On April 7 & 8, I had the opportunity to attend the EdTechTeam Ontario Summit. While I was there, I reflected on my summit experiences and realized the Ontario Summit was the 3rd summit I have attended, the 2nd summit I presented at and the biggest accomplishment in my eyes, the 1st summit I presented all by myself.
I attended my first EdTechTeam Summit in November 2016 in Niagara Falls. It was my first technology conference ever and quite overwhelming as I attended the conference alone. I didn’t know what to expect. I remember entering the gym for the opening keynote and feeling nervous and uncomfortable. Traveling from Mississauga to Niagara Falls led to me seeing zero familiar faces. As my time at the summit went on, I met some wonderful teachers and learned so much from incredible presenters. I remember going to work that Monday feeling extremely exhausted from brain overload. There was so much I learned, so many new ideas I was exposed to and couldn’t wait to try them out. I raved about my experience with my colleagues and a few more decided to attend a future conference.
That summit completely changed the path and vision I had for my teaching career. My desire to attend that summit was to learn more about how to use technology in the classroom. As expected, I learned different programs and applications I could incorporate into my classroom. Unexpectedly, however, my desire and commitment to technology in the classroom was sparked on a leadership level. I realized I didn’t want to just learn about technology for my own classroom but really saw the potential technology could have and wanted to help my colleagues see that potential, as well. This led to me playing a more active role in my school, as I became one of the go-to teachers for help with technology. I attempted to use the school technology in different lessons for different subjects and shared my knowledge and resources with other teachers.
My confidence with technology, particularly G Suite for Education, led to me presenting at the Peel Empowering Modern Learners Summer Conference in August, followed by presenting at the EdTechTeam Peel Summit in September. While I was confident in my tech skills, I was quite nervous to present in front of people, so it was comforting to have a colleague both times to present alongside.
Throughout the year, I continued to stay active within my school community with promoting technology, as well as teaching other teachers. As the March Break approached, I felt an itch to do more with technology. A few days later, as I was sorting through my emails, I saw an email to “Submit your proposal for the Ontario Summit”. I had seen the email before and disregarded it. However, at that moment, I just thought “Why not?” and decided to fill it out. When I received the email that my session had been approved and I was presenting, I was excitedly nervous!
My session, entitled “Google Forms 101” explored how to use Google Forms in the classroom. I had a good turnout and was pleased with my overall presentation, despite my unsurprising nerves. Transforming from an attendee to a presenter not only provided me with more confidence in public speaking but also networking skills.
The summits have provided me the opportunity to make personal and professional connections with fellow educators who have the same vision as myself. I am now only a click away from connecting with the right people, whether it is through email or social media. My vision to become a tech leader continues to be realized and developed with the support of my school colleagues and my social media connections. And all of this because I decided to attend my first summit.
Grade 3 French Immersion
Burnhamthorpe PS (PDSB)
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