Keynotes/ Presentations/ Workshops

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 keynote is to inspire my audience in an engaging and thought-provoking way to create change and movement forward. As we move into conversations that explore why the work is being done, we will later focus on how we can leverage relationships, digital technologies and resources to create deep learning experiences that will improve achievement and well-being in our schools and communities.

Keynotes/ Presentations/ Workshops (alphabetically)

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 communitto 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 Beginners Innovators

Description: With the rapid integration of technology into our classroom programs, it is imperative that educators think critically about using that technology effectively to further the process of learning. Empowering students to build their own digital portfolios is one of the most effective ways to integrate technology in a rich and meaningful way. Learn how to leverage the power of a digital learning platform (Edublogs) to ensure students develop 21st Century Competencies, while exploring all aspects of the curriculum through deep learning tasks. Experience how to design, create, and integrate digital learning experiences that transform learning into high levels of achievement for students. Explore how thousands of elementary students in the AMDSB are building digital portfolios and 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, network, document their learning, develop new literacy skills and a positive digital footprint. (Ontario Ministry of Education TLLP 2013 – 2016)

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 all 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 we 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? Together, let’s 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)

Digital Citizenship

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, we will discuss why we need to teach digital citizenship, how to select SAFE online educational tools, 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 is advancing education as Canada’s premier digital experiential learning library. Through Canada’s largest network of Canadian teachers, industry leaders, experts, and collaborative community partnerships, dHL creates opportunities for teachers and students to engage in connections-based learning choosing from 3 types of virtual learning catalogues, and a variety of social innovation projects.

Discover how the dHL addresses the need for experiential learning in K-12 education by engaging students in sustained inquiry, building stronger relationships between community partners and schools, advancing the development of networking skills and global competencies, and creating a more inclusive and equitable educational experience for all learners.

Social Media in the Classroom ~ Ontario EDU Student Twitter Chat

Description:  In order to bring our wired classrooms to life, we need consider a “one-life” approach to technology integration. That means we need to find ways to integrate the tools and platforms students are using at home, in the classroom — make the extra-curricular, the curricular. Integrating social media platforms like Twitter immerse students in the Language Arts curriculum in authentic and meaningful ways, while they learn to network and build relationships with new learning partners, gain perspective, develop new literacy skills, experience social media as a powerful platform for learning, and establish a positive digital footprint.

In this workshop educators will learn how to teach the Language Arts curriculum using the Twitter platform by participating in the Ontario EDU Student Chat (@ONedSsChat) with their students.

#ONedSsChat is a student-led Twitter Chat that connects K-12 students across Ontario to discuss topics related to character education, social justice, and citizenship.

Learn more: onedsschat.com

Parents as Partners in Learning (for Parents/ Guardians)

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.

What If…?

Passion to achieve success, interwoven with the right questions and a network of support inspires new learning and sends students learners on rich and meaningful lifelong quests. What if we were all inspired to follow our passions? What if we empowered our learners – and felt empowered ourselves – to wonder, explore, create and build community? What if we nurtured an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset? If these questions are where we begin, what other questions are we asking ourselves, and our learners as we educate for global competence, while also nurturing a life-long love of learning? Join me as we reflect on our work in education during these transformational times and move from asking the question, What if, to taking action and driving change.