Yesterday I attended the ECNO annual AGM meeting in Toronto. As expected with the AGM of an organization, there is a certain amount of formal business processes to be followed. As mentioned in my blog post yesterday, by complete luck, I arrived an hour and a half early for the event. The best part about arriving early was that fellow Ontario PLP member @jeffreaburn.
I first met Jeff at the kickoff event for the Powerful Learning Planning (PLP) event in Windsor. Given the commonalities in our roles, we do cross paths at conferences and provincial meetings. Whether face to face, or online, I always find interactions with Jeff to be great learning experiences.
Our early arrival yesterday, was no exception. We had a great opportunity to discuss and compare IT department structures and strategies, netbook and iPod projects and the broad landscape of 21st century learning. Given our PLP connection, conversation eventually rolled around to a couple of key questions:
1. What is 21st century teaching?
2. How do we best create a culture of change and sustainability at the system level?
Culture changes in education need to encompass change that fundamentally impacts the way we teach. Ideas we discussed included:
- teaching with technology embedded as more of a natural part of the learning process and not ‘separate’
- significantly impacting teacher involvement in using technology – breaking past the keen ‘volunteer’ group and getting to a technology use by all scenario
- strategies to expose and encourage greater use of free/cost effective web 2.0 tools in the learning process
- ongoing PD opportunities
- training for school administrators
- stronger linkage of teacher technology training, embedded classroom use, school success plans and system goals
- alignment of the instructional delivery to the technology world that is available to all of us – embrace the power
All in all, a great conversation that made the early arrival very worthwhile! The bonus was, I left with some key ideas to share with my staff and keep the conversation going with our Board. In the meantime, the learning will continue online.