Sunday, 7 July 2013

Three days focusing on technology and pedagogy in Newfoundland

I am just finishing up four days in St. John's at the CASA (Canadian Association of School Administrators) annual conference. Before attending, I didn't know a great deal about the organization, but the topic intrigued me. Before attending, I quickly read Stratosphere by Michael Fullan. This is a quick read, but makes the point that we need an integrated approach to bring about true school reform. We need to link technology, pedagogy and change knowledge together yo make the push to a new form of education. The conference was mainly attended by directors and superintendents which gave me a unique perspective on what Canadian educators are thinking. I also had a chance to present on social media and how we can be using this to communicate more effectively with parents, teachers and students. There were some outstanding workshops starting with the keynote by Ben Levin followed by a series of really interesting workshops that presented ideas on how we need to move ahead to develop a pedagogy that will allow us to use technology effectively. The closing address was by Dean Shareski currently working with Discovery Education Canada. I thought his talk was brilliant. It was all about embracing change and throwing out the structures and old ideas that no longer serve us well. He actually tweeted the main points of his talk on the conference back channel #CASA13 - I encourage you to take a look at it, he has some very challenging ideas that we all need to consider. Most of his key points are posted on Twitter. Now I need to go home and think. One of the challenges of a leader is to manage change effectively. Although I do not have the system-wide concerns of most of the participants at the conference, there is certainly enough to keep me going as we continue to look for ways to be the most effective school possible.