Unplug’d: Canadian Education Summit

Click here to listen to a dramatic reading of this post by the author.

There is a guy I know, named Rodd.  He had a skype chat with me this past summer and offered a number of interesting ideas:

So, what would happen if educators from across Canada who were doing compelling things in the 21st century all got together in one physical location?  Not a chat room, a skype conference or a google doc, but actually face to face.


And what would happen if these educators not only met face to face, but also unplugged?  The focus of the time would be  on the interaction with leaders  in front of them and not connected to the grid.


Wouldn’t it be interesting to take a train up to a natural treasure, Algonquin Park, within the Canadian wilderness where the event will take place?  This summit’s location and activities would develop into a product and the product would reflect the participant’s interaction within this wilderness.

This conversation was followed up with additional skype calls that included folks named Alec, Dean, Tom, Bill, Darren and Zoe.  The result is an event we are calling, “Unplugd” (unplugd.ca).


Are you interested in being part of this event?

  • Do you attempt to use innovative practices in teaching and learning?
  • Are you interested in deepening your relationships with other innovative and creative educators?
  • Would you collaborate with teachers across Canada and become part of this larger group?

Invitations will be distributed in March/April 2011.

If this event is for you, let us know who you are.

That guy I know, named Rodd and a few other compelling folks will be unplugging to tell stories, deepen relationships, and share experiences.  The more I talk with these folks, the more interested I get.

So, what would happen if educators from across Canada who were doing compelling things in the 21st century all got together in one physical location?

What might happen? Something worth being a part of.


This research (dated 2008) was awarded the 2009 Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) Thesis and Dissertation Recognition of Excellence Award. Below is the abstract and the full document!


Collaboration between classrooms, in a digital environment, was explored using
the self-identifiers of connectivity, constructivism, and collaborative comforts to
partner teachers. The research question investigated was, how might emerging
research on connectivity, constructivism and collaboration within the digital
environment inform the design of an interactive website that enhances the ways
in which teachers are able to collaborate with colleagues around the world based
on the development of a more complex partnering system? The Design as
Education Research Framework was used to implement the ‘design as research’
method and resulted in the design of the research object, an interactive website,
TeachersConnecting.com. Multiple data sources that informed the design
process were: the research object, a development journal, feedback from a
development panel, and academic literature in the field. Reflection via a virtual
convener, practical applications of connectivism and constructivism, as well as
the impact of a development panel on ‘design as research’ were described.
Cross-classroom collaboration projects were organized into a matrix that was
developed based on the comforts.

Keywords: cross-classroom collaboration, collaborative projects, design as
research, Design as Educational Research, collaborative comfort, constructivism
comfort, connectivity comfort, partnering teachers, interactive education website
design, connectivism