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Brad Waid Keynote: Engaging the “globally” connected student of today

Brad Waid Keynote: Engaging the “globally” connected student of today. Blog post by Joanne Robson, CORE Education Tātai Aho Rau

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We have been waiting since October 6th 2016 to hear Brad Waid, who is “passionate about Education, Technology and making a difference!” As a father, an educator, and our keynote speaker, he’s described as “an influencer, a change agent a thought leader and a futurist”. Four airports later; 48 hours awake, Brad landed in Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.


Welcoming Brad to Aotearoa New Zealand has been so easy. His energetic, vivacious personality is infectious, and his passion obviously shines through. As Brad wanted to embrace our unique tikanga, attending our pōwhiri on Tuesday afternoon, sharing his mihi was a priority for him. As he pointed out, he can see why people leave part of their heart here and he is definitely planning a return trip.


As an experienced educator, he watched how the students’ attention and engagement were captured, by enhancing the available technology. During the keynote, Brad encouraged us all to embrace every social mediums and, share it, break it, let's do it!


Key questions we need to consider:

What are kids learning? Where are they learning? What is our role? Are we changing? How are we connecting with our 21st century learners? What is happening when the students leave the classroom? What are they sharing? Would they share what we are teaching? The role of educators is changing, yet have and are we actually changing?


Working with teachers one day, and students the next, a teacher shared his learning with his class the very next day.  When Brad walked around the classes the following day, he saw an engaged, excited boy who was wanting to share his learning with the people in his network - as a 15 year old boy, he was taking a risk as he shared the learning - the map. Are we preparing them for their future, or our future? As the students were changing and adapting, so too was Brad yet, his mindset had not. He had to understand what was happening outside education, to ensure we are, “Engaging the minds of tomorrow, today”



Brad shared an anecdote, Justin, a selective mute, chose to be in Brad’s class. His parents’ goal for Justin was to communicate with his class. Can my group go first asked Justin, and Justin said something. Brad chose to say nothing to his parents at this stage, and as Justin  took a chance on him, then Brad took a chance on him. He started talking and I actually had to tell him off. At snack time, Brad made a video for Mum and Dad about CargoBot, talking - TALKING! When Brad met with Justin’s parents, who have heard for years, how Justin is struggling, and when they pressed play, they heard Justin talking to his parents. Wiping the tears, Brad asked what now? Now, we can talk academics. Liberated, the device spoke his language. The tools will always change, but the relationships we have our students will never change.. Social media is LIVING. Our students want League of Legends gift cards, not wanting to go to Target or Starbucks.



PokemonGO - took the power of screen time and leveraged movement. You have to move OUTSIDE, off the couch, into the library, the gym, the monument.  For students with social struggles, PokemonGO gave opportunities for them to  be accepted, breaking down barriers.  YouTube influencers also have a huge impact on our learners.


How do we make a difference? R.U.L.E e


We are never too old to learn - live out loud (Kevin Honeycutt)

We all have a gift to give - what will you give?



Brad Pitt Waid being thanked by Helen Cooper, and presented with a taonga - Hei-Matau.



Brad - tēnā rawa atu koe! Thank you for inspiring us, challenging us, and encouraging us to share, make a difference, discover our gift,  keep giving, R.U.L.E. e


What one thing inspired or moved you about Brad's keynote presentation? We'd love you to share your thoughts below smiley Or maybe you'd like to ask some questions directly to Brad in a dedicated discussion thread.

Tessa Gray

Tessa Gray

Ko Tessa Gray toku ingoa, edSpace online facilitator. Passionate about growing thriving online communities. Based in the sunny Bay of Plenty.
    • Allanah King
      Allanah King

      Thank you for sharing the bones of his keynote- it reminded me of another Keynote when Kevin Honeycutt spoke at ULearn some years ago.

      • Tanya

        This is so important. It would be nice to have all the slideshows/powerpoints or whatever in one space for us all to save/share/download... something to consider.

        • Becky Hare
          Becky Hare

          Kia ora Tanya

          Thanks for your question. There are multiple ways we share uLearn17 resources. We also remind everyone to please be mindful of ownership and sharing licences. 

          Finding resources

          1. Presenters are asked to share a url of their presentation in the Registered Members' Area e.core-ed.org You will be able to access these if you booked the session and if the presenters have shared in that space. If presenters have shared their presentation slides, you may choose to share a slide or two via Twitter or other social media. However please be aware that slides shared out of context may be of limited value. 

          2. We will share the recorded keynote videos here on edSpace, on the uLearn17 website and on Edtalks. They take a wee while to process ( about 2 weeks), so please be patient. 

          3. Keynote illustrations will also be available in a high quality digital format here in edSpace and on the uLearn17 website.

          4. Keynote blogs are written and shared promptly here in the uLearn17 blogs /blog/group/670/all 

          Hope that helps,

          Becky :)

          • Tessa Gray
            Tessa Gray

            Now you can view Brad Waid's presentation, Engaging the globally connected student of today in full hosted on EDtalks.

            Tell us what you thought of this presentation?

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