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Speaker Session [clear filter]
Wednesday, November 8

10:25 MST

Drifting, Shifting and Rifting: Dynamics of the Urban-Rural Divide

Economic and demographic disparities between Canada's urban and rural communities are growing, mainly because of ongoing 'urban drift’ - migration of talented youth from rural regions to larger urban centres. Projected shifts and declines in rural population have troubling implications for agriculture and other primary industries, which depend critically on the talents and capabilities of rural communities. Addressing the digital urban-rural divide is imperative to strengthening rural demographics and to unleashing the potential for innovation-driven growth in Canada’s agriculture industries. We explore Alberta's urban-rural divide in the context of broadband infrastructure development and its relevance to community resilience and prosperity, emphasizing the extensive societal benefits of robust rural connectivity and reviewing related costs and challenges. We introduce a development plan based on an integrated 'top-down + bottom-up' strategy for building economic and demographic resilience in rural communities, which is designed to leverage local and regional leadership, industry and culture to drive improvement and application of Internet connectivity. This approach is potentially relevant to all communities in rural Canada including First Nation communities.

avatar for James Van Leeuwen

James Van Leeuwen

Innovation Architect, Ventus Development Services
James Van Leeuwen is an Alberta-based consultant and entrepreneur focused on leveraging ICT and data for community innovation and economic development. His principal focus is developing efficient and effective methods and models for local and regional collaboration. James has extensive experience... Read More →
avatar for Karen Morton

Karen Morton

Technical Leader, National Energy Board
Karen Morton is Technical Leader, Energy Information and a Project Manager at the National Energy Board. Karen completed a Master of Science in Media & Communications (Data & Society) at the London School of Economics in the UK as a Chevening Scholar in 2016.  This excursion was fed by a desire to expand her role in Canada’s energy industry to gain an international perspective... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 10:25 - 11:10 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 301

10:25 MST

Dissecting the Digital Divides in K-12

K-12 has many digital divides that we are continually working through to provide a connected, collaborative, relevant educational experience for students. This presentation will examine the following areas of disconnection and disparity that one K-12 instructional leader observes and tries to rectify.

1. Connected vs Disconnected Learning

Students have widely varied opportunities to work in all types of classrooms, some connected, some disconnected.  Examples of connected practices that are working will be shared.

2. Skill and Comfort Gap of Teachers

“I struggle with the lack of knowledge many of my teachers seem to have, just because I know how to do these things and I want to just do it and get it over with. I grow kind of frustrated when a teacher isn't able to work YouTube properly, whether it's making a video full screen, or by shutting off auto play next. It's kind of infuriating.”

3. Information access equality / disparity - learning versus remembering and regurgitating

The shift to helping students access knowledge instead being fed knowledge. Textbooks
are making way for creative and collaborative tools

avatar for Jen Lefebvre

Jen Lefebvre

Wild Rose School Division
Director of Instruction for Wild Rose School Division. Passionate about all things in education, technology and the outdoors!

Wednesday November 8, 2017 10:25 - 11:20 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 303

15:15 MST

Building Bridges: Connecting Social-Sector Data in Alberta through SAGE

Data collected by the myriad of non-profit agencies during the provision of services, such as for the homeless, impoverished, and low income families represent a significant untapped source of intelligence. Data are typically collected based on immediate need, rather than with a harmonized vision between organizations on how the data can be combined and harnessed to improve service delivery. SAGE (Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence) is a collaborative data repository platform that aims to connect stakeholders through secondary use of data.

Research data, community service data, and administrative data related to health and social well-being is managed and shared through SAGE. SAGE increases the value of data by providing the infrastructure, processes and governance to bring stakeholders together to use data in new ways and inform social policy and practice. SAGE has been working with community organizations and ethics, legal and privacy experts. Community organizations and non-profits have specific and diverse needs, and different level of “data maturity”. Challenges, and opportunities in how data can be shared for internal intelligence and greater good are different as well.

This session will focus on the approach SAGE took and the lessons learned thus far in building trust and capacity in the community non-profit sector in Alberta to see data as a resource to be cultivated.

About PolicyWise:

PolicyWise for Children & Families exists to improve well-being by leading, creating, enabling and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice. PolicyWise was established as a not-for-profit corporation in 2003 and is a partnership between Alberta’s universities, the community and the Government of Alberta. PolicyWise distinguishes itself through its focus on mobilizing evidence to inform social policy, collaborative approach and organizational structure: a formal bridge between government, academia, and the community.

avatar for Hannah Lloyd-Jones

Hannah Lloyd-Jones

Project Coordinator, PolicyWise for Children & Families
Hannah is the Project Coordinator for SAGE (Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence), a PolicyWise data repository platform which incentivises the secondary use of data related to health and social well-being. An advocate for sharing data, Hannah's background is in project management in international Higher Education, with experience in diverse projects from establishing an open... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 15:15 - 16:00 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 305

15:15 MST

Creating Shared Goals for Educational Technology

How can K-12 educational institutions meet the demanding and very diverse needs of all stakeholders?  Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools has created a collaborative work environment between IT and the division ET Team to better serve our end users and to ultimately meet the learning needs and goals of our students.  We have recently fortified this by becoming full members of SRNET giving us secure access to a wealth of educational tools and supports across Canada.

In this presentation, we will explore the important roles of division personnel - from superintendent to technician, teacher and consultant - in creating shared goals to support teachers and students in all stages of educational technology, including the initial purchase of technology to the effective integration of technology in the classroom. We will share our journey, our challenges and successes, and how we currently collaborate to make decisions related to technology refresh, budget considerations, staff professional development and prioritizing technical support and advancement within the division.  Throughout, we will discuss how having access to the NREN supports our classroom and administrative technology initiatives.

About Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division consists of 50 schools (K-12) and over 17,000 students.  Our number one goal is to improve student learning. To that end, Information Technology and Educational Technology have created shared goals to support student learning.   We have an Educational Technology Team that includes the IT/ET Superintendent, IT manager, ET Coordinator, and ET consultants, and we engage school personnel through a collaborative model with Educational Technology Facilitators at each of our schools.  We work together to create an annual School Digital Citizenship Plan to address the following at each school: student safety, parent communication, staff professional development and student learning. The Educational Technology Team uses the goals outlined in School Digital Citizenship Plans to respond to the individual needs of each school, and focus on best practice to support student learning.  Our session is designed to give administrators practical strategies to ensure that ET and IT work together collaboratively to meet the learning needs of students.

avatar for Tressa Kokonas

Tressa Kokonas

Learning Services Coordinator, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Tressa's teaching experience includes being an elementary classroom teacher, a teacher librarian, and an extended learning opportunities catalyst teacher withing the Gifted Education Program. She has a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration, and in her current role... Read More →

avatar for Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett

Manager, Information Technology, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Jim Bennett has over 30 years of experience managing cross-functional technology teams deploying enterprise-scale projects, both domestically and internationally. Since joining the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) eight years ago, Jim has been bringing his knowledge of IT best practices, along with Agile and Lean Six Sigma methodologies to the division to improve IT operations and efficiencies.Through his time with the GSCS, Jim has been active provincially, working with various groups... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 15:15 - 16:10 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 301

16:20 MST

STEM for Social Justice: Why STEM, Why Now?

This presentation looks at why we need to teach STEM to ALL students now, and provides valuable insights into how we can accomplish this in a way that is systemic and sustainable. 

avatar for Dr. Gina Cherkowski

Dr. Gina Cherkowski

Founder & Director of Learning, STEM Learning Lab

Wednesday November 8, 2017 16:20 - 17:05 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 305

16:20 MST

It's free, It's Easy and It's Spying on our Children: School Technology in the K-12 Public System

Examining the tensions that exist between private and public interests, curriculum objectives and technological literacy, security and ease of use, this presentation identifies the effects of commercialized technologies upon education and offers relevant suggestions for a sustainable, more secure, more democratic and healthier technological learning environment.

The type of computers a school purchases, the operating system it promotes, the software a school provides, the websites they frequent, and the extraneous devices they allow, all form the educational environment that shapes the experience and understanding of the child.

The Internet and computer hardware and software do not always function in accord with the public interest. Companies like Facebook and Google make income through surveillance capitalism while the operating systems of Microsoft and Apple function as digital retail stores. Yet, despite being in conflict with the principles of public education and their use by schools potentially contravening privacy rights, they have been embraced by school authorities.

How might we better shape the technological infrastructure of schools to increase positive learning outcomes that respect the health and well being of our students and all of society?

avatar for Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee

Teacher and Digital Communicator, "10 Tech Rules For Schools"
Timothy Lee is an Art and Media teacher with expert skills in digital communications, media creation and design. He worked in corporate communications writing and producing media productions. He also worked in the film and television industries as a writer of feature films and television... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 16:20 - 17:20 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 301
Thursday, November 9

10:20 MST

Gartner’s Top Predictions: Pace Yourself for Sanity’s Sake
The future is filled with disruption. But, the pending disruptions are taking on new forms. The relationship between people and machines are changing forever and our expectations for how the world will evolve are changing too. The presentation explores Gartner's top predictions that herald the change we all see coming but few understand.

avatar for Stephen Lefebvre

Stephen Lefebvre

Executive Partner, Gartner Inc.
Stephen Lefebvre is an Executive Partner at Gartner, based in Calgary. He works with Gartner Executive Programs clients to provide executive-level advice, guidance, counsel, direction and assistance.Before joining Gartner, Stephen spent 24 years in industry in various senior IT rolls... Read More →

Thursday November 9, 2017 10:20 - 11:15 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 303

11:25 MST

Tapping Diversity to Create the Next Wave of Technology
The current "wave" of technology saw us create standalone products that reached a global audience. The next wave of technology will rely on bridging the gap between a series of standalone innovations to impact entrenched industries like healthcare, finance, and education. Powered by teams that fully represent the customers we serve, the future of innovation has never looked brighter. 

avatar for Huda Idrees

Huda Idrees

Founder & CEO, Dot Health
Huda Idrees is the Founder and CEO of Dot Health, a new health technology platform that helps you understand your own health better. Previously, she was the Chief Product Officer at Wealthsimple, led accounting and invoicing for Wave Apps, and jumpstarted the design team at s... Read More →

Thursday November 9, 2017 11:25 - 12:15 MST
Kinnear Centre - KC 303