Sharing My Top #OTRK12 Takeaways

OTRK12 has come and gone, and what a two days it was. From the conversations had to looking back at the Twitter stream of #otrk12, it was evident that there was just a bit of learning, sharing and fun going on. In fact, I took away more than I had anticipated away from the conference; I’ll share my highlights below, focusing on two sessions that I attended.

On Thursday, I sat in a session led by Lisa Neale dubbed Professional Learning: Onground + Online = Super Visibility. Entering the session, it was a great time to think back on an opportunity that I was fortunate to have back in February of this year.

e-Learning Contacts visited schools across southern Ontario to observe and interact with students and staff in various schools – including Ancaster Sr. Public School – across southern Ontario. The goal was to expand our knowledge and seeing what others were up to all things EdTech, to learn varying teaching and learning strategies, all `in an effort to share back to our peers back home.

paragliding-445268_1280In Lisa’s session, my biggest takeaway was that if you are in a position of leadership, there is an opportunity for you to lead with no opt-out practices, to not only model but give direction to your audience on what’s possible. This may seem like you’re taking a huge risk, but the key here is to forget about feeling like you’re mandating something, but providing information in a current and appropriate manner. In doing so, your audience will have a choice to make, empowering them with the decision of learning what you have to share, or to simply not.

Being an e-Learning Contact for the past four years, I consider myself someone in a position of responsibility, especially in the area of leadership of 21st century skills related to technology. The position itself has evolved from focusing on specific tools, to a more concentrated vision of getting people up to speed on relevant pedagogy related to technology integration into the classroom, leaving the choice of the tools up to the teacher.

Participating  Augmenting the Teaching_OTRK12   Google Slides
Great use of ‘grey space’ in Google Slides! Make your presentation interactive!

The other session I want to share about was that of Julie Millan, titled Augment the Learning with Google Apps for Education.

In this session, attendees were given an overview of what’s possible using Google Apps for Education in teaching practice. (I was also fortunate to sit beside Lise Galuga (pretty much an #EdTech/#GAFE celebrity! 🙂 )

A few takeaways that I had throughout the session include a quote from Julie:

“If there were two things that I couldn’t live with in my profession, they would be Twitter and Google Apps for Education.”

(I couldn’t agree more with the above statement)

Here are a couple of notes that I shared out as well:

What’s awesome about when Julie and Lisa present – they leave you with homework essentially, making you go back and try something new. There is never a doubt in my mind when I see either of these two that I’m guaranteed to take at least one tip, trick or something very cool out of their sessions.

adult-education-379219_1280Lisa and Julie are just two of many amazing connected leaders in the EdTech world these days. If you don’t follow them on Twitter yet, you should.

If you’re looking for more people to follow on Twitter to find inspiration and ideas to try in our ever-so-changing world of education, don’t forget to check out the #otrk12 conversation from last week as well.

What were your takeaways from #otrk12 this year? Don’t forget to continue the conversation!

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