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Hi Myrna,
 
I just wanted to send you a BIG congratulations - I do believe you have
got Ontario moving! Thanks for supporting all of our teachers and the
research we are doing - it's very exciting and proving to be so valuable
on many levels.
 
Cathy
Catherine D. Bruce (PhD), Assistant Professor, Trent University
School of Education and Professional Learning




I loved the lesson study sessions for their focus and intensity, honing our skills of observation as they connect to learning. I also really appreciated the break out group conversations across the board. There was a diverse collection of stake-holders all sharing important perspectives -producing very rich dialogue.

I had a difficult time in general with the extensive use of abstract jargon. I don't know how it relates to real people. I looked around and people's eyes seemed to glaze over whenever it would start up. I would like to hear more concrete experiences, stories, context, colour, voice.

Big thank you to Myrna and Leslie - the sessions were relevant and practical. Also reinforced need to push ahead and was great to see what other Boards were engaged in. This is the type of symposia that is needed.


I enjoyed the sessions very much, but I found the focus more to be on Math and data than on literacy. That was a bit disappointing. Also, in terms of 'housekeeping' issues, they sort of blended in with the key note address and it was sometimes hard to distinguish where one ended and the other began. On the whole, though, I enjoyed the symposium and took away nuggets of information which will be helpful when shared with teachers in the schools.


Hearing the specific applications of GAINS in the classroom was very useful. It was also good to see how GAINS applies to various levels within the educational community:school, board, ministry and beyond. This provided a well rounded vision. I agree with the comment above that there was much more of a Math than literacy focus. The path that was blazed for us in terms of use of technology and other forms of networking was a bit daunting, but I think it inspired lots of us to go back and try to spread the word. I concur with the earlier respondant than too much theory in the afternoon closing remarks caused some of us to lose the trail of the intention behind the message. A better balance of theory and research with concrete and specific would be advisable. Having said that, I came away feeling revitalized by the possibilities, so congratulations on bringing this all to fruition for the educators of Ontario!!! S Roberts UGDSB


I thought the conference was excellent, and I enjoyed every one of my breakout sessions, but I found 2 hours for each session to be a long time.



Five-hundred educators were led into the world of wikis on the same day, and at the same time. It was an amazing experience - the best part being that Richardson's wisdom was not limited to computer experts or math educators, but to all. I found that very affirming. Richardson's workshops on creating bolgs and wikis helped us realize how doable it is. So, even though he was concerned that his drive-by workshops might not change practice, they clearly do, as many of us cheerfully waltzed into wikis and began boogying on blogs.

The Adobe Connect session was as exciting. I'd like to set up chat communities for the lesson study team, and with the announcement during the session by the MOE representative that The Ministry is making it available gratis to school boards, that becomes financially viable.

The actions that have resulted from this conference have underscored for me how important it is for us, as educators, to have opportunities to learn about the cyber world. Just reading a book, or talking to pals or perusing chat-lines, doesn't have the same empowering effect that live instruction does.

Next we'll be creating a ning (http://hastac.ning.com).

Noeline Laccetti (Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB)


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