Inclusive conference reimagines learning and success in education

CORE Education’s annual education conference, uLearn, has been re-designed as a virtual conference for the education ecosystem in 2020. A face-to-face event for 15 years, flipping to a virtual space means uLearn is more accessible and more inclusive than ever before. 

On 7–8 October, hundreds of educators will head online for two intensive days of professional learning and development opportunities. English, Māori and Pasifika cultural contexts will be represented, with delegates challenged to ‘Pohewatia te apōpō | Reimagine tomorrow’. uLearn20 features all three national languages of Aotearoa – te reo Māori, English and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) – with NZSL interpreting at all live sessions. 

Dr Hana O’Regan (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) CORE’s new Tumu Whakarae (CEO) says it is the right time for this community to reflect and act. 

“I believe educators are by far the biggest influencers of a child’s belief in themself and that society doesn’t do enough to support them with the weight of that responsibility,” says Hana. “That’s why CORE works with educators to grow their capability in areas critical for the learning and success of tamariki, and delivers solutions to the challenges they face.” 

The depth and breadth of the uLearn20 programme reflects CORE’s commitment to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi by pushing the boundaries of educational possibility for a thriving and equitable Aotearoa through learning. 

“uLearn’s kaupapa of reimagining learning is the exact place we need to be in right now,” Hana says. 

“One of the things we learned after the Ōtautahi earthquakes was the importance of adaptability when the world as you know it is no longer. We are in a similar situation with the pandemic; having to adapt to an unknown environment. If we don’t reimagine learning and success now we will be perpetuating inequities, inefficiencies and negative outcomes in a greater way than before." 

“It’s often hard to reimagine when you’re in an environment that is status quo. I believe there is power in the freedom to dream and to do something about it ‒ and that’s the opportunity we have within education right now,” she says. 

Traditional views of success have been linked to educational achievement that prepares learners for the workforce; uLearn20 challenges educators to think more broadly about outcomes. Delegates will also have the opportunity to reflect on how they can create new possibilities for diverse students, contribute to their wellbeing, and strengthen communities. 

Attendees from around the world will be inspired by a raft of speakers, presenters and exhibitors. They can customise their event experience by choosing development pathways from nearly 100 workshops. Sessions are offered live or on-demand during the two-day conference, and can be accessed until 18 December.