Last weekend I attended the ISNZ 2014 conference titled “Agents of Change” in Auckland, along with a number of staff and Board members from St Andrew’s College. Our Rector, Christine Leighton, had asked Francesca Eathorne (Head of Communications) and myself to co-present at a 1 hour workshop around the theme of Innovative Marketing, Communications and Blogging.
The quality of the keynote and plenary speakers was outstanding and, interestingly for me, most of them came from outside of the education sector. This enabled them to share insights from a wide range of backgrounds including business consultancy, technology incubators, advertising, governance in the health sector, along with some educational specialists. A review of some of the speakers is further down this post.
In the 1 hour workshop presented by St Andrew’s College, the Rector started by talking about the importance of reputation and reinforcing the branding of the College through the promotion of our student voice. She showcased this through two student-led videos:
This Is Us:
Three Years On:
The delegates attending our breakout session actually clapped at the conclusion of the second video, suggesting the continued resonance of earthquake stories from the Canterbury region.
Francesca Eathorne then talked about the progress in the Communications Department at St Andrew’s College over the last four years, highlighting this beautifully with the “then” and “now” of the following marketing images:
I finished off our workshop, suggesting what does this innovation look like at the “classroom” or “teacher” level, and chose to explore this through the lens of blogging and contributing to marketing through sharing the College’s eLearning stories. To do this, I selected a few screenshots from various blogs around the College including:
- Year 2 Class Blog – focused on giving simple information on learning to parents
- Yr9 Science Class Blog – focused on videoing and recording the teaching moments in a class and allowing students to contribute notes and review their learning at any stage
- Teacher Reflection blogs – two examples that are used as part of their professional reflections for their Registered Teacher Criteria (RTC)
- Official eLearning Blog – this blog, show casing innovative and engaging eLearning stories from around St Andrew’s College.
This message tied in nicely with the earlier comments from Francesca Eathorne, as the stories on this blog have been picked up and re-blogged elsewhere, including the following websites:
- Forbes.com – two blog posts referencing things happening at St Andrew’s College
- Microsoft NZ Education Blog – a couple of our posts around MS OneNote have been re-blogged.
- NZ Science Teacher – profiling Matt Nicoll’s work with videoing his lessons.
Finally, through this blog promoting our teachers’ innovation in the classroom, we were approached by Bradley & Montgomery Advertising Agency on behalf of Microsoft to explore creating some videos of our teachers talking about use of MS OneNote in the classroom. These “unintended” marketing opportunities have reinforced the importance of celebrating the stories of our teachers and students in a range of different ways and tied in nicely with messages from the keynote and plenary sessions.
Some Reflections from a number of the Keynote and Plenary Speakers
Brian Sweeney, a Kiwi living in the USA and co-founder of SweenyVesty Consultants, challenged us how we can leverage the four big “I’s”