I'm not a big fan of the food at the Adelaide Convention Centre, so during the lunch break during the past two days at ACEC2014, I wandered off to Hindley Street in the nearby CBD in search of a quick and tasty takeaway lunch. And tonight when I got home, my wife suggested that we get pizza for a treat so on my way down to the local pizza outlet, the idea of ACEC takeaways came to me as an alternative way of reflecting on the important bits from the sessions I've been to over the past few days.
So apologies in advance to any of the speakers if this feels a bit odd and a touch disrespectful to your work but I am trying to tap into my creative side here and ensure that I commit to debriefing my brain.
Alec's Web Cafe
Proprietor: Alec Couros
Menu includes: Canadian insights, digital identity donuts, hacked teachers
This charming eatery features a wide open dining area with glass partitions fronting the kitchen ensuring that the whole place is entirely public. Retro posters (Apple Macintosh, Napster) adorn the walls but the menu is ever changing to reflect the dining habits of today's web consumer. Best of all, diners can walk right into the participatory kitchen and cook their own versions of the menu offerings.
@murcha Twitter Pantry
Proprietor: Anne Mirtschin
Menu includes: Wholesome country food, small nugget links spiced by influences from around the world.
The reviewer was flattered to be recognised and then cited as an inspiring factor in this fine dining establishment by Anne, which was both surprising and humbling. The Pantry featured sharing of multiple recipes, plus handy tips for preparation and cooking catering for all comers from the first time diner to the regular with their favourite table. A tasty backchannel was also available.
Proprietor: Georgina Pazzi
Menu includes: Generous serves of inspiration, new terminologies.
This cafe manages to balance the palate between classroom practicalities and leadership vision, which is no mean feat. Menu focuses on a number of tasty literacies with #humanlit being the signature dish. Cuisine is influenced by NMC2014 and personalisation. Diners will feel "in the flow" when eating here and are encouraged to scrawl their personal motto on the feature wall when leaving. I seem to remember this establishment winning awards in the past as well.
GGG (Greg Gebhardt's Gastronomy)
Proprietor: Greg Gebhardt
Menu includes: Double serves of both safety and glimpses of the future.
This restaurant is divided into two distinct dining areas, one sponsored by the Federal Government and another solely funded by the owner himself. The Government section seemed to be populated by numerous young people on multiple devices, but the engaging menu kept them all in a safe and focussed environment. The trick seemed to around referring to the customers as Digital Citizens as the mention of Cybersafety seemed to have them seeking out more risky locations. Meanwhile, the other area is very futuristic with the menu containing many beta items, and even a few dishes that have yet to be made! Many teachers have found dining in this area to be an intimidating experience but some hardcore educators are always willing to try the hottest and newest thing on the menu.
Proprietor: Kathy Schrock
Menu includes: All drinks served in Google Glasses, and a wide range of tasty apps.
This place is fast paced with a seemingly endless menu of digital delights. The theme of the diner is Story as it relates to learning, with numerous videos playing on the wall projections while waiting for my meal. True to expectations, the simple treats are likely to stick in my memory for a long time to come.
The Observation Deck
Proprietor: Paul Herbert
Menu includes: Liberal doses of self deprecating humour, practical processes.
Technology plays a role here but took a back seat when I settled in for my meal. Practical nourishment for leaders is the specialty here but don't expect to be able to dine alone. You are encouraged to give feedback to the staff here, but they will also take the opportunity to rate you as a customer. My key takeaway here was to ask diners (students) here - what were you eating (doing)? and why were eating (doing) that? That will tell you most of what you need to know about any restaurant!
I also enjoyed sessions from Stephen McGinley, the staff from Cowandilla Primary School and a grounded, thoughtful session from Rebecca Davies that will have me rethinking my own approaches to my role at school.
With all of this dining, I'll take a while to think off the digital calories, but it will help me fuel an improved approach to my work and my own personal learning.
By the way, if you went (or are still going) to ACEC2014, what were your takeaways? Share them in the comments, on Twitter or your own personal patch of cyberspace and send a link back this way.