May 4th, 2021
The annual ProLearn Unconference provides a unique opportunity to network with colleagues, sharing challenges and solutions, and exploring ET/IT leadership topics of the day. Rather than listening to expert presenters, within an “unconference” setting, colleagues together together share knowledge and experience within a dynamic and powerful learning space. Like a “take a penny, leave a penny” jar, an unconference lets you explore topics you want to learn about, while sharing expertise you have on other topics noted by others.
Building upon the in-person unconference format, where participants shape the day’s agenda at the start of the day, within an online unconference, participants can bring topics to the group asynchronously by posting on a collaborative board in advance: Do you have an IT frustration? Do you need an ET solution? Is your SIS system driving you crazy? Are there leadership challenges that leave you perplexed? Are there things you celebrate? Solutions you’d love to bring to light? In an unconference, “the wisdom in the room is the room”, and your input is valuable. Register for the ProLearn Unconference Online by mid-April and be sure to post your topic wish list to the wall!
This year, the ProLearn Unconference Online will be a half-day event, allowing you to merge back into your jurisdiction responsibilities.
Who Should Attend the Unconference?
What can you learn when you bring together a group of people who lead technology in education with no barriers and no predefined topics? At this event, you will find out.
Attendees should be in a leadership role on the ET or IT side of education. Leaders are also encouraged to bring staff you are developing as leaders. It doesn't matter if your professional training is in Education or Technology. All perspectives are welcomed. The more diverse the group of attendees, the more interesting the conversations. This could include:
- Supervisors, Directors, Managers
- Coaches, Coordinators, Trainers
- Project or Team Leaders
How It Works
An unconference is an open, participant-driven conference. The content is proposed and provided by the participants. Unconferences rely heavily on the passions and interests of the participants.
Short Presentation with Conversation
5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion.
Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation and an interesting discussion happens.
My Big Question
You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.
Show and Tell
You have a cool project, a demo, or just something to show and let people play with that is the springboard for all the conversation in the session. Alternatively, you can invite others to bring their own items to show and tell (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
Learn how to do X
If you’re inclined to teach, this can be simple and effective. Bring the equipment that you need, and have a plan that will let you teach five, ten, or 15 people how to do something all at the same time.
No pre-scheduled topics, no tourists.
Attendees suggest and lead conversations or presentations. Sessions will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another session slot. If the conversation doesn't go anywhere after 20 minutes. That's ok. End it, move on.
The unconference was one of the most productive and beneficial events I have ever attended in the almost 20 years I’ve been working in K-12 technology. By design, it allowed us to pick topics that were current, timely and immediately relevant to all of our current situations in a collaborative, peer environment. The unconference will remain at the top of my list of conferences to attend in the future.
- Ernest Aleixandre, Director of Information Technology Services, Aspen View Public School Division No.78
The ATLE Unconference was an excellent process to facilitate learning and collaborating with your peers based on issues and projects that are pertinent for today.
- Ken Robitaille, Director of Technology, Battle River School Division No. 31