There is much anticipation leading up to this week’s British Columbia School Superintendents Association Fall Conference – Personalized Learning in the 21st Century: From Vision to Action.
The conference features many internationally known experts, who have been widely quoted over the year, as the province has been investigating 21st century skills and personalized learning. Also included in the program are Premier Gordon Campbell; Minister of Education, George Abbott, and Deputy Minister of Education, James Gorman.
The topic is directly in line with so many of the conversations we are having in West Vancouver. We will have a team of close to 25 at the event, including trustees, administrators and teachers. The event has sold out at over 700 participants – clearly, similar conversations are happening in many places across the province.
In advance of the event, conference organizers have shared a number of resources for participant consideration, and they are available here on the BCELC website (this site is full of links to resources connected to personalized learning).
One article conference organizers have suggested is What’s Next? 21 Ideas for 21st Century Learning by Charles Leadbeater. It is a very interesting read with lots of ideas to mark for further discussion.
One quote that stood out for me, when describing centres of innovation, was:
The school leadership provided an igniting sense of purpose to propel innovation and encourage managed risk taking to develop new approaches . . . That kind of ‘igniting purpose’ is vital when innovation is such a highly collaborative, cumulative endeavour, which relies on mobilising and motivating staff, pupils, parents, partner agencies, other schools. Collaborative innovation relies on the participants having a strong shared sense of purpose.
This is absolutely in line with what we have seen in our district around a series of initiatives, including the Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program IB implentations. I am so impressed by the “shared sense of purpose” from students, parents, staff and community.
In addition, the 76-page report is a series of resources including presentation slides from Charles Leadbeater that support his findings.
My own suggestions for background material leading into the conference include:
A short video from Tony McKay that gives insight to his work
Another short (3 minute) video worth watching is linked here, from Dr. Stuart Shanker, discussing brain development; additional backgrounder material, The Innovation Unit site, gives a good sense of Valerie Hannon’s work.
From my blog archives, I have previously blogged on Teaching, Learning, Technology and Personalization and What is Personalized Learning?
For those attending, or following the conference from a distance, there are a couple of ways to participate. Engage on Twitter by posting comments tagged #bcssa10, and use this same hashtag to follow the conversation. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can engage at TodaysMeet (no account sign-up required) at: http://todaysmeet.com/bcssa10.
I will try to update this blog with daily summaries as well.
UPDATED – Videos from Conference Organizers
The following videos have been shared by conference organizers to help prepare participants:
Rod Allen, Superintendent of Achievement on how to prepare
Valerie Hannon and John Gaiptman discuss the learning agenda in BritishColumbia
Valerie Hannon on what can we expect when we attend the conference in November
Tony McKay, Steve Cardwell and Keven Elder on the goals of the BCSSA November Conference