uLearn2016- Keynote 4 Karen Spencer

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Key note: Karen Spencer: Beyond the echo chamber: The extraordinary possibilities of a networked profession

Abstract: Karen will take you on a provocative journey to explore the rapid rise in innovative professional learning. From ‘done to’ staff meetings to collaborative, agile investigations into what’s happening for our learners, the way educators improve and grow has evolved rapidly in recent years. She’ll explore new insights into professional learning, best ways to embrace change, and invite you to think about how we can transform what we do for our learner.

KarenMS (1).jpg

BIO: Tēnā koutou, no Yorkshire o Ingarani ahau,  kō the Chevin te maunga, kō Wharfe te awa, kō Enid Langley tōku māmā, kō Bill Spencer tōku pāpā, Ngāti Pakeha tōku iwi, kō Karen toku ingoa.

Karen is the Director of Education for NetSafe and has worked in education for over 20 years, including with CORE Education as the Senior Advisor, Transformative Learning. With a background in secondary teaching and leadership, she is now internationally recognised for her leadership in networked professional development, and digitally-enhanced, inclusive learning design.  Karen is currently working across New Zealand, helping educators and leaders put the learner at the heart, aligning vision to action to create ambitious, transformed curricula. She has written for numerous publications and is an inspiring presenter, known for her energy, humour and research-led approach.

Karen is the lead advisor for the national Connected Learning Advisory-Te Ara Whītiki service, supporting all New Zealand schools and kura to use digital technologies. She spearheaded New Zealand’s inaugural Connected Educator Month in 2014 and has undertaken extensive work in curriculum and assessment projects for the Ministry of Education, NZQA, and for international agencies. She was central to the development of Enabling e-Learning, the VLN Groups social network and the e-Learning Planning Framework. With a Masters in Education, Karen received the inaugural ICET Asia-Pacific Senior e-Fellow award, and the John Avery Scholarship from the University of Waikato, in 2013.


Key themes:

  • Praxis
  • Professional learner: It isn’t an extra thing on the plate, it is on the plate. Be better as a teacher, better than the person you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, be better.
  • Hold the phone: Find the urgency, see the story behind the data, embrace discomfort.
  • Hold your ideas lightly
  • My World. My View-Inclusion in New Zealand-Aotearoa
  • Pause before you leap
  • See the story behind the data
  • The ladder of inference
  • Ash experience/embracing discomfort
  • Keep the fear off the set (allow people to safely air their views)

1. Immediate Value

2. Potential Value

3. Applied Value

4.Realise Value

5. Reframing Value

5 Actions to take away

What does this mean for my own practice?

Hold the phone: Find the urgency, see the story behind the data, embrace discomfort. Work on something well before the next flash in the pan.



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