CONNECT is Canada’s largest education technology conference. We have attracted over 1600 participants, plus countless Exhibitors and Sponsors that came together under one roof to share best practices and expand our horizons of education technology in an ever increasing global and digital economy.

This community of passionate educators, leaders, chief information officers, directors of education, IT experts, business managers and government sector institutions are committed to gathering once a year to learn, debate and exchange ideas, network and be inspired through a smorgasbord of world class speakers, presenters, exhibits and seminars. It is the only event in Canada that brings together the complete life-cycle of learning, from kindergarten to Higher Education, libraries and workplace learning.

Our mission is to connect all sectors in order to help raise the standards of 21st century teaching, training and learning in education.

CONNECT Attendees: Christopher J. Byrne, Stuart T. Gray, Matthew W. Greer, Brandon T. Edwards & Daniel G.A. Curley



Why We Attended
Our technology endgame would see us as a school engaging, creating, learning, exploring and critically analyzing with the help of technology. 


Keynotes

Alec Couros

Associate professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada

@courosa  

Alec Couros is an associate professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada. An award-winning educator, Alec helps his undergraduate and graduate students take up the incredible affordances of our connected world through the integration of educational technology in teaching and learning. 

Presentation: Issues such as cyberbullying, sexting, and student access to inappropriate content are important areas of understanding for teachers, administrators, children, adolescents, and parents. In this session, participants will be presented with many of the important issues that face our schools in an era where access to information is ubiquitous, and digital messages are easily spread. Through a balance of information-sharing and questioning, participants will come to better understand such issues through a positive framework, one that moves toward the intentional development of learner digital identities.

___________________________________________________

Angela Maiers

Mattering is the Agenda

Angela Maiers has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 25 years, teaching every level of school from kindergarten to graduate school and consulting with companies around the world.

Presentation: Words Matter. Words can lift a spirit. Words can end a war. Words change lives and change the world. Well-chosen words, borne of a practice of noticing, can change the culture of an entire school. We cannot capture student’s brains if we do not first capture their hearts. You matter is not a statement of inspiration. It is not a project, or strategy, an event, or an item on the agenda. It is the agenda. Mattering is not something that just happens to you. It is something you actively pursue. The game changer for 21st century is the ability to leverage connected genius. Never underestimate your significance, or the significance of the right words at the right time. It takes a few seconds to transform a culture and changes lives, and it costs nothing.


Workshops Attended (Link to Notes)

  • Engaging Staff as Leaders & Learners with Technology
    • In our presentation, we will describe technology tools that should be in an administrator's toolkit (as well as on their phone, iPad and laptop!). We will introduce how Microsoft Office 365 is utilized at our schools (ie. Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote Staff Notebook, Sway, Yammer, Calendar, and Word) to communicate and engage staff in personalized learning. Administrators will be able to quickly implement easy, efficient and paperless options with a variety of technology tools to use at staff meetings, for weekly communication and ongoing professional development.
  • Building Student Engagement With Minecraft
    • Every day around the world, teachers are educating and engaging their students using the world-building game Minecraft. The game is a true phenomenon and gamers young and old are using it in countless creative ways. Practitioners of Games Based Education have realized the potential and have embraced Minecraft in their classrooms and now you can too. From Mathematics to French language, Minecraft is a uniquely versatile tool and your students are already programmed to use it. Join us for a comprehensive look at the game and experience the many ways it can ignite the curriculum.
  • Learning in “Life after Labs” - modes of Digital Access in the OCDSB
    • How can we best drive inquiry and deep learning? Not with computer labs, and not by going 1:1. Hear how our board’s shift in modes of digital access incorporates a compliment of embedded classroom mobile devices and projection, BYOD devices and school wide shared devices and collaborative spaces. Embracing anytime, anywhere, any device access to our core digital resources and tools has led the OCDSB to further define our modes of access. This session will focus on strategies, tools, supports and resources developed for this important board-wide shift towards a culture of access and mobility.
  • Fostering Student Learning through E-Portfolio
    • This session will explore the pedagogy behind creating e-portfolios and how they can enable students to authentically showcase their knowledge and progressive learning journey. We will discuss how e-portfolios teach digital literacy skills through empowering students to manage their own online persona while sharing their own learning artefacts with the world. Participants will leave the session with a toolbox of free platforms and tools that can be easily used by students to build and customize their own digital portfolio; as well as a “teachers’ resource” to use in the classroom.
  • Redefining the Math Classroom
    • With today’s emphasis on equipping students with 21st Century skills including the 4C’s (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity) and STEM, the necessity for redefining the math classroom is larger than ever. For over 10 years Joyce Public School has used technology to modify and redefine teaching and learning. Our students consistently score high on standardized testing in Ontario, especially in Mathematics. See how technology is amplifying students' ability to communicate, collaborate, represent and learn from one another in a one-to-one junior math classroom.
  • Designing Future-Forward Learning and Learning Spaces
    • The context of this presentation is a study undertaken by The Learning Partnership with technology donated by Samsung Canada to understand the impact of technology on teaching and learning in Canada. It explores issues and challenges that schools might face while integrating new technologies in the classroom and examines perceptions of school leaders, teachers, students and parents/guardians regarding the adoption of technology in education and its impact on the education experience for students and teachers. The presentation will - Share findings based on 5715 surveys from 40 schools across Canada from school leaders, teachers, students and parents. - Provoke discussion on how learning is re-designed and re-shaped that were inconceivable previously but now made possible by new and emerging technologies. - Demonstrate with examples how a combination of digital tools and content provide immersive, interactive and experiential learning that is connected and inter-disciplinary. - Provide a systemic view on the role of government, business, and school districts as enabling factors in the eco-system of building future-forward digital learning conditions for students and educators.
  • Making Thinking Visible
    • Learn how to make student thinking visible using jot-notes strategy with apps such as Cabinet or LiquidText and help students learn how to become proficient at asking higher-level questions. In an attempt to encourage students to become critical thinkers, it is imperative that they question and reflect on the bigger picture and big ideas as they read (e.g. author's message, author's background). This means that students need to read more actively, question the information they are reading and make connections between their reading and their own experience(s)/background knowledge.
  • Video - Beyond Press Play
    • Video is the most versatile and most under-utilized medium available for learning and creativity. This seminar will focus on three aspects of video: (1) as an interactive learning tool, (2) as a medium for group projects and lastly, (3) as a promotional aid reinforcing positive school culture and celebrating student achievement. This talk will deal with basic equipment (cell phones, iPads) and free editing software. Created for the classroom teacher who is interested in maximizing student learning through YouTube enhancements and group projects.
  • How to Bring your Students' Language to the Learning
    • In this one hour, hands on session, teachers explore the social issues that are important to them and their students. By comparing, contrasting and deconstructing their issues and what matters to young people, teachers will start to break the code of the words and the context of how young people express themselves and where their concerns lay. These language based elements will then be linked to curriculum implementation in the classroom that reflects their students’ voices in an authentic and engaging way.
  • Empowering ALL Learners in the Classroom with Microsoft Technology
    • When it comes to providing the right tools to our students, the device and operating system matters. Come see why Microsoft offers the best educational interface to support students with disabilities be academically successful. From Microsoft Office, to Windows 10, Surface and Minecraft we will showcase how Microsoft is pushing forward innovation and disrupting assistive technology as we know it.
  • Using Enhanced Digital Content to Engage Your Students
    • See learning in a whole new light! Lightbox is a fully interactive, multidimensional, supplemental solution for PreK-12 educators looking to improve engagement and literacy skills. It supports the varied approaches you use to help students master the standards and accommodates the needs of all learners. While digital resources haven’t replaced textbooks and tangible classroom materials, it’s no secret that eContent is being utilized today more than ever before to make learning more relevant, exciting, and interactive for students at all levels. This session will represent an opportunity for you to hear how educators are using Lightbox titles, eBooks and audiobooks to support enhanced learning opportunities for students.
  • Key Factors When Considering a 3D Printer for Your School - How to Make the Best Decision
    • Javelin’s lunch n’ learn will help you become better informed on choosing the right 3D printer technology for your school program. Using our Stratasys & MakerBot 3D printer in our booth as examples, we’ll discuss printer features & benefits, materials, health & safety, but also go beyond the printer technology with the importance of curriculum & 3D CAD, support & budgets.
  • Creating Digital Lead Learners
    • How do you build capacity? The Teaching and Learning with Technology Department in TDSB has wrestled with this question and developed the Digital Lead Learners Initiative (DLL). In this session we will discuss the selection process, professional learning plan, resources, deliverables and next steps for our DLL program.
  • KEYNOTE: Chris Hadfield - Connecting with Technology
    • Sold Out.
  • These are Your School Announcements!
    • Keep your school community in the know by using the power of social media to automate your messaging. Learn how to use a google form with staff to automate your school messaging. Integrate Twitter, Wordpress, SharePoint, email and Google Calendar all in one click. The kids actually read daily announcements from an iPad stationed at the office! During this workshop we will hash (#) out the why of keeping your community in the know. How do you communicate with your school community. Let's talk and learn.
  • The New Literacy: Why Coding is Your Student's Key to Unlocking the Future
    • Whether you want them to uncover the meaning of the universe or to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill for students of all ages to learn. Through computational thinking coding is uniquely suited to empowering children not just how to solve problems, but also how to express themselves. From Mathematics to Phys. Ed., coding is a uniquely versatile skill and your students are already programmed to use it. Join us for a comprehensive hands on look at the new literacy and experience the many ways it can ignite the K-8 curriculum in your class.
  • The Power of Digital Content to Ignite Blended Learning
    • Blended learning! The Horizon K12 Report, Connected Educators Month, and ISTE increasingly publish content related to this teaching trend. We’ll examine how digital content in English and Français can engage students to support this teaching method. We will connect resources with provincial curriculum requirements and unpack how they can be used in English, French immersion and francophone environments. We’ll also examine engaging English Language Learners. Classroom examples will be included. Leave ready to create a winning blended-learning recipe to bring back to your classroom!
  • The ConnectED Classroom
    • Learn how you can break down the walls of your classroom and travel to places both you and your students never dreamed possible. Collect authentic, real time math data , start a project that goes viral, get feedback from educators from around the globe, share a book chat with multiple classes from different cities, swim with a cave diver, run with a storm chaser... the opportunities are endless. Come learn how you can create a sense of adventure in your own classroom while giving your students a voice and a strong sense of their place and an ability to make a positive difference in the world.
  • Digital Citizenship Collaboration using GAPPS and the Social Web
    • We will share a Positive Digital Challenge designed for Junior and Intermediate students: Working with a partner or a small group, students are required to brainstorm, generate, develop and create a positive contribution to our online world. As the culminating challenge, students create a positive digital message and an online roadmap to document their process. Workshop participants are encouraged to BYOD.
  • Developing a Growth Mindset to Build Student and Parent Engagement for Learning
    • St. Sebastian School in Toronto (a K-8, inner city school in downtown Toronto) is using Tech to purposefully teach staff, parents and students about the Growth Mindset and how to build perseverance, learn from their mistakes and focus on the process of learning rather than the final product. Students and staff, are using metacognitive strategies and formative assessment to reflect on learning, refine lessons and build positive, productive, personalized learning environments. The result has been a learning experience that has elevated engagement in learning for students and parents.