Playdate Ottawa (People Learning Asking whY Digital Age Teacher Exploration) was a place where educators could play with technology and truly see how it could be implemented within their classrooms. So often we go to workshops and professional development sitting listening to someone speak about all sorts of great ideas, but never get the chance to have a hands on experience. This was the driving force behind Playdate. The idea of Playdate came out of Chicago by a group of teachers who wanted to give participants the time and space to explore educational technology. We were very fortunate to have a couple of these founders (Jennie Magiera and Sue Gorman) join us for an introduction and welcome in the morning. It was a great touch to get everyone excited to Play.
I must say, the day went off without a hitch. Everywhere I went, people were showing, sharing, collaborating on ideas. Some had strong technology backgrounds while others have just started to warm up to tech. It was great to have this mix as it led to rich discussions that all parties could grow from.
So, how was the day setup? We had different break out rooms that educators could go to play and learn about specific topics (Google Scripts and Addons, Augmented Reality, Assistive Technology, Screencasting, Movie making, Digital portfolios to name a few). We created (with the help of Playdate Chicago) digital resource guides for participants to follow to give them a starting place about the tech they wanted to play with. Each break out had a lead who help facilitated the flow of playing and learning. That’s it! Pretty simple yet extremely effective.
Would I help run another Playdate? Absolutely! The feedback has been very positive with many asking when the next one will be… stayed tuned we hope to make it an annual event!
For more information on the event check out the Playdate Ottawa Website: http://playdateott.weebly.com/ and don’t forget to follow @playdateott +playdateott for news and details about coming events.