ACU hosted for the first time the Digital Learning and Teaching conference, Digicon, in August this year. The annual event, which is run by Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV), brings together teachers from around the country to hear the latest ideas in the digital learning space.
ACU’s State Head of Education (VIC), Dr Matthew Zbaracki opened the conference which focused on STEM, digital technologies curriculum and emerging technologies, and included presentations, workshops and an exhibitor expo.
Keynote speakers at the event included Tony Brandenburg, Fellow of the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE); Bec Spink, Assistant Principal at Aitkin Creek Primary School and co-founder of Code the Future; Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent; and 12 year old William Grame, who at 10 years of age started designing a ground breaking strip disposal unit which came about from his own experiences as a Type 1 diabetic.
Dr Donna Gronn, Senior Lecturer in Education at ACU who also presented at the conference, was the inaugural president of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria from 2014-2015 following the merger of Victorian Information Technology Teacher Association (VITTA) and Information and Communication Technologies in Education Victoria (ICTEV), of which she was president in 2012-2013.
Donna said about the conference:
“I have been involved on the committees and conferences of both the Victorian and Australian (ACCE) associations for technologies in education for almost 20 years. It was a great pleasure to host the conference at the ACU Melbourne campus. The event was well attended with over 300 educators, from early years to VCE across all sectors of education, attending each of the two days. It was a great chance to showcase all that ACU has to offer and the feedback was very complementary of the Melbourne campus and facilities”.
“ACU was very well represented and students were also prominent around the conference; as volunteers and eager attendees at both sessions and the trade show. Feedback on volunteers was excellent and all were a credit to the university. I was also able to showcase (in my workshop) the use of Robots that I have been exploring with my undergraduate students this year in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum Unit (EDTS240). Participants were keen to hear how the PSTs used the technologies and their suggestions for the classroom. Teachers also shared their ideas and I was also fortunate to speak to many ACU graduates who were attending and presenting. It was great to hear their teaching experiences and their reminiscing on their time at ACU and how the facilities had developed since they left.
All in all it was a very successful two days, and we hope to be able to host the conference again in 2018”.
Digicon 2017: Dr Donna Gronn and daughter Libby Gronn, an ACU graduate and presenter at this year’s conference.