Monday, February 22, 2016

TLLP Learning Summit - More Mountains Ahead!

Most people, after climbing a mountain, would probably not cheer if they realized that the peak was not the end, but the beginning of a journey up another mountain. Yet, on February 18-19, 2016, I saw and heard many individuals and groups celebrating and planning a continued climb.

Our original metaphorical mountain was the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program and all the project leads (and team members, where possible) from the 2014-15, 8th cohort gathered in Mississauga to share their discoveries. I was fortunate to be a part of the Digging into Minecraft with Inquiry project, a cross-board project headed on the TDSB front by my dear friend and colleague, Denise Colby. 

Denise & Diana sharing quantitative evidence of the project's success
We had several speakers address the large crowd, from Jim Strachan (an Education Officer with the Teaching Policy and Standards Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education - and one of the most humble, kind, and understanding gentlemen I have the privilege of knowing) to Joanne Myers (executive staff for Professional Learning for ETFO), to Carol Campbell and Michael Fullan (both professors at OISE/University of Toronto and advisors to the Ontario Minister of Education). One of the recurring themes I noticed in the talks was that our work should be scale-able and sustainable. The learning wasn't over because the project parameters had been fulfilled. The sharing could and should continue.

Jim introduced two teams that continued their TLLP work
There are different forums and methods for continuing the work initiated through the TLLP, such as the Provincial Knowledge Exchange and participation in other conferences and organizations, such as the Action Research Network of the Americas.

I've talked about my TLLP experience frequently on this blog, from the beginning of the process, to the shift in focus based on our TDSB co-learners, from my experiences going deeper with Minecraft integration to my reflections on how TVO's Teach Ontario could solve TLLP related issues we had. The folks who regularly contribute to GamingEdus had a rather unique take to the TLLP project, because they were already doing the work prior to the financial support from the Ontario Teachers' Federation and the Ontario Ministry of Education. We will continue to write blog posts for, make presentations about Games Based Learning (although maybe not so much about Minecraft, or maybe with a different perspective), and use Minecraft and other games as part of of instructional programming. There are more mountains ahead to climb - I'm not certain where it will lead us, but I'm curious to see where the path leads.

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