Yesterday, we had the first meeting for the new school year with a wonderful group of innovators in our community. The group includes staff from Ottawa University and Algonquin College, tech consultants, teachers and administrators from our school board and soon, student teachers from the University of Ottawa.
Our group only meets a few times a year, but the group performs a very important function for a small group of schools in our area. The energy of the group fuels innovation in our schools and comes together to create really special events like the first school makerfaire in the Ottawa area last year.
What I am learning from this group is that the best way to fuel innovation in your school is to work on the micro level with people connected by the desire to push the envelope and create great learning opportunities for students.
Brainstorming at this week’s Innovation Team meeting – Luc Lalande
It is especially great to have people from outside the school system. We all share a common purpose, now we have to decide what projects our group will take on for this year.
We have achieved a fair deal in one year – team members were involved in some or all of these activities:
- a joint PD session (two schools) on maker culture given by Alison Evans Adnani of Maker Junior
- cooperation between three schools including Kitigan Zibi, an Algonquin school close to Maniwaki, Ontario. We really hope to have a cultural exchange day this year at Kitigan Zibi
- a one-day makerfaire including workshops on coding, 3D printing, making and learning from each other – all members of our Innovation Team took part in this day including some great University of Ottawa Education students
- a full-day teacher workshop on makerspaces including 3D selfies!
- a series of great blog posts by our library technician on various aspects of makerspaces
Our first meeting this year was a flurry of information and ideas. We talked about major initiatives like Ottawa’s first Makerfaire to be held November 7 and 8, the Ottawa Edcamp planned for November 21, the mobile makerspace that has been developed by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa and possible trips to Makerspace North.
We will also plan another makerfaire for schools and we are actively looking for more schools to join our group!
With the inclusion of new team members from the University of Ottawa, Engineers in Residence and Makerspace North, we are creating a really creative group that will fuel innovation in schools this year.
Collaboration, cooperation, good communication and a willingness to try new ventures promises great opportunities for our students this year!