Reach­ing the learn­ing sum­mit

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint -

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

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