise contextually appropriate practices and resources for Australian teachers… but no one was listening! So what did we do? Well, just like the Order of the Phoenix or Dumbledore’s Army – we went for the underground, DIY approach to combat our fears of a take over from darker forces. OK so maybe they’re not dark forces… but having international consultants (or even local consultants with no experience with PBL) telling us how to run projects with our students just seemed a bit daft – we knew we needed homegrown PL that’s collaborative and ongoing. Thus the epic PLSM plan was hatched!

Essentially we are a rag tag group of educators – anyone willing to give it a go from any sector – who came together for a year-long professional learning project. Our collective aim was to strengthen our PBL combat skills – to become project learning wizards. To do so we used a project process approach  born from years of trial and error: discover, create, share. Just like the training for The Order or for Dumbledore’s Army, our PBL training has been somewhat shambolic. We’ve had two full day workshops at the Powerhouse Museum and have one coming in mid December. The first was to discover the essence of PBL, the second was to create our projects and the third will be to share our learning journeys with one another. The coolest sharing will be the publication of our collaborative PLSM13 book – due early 2014.
So, if you’re a little brave, a little crazy, have a dash of curious and a splash of devoted, why not come and join some other undesirables in the PLSM14 Army?! We’re recruiting now. www.projectswapmeet.weebly.com

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