ConnectED: Hope for Education

I had the distinct pleasure recently of joining many passionate and dedicated teachers from across the country at the annual ConnectED conference, hosted at the Calgary Science School.

The ConnectED event takes an unconventional approach to connecting educators and engaging them in leading conversations about the future of the industry. In lieu of expensive keynotes and stand n’ deliver lectures from “experts”, the ConnectED event embraces the wisdom of practitioners, encouraging great dialogue and connection through hands-on conversations and practical applications of theory.

I ran an “unworkshop” on Systems, and instead of standing in front and talking at the participants, I introduced some theory on systems change, then we sat down in small groups and mapped out some relevant systems. It was truly inspiring to listen in on the conversations, which ranged from reporting student success via outcomes to changing teacher training programs to better match the realities of the profession. There were no shortages of great ideas, deep insight and passion for changing the system.

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Because I love the work of Dr. Alex Bruton (my partner in Givyup) and his Sketchpads, I created the Systems Sketchpad 1.0, which we used to map out some systems and identify levers for change.

Feel free to use this!

Feel free to use this!

I walked away from the ConnectED event with a new-found appreciation for the passion and insight that many of our educators bring to their work, and hope that our educational system can shift to better meet the needs of teachers, learners and communities.

I’m looking forward to ConnectED 2014…assuming I’ll be invited back! And I’m going to have to work on the “deer in the headlights” terror that my session invoked…

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