Monday, December 13, 2004

Home from New Zealand

This was an amazing trip, from my experiences in Melbourne, on which I have already blogged, to my experiences in New Zealand, which were both exhilarating and exhausting. First stop there was Christchurch, for a breakfast seminar and workshop on electronic portfolios and digital storytelling at Ultralab. Then a quick trip to Dunedin (which I found out was the home of Cadburys chocolate in the southern hemisphere!). There, we met with Janice McDrury and Maxine Alterio, the authors of the book on learning through storytelling in higher education. We had a wonderful conversation over dinner. Then, an early flight the next morning to Hamilton, with a change of planes in Wellington. Another lunchtime seminar and then an afternoon hands-on workshop in a computer lab at Wintec. Finally, time to relax, with a home-cooked meal. Saturday we were tourists in Rotorua, a city built on geothermal springs. Add Christmas shopping to the list of activities, and it was a very full day.

Sunday allowed me to repack my many purchases, and prepare for the trip home, while also enjoying a barbeque with the staff of Wintec. Monday morning we drove into Auckland, my fifth major city in New Zealand in five days. After the last of my shopping experiences on the main street in the Central Business District (CBD), I spent the rest of the afternoon with the staff at Unitec followed by a quick trip up One-Tree Hill, the highest spot in Auckland, to take in the magnificent 360 degree view. Then away to the airport for my flight home to LAX and Seattle.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Harnell-Young, Janette Ellis and the rest of the team in Melbourne for a well planned conference. I am very grateful to Stephen Harlow for making the trip to New Zealand happen, and his masterful job as tour guide and host. And finally, thanks to Chris Jager, International Representative to the ISTE Board, for her arranging the meeting in Auckland, as well as the brief tour up the hill for that magnificent view. I am so looking forward to coming back, and spending more time “down under” both in Australia and New Zealand. The people were so warm and engaged with both my ideas on portfolios as well as my work on digital storytelling. “I will be back.”

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