Manzana goes global – well at least a quick trip to the Aussie IWB conference 

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Class engagement and interaction never fall far from educators lips and the ideals behind the technology displayed at this years conference was no different. Held in Melbourne this year, Manzana’s very own, Karen Rolleston, took the time out to see how our Tasman cousins used their solutions.

The conference attracts a very technologically savvy group of educators, whose experience with multiple solutions proves to be a very valuable testing ground for many new classroom solutions. Rather than a pure participant learning focused conference, encourages participants to share stories about their interactive whiteboard experiences. The conference generates an ideal platform for putting forward ideas on effective adoption of classroom solutions and has become very popular.

The conference also throws up new solutions that encourage educators just to sit back and enjoy the show, one of those happened to be the response solution WordWall. With over 15 conference attendees all using the system at the same time, WordWall stunned participants with its ability to register, on screen, full text responses from everyone via individual handhelds. WordWall stood out as one of the hot classroom tools to develop not just full engagement within the classroom but higher level learning. 2008 also provided two pleasing notes for New Zealanders. Firstly the kiwi made 2Touch IWB continued to ride its wave of success after it was introduced to Australian educators earlier this year. Although many conference participants have continuous interaction and experience with other IWB solutions, the 2Touch board caught their attention. Educators commented on the freedom of the board, with its ability to interchange (or partitioning) between interactive and standard whiteboard

The second exciting kiwi development to come out of the conference was the news that next year the conference will be crossing the ditch for the first time and hitting the shores of Aotearoa. Set to be hosted from the 24th to the 26th of September 2009, New Zealand educators will finally have the chance to share their own stories about effective adoption of IWB solutions.