ECOO 2012

Once again I was lucky enough to attend the annual ECOO conference.  This year it ran from October 24-26, although I only attended the Thursday and Friday.  As per usual it was a great conference.  I got the chance to attend some fantastic sessions, mingle with colleagues and meet up with some more of my Tweeps from Twitter.

Below are some of the sessions I attended.  Where possible, I’ve shared video and slide presentations to help give you more of an idea of what the sessions were about.

The opening keynote speaker was John Seely Brown.  Check out his presentation below.

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating imagination for a world of constant change.

“Preparing our students to be resilient, lifelong learners for the 21st century is a gigantic challenge. Indeed, many of the practices that works so well for the 20 century need to be recast, shifting our focus from a teaching focus to a learning focus and then onto thinking about how to design learning environments for cultivating the imagination. This talk will cover some of our newer thoughts building, of course, on some of the classic work of John Dewey but now with an eye for how to scale some of his ideas. And needless to say, these challenges are ones that we, as teachers, must face for ourselves. The road ahead is not easy but there are some techniques/ideas that can help us as orchestrators of learning.”


Another great session that I attended was one put on by the National Film Board of Canada.  I was really excited to hear her talk about the new online NFB Education Streaming room, called Campus.  This new tool is free for educators in both the Catholic and Public boards.  Teachers just need to create an account.


Films for Learning: Using NFB films in the Classroom

Presenter:  Claudia Sicondolfo

This National Film Board of Canada (NFB) media literacy workshop will provide educators with effective strategies for integrating film titles, interactive projects and educational materials in their classroom. As leaders in media literacy development delivering educational workshops in Canada and abroad for over 20 year, a representative from the NFB Education team will workshop media learning strategies aimed at addressing Global Issues, but through the use of Canadian cinema. We will address how to build an effective learning module surrounding a film or a thematic collection of films available on CAMPUS. The intended outcome will allow each teacher to build their own learning module, according to their individual curriculum needs.
Working primarily from CAMPUS, the new, online NFB Education streaming room, featuring 2500+ on-demand classroom-ready films, pedagogical evaluations of NFB films, and a wide variety of study guides, available in both English in French – educators working from home or in their classrooms will have full access to the film titles and to the educational resources presented.

I attended the next session largely because I’m trying to get a handle on the idea of a Flipped Classroom.  I like the idea in theory but I don’t always think plays out the way that it should.  I don’t think that the intent is to substitute good teaching with videos so I was really intrigued to see someone present who had similar concerns when they first started out.

The Flipped Classroom and Google Apps

Presenter:  Doug Shaw
Teacher-Librarian UGDSB

The recent popularity of the Khan Academy has increased interest in the flipped classroom. This presentation will outline the concept of the flipped classroom and provide tips on how to create a flipped classroom using Google Apps for Education and other software.
The presenter will also provide examples he has used in his history class as well as share the rewards and challenges of the process.
Digital Feedback – Tracking the Learning Footprint

Presenter:  Dustin Carson

Providing descriptive feedback in a timely manner will help your students along their learning journey. But how do you provide, organize, and track feedback in our 21st Century Learning Environments? Clipboards, binders, and file folders take time to organize and use a lot of paper. Why not ditch the paper feedback and go digital. Using digital tools (phones, tablets, & laptops) and programs (Class Dojo, Edmodo, & Evernote) will help you create Learning Footprints for your students. Footprints that will collect examples of student growth to help them reflect on their journey, and provide you a bank of comments for reporting times. Bring Your Own Device and come prepare to learn more about these customizable programs;
Class Dojo – real time behaviour tracking (pick the positive & negative behaviours you want to track),
Edmodo – a class network for sharing and discussing student work (upload any file and help students create digital backpacks),,
Evernote – the collect and organize everything (voice, images and text notes that are searchable)


The next session I went to focused on providing immediate and timely feedback for students.  What appealed to me was the idea of using a lot of the same tools for feedback that we are already using with students.

Harnessing the Power of Immediate Feedback

Presenter: Jeff Dumoulin
Itinerant Teacher for Educational Technology; Secondary Math, Canadian/World Studies, Science, Spec Ed; Sports Enthusiast

Presenter:  Lynda Kilpatrick
Educator, Technology Consultant, Boater, Dog Lover

In an age where video games dominate the minds of our students, instant gratification and immediate feedback are necessities in the classroom. Join us to learn how you can engage your students through educational exercises using cell phones, laptops and tablets. Using these devices alongside online tools such as Poll Everywhere and Socrative, we will demonstrate how you can pull formative data from your students in real time so you and your students can easily determine which concepts are understood and which require more attention. We’ll also share ideas on using Google Forms and Doodle as data collection or planning tools with your students.


Who wouldn’t want to attend this panel discussion.  The video below is worthwhile checking out.

Keynote: Discussing the Role of the Teacher in the NOW Century

Presenters:  Nora Young, Jaime Casap, John Seeley Brown, Donna Fry and Michael Fullan

Join Nora Young as she chairs a panel discussion with John Seeley Brown, Jaime Casap, Donna Fry, and Michael Fullan about the Role of the Teacher in the NOW Century. She will probe the minds of our panelists to try and give us a sense of where this all might be headed and where we as educators will fit. What do the current trends of personalization, standardized testing, blended and online learning mean for the education system. How do we remain relevant going forward?


Again, anytime I get to listen to Nora Young is a good thing.  Check out the video below.

Learning, Meaning, and Values in the Age of the Data Map – Keynote

Presenter:  Nora Young
Technology and culture journalist and host of CBC’s Spark. Author of The Virtual Self. bio from Twitter

The generation growing up now finds itself at a watershed moment, when data and information are changing from scarce and top-down resources, to ubiquitous and bottom-up. Much of that data is coming from us, about us: a rising tide of status updates, cell phone camera shots, and location check-ins, fueled by access to cheap data storage, portable digital tools, and an appetite for sharing. How will we harness the power of this data without sacrificing our privacy? What challenges will educators face in guiding young people in this new world?


I went to this session because I was intrigued but also because a couple of my friends were presenters.  It was a good laugh for sure.  I’m sure there is a video somewhere.  I’ll have to try and find it.

The Love Connection: Flirting with I.T.

Presenters:  Jeff Pelich, Euen O’Connor, Kim Gill

Integrating technology into your practice can be an overwhelming experience. How do you choose which tool is best for the established learning goal? This introductory session takes a playful look at this common challenge and will expose participants to a variety of web 2.0 tools.

Tech Foolary (Jeff Pelich) is back and he’s playing with I.T. Contestants Anita Toole (Kim Gill) and Ivan Appforthat (Euen O’Conner) are seeking a connection for their latest learning goal! Will Anita find a love connection with Willy Wiki (Wikis), Doc. Google (Google Docs), or Ed Modo (Edmodo)? Can Ivan tame the passion of Ivana Tellastory (Digital Storytelling), Bridget Together (Collaboration on the iPad), and Demo Moore (Screen Casting)? Come be part of our studio audience and watch our contestants find 21st century love.
Maybe you too will find your I.T. love connection!


I attended this session because I was interested in how other boards deal with social media in their classrooms.  Very interesting.

Going System Wide on Social Media

Presenter:  Dan Bodkin

Huron Perth Catholic DSB created a system-wide approach to mentoring students in the world of social media. Every teacher from K-12 received in-service on mentoring students in the digital world in what we called the “Cast Your Net” campaign. Four different modules were developed for each division from Primary, to Junior, to Intermediate, and to Senior. Come and see how your class, school, or system can use our materials to mentor your students in their use of social media.


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