Last week I had the privilege of attending #bit14 with 1500 other passionate educators from across the province and beyond. In reflecting on the conference, a couple themes prominently emerged.
1. Technology is not the focus in the classroom – good pedagogy is the focal point. I read this over and over on the Twitter feed, heard it from all the keynotes, and even said it myself in my own presentation. It’s really refreshing to hear that people who are considered “technology innovators” are in fact “pedagogy innovators” and using the technology to supplement good teaching.
2. It’s about connections. One of the most important aspects of the conference for me is getting the opportunity to talk face to face with some of the most creative educators I’ve ever met. I really value the opportunity to just sit and chat about what others are doing in their respective classrooms or engage in deep reflective conversations about successes and opportunities for growth. George Couros also really emphasized that we need to making these connections not only with each other but with our students. For me, that’s the bread and butter of my teaching and to hear someone I really respect discussing its importance was quite validating.
3. School isn’t about assessment – it’s about learning. To me, this was the most important theme present. I think that we still focus too much on marks and assessments and drive the love of learning out of the classroom. We need to foster this love as personally, it’s something I had to “relearn” since traditional schooling drove it right out of me. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I have far more interests and spend much more time learning than I did in my teens and 20’s (even with having less time to myself!) There is a disconnect that happens along the way that we need to prevent so that our next generation isn’t turned off.
So thank you to the organizers of #bit14. Once again, you delivered a thought-provoking and highly reflective three days.