More than 1000 educators from around the country have flocked to Rotorua for the annual three-day Core Education conference.

ULearn14, held at the Energy Event Centre, is hosting workshops, internationally acclaimed speakers and products from leading industry professionals in the education sector.

This year's conference theme revolves around modern learning practises, environments, and technologies.

Core Education marketing manager Meredith Noonan said the themes came from a "collaborative mix" of what the company saw as "the future of education".


"Core Education director Derek Wenmoth is hot on modern practises, environments, and technologies and sees this strand of learning as the next big thing in education."

Ms Noonan said the conference was about encouraging more innovation and "connectivity" in schools.

"There are many teachers in the New Zealand education system who are readily using online tools in their classrooms but there is also a large portion who are not.

"We are wanting to encourage more teachers to engage with technology in their classroom and connect with modern day students. Many children are already operating digital devices before they start school and teachers need to both recognise and utilise this."

Ms Noonan said ULearn14 became "a part of professional development" for educators and "pushed the boundaries of education technology".

"In the end the conference has a strong focus on children and learners but it really starts with the teachers. They [teachers] have such a strong desire to learn that they come to this conference to upskill and impart their knowledge on their students."

Industry products including 3D printers, online essay writing tools, classroom furniture and computing brands have stalls at the conference for educators to connect with the latest in e-learning technology.

Breakout workshop sessions are being held on all three days and divide educators into groups of 30 for a "more intimate, practical session".


Among presenters yesterday were keynote speakers and international educators Yoram Harpaz and Adam Lefstein.

Mr Harpaz is the head of the principals' department in Beit Berl Teachers' College in Israel and has published three books dealing with the aim of education, teaching, learning and thinking.

Mr Lefstein is a senior lecturer in education at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and teaches about pedagogy, classroom interaction, teacher learning and educational change.

Today, keynote speaker Dr Katie Novak will present teacher implementation of "Universal Design for Learning".