Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.34.23 PMThe big outcomes from our 3rd F2F, which took place at MaRS, were met and then some. We wanted to keep building community to support teachers in shifting their practice. We wanted to allow participants the time deep dive into their Action Plan and apply the SAMR and TPACK lenses to gain further insights and perspective. We wanted our participants to have the time to leverage the human resources in the room to support and inspire their action plans.

Krista Jones from MaRS kicked us off by framing a picture of the changing landscape in education. She used the recent World Economic Forum’s publication entitled “The Future of Jobs”.  Check this out:

The Future Skills...See how they match up from Now to the Future
The Future Skills…See how they match up from Now to the Future

We reignited our community of participants with B.I.N.G.O. (Bringing Innovation n’ Good Opportunities) and with special guests: Alexis Dean from Dovetail, Nogah Kornberg from Rotman’s I-Think program, as well as esteemed Cohort 21 alumni @mfarley from UTS and ChangeGamers, @ehitchcock from Bayview Glen, and @aruston from BSS. We also had presentations from Sandra Nagy fro Future Design Schools, and Carl Mascarenhas from JoeZoo. Thanks to all of you for adding energy, initiative and inspiration to the day!

We had our participants using a Cohort 21 + Design Thinking inspired workbook the size of a healthy placemat – big spaces for big ideas – and this was their artifact through which they will follow their development of their action plan. In the morning, we focused on community building: BINGO and coffee dates in the beautiful and inspiring space of the MaRS building. We also spent some time unpacking our pre-work: an Edpuzzle on TPACK and SAMR – give it a try!

Then we headed into our Lunch and Learn:

Change Gamer evaluates video games and links them to curriculum standards!
Future Design Schools seeks teachers to inspire students to solve real problems!
JoeZoo leverages GoogleDocs to make teachers’ marking more efficient

We had these three fantastic presentations on how to shift your practice using Video Games in the classroom in an integrated and meaningful way; how to leverage Google Docs through JoeZoo to make your marking more effecient, and how a school itself is building the capacity within teachers and students to make learning meaningful by solving real world problems through Design Thinking. What a rush of inspiration and possibilities.

It just shows us how quickly and immediately education is changing for everyone involved: students, teachers and parents! WoW!

In the afternoon, we worked through our Action Plan with a new set of lenses: Assumptions and Constraints. Participants adopted new and varying perspectives to step away from their own positions in the classrooms and ‘revisit’ what they want to do by what they either needed to have in place, or needed to consider as an obstacle.

I can’t ASSUME that I am right in what I want to do.

On CONSTAINT I have is that sometimes my students won’t want to take on this exciting approach, or this new project because it is really hard work, hard, independent work. They are just not used to being challenged in this way. Do they have the skills?

Applying these lenses brought us to some very interesting places – like assuming that the work we want our students to do is the work that they are prepared to do, and are motivated to do. Hmmmmm…. That if our shift in practice requires the use of the web, then can we assume that the web will be 100% reliable and accessible? Hmmmm….

We ended the day with some incredible pitches – teachers having to articulate and persuade a Cohort 21 coach or facilitator. This was the final task of the day. It was so enriching to hear the space at MaRS fill with “Teacher as Entrepreneurs” and “Teachers as Start-Ups”. It was a great model for what a classroom could be…

Thanks for a great day!Image



One thought on “Cohort 21 Returns from MaRS!

  1. That 3rd Face to Face was a truly amazing experience. It was well balanced with current C21 sharing, paired with alumni participation and some excellent start-ups.

    It was hard to come away from that day feeling anything but inspired to grow!

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