A Teachers Perspective on the 14th Canadian EdTech Summit 2023

As a classroom teacher, instructional leader, and curriculum developer, I have been a loyal attendee of the Canadian EdTech Summit since 2013. I recall my first summit at the MaRS Discovery District when I introduced myself to Robert Martellacci asking for his advice on how to mobilise my department into being more tech savvy. It’s been 10 years and that bold move has resulted in being immersed in thought leadership where the focus is on student engagement and where entrepreneurship and innovation is supported and celebrated.

This year’s summit in Ottawa was engaging from beginning to end. The fireside chat panel on the first day covered topics near and dear to my heart: how do we prepare students for an ever so changing world of work? As always, the panel is composed of industry leaders with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. A great kick off to the summit followed by some networking and poutine! As a postgraduate of educational leadership, the highlight for me was meeting Dr. Michael Fullan in the flesh and then hearing him speak as one of the keynotes on day two. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, taking notes on how I can become a better teacher-leader. Never stop learning is my motto!

Day two hosted at St. Pauls Secondary School in the Ottawa suburbs was filled with non-stop learning. I learned so much from Daniel Sax, Steve Brown, Alec Couros and the cross Canada panel. I even got the opportunity to be a judge for the Start-Up Challenge. As a Business Studies teacher, I cannot help but admire these real-world entrepreneurs pitching their ideas on how to improve student learning. They were all winners in my eyes! I’m going to take my experience from the summit and bring it back to my school. My goal is to start a PLC with my administration on my top takeaways from the summit: the uses of AI in the classroom while developing deep learning and global competencies. Of course, the top takeaway for me was the reminder that tech is a tool and teachers cannot be replaced, even by the most advanced AI tool! My two days in our nation’s capital was time well spent away from the classroom. Not only did I get to engage with the industry’s top thought leaders, I came out with a fresh new outlook on my teaching practice.

Thanks again Robert and the team at MindShare for being part of my lifelong learning journey!

Debbie Michailidis
Educator, Toronto District School Board