Repost from my contribution to Mindshare Learning Report, May 2014 edition:
the past two months I’ve had access to some amazing professional learning. Here are some highlights from my travels around Canada and the world!
March started off with a bang when I flew to Barcelona, Spain, with my
colleague and best friend Leah Obach, to attend Microsoft in Education Global Forum. This 4-day event brought together 1100 teachers, school
leaders, and education leaders from 75 countries. Leah and I were there
to share our collaborative project, Little Hands Extended. We attended
fantastic keynote sessions, participated in a 24 hour Learn-a-thon where
we developed innovative projects with teachers from all over the world,
and celebrated at a gala evening. To learn more, view my video and
check out the Microsoft Educator Network!
National Congress on Rural Education in
Saskatoon, SK. My school principal, Brenda Masson, and I presented on
our Smart Start Kindergarten program, and took in some terrific
professional learning sessions. Highlights included: Jade Ballek and
Terry Epp’s session on 21st century learning competencies clearly
detailed how their school division is putting pedagogy first. They
shared some terrific resources on 21st learning and innovation,
connecting through Skype in the Classroom, and using infographics in
Kimberly Schonert Reichl’s keynote presentation on
educating the heart and mind to develop emotional intelligence shared
important connections to academic and interpersonal success. She
encouraged teachers to access video resources from the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, teach mindfulness with the Mind Up! Program
from the Hawn Foundation, and infuse social-emotional learning
throughout curricula with resources from CASEL.
April brought a
fantastic ed tech conference in my home province of Manitoba. Manitoba
Teachers’ Society’s Awakening Possibilities gave Leah Obach and I the
opportunity to share about project-based learning and the tech tools that support it, while taking in some inspiring sessions. Steve Dembo
set the tone for the conference with his keynote message that encouraged
teachers and schools to take pride in being first. Dembo stated that
cutting edge, innovative teachers and schools are often regarded as
crazy but we should wear that crazy label like a badge of honour—the
rest will come around soon enough! Dembo also shared some fun and useful
tech tools, such as 1 Second Everyday app.
Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades
was an excellent reminder of how ICT tools coupled with strong pedagogy
create and support digital learners. Blogs, Twitter, and Skype are
Kathy’s go-to tools, and digital citizenship is interwoven throughout
learning experiences. Mystery Number Skype, blogging to create digital
portfolios, movie-making, and shared reading of blog comments/tweets
develop important numeracy and literacy skills in Kathy’s Grade 1
classroom. Kathy suggested Edublogs and Kidblog as two great tools for
early years teachers interested in blogging with their students.
great takeaways from Awakening Possibilities:
* Nadia Nevieri explained
how her school has revitalized morning announcements with engaging
video announcements. Learn more here!
* Erin Clarke presented on the
many uses of Instagram in early years classrooms
* Raman Job shared
iPhone photo tips and tools: Haiku Deck for presentations, Snapseed and
Tangled FX for editing pics, Touch Blur to protect student privacy, and
Quipio and Phonto for creating and sharing text over images
Chris Lehmann, founding principal of the Scientific
Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, ended two incredible days of
learning with a riveting closing keynote. His most important points that
I felt compelled to tweet:
* Collaboration means doing things differently because we are doing them together.
* Technology should be like oxygen. Ubiquitous, invisible, and everywhere.
* A vision without a plan is nothing more than a hallucination.
now comes the challenging part—sifting through all these wonderful
ideas and tools and deciding how I will use them to affect change in my
classroom and school community! Off to Riding the Wave of Change in Gimli, Manitoba, this week, so stay tuned as I tweet from that conference.