The important work we do in schools is made possible by groups of passionate educators working together. I have had the privilege of working with students, parents, educators, school and office administrators, trustees, technology specialists, and outside organizations who share that passion. If you are interested in working with me as a presenter or keynote speaker, please contact me with your request. Schools groups can visit ETFO’s Presenters on the Road Catalogue to request a free* session.
My focus during any workshop or presentation is to inspire my audience in an engaging and thought-provoking way to inspire change and a movement forward. As we move into conversations that explore why the work is being done, we will later focus on how we can leverage a few specific digital tools and resources to create deep learning experiences that will improve learning in our schools and engage our communities.
Keynotes/ Presentations/ Workshops
The best questions send
students learners on rich and meaningful lifelong quests, question after question after question (Wesch, 2008). What if we believed that we too are learners both inside, and outside of the classroom? What if we were all inspired to follow our passions? What if we empowered our learners – and felt empowered ourselves – to wonder, explore, and become forward-thinking leaders? What if we nurtured an innovator’s mindset? If good questions are the driving force behind creative and critical thinking, what questions are you asking yourself, and your learners to do what is needed for kids? Join me as we reflect on our work in education during these transformational times to move from What if to I will.
A Kids’ Guide to Canada
Description: All K-8 students in Canada are invited to participate in an innovative “Kids’ Guide to Canada – Un guide du Canada” project and help write a brand new chapter in Canada’s history. The project offers every K-8 student in the country an unprecedented opportunity to make a personal contribution of true meaning and lasting value to the children of Canada: the very first multilingual, multicultural and interactive guide to Canada made BY kids and FOR kids: a single historic national school project!
With well over a quarter of a million dollars of support from educational organizations, small businesses, and the Canadian Government, this teacher-led initiative invites every K-8 teacher and class in Canada to investigate, honour, and introduce the land and people of their school’s neighbourhood community to the children of Canada, and in the process, help build a new era of “understanding, empathy, respect”. (Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Call to Action 63.3)
The project is 100% free, 100% inclusive, and Canadian-based; it includes mandatory student safety and security components, and provides extra support for schools lacking access to technology or reliable internet service.
Join me to learn more about how your students discover their intrinsic worth, creative powers, and ability to impact and shape their world by getting involved in A Kids’ Guide to Canada!
Blogs as Digital Portfolios for
Description: With the rapid integration of technology into our classroom programs, it is imperative that educators develop a innovator’s mindset and think critically about using technology effectively to further the process of learning. I will highlight how K-8 educators in the AMDSB are leveraging the power of a digital learning platform (Edublogs) to develop 21st Century Competencies, as well as design, create, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning into high levels of achievement for students. Experience how students in the AMDSB are engaging in inquiry-based learning partnerships with students in their own classes and with global learning partners to start conversations, find answers to their questions, document their learning, make a difference, take action, and drive change. Student blogs, digital portfolios, and the EdTech Learning Community are the tools that will be discussed. More information about my work can be found on my blog: EdTech Learning Community
*communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, citizenship, character
Blogs as Digital Porfolios for Innovators (sample presentation deck)
Designing New Literacies
Description: Literacy has always been defined by technology.
As we reflect on what it means to be literate today, and consider the value and complexity of teaching and learning in digital spaces, how are we transforming literacy instruction to meet the needs of today’s learner? This session is designed to provide an introduction to New Literacies – the digital learning environments (apps, websites/blogs, GAFE, Twitter…), technologies (iPads, Chromebooks, etc), and new literacies skills and strategies required to be literate today. Re-examine our Language Arts curriculum with a lens to future. How does our current Language Arts curriculum lend itself to teaching and learning reading comprehension skills and strategies in digital learning environments? Re-think how you teach reading and writing communicating as a social process. How are we integrating experiences for students to read, write, create, reflect and connect using social media platforms = literacy-rich learning environments? Re-envision what it means to be literate today… The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. (Alvin Toffler)
Designing New Literacies (sample presentation deck)
Description: Technology is entwined in almost every part of our lives, shaping the way we connect, socialize, play, and most importantly, learn. Technology has transformed the ways we interact with each other, and the world. Digital citizenship is about how we should act, and interact with others when we are online. It’s about teaching users of technology what they need to know in ways that prepare us to be contributing citizens today, and in the future. Join me as we explore a shift in thinking about Digital Citizenship -moving away from a lesson a week– to creating a school culture and mindset of understanding around the human, cultural, and societal implications related to technology use in education. During this session, participants will discuss why we need to teach digital citizenship, how to select SAFE online educational tools for everyone, ways to integrate technology effectively- guided by the SAMR & TPACK model, guidelines for using social media in the classroom, copyright, fair use and attribution, as well as how to balance technology use at work/school, and at home.
Digital Human Library
Description: The Digital Human Library (dHL) is a new kind of library designed for your next generation learners. Experience how the dHL is connecting Canadian teachers and students with hundreds of organizations, experts and students from around the world during a live session! Learn how to browse the library and use video conferencing technology to connect learners with global learning partners in all curriculum subject areas. See how the dHL is bringing the field trip experience into the classroom to engage learners and maximize student outcomes (6Cs). Discover how the dHL is delivering authentic experiential learning opportunities across Canada designed to support and further student inquiry, establish stronger relationships between communities and schools, and create a more inclusive and equitable educational experience for all learners.
Digital Human Library (sample presentation deck)
The Globally Connected Learner
Description: What do you want kids to do with technology?
With the rapid integration of technology into our classroom programs, educators must think critically about how they plan to use technology effectively to improve student outcomes in the areas of 6Cs. How do your students leverage the power of technology to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society? With ubiquitous access to information and resources, students are now able to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous.
During this session you will experience stories of teaching and learning throughout my Board using digital tools like the iPads, the Digital Human Library, Twitter, and blogging to empower students, promote greater enjoyment of learning, improve student outcomes (6Cs), increase academic performance, and build strong, lasting learning partnerships with family, the local community, and global learning partners.
Parents as Partners in Learning
Description: A parent’s involvement in their child’s learning is the number one contributing factor for student success. As more educators begin to integrate social media into their classroom programs to connect their students with their world, there are even more questions and concerns raised by parents about what this means. In this talk I will highlight how integrating the use of social media into our classroom programs provides parents with unique opportunities to engage in learning with their children. I will also explore the potential that community partners have to change the nature of conversations in our classrooms about “why” and “how” we learn.
Social Media in the Classroom
Description: In order to bring our wired classrooms to life, we must provide students with opportunities to use the technology they are using outside of school in school – make the extra-curricular the curricular. Social media platforms like blogging, Twitter, and the Digital Human Library are some of the tools we will explore as we discuss globally connected learning and networking with a focus on maximizing student outcomes and improving student achievement. Throughout the session we will discuss why it is necessary to increase our productivity as educators, and some of the best tools we can use to accomplish this, as well as how these same tools can be used to redesign learning in ways that improve student outcomes (6 C’s). We will end the session with a discussion about how to foster deep, critical understanding through effective implementation of learning networks. Join me in conversations about best practices for integrating social media into your classroom program to engage learners, maximize student outcomes and improve student achievement.
What Digital Footprint Are You (not) Leaving?
Description: We all have a digital footprint, but the question is, what kind of footprint are we leaving behind? How do we create a positive digital footprint, or re-shape our existing one? We often tell our students that their online behaviour will impact their future, but do we teach them how to create an online presence that will provide them opportunities to make a lasting difference in the world? With the right opportunities, digital tools, and support, teachers and students have the ability to establish their own unique positive digital footprints through the effective use of technology and social media.
Keynote/ Presentation/ Workshop Highlights 2016 – 2017
All of presentations are tailored to each audience and customized based on your learning needs. My material is continuously updated and adjusted to keep it current and make it relevant for each school group or organization. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to request me as a presenter.
- 2017 EdTech Leadership Summit, 2017
- 2017 Bring IT Together Conference, 2017
- 2017 TVO Professional Learning Series, Innovating for Social Justice, Online
- 2017 M.A.D PD Online Conference, Online
- 2017 Fair Chance Learning Ignite Event, Niagara Falls ON
- 2017 Connect2017, Niagara Falls ON
- 2017 A Kids’ Guide to Canada Webinar w/ Angela Maiers, ON
- 2017 Ontario Teacher’s Federation (OTF) Webinars (Spring/Summer/Winter/Fall), Online
- 2016 Bring IT Together (#BIT15), Niagara Falls, ON
- 2016 Ontario Teacher’s Federation (OTF) Pedagogy b4 Technology Conference, Toronto ON
- 2016 Ontario Interboard Network for the Gifted, Stratford ON
- 2016 ULead, Banff Alberta
- 2016 Innovator’s Mindset Book Club, Online
- 2016 EdTech Summit, Toronto ON
- 2016 OLA Webinar (dHL), Online
- 2016 Ontario Library Association Super Conference, Toronto ON
- 2016 Ontario Teacher’s Federation (OTF) Connects Webinars (Spring/Summer/Winter/Fall), Online