On the Rise K-12 eLearning Conference

In her opening keynote address, Jessica Holmes (@happyfeetholmes) entertained, dazzled, and inspired. Woven through her comic performance were thought-provoking anecdotes from her own life that reach all of us. She asks us to question:
Is there an area in my life where I should be focusing more attention and energy?  
Find your joy
Finding balance is something that I think we can all relate to. Each of us has our own unique way in dealing with stress. For me, getting outside and enjoying a trail run or spending time in the garden helps me to gain perspective. I need to remind myself to make the time for these activities, schedule them in, to maintain balance. I think this was a wonderful way to kick-off the day as technology allows us to connect and create in amazing new ways, but we must also make time for other aspects in our lives that bring us joy,

Jessica Holmes reminds us that:
Everyone is someone's child. 
We are all born with potential for unconditional love. 
Recognize that for ourselves.  
We are far more than our mistakes. 
Be inspired!
Show gratitude!

Look for opportunities to use qualities you value in your daily life!

Session Resources and Main Ideas

Using Animation for project based exercises and teaching
Software: goAnimate 

Advantages of project based learning:
- engagement (get them to do stuff)
- assess for learning (engage in their engagement)
- self-guided and paced learning 
- DI
What does the data say: 91% preferred blended learning courses (responses to feedback)
Ideas: Create your own animated teaching assistant! Lol think good cop, bad cop. 

Physical Computing and Lego WeDo
Students as makers.
This is something I am highly curious about. Providing students with opportunities to create using hands-on materials along with coding software.
Let's play!
Creative computing (Check out website)
Lego Education

Ray Mercer's Slide Deck

Reflections on My Session: Peek Into Primary

Presenting in front of a group has always been something that I have struggled with. I love putting together slides and creating interactive components, but actually delivering the material gives me butterflies. I spend a great deal of time encouraging my students to try new things and be comfortable with being uncomfortable so I thought I better do the same. When I shared what I would be doing with my students, they gave me some great advice. My favourite was 'Meditate before to calm your amygdala'. Good advice from my young learners. I thought about them throughout the session as they are what it is all about. It really wasn't about me at all. My job was to share their journey with the other educators. 
Start-up Read Aloud
The journey is a collaborative one. Students working together on curricular inquiries, documenting our learning journey, and sharing that journey with families and each other using D2L and GAFE. 
This is something to be treasured and shared and I was affirmed by the participants at the session as it was clear that they felt the same. 

Using digital tools such as gDocs, gSlides, and Padlet we discussed the benefits of collaboration, what conditions are required to foster a collaborative environment, and the difference between cooperation and collaboration. I used the video below from P21 as our MindsOn activity.
It reminds us that we can do far more together, than apart.

 Screenshots from the session:
Collaboration involves cognitive dissonance and a growth mindset.
Reflecting and Connecting!

Trust, fun, teamwork, flexibility - all necessary conditions for collaboration.

I am grateful that I had yet another opportunity to learn from and with innovative educators. 
In some areas I can say that I'm not there 'yet', but teaching and learning is always a journey.
Attending events such as this one reminds us to value and celebrate what is happening within the four walls of our classroom, but to also continue reaching out beyond those walls. 


  1. Hi Jessica,

    I was at this session and really enjoyed it. I forget the name of the programmable robots you mentioned in the presentation. What were the different programmable toys/devices you mentioned?

    Thanks again for the great session!

  2. Hi Mark!
    I'm actually in Port Elgin right now at my family cottage. Great timing! I so love it up here!

    The Dash and Dot robots are great for young learners. I have played with Lego WeDo and it is really neat. I added some links to coding/robotics resources on my math+coding post.
    Hope your year is off to a great start!
    - Jess


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