I am such a lucky guy.
Next week teachers in my district go back to school in preparation for our students return the first week in September. As part of that return, many teachers are looking to jump start their school year with some late summer professional learning.
I have been fortunate to participate and present at several events every year and I know what a learning opportunity exists within the conversations and connections they offer. Having said that, I also know that there are many barriers for teachers to attend events that require travel away from home for several days.
Last year I proposed to my district that we look at holding a pre-school professional learning event specifically focused for our six 1:1 schools. It was tagged the 1:1 Bootcamp for Teachers. As demand grew we quickly expanded the focus to teachers from across the province and broadened the sessions to include teachers in all levels of technology-rich learning. We ended up with 120 learning leaders spending a day and a half sharing stories of the transformational impact of technology in their classrooms.
With such a tremendous response and positive feedback encouraging us, we continued to expand the breadth and depth of our event. We partnered with a neighboring district, found a few additional sponsors, kept the price right (FREE!) and the model simple. In fact, three of us organized the whole thing. As a result, on Monday and Tuesday of this week we welcomed just under 150 educators from around New Brunswick (and even a few from beyond – one came all the way from the Yukon!) to LEARNEast 2.0.11. Quickly reviewing the data from our on-line participant survey tells us we are doing something right.
So, why am I lucky?
I am lucky to live and work as a teacher in what is a relatively progressive public education system like New Brunswick’s and, more importantly, blessed to be part of an amazing network of generous colleagues who understand the powerful role technology can, and must, play in supporting a new story of learning for the 21st Century and who are willing to share so freely. I have been to many events and my colleagues in New Brunswick are world class in knowledge, passion and vision around 21st Century education. I want to thank each and every one of them who took the time out of their last week of the summer to join us as presenters and share their expertise. Without such generosity LEARNEast could simply not happen.
I particularly want to thank our two keynote presenters, Brian McCain of The Gaia Project and well-known global educator Kim Cofino, who skyped in to share with us from her school-year home in Yokohama, Japan (more on Kim’s message in a later post). Their generosity with both their time and ideas blows me away. It’s this willingness to share that sets individuals like Kim, Brian and our other presenters apart as learning leaders of the 21st Century.
I am just lucky to be part of it. See you next year at LEARNEast 2.0.12!
Photo Credit: Dice: Lucky Seven, by jfh686, uploaded to Flickr, used under a Creative Commons License.