Keynote Speakers Connect with School Leaders
School Leaders React to the TELL Institute Keynote Speakers
The keynote speakers resonated with the audience during the two-day summer institute. Their inspirational messages and ideas were captured in #OntEdLeaders as they spoke about the importance of innovation, 21st learning and leading. Visit OntedLeaders to see Debbie Donskey’s sketchnotes that provide a visual synthesis of her learning from each keynote speaker!
“The institute was one of the best learning opportunities I have had. The keynote speakers’ topics not only linked to one another but to the overall theme and the sessions I attended were practical and full of suggestions. My participation here has helped me to begin to formulate a plan for where I want to go with my staff.“ – TELL Institute participant
Isabelle Fontaine is a dynamic speaker who kicked off the two day Institute with her incredible energy and passion. She spoke about finding your inner courage and innovative streak as a leader by becoming aware of how neuroscience and innovation are closely linked. She offered a number of strategies on how to power up the positive hormones inside you to release your creative thinking through music, video, exercise and a growth mindset. She shared her motto, “My caring is my power!” and inspired everyone in the room with her personal stories and sense of humour!
Garfield Gini-Newman’s presentation illuminated one of the big questions facing educational leaders today – “How can we create powerful learning environments for 21st century teaching and learning?” He spoke about the need for schools to shift to thinking classrooms that are aligned to 21st century pedagogies and learning. His presentation was jam-packed with ideas on how to embed 21st century competencies for creating authentic, relevant and engaging learning tasks. He encouraged to school leaders to think of educational change more as a renovation rather than a revolution. Much like renovations, deep and meaningful change in schools does not happen overnight…but comes about through incremental changes that responds to the needs, interests and learning experiences of teachers and students.
Tony Wagner spoke through Skype and engaged the audience with his thoughtful insights and provocative thinking about innovation and alternative approaches to education. His talk touched on many of the key messages in his recent and widely acclaimed book, “Most Likely to Succeed.” He offered a compelling case for an inquiry approach to learning where students can work in collaborative groups and acquire valuable 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and creative problem-solving. He highlighted the important role school leaders play in nurturing a culture of risk and inspiring teachers to be innovative in their teaching. This was captured in his key message about the importance of play, passion and purpose in learning.
Anita Simpson’s keynote drew from her leadership experiences as Superintendent of Program and Innovation in the Simcoe board. She shared her ideas and experiences about “what’s possible” in creating a culture of learning and highlighted their board’s successes and challenges in scaling change for 21st learning. Her passion for learning and and innovation came through when she spoke about her four key ingredients to success; permission, inquiry, voice and choice. She encouraged school leaders to recognize that when we can’t say “yes” we need to consider “yet”.