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ULearn10 Annual Conference in Christchurch

ULearn10 Annual Conference in Christchurch

The largest conference to be hosted in Christchurch since the September 4 earthquake is on track to be one of the biggest and best educational events in Australasia.

ULearn10, New Zealand's premier education conference, organised by CORE Education, has made the decision to forge ahead with the event, scheduled for the first week of October.

Currently over 1,800 delegates are registered to attend. Whilst the delegates, from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada, Cook Islands and Hong Kong, might have had some misgiving about coming to the city, CORE Education Director, Nick Billowes says very few have pulled out. “They recognised how their attendance would help contribute to Christchurch’s re-building effort.”

“This is a celebration of 10 years of major conferences for learning and teaching in New Zealand and we are determined to make it the best conference we have staged. Our presence in the city will add to the sense of business as usual. This is so essential to the region as it repairs itself and gets on with life and business,” Billowes adds.

The three day conference, with two days optional pre-conference events, brings over $4.5 million into the city and has over 60 trade supporters. It utilises seven venues in and around the central city and each of the 1800 delegates has an average three nights accommodation attached to their attendance. Many delegates use this opportunity to bring family members to the city as the event is held in the school holidays.

Vbase, host to many of the conference’s events believes events like the ULearn10 conference helps contribute to the much needed morale boost which is so important to the city at this time. “It’s a positive sign of the recovery phase beginning,” says vBase Chief Executive, Bryan Pearson.

Mayor, Bob Parker also appealed to businesses to forge ahead with planned activities. “Events and visitors to Christchurch are important to the prosperity of our city, to employment and making Christchurch a great place to live. They will play a critical role in our psychological recovery and our sense of things getting back to normal,” Parker says.

The conference, the largest education event in Australasia, runs from October 6 – 8 and the 1,800 plus delegates will be based at the Town Hall and Convention Centre. Five other venues will host the 400 breakout sessions.

The annual Ulearn conference always attracts large numbers of people to Christchurch. In 2008, it set a record for hosting the largest number of people to attend a sit down dinner at CBS Arena. The record still stands at 2005 people however, this year Billowes expects the numbers attending the official conference dinner to be similar.

The conference attracts world-leading education leaders and new technologies thinkers and caters for educators from early years, primary, secondary and tertiary education. “It is highly relevant, inclusive, and practical conference around ICT, policy, ideas and strategies for integrating technologies into the learning experience of students,” Billowes explains.

“The ideas and knowledge from the conference can immediately apply in your teaching environment. Education minister, Anne Tolley will be among the guest speakers.

CORE Education is one of New Zealand’s foremost educational research and development organisations. With over 70 staff nation-wide CORE Education provides a range of services to schools and early childhood centres, with a particular focus on innovative and creative eLearning, curriculum support, ICT and school review.


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