To Bring “IT” Together 2018 – with Love, Zoe

2018 will mark my 15th ECOO “BIT” Conference. Once again, I leave feeling inspired, recharged and committed to being a strong, caring and innovative teacher.  LOVE was a dominant theme – woven through the presentations and conversations. LOVE.

I had an opportunity to view the film, To the Orcas,  with Love (LINK)   by a local filmmaker, Natalie Lucia.  In her film, Natalie emphasizes her goal – to inspire children and adults to fall in love with the world or some part of it, at least. She shares her journey (and passion) of working and living amongst the Orcas in British Colombia, Canada and how it changed her. Her motivation to inspire all people to reflect on our own role in the environment and the world,  and how everything – every choice, action, relationship, discussion, and goal has connections to something else. She reminds us all that we can make a difference.

The film and resource have been made free for teachers to use in the classroom


Talking about Love….  I had a wonderful talk with a friend, Lisa Noble. I see her more often online at    @nobleknits2 where she relentlessly and constantly shares  – not about her own work (which is inspiring by the way) – but about the work of others. Her support, kindness, and genuine caring for others have been incredibly appreciated and needed. I have had a tough 18 months (grief, depression) and over and over Lisa has reached out to show her love and compassion. I am full of gratitude and was pleased to have had a chance to talk.


Another conversation led me to talk about Love and Kindness was with Peter Skillen @peterskillen.  “Just bring Love”, he said.  Admittedly, I did feel a bit of tension and stress at the conference. People feeling uncertain about their jobs, about where education is going. People expressing worry about children, students, and their future in Education.  People struggling with their own mental health and stress. Optimism was not prevalent.  Peter, an advocate for Child-Centered learning pedagogy noted, more than ever, we need to be kind and loving to one another – work together and care.


 

 

Now, THIS is true love. Sue @suekwiecien and Andy  @AndrewKwiecien searched and found me in aimlessly walking around the conference centre – to give me huge hugs and homemade SCORPION PEPPER Hotsauce.  I cherish these moments! Running into old friends (not old as in age) like @aforgrave and finding time to chat about our kids, family, and well-being was the best part of the conference. It’s family you haven’t seen in a long time.

 


Finally, I got to share some of my work. In Oct 2017, I finally finished my own Graduate Thesis (which took way too much time).It is humbling to present to other innovative and creative Educators. I don’t think I could have ever completed my Masters of Education without saying thank you to some of these folks – who inspired me from the beginning.  Influencers such as Will Richardson (@willrich45); Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep); Ben Hazzard (@benhazzard); Kathy Cassidy (@kathycassidy); Dr. Alec Couros (@courosa); Dr. Camille Rutherford (@crutherford); Jenny Ashby (@jjash); Doug Peterson (@dougpete); Andy Forgrave (@aforgrave); and Dean Shareski (@shareski). 

Sharing of my Session Slide (although the context and talk aren’t there so it may not make sense).

LINK

To ECOO,

Thank you for the many hours of work you have put into this conference and for supporting educators like myself. I saw many of you helping participants, guiding them, working with technology and helping them with their sessions. I know how much work – planning, organizing and prepping that goes into the conference behind the scenes. You are incredibly inspiring and know that this work impacts so many children! 

Sincerely,  and with Love, 

Zoe

 

2017 CANeLearn Symposium Presentations

2017 CANeLearn Symposium

Over the next three days, I’ll be at the CANeLearn Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia! Sweet!

I’m sooooo looking forward to the opportunity for  conversations and face-to-face connections with the many friends and colleagues of whom I’ve only connected with online – OR maybe I just haven’t seen you in WAY TOO LONG.  You know who you are! This will be the best part!

I am completely honoured, humbled, inspired and energize to be a featured speaker – along side such forward thinking and creative educators and leaders. Thank you so much to the CanELearn Team, Volunteers and Leaders for organizing such a fantastic event!

  • Remi Kalir, Assistant Professor of Information and Learning Technologies at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education 
  • Michael Furdyk of TakingITGobal
  • Dr. Sean Lessard (Assistant Professor of Indigenous Education and Core Studies at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education)  Recipient of the CEA Pat Clifford Award 
  • Alanna King (@bannana29), another Ontario Educator is sharing her experiences and knowledge in a session called The Frontierland of secondary school E-learning, conquering fear and fostering courage. This is a MUST attend session. Alana is not only an incredible educator, but she is funny, kind, and generous and doesn’t need to work hard to inspire those around her. It is just natural.

My presentations:

I will present my own story as a Maker Teacher and how I have made connections between practice and pedagogy and in particular how this has shaped a second Makerspace classroom (2017), one that is not just rich in technological resources, but also promotes social justice, global awareness and community action. I will describe and share how my team and I developed a classroom as a mix between a cafe, a living room and a Makerspace – all intentionally designed around collaborative, safe and comfortable spaces.  I will explore and reflect on my own experiences as an educator and how I have used a variety of frameworks to connect teaching and learning to topics of  Social Justice, Indigenous perspectives and Inquiry based-learning to the Maker or Do it Yourself (DIY) Culture as we see it today.  In sharing my own journey as an innovative teacher and leader, I will discuss how adversity, pushback and isolation impacted me in the process of standing up for education system that is not only fair and equitable for all learners, but one that promotes critical thinking and constructivism – which is at the heart of a Makerspace environment.

Thursday April 6th, 1:30

I’d like to think that I am a facilitator, but TOGETHER we will all be sharing! The UN Development Global Goals provides context, in all areas of education, for teachers and students to ask questions. In this session, I will share simple strategies for anyone interested in enhancing an inquiry driven classroom, one that is student-centric and has a strong emphasis on Maker Culture, Social Justice, and Experiential Learning. I will talk about the role of self-directed learning, health and well-being, and how we can use a variety of tools, spaces, and lesson types to engage students to think deeply about the world around them.

Friday April 7th, 11:15

Can you imagine a learning space where nature, music, art, and literature are infused in the design of the STE-A-M focused classroom? A kindergarten classroom for students of all ages? A place where tea is served at the start and end of each day in beautiful porcelain cups – where there are no bells or specific transitions and subjects are infused by “Big Ideas or Themes”? A classroom that celebrates community through nutritious food prepared each day by students who gather at a cafe bar or surround a kitchen table and prompted by deep discussions of innovation and creativity?

We will talk about it and find out what the research says. Why Tea? Why an indoor garden? Why a cafe bar? Why Knitting or Sewing? Why Cooking? Why Art? Why Chess or Games? Why Guitar/Piano? Why Kitchen Table? Why Livingroom? Why 3D printer? Why 1:1 Computers? Why light? Why Music? Why Blogs? Why Programming?

Bring Back the Maker in Learning…

It is always an honour to present at a conference. To have such incredibly passionate and engaged educators, leaders, academics  and friends dedicate time to listen and reflect on my words might be one of the most humbling experiences of a lifetime.   I sincerely thank you for empowering me and reminding me of the support and kindness that exists in our field – it is that that helps me (and you) to move forward.  Christ Hatfield, our closing Keynote on Thursday reminded us that innovation is not just about one single person but it is a combination of so many people’s experiences, skills and talents. That is how I feel.  Please continue to connect, share and dialogue. I look forward to continuing and deepening the connection that already started!

Here is the slide presentation

LINK  -> This contains my notes as well…

 

And the VIDEO STREAM (which I am too nervous to watch)

My INCREDIBLE Network – I bet you are in there somewhere!

Over the past couple of years, I have been teaching the Junior Basic Qualification course (ABQ) at Brock University. The purpose of the course is to provide comprehensive training for teachers who are already qualified teachers, but need their Junior Level Qualifications to teacher Grades 4-6, in Ontario.

For one of the Modules, these teachers spend a couple of weeks learning about how teachers at the Junior level are using non-traditional methods to teach and learn, including the use of a variety of online tools, technology tools, social networking sites, blogs, and of course innovative tools that engage and inspire learners in this day and age.

Probably the BEST RESOURCE that my students have collaboratively gathered is their contributions to my EDUCATORS that INSPIRE book (below). Seriously. Amazing. Tonight, for the first time in a while, page by page, I went through this wonderful resource and realized how ABSOLUTELY fortunate I am to have such a wide variety of co-learners (educators, leaders, education activists, writers, bloggers) in my network.

 
Next week, I’ll be heading to #iste2015 to visit some of the people here and I hope to personally thank them for their genorosity, care and constant belief in Education!

 

Brock Tech Showcase

As an instructor at Brock University this year, I am quite impressed with the Faculty of Education and their efforts to engage not only the students, but the wider educational community in 21st Century technologies and multi-literacies. All P/J/I students are required to take an Technology in the Classroom  course which focuses on computer skills, web 2.0 and social networking. This year, the University started offering an optional course to the I/S students who have since become leaders in their own cohorts and schools, all of whom have blogs, twitter accounts and advocated for innovative teaching methods.

teaching and techREGISTER NOW!!

The Brock Tech Showcase is in its third year running. The sessions, sponsors and presenters are incredible and offer something for everyone.

Event Highlights:

  • The Showcase is a free event, thanks to the sponsors!
  • There will be three 75-minute sessions. Teacher Education students and practicing teachers can take advantage of a full-day event allowing them to participate in more sessions, and share experiences and new ideas.
  • Lunch provided free to attendees.
  • Closing message with giveaways!
  • The Decision Makers’ Luncheon returns with a stronger focus on school board administrators. A discussion panel will focus on how school boards, the Faculty of Education, and the industry can work together to support greater technology integration.
  • The Interactive Vendor Fair will encourage hands-on, interactive displays.

Join us at Brock University’s Hamilton Campus for this innovative event.

Date: January 28, 2011

Location: 1842 King Street East, Hamilton, Ontario