Thursday, May 16, 2013

CONNECT 2013 Reflections and Big Ideas

It's been a full week since the Connect 2013 conference in Niagara Falls and I am just now sifting through the big ideas and new learning.  Though I was unable to attend every session--they were all so good--I really feel that what I did attend had a positive impact on my thinking and the collective thinking of our YCDSB team.

Funny story. The first day of the conference, a fellow (new Twitter acquaintance Mitch Champagne)  asked if I could take his picture with the Twitter Eductator-celebs Alec and George Couros and I quite literally forgot how to use an ipad to take pictures.  Here is the pic I took.  I felt so stupid, that I sent them a message explaining that I really was tech savvy. 

I think one of the great things about attending the conference (apart from meeting dynamic speakers) is the fact that my online Twitter community--educators I respect and "follow" literally came to life; in addition, I connected with many new educators from across the province.   The time spent with my own colleagues (and our adopted colleague from Bishop Strachan) was filled with passionate conversations, the sharing of ideas, and strategic planning sessions.  We wondered why we were so exhausted at the end of each day!

Here is a brief overview of the sessions I attended:

Blog as Portfolio

George Couros  Parkland County, Alberta (@gcouros)

 I was originally slotted to go to a session called Literacy and Technology which I'm sure would have been excellent, but I ran into George Couros in the hotel lobby en route to the conference and he was quite convincing that I should attend his session instead.  After the ipad debacle, I thought I might redeem myself.   I am certainly glad I did.  Two (of many) big ideas about blogging I took away from his presentation:
1.  We owe it to our students to help them create a positive online presence to take with them into the world.
2.  Educational leaders need to blog not just to share our insights and experiences so others might benefit, but more importantly, so that we consolidate our own learning through reflection.

Here's his digital portfolio project.

Seven Degrees of Connectedness 

Rodd Lucier  Komoka, Ontario (@thecleversheep)

I had met Rodd at the TCDSB 21st Century Learning launch and had great conversations there.  His session really reinforced the idea that we need to foster our professional connections and learning networks.

Dynamic Assessment

Zoe Branigan-Pipe Hamilton, Ontario (@zbpipe)

Using Minecraft, Urban Planning for Project based Learning.
Having students monitor their own projects

Take your Classroom Global!

Taking IT Global (@takingitglobal)

Connecting educators to other educators and issues. 

Paul Yip @darthgooglemac Connect 2013 Recap and Reflections

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