Sunday, November 5, 2017

TDSB Google Camp 5.0

I know, it seems like not long ago that I posted about the awesome TDSB Google Camp 4.0 and …. here I am reflecting on TDSB Google Camp 5.0!

What could I possibly say that would be different than what I have already shared? Well, the awesomeness continues with educators intrinsically motivated with the spirit of life-long learning!

It was wonderful to have so many presenters returning and new presenters from across TDSB stepping up to share teaching practices, focussing on Global Competencies and leveraging technology.

TDSB Google Camp is a conference for TDSB educators by TDSB educators looking to build their Professional Learning Network beyond like-minded peers. The presentations ranged from hands-on workshops to inspire sessions from beginners to power users of G-Suite Apps. It is an opportunity to seek out stories and experiences from educators and students who struggled, persevered and reflected on taking ideas and putting them into action.

Keynote Speaker Tanya Avrith titled “The New Normal” focussed on teaching, learning and growing in a rapidly changing world. The importance to foster a culture of reflection continues to be invaluable as we consider how we have shifted our teaching practices for our Generation Z learners. “Children today will never know a world without technology”, and we must not teach the way we were taught. “We need to have our students share their learning using different modalities.” We must think about how we can reach our students and rethink what is best for our Generation Z learners in our classroom. During reflection and intentional planning/teaching questions ourselves: “What am I doing this?” and “Is this what is best for my learner?” But let us not forget that tech is only a tool that is constantly evolving. What our learners need most are passionate teachers! “Good teaching is good teaching. That’s what will transform your student's.” Truer words have never been spoken!

What an honour it was to present at the 5th annual Google Camp along with former students! True examples of student voice is provided when students have opportunities to speak to educators and be leaders in discussions or responding to questions on how we can all learn from one another. Global Competencies: Entrepreneurship & GSuite Apps: Students will be immersed in various Global Competencies as they explore design thinking, inquiry and reflecting on their learning. Our young entrepreneurs realize that their actions will impact students within the community by building awareness on various issues, while raising funds towards for a local charity. Check out my slide deck HERE. Check it out on Periscope HERE.

I could highlight awesome sessions, but really that would be too narrow as I was only able to check out 3 sessions live. BUT as I walked through the hallways from one session to another, I could hear the enthusiasm in conversations of teachers sharing their take-aways. I appreciated the honesty (& politeness) of teachers who left during sessions when they realized that they were not ready yet and found another session that fit their needs to get started and move forward. The day had something for everyone at all levels of the school board from Elementary to Secondary to Administration and a ‘fire-place’ discussion setting with Peter Singh, CTO. I admire educators who offered several sessions throughout the day to meet the needs of our guests like Arianna Lambert, Laura Collins, Kate Miles, Jason Trihn and Hella Richter-Glinos and many more!

What more can be said about the conference? During the Demo Slam and end of day prize incentives, it was still a full house of educators taking in every last moment! SLAM!

It is always an honour to be on a crew like the Social Media Crew with Shawn Spencer, Mahfuza Rahman and Tim Barker. Throughout the day Tweeting out from the @TDSB_TLT #TDSBCamp account capturing the learning, sharing, and ‘a-ha’ moments. Let’s not forget the sessions the were live-streaming via Periscope for educators unable to attend, to watch from the comfort of their homes. Check all this out

With that, the day wrapped up and all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ Google Camp crew members of high school volunteers packed away equipment bringing an end to another successful TDSB Google Camp. Looking forward to TDSB Google Camp 6.0!

Thank you Kevin Bradbeer, Carlo DiFelice, Shelley Lowry, Marlena Rivett, Peter Singh, Manon Gardner and TDSB_IT Services for the opportunity to be a part of the Google Camp crew.

A shout-out to the TDSB Google Camp Committee I was proud to be a part of for making the day even more special with your support, attention to detail and all of the awesomeness that made this day great!

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