This past weekend, over 130 educators from school districts across BC, as well as students from Vancouver Island University came together at the Coast Bastion Hotel in Nanaimo for the return of the Vancouver Island Learning Network (VILN) Learning Event. This year’s gathering featured fantastic keynote speeches from Dr. Shawn Lennie and Dr. Susan Crichton, as well as a dessert-themed Digital Escape Room, and opportunities to learn and explore the Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum as a collective.
VILN gatherings are designed to empower educators to share unique and powerful ways of exploring new tools and strategies aimed at creating learning opportunities through design thinking, computational thinking, and coding. Building upon the work that of the previous seven learning sessions, the event this weekend continues to explore creativity in the design thinking process.
The Vancouver Island Learning Network is a professional support network that is spread across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. It was created to showcase how design thinking and technologies can be integrated across the BC Applied Design Skills Technology curriculum, and how unplugged activities can support computational thinking and readiness for coding. Coming together also gives educators a chance to share best-practices, passions, and new tools they can use to empower their students.
This past weekend’s event, the eighth in the series, has seen everything from unplugged coding with plastic cups, to Bee Bots, Micro:Bits, Root Robots, iPads, and much more, highlighted in unique and colourful ways. These educational tools, and their unique uses, showcase the deep and creative learning possible when both students and teachers are empowered.
“Being able to come together in-person again was truly motivating. With energizing keynote speakers that engaged and inspired teachers, the kick off to this event was a powerful reminder of how fast our world changes and how, as educators, we must help prepare our learners to be agents of that change,” said Glen Posey, Cowichan Valley School Districts’ District Principal, Instruction and Innovation.
This event is made possible by the collective commitment of Vancouver Island school districts to provide these opportunities to educators and learners, knowledge sharing from expert teachers in BC, as well as resources from Apple Canada and Cobble Stone Collective.