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Author: Richland

Richland Academy / Articles posted by Richland (Page 29)

Learning and Technology: Connecting with Educators through Professional Development

Mrs. Oliveira and Mrs. Murgatroyd recently participated in Canada Connects: Canada’s Learning and Technology Conference. With over 1000 participants, the Niagara Falls Conference Centre was teeming with notable educators from across the country – all sharing the same commitment to developing their understanding of technology and education for the betterment of their classroom, school, or Board. As educators, we recognize the importance of life-long learning, and maintain a commitment to learning throughout our professional careers.  We strive to better our own knowledge and skills with the intent that, ultimately, we are enriching the learning experiences of our students.

We are provided many opportunities at Richland for professional development, and felt a conference on learning and technology would help us gain a deeper understanding about the use of social media in an educational setting and meet one of our strategic objectives:  connecting our community digitally, and providing Richland students with skills necessary to thrive in a digital landscape.  Our progressive thinking ensures we recognize the 21st Century skills and dispositions our students will require for success, such as collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.  At the onset, we thought the conference would inform us on the latest technology – the best tablet for the classroom, or the best apps for integrating technology into the curriculum.  In fact, our learning was profoundly different.

We had the opportunity to meet and speak with leaders in the field of education and technology.  Many who we follow and respect from a distance, including Alec Couros, George Couros, Kathy Cassidy, Dave Cormier, and Chris Kennedy.  Although we were part of numerous presentations by leaders from across Canada, and around the world (from as far as Australia), there was a consistency to the message:  do not focus on the devices, but on what the devices enable us to do.

Educating for Responsible Citizenship Symposium

Given Richland Academy’s Children’s Rights Team leader, Ms. Amy Pitt’s involvement with the Rights Respecting Schools program in connection with UNICEF Canada, she was invited to attend the 2013: What’s Worth Knowing: Educating for Responsible Citizenship Symposium hosted by the education NGO Learning for a Sustainable Future. Ms. Pitt participated in this event with A.P. and K.D. from the Grade 6 class.

This event brought together over 125 senior decision makers in the government, business, and non-profit sectors, as well as educators and students from across Canada. The Symposium mobilized knowledge about the links between formal education and active youth engagement. LSF’s latest youth-designed project, The Our Canada Project, was also launched at this event. The Our Canada Project is an innovative platform for all Canadians to engage in conversations about the future and share their actions of responsible citizenship.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, addresses Symposium participants

At the symposium there was a group of young people that built a new website named the Our Canada Project. I thought that this was inspiring because it told me that any young people can do anything if they put their minds to it.”- A.P., Grade 6

Primarily, the questions the symposium sought to address were:

  • What do children and youth need to know, do, and value in order to ensure they are responsible, active, and contributing citizens?
  • How can formal education be reoriented to meet these goals?