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JTC Event – May 2014 – Plenary

May 6, 2014

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Hello reader! Today we have the opportunity to hang out with hundreds of other K-12 Technology in Education amazing folks at one of the two semi-annual JTC Events hosted by Alberta Education. This one is being hosted at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton, and it looks to be a good day. This post is part of my notes for the day. Although there will be multiple posts, I’ll try to post links to the other posts for the day in this document as they come up.

By the way, JTC’ers are very good at Tweeting about the day. Here’s a quick link to Tweets using the #jtcevent hash tag. http://twitter.com/hashtag/jtcevent

JTC Program website

Derek opened the day with a bit of a contest, our table went 6 for 6! Hoorah! Derek also talked a little bit about the Learning Technology Policy Framework and how well it has been accepted around the country and the world.

Greg Bass – Deputy Minister
Mr. Bass talked briefly about how we need to work on lots of different areas at once, not un-like a “sound board” where we used to just want to move one slider up and down at a time, but now we need to have multiple changes at the same time.

We need to be concerned if the education system 20-30-40 years from now is the same as today, then are we meeting the needs of our students? We need to ask ourselves the question of what we need to do, and come up with ideas and potential solutions and not be afraid to move forward.

We need to focus the system on what the students need/want to do. Student Autonomy. The goal of the system isn’t just to get into post-secondary, or find a job, or something quick and simple. It’s not as easy to define as we’d like, but we need to figure out what the real world wants and needs from them.

Engagement is critical. Teachers need to be able to engage students. Students are most fired up with they are working with others.

Greg thanked everyone who worked on the LTPF and everyone in the room who will be working to put it into practice.

Q&A with Mr. Bass
There was a question about the task force report from yesterday. Greg reminded everyone that Alberta Education wasn’t directly involved in this report either, and is still looking at the document to see how it will impact the system. So they are still studying the document, and will have more thoughts at a later date.

Greg asked the question about why would we take students down the hallway to a computer lab to use technology, rather than use their own devices or other mobile devices. He suggests that Superintendents and Sr. Leaders need to look at budgets and see what is been allocated to a 20th century model, not the current model, and consider re-allocating more appropriately.

Question regarding given that leadership can change, Cabinet can change, how committed is GOA to Inspiring Ed, LTPF, and these other large scale projects. Mr. Bass suggested that changing it would be hard. These documents are the vision of Albertans over the past number of years. As DM his role is to carry out the vision, not just of government, but of Albertans. He feels that we can’t really speculate, but trying to stop this right now would not be well received at all, and in fact may not be stoppable. What does the system, what do communities want?

Karen Andrews
Karen facilitated a table discussion around where school jurisdictions were at in terms of the LTPF. Hoping to have the implementation plan ready for the Fall.

Dave Hauschildt
Baseline Technology Assessment. Reminder that that the deadline has been extended to May 16. Response rate to date:
Tech Leaders: 263
Authority Leaders: 707
Teachers: 4126

Karen Andrews:
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Karen asked us to consider how we can reach parents? And give some feedback and suggestions.

Our table had a very lively discussion around engaging parents with technology, those who aren’t currently engaged, and more. Is it our role to monitor and manage filtering? Is it the role of the system to raise the child? Fascinating discussion! Thanks to our table for the great debate!

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