From tweeting to meeting



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Members of a Twitter network for New Zealand educators, #edchatNZ, are preparing to meet face-to-face at the inaugural #edchatNZ conference in Auckland. Registrations have opened for the event, which will take place at the new Hobsonville Point Secondary School in Auckland over the 8-9th of August this year.

#edchatNZ was founded in 2011 by Danielle Myburgh, a PRT who was, by her own description, “too big for her boots” and eager to get more professional development.  She noticed there were a large number of New Zealand teachers on Twitter and started the hashtag as an attempt to bring them together.

The forum has continued to grow ever since, its fortnightly Twitter chats regularly trending on Twitter New Zealand - even out-tweeting the royals on their visit to New Zealand earlier this year.

Myburgh is a strong believer that everyone should have access to professional development.

“Good PD shouldn’t be locked behind expensive courses; it should be accessible to everyone,” she says.

Myburgh says natural leaders tend to emerge in the Twitter chats depending on the topic, and these aren’t necessarily leaders in their own schools. In this way #edchatNZ is transcending traditional hierarchical leadership in schools.

Accessibility will also be at the heart of the first #edchatNZ conference. The vision is to hold a high-quality, low-cost, on-trend learning experience for all educators: from pre-service teachers to highly experienced teachers and everyone in between.

Myburgh says the conference is coming together through a truly collaborative effort from educators all over the country.

“I have been blown away by how generous people are with their time and ideas,” she says.

Myburgh says they have already locked in a number of great speakers and organisations for the conference, including Network4Learning, NetSafe and PB Technologies.

The organisers are looking into the possibility of streaming some of the sessions live and will certainly be sharing discussions and findings via Twitter and the #edchatNZ blog.


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