Principal Jenny Hayward from the Central Coast travelled to Sydney for the expo last year in a minibus. In the bus were teachers from her school, two parents and the canteen manager. On arrival each person hopped out the bus and went her own way. When they gathered again in the afternoon each was loaded up with bags, free samples and brochures, and, as they compared notes on what they had seen and whom they had talked to, each had different stories to tell.
Jenny Hayward said she found it particularly valuable to talk to parents of children with learning difficulties who had developed resources for their children that were so successful they had turned the home-made resources into commercial products. ‘These parents talked first hand about their child’s disability and what worked for them and what didn’t, and I found this very insightful,’ said Ms Hayward.
‘There’s a wealth of good information here and specialists to talk to that we don’t see elsewhere. It was a really worthwhile trip.’
Expo Convenor, Dr Linda Vining, describes the expo as an intellectual hub with learning environments to demonstrate ways to engage students in problem solving and develop creativity. Activities include mind games, interactive software, outdoor education, a visual art studio and a non-stop performance space. She described the expo as a powerhouse of information for experienced educators, beginning teachers and anyone else interested in education.
Showgoers can collect information on things such as brain function, self-esteem, leadership programs, literacy and languages, financial literacy programs, open source software, HSC resources, creative arts, theatre for young people, intelligent toys, health and well being for learning, aboriginal resources, music, and much more.
‘This spectacular event is unique,’ said Dr Vining. ‘There are online teacher networks, expo discounts for teachers and unusual excursions and incursions to stir visitors’ interest.’
For teachers with an eye on career progression there are awards to enter, job opportunities in Australia and overseas and courses for 50+.
‘It’s a perfect place to talk to face to face to people from professional associations and government agencies and discover the funding they have to work with your school and your students.’
Community services such as the Asthma Foundation, Centre for Autism, Dyslexia, Red Cross and Guide Dogs have educational programs they want to show teachers. Others offer assistance to families in need of help.
Demonstrations of management and classroom products such as school industry partnerships, educational publishers, recruitment services, playground equipment, school uniforms and a host of fundraising ideas will keep educators and parents occupied for hours.
Contact tel (02) 6643 4643 or visit www.edexpo.info