Teacher-Librarians explore innovation, new ideas for makerspaces and more at Creating Connections event
September 12, 2017
GUELPH, Ontario – Teacher-Librarians from across the Upper Grand District School Board spent Monday evening discussing what it means to innovate, ways to unlock creativity, and more at the Creating Connections workshop.
The event was presented by the Upper Grand Teacher-Librarians’ Association and brought together 67 UGDSB Teacher-Librarians for an evening of speakers, workshops and time to make connections.
The evening began with a keynote address from UGDSB Superintendent of Education Brent McDonald, who spoke about innovation within the board.
He spoke about innovation as a way to solve a problem – about always asking ‘why?’ Why are we doing things in a certain way or adopting new practices. Rather than just adopting something new for the sake of being new, staff must challenge themselves to first answer the question ‘why are we doing this, what problem is this solving?’ He also talked about innovative spaces as safe spaces, where people are encouraged to share their ideas and learn from failure.
Following the keynote address, staff broke into groups for a variety of workshops including:
- Videoconferencing with Stacey Joyce of Virtual Researcher on Call, where participants learned how to set up for easy videoconferencing and how to quickly find experts for students to connect with
- Coding, where participants learned about coding, both unplugged and online, with UGDSB TLs
- Library Learning Commons 101, which featured a panel of experienced UGDSB TLs who helped staff find the answers they need to successfully plan their year
Additional workshops focused on engaging students through e-textiles and robotics. Melanie Mulcaster from the Peel District School Board led several workshops on makerspaces, including how to incorporate makerspaces into a school’s literacy and numeracy program, and how to make a makerspace for less.
Author Eric Walters was also at the event, speaking to staff about books, the writing process, and setting up visits from local authors in their schools.
Throughout the night, TLs were encouraged to tweet out using the hashtag #UGDSBTL, something the organizing committee hopes will continue throughout the school year.