Building a New Knowledge Network 2013

Conference co-chairs Jennifer Lock, left, and Brenda Gladstone, right, with keynote speakers Ewan McIntosh and Punya Mishra. Photo by Riley Brandt

Conference co-chairs Jennifer Lock, left, and Brenda Gladstone, right, with keynote speakers Ewan McIntosh and Punya Mishra. Photo by Riley Brandt

What happens when you bring some of the biggest thinkers on academic engagement, teaching and learning, and creative instruction into one place for two days?

You end up with a highly successful conference that builds on innovation in education.

According to Jennifer Lock, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, the conference, Innovators, Designers and Researchers: Leading a New Knowledge Network, focused on the latest educational strategies occurring both in K-12 and post-secondary across Alberta with innovation in research geared to improving teaching and learning for today’s students.

“The goal of this conference was to provide opportunities for educators to share how teachers can be designers of worthwhile learning tasks grounded in authentic discipline-based inquiry and where students and educators are engaged in knowledge-building,” explains Lock.

Lock, who is also the Faculty’s Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, co-chaired the two-day conference with Brenda Gladstone, Chief Operating Officer of the Galileo Educational Network. Galileo is an independent, charitable organization that creates, promotes and shares innovative teaching and learning practices through research and professional learning, as well as seeking and fostering collaborations with the educational community.

More than 150 people turned out for 38 sessions, held May 8-10 in the MacEwan Conference Centre.   The conference offered a range of rich teaching and learning topics; keynote presentations were given by world-renowned educators Ewan McIntosh from Edinburgh, Punya Mishra of the University of Michigan, and the University of Calgary’s own James (Brad) Hale.

Gladstone remarked, “New relationships were forged during the conference and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with our keynote presenters and innovation pioneers.”

“I think we saw and heard many ideas that have become reality in implementing intellectually engaging and challenging work for students – and evidence of students achieving deep understanding in a variety of ways.”

“We’re so pleased with the way this year’s conference came together,” says Lock, “and the nature of the rich conversations that occurred. With the positive feedback we have received, it’s clear there’s a great interest for this type of learning and for the conference to be held again next year.”

The faculty will post the three keynotes speeches on its website, along with the speakers’ presentations and photos taken during the conference.  Visit www.educ.ucalgary.ca to view.

[Originally posted on the University of Calgary Faculty of Education Website]

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