Open Space Technology for Teacher PD

CATC By the Water is our Board’s summer 3 day ‘computer camp’ for teachers.

Background: CATC is our acronym for Computers Across the Curriculum. ‘By the Water’ is our catch phrase for the location. We have found great success in running this event away from home and away from Board premises to allow total focus on the task at hand by maximizing the learning and minimizing the distractions. Each summer we make the trek from our southern Ontario base north to Barrie (2 hours drive) to Kempenfelt Centre where we have hosted the event for the last 18 years. 

Organizational Strategy: The camp is organized by, and designed to function based on the principle of Open Space Technology to frame the facilitated but self directed learning experience. The principles of Open Space Technology are:

 

  • Whoever comes are the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it’s over, it’s over
  •                                              – Harrison Owen, 1985

    Areas of Focus:  Based on the planning sessions for this year, areas of focus are: literacy, ISTE Standards, collaboration, technology integration, writing and presenting through the use of: SmartBoards, Blogging, Wikis, Rapid Web Designer for the FirstClass environment (RWD), Podcasting with Garageband, Comic Life,  multimedia with iMovie, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe  Photoshop Elements and iPhoto,  Smart Ideas, Band in a Box and Finale. Software titles listed in green have been licensed by the Ministry of Education through the work of the OSAPAC Committee (Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee).

    This year, camp facilitating staff are collaborating via the CATC By the Water wiki. Have a look at camp details, follow our progress and enjoy the learning! I am set to enjoy another day of facilitating and learning at CATC By the Water.

    ~ Mark

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    2 thoughts on “Open Space Technology for Teacher PD”

    1. Hi Mark!

      I love this concept and I have a couple of questions.

      How much does it cost for classroom teachers to attend (if there is a cost)?

      How do you register, within your board, for this event?

      Is it first come first serve, or is there an order by which you allow people to attend?

      How many “campers” does it cap out at?

      How much does it cost your board to run the camp?

      I love the idea and would like to share it, if that is okay, but I needed a few more details.

      Thanks!

      1. I love this concept and I have a couple of questions.

        > How much does it cost for classroom teachers to attend (if there is a cost)?

        We subsidize the cost with central PD funds, but campers to pay to attend.
        Payment could come from personal funds, school funds or other supports.
        We are just working out the final details for next summer re cost. I will forward additional info shortly.

        > How do you register, within your board, for this event?

        Most of our PD registration is handled electronically through PD Place.
        This particular event also has a paper trail due to personal cheque submission etc.

        > Is it first come first serve, or is there an order by which you allow people to attend?

        We hold a block of spots for 1st time attenders for the first 8 – 10 weeks, then first come
        first serve.

        > How many “campers” does it cap out at?

        The facility we hold the event at caps out at 125 factoring in the break out rooms and
        sufficient working space for the computers etc.

        > How much does it cost your board to run the camp?
        I will look up this info and pass it along.

        > I love the idea and would like to share it, if that is okay, but I needed a few more details.
        This is a great event. I think we have done 20 years now, so this is part of our staff development culture.

        Let me know if you need any other info.

        ~ Mark

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