Reaching the learning summit
was an exciting and fun-filled learning weekend for over 500 Grande Yellowhead Public School Division staff members and 100 external educators that participated in this year’s professional development event in Jasper and Hinton. GYPSD proudly hosted an EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education.
EdTechTeam hosts over 100 summits worldwide each year and were very excited to bring their event to provide valuable PD to all GYPSD staff. Michelle Armstrong, EdTechTeam’s Regional Director for Canada noted how great it was to have all of the division’s staff attend, and genuinely participate in the learning activities. “We have hosted a number of summits over the years and I believe this is the first one that I have seen all division staff attend, including the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Trustees. I commend Grande Yellowhead for their sincere level of commitment and support for modeling life-long learning for their staff.”
Kelly Smith, Supervisor of Learning Services for Grande Yellowhead, began the process last year to bring in the Ed- TechTeam once her technology team began the implementation of the G Suite for Education. It wasn’t enough to just provide the tools, she knew it was also important to ensure that in-depth professional development for staff was also included. To truly support 21st Century learning in the classroom, staff needed to have a deeper understanding of how to leverage the full range of resources and tools that the G Suite platform offers. However, as this PD Summit was being held division-wide, it was also critical that learning specific to the user was offered. Kelly explained. “We ran two separate events for all staff on Friday, October 20th: workshops focused on tools to use in the classroom in Jasper, and events for office and support staff in Hinton.”The Summit also included a pre-workshop on the 19th for those staff wanting to attend a boot camp on preparing for certification as a Google level 1 or 2 Educator, and the second day of workshops was offered on the Saturday for those wishing to learn more about Google tools and resources. As an added bonus, fifty participants joined the EdTechTeam along with a representative from Canadian Geographic on Sunday for a Geo Workshop using unique Google tools for a true ‘summit on the summit’ experience!
A limited number of external seats were offered to the public and were quickly booked up from educators across Canada who were excited to have the opportunity to attend. Feedback from the Summits in Hinton and Jasper was very positive from both internal and external attendees: ‘one of the most useful PD sessions I have ever attended and the energy is unmatched by any other conference.’; ‘this was the BEST school division Institute Day ever (and I’ve been to a few as this is my 23rd year of teaching)’; ‘awesome’; ‘started creating during the session and excited to continue my work at school’; ‘thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event. I had a great time, stretched myself and I learned a ton in the process.’
The joint goal of the Summit from both GYPSD and EdTechTeam was to inspire and empower participants in their learning - looks like the learning ‘summit’ was reached!
Visit our Facebook page on Facebook to check out some photos from this year’s Summit and to learn more about Ed- TechTeam and continue learning, we encourage you to access the following links:
• EdTechTeam Events in Canada • EdTechTeam Online Courses
• EdTechTeam Community for PD
• Google for Education Training Centre for online courses