Our third face 2 face session was held on Jan 24th at MaRS Commons. This “non-schooly” location was chosen for the very fact that is it center of innovation for Canada. The day went quickly as all members of the cohort participated in thinking and contributing to the conversation about 21st Century Education. Members arrived to “the coolest thinking space in Toronto…..possibly the world!” and were inspired by a jam packed day of learning. It was incredible to follow everyone’s postings to Diigo, Twitter, and their blogs throughout the day. This high level of engagement speaks to the enthusiasm and disposition that this year’s Cohort has towards improving their own practice, and those of others. It’s hard to put one’s finger on it exactly, but the blended approach that we are using seems to be striking an effective balance.
Our members are exploring many different ideas, but some patterns have emerged to develop four different umbrella topics (see below). For each of these topics we used the day to crowd source great resources to launch the Cohort Actions Plans.
(1) Personalized Learning
(2) Digital Citizenship
(3) Flipped Classroom
(4) Exploring SAMR
With this incredible space at MaRS, we utilized breakout sessions, and even “coffee talk” where members could work in small groups, but still have time to build relationships and conversations with others over coffee. It was great to see the entire space at MaRS filled with great conversations, ideas and collaboration from the chairs in the main foyer, to small break out rooms within the Commons itself.
One of the exciting additions to this year’s Cohort experience as the chance to see EdTech startup and offer feedback to these companies, provided by MaRS, as they continue to develop their product. We heard from Top Hat, Memarden and WorldVuze.
The energy in the room was a great combination of possibility, integration and vision of where
education is heading in the 21st century. It was great to see Cohort 21 adding value to these very worthwhile endeavors, and creating relationships with these start ups as well.
As we embark on our Action Plans, it will be important for all members to maintain contact with one another and continue to build on the sharing and collaboration to support and refine our Action Plans. We look forward to your posts, and keep an eye out for upcoming Hangouts on Digital Citizenship and how best to share and present your Action Plan to the Cohort and to your school.