Emerge Conference

16 Aug

For three days this August, I am having the pleasure to network with educators, politicians, administrators, an astronaut, visionary technology enthusiasts to name a few. The setting is beautiful Banff. It has welcomed us with sunny weather, a great facility (Banff Centre) and many good conversations.

Feel free to follow or even review some of the comments found on twitter with the hastag #emerge2010


* Dr. David Merrill’s keynote on Physical Blocks for Digital Play spoke about the history of technology in music, games, education, etc. Educational software over the past three decades has changed quite a bit, however this 32 year old prof still believes that the “one-point” experience (that of using a mouse to control one little cursor) is really not the most effective way of interacting with today’s digital content. If you recognize David’s name, it may be because of his infamous TED talk from a couple of years ago surrounding Siftables.


* Dr. Bob Thirsk’s keynote this morning centered around his experiences with the Canadian Space Agency and the International Space Station. He also tied these events with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required in a classroom setting and the critical role that teachers play in engaging students. Wonderful space pics of the earth!

* For the rest of the day, workshops were available to attend. As well, I presented PSD’s Journey for the first year of the Supporting Leaders in Integrating Technology Project. My topic was Digital Bootcamp for Educational Leaders. I had two glogster posters: one with an intro of where PSD sits in regards to technology integration and the other showing some of administrators/tech leaders discussing one of the NINE effective strategies. We also worked in our group and individual thoughts on a collaborative TitanPad site. As well, the magazine report on issuu was a hit – good info shared through this medium! (Now I need to review this report for its final draft and ‘polish’ over the next few days and hand it in to Ralph at Alberta Ed!!)

* iLead: Shaping Learning Communities that Fit the Needs of 21st Century Learners – Jeff Johnson. Working with leadership in ECSD. A few wonderful videos with admin, teachers and students discussing 21st century learning. As well, he used of COSN’s Learning to Change, Changing to Learn video to garner discussion with leaders. Resources such as, and BernaJean Porter and ISTE learning site info to plan for change with a specific focus for each admin.

Student-Centered Graphic Organizers: Using Technology to Organize Thinking and Represent Understanding – Danny Maas. Students are able to develop their visual literacy skills and content knowledge using various graphic organizers. Graphic org – books: The Art & Sci of Teaching, Classroom Instruction that Works. 4 types of graphic org: compare/contrast, concept mapping, cause&effect, classifying. Great graphic organizer tools – prezi,, powerpoint, edu glogster and popplet.


* Dr. Marlene Scardamalia’s keynote on Environments and Assessments for an Inclusive Knowledge Society shared some of the research she has been involved in for the past 18 months. – building of site and resources as per knowledge building and assessment. Interesting that new knowledge creation is not identified in any framework for 21st Century Skills.

* Enhancing the Capacity of Ed Leaders w/ Dale Howard  – the researcher reviewing the Supporting Leaders Theme 1 project.

*seeing what jurisdictions are doing, does this change their capacity and knowledge on technology?

Vision – promoting successful school leaders in AB

Mission – admins will recognize the potential of new and emerging tech and enable their meaningful integration in supporting teaching and learning

CASS Study 2010 on application of 21st C learning technologies

Results of initial participant survey:

Response rate – 84%

PD – 69% directly involved, 30% not

Satisfaction w/selection of PD activities – 53%, neither sat nor dissat – 43%

Satisfaction w/ sequencing of PD activities – 50%, neither sat nor dissat – 48%

Not challenging enough – 8%,

Time allotted – satisfied – 35%

Actively promoting digi citizenship – 23%

20 characteristics of tech leadership        –     50-60% vision and strategic planning, digital-aged culture,

–          60-70% modeling, evidence-based practice, policy

–          75% tech integration at local level, facilitating staff dev, promoting/modeling responsible social interaction

What does it mean to be a digital-aged leader?

Three fields of knowledge from Friesen and Lock 2010 – practitioner, new, public. Do you feel with this intense PD have you made some leaps in your knowledge?

* Richard Tapp discussed his involvement in the 1:1 ESL student program in Calgary. Shared that the ESL group was half of a class, all students in class received a laptop and resources were at their fingertips such as  iLife, iWorks, GarageBand, Audacity, Inspiration, Discovery Education, visual thesaurus, dictionary, and MS Office suite. Students liked having access to the laptops 24/7 and confidence was boosted in showing their learning in a variety of forms. His presentation found here.

* Terry Godwalt’s infectious passion for Canadian Global Education had me attend his session. Working with TIGEd, Terry showed a variety of ways that teachers can provide authentic global learning experiences through webinars, webconferences, and videoconferences. AS well, it’s free and fits with our school division priorities since it has connects high schools virtually with grad students, Four Nations classrooms, Change for Children, VC for Hope = supported by Ctr for Global Ed

* Bob Regan’s keynote right after lunch kept us engaged and laughing. His topic was on Technology in the Classroom: Going form Disengaged to Digital. He had great visuals, a good story and pertinent research to share.

Quote: “Going to school is like being on an airplane – turn off devices, sit down, stare ahead.” As well – research from Manpower ’09: While more people may be looking for jobs, they don’t have the skills needed. Some scary info: each dropout costs the nation $260,000US. There are three stages of tech: lab, classroom and then access anywhere….and now informal learning (could be a 4th stage?). In reference to PD, Bob says that it needs to be fast, fun and frequent. He showcased the Palm Breeze Cafe as an exemplar.

Will add more info from Tues – wi-fi is giving me some trouble 🙂

Image –


Tags: , ,

One response to “Emerge Conference


    December 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: