This past weekend, as a part of our On Campus Recreational Experience (OCRE), the pre-interns attended the annual SBTA Spring Conference. We finished our 3-week pre-internship experience on Thursday, April 7 and then spent the next two days (April 8 & 9) at the University of Regina, attending the conference.
The 7 Business Ed pre-interns kicked off the conference Friday morning at 9:45am with our presentation of The Balfour Experience which we talked about our semester at a local high school, taking university classes and teaching at the school. This presentation gave an inside look at why we did this, our daily experiences, how it has better prepared us for pre-internship and internship, and much more. Following our presentation, Scott Thompson from the University of Regina presented on Inclusion in the Business Education Classroom. Scott provided us with a detailed look at graphic organizers and how to best use them in a classroom. During lunch, Tracy Houk and Isabelle Campeau from the Regina Public School Board walked us through some of the burning issues of Business Education, such as inquiry based learning. We learned the 4 stages of Inquiry Based Learning – Immerse, Investigate, Coalesce, and Go Public – as well as some direct examples of how to use inquiry based learning in the business ed classroom.
After lunch the pre-interns had to leave for an internship seminar which meant that we had to miss Barbara McKinnon’s presentation about Team Building Ideas for Entrepreneurship. Barb is an inspirational teaching from Moose Jaw, SK who is doing amazing things with her entrepreneurship classes. When we returned to the conference, everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun and learning great tips. Although we were given some of the slides from the presentation, I am sad that we had to miss it. After a short coffee break, Jordan McFarlen (a first year teacher at Campbell Collegiate, and my brother) ended off the day with his presentation on Technology in the Business Ed Classroom. Jordan’s presentation also introduced the twitter hashtag of #sbta2011 which was to be the official hashtag of the conference. The conference then ended for the day and there was a break for supper until the social that evening. The social was a great chance for everyone to get introduced, network, swap teaching stories, give advice, and just have a great evening together.
Day 2 of the conference was kicked off bright and early by Heather Laturnas’s presentation about Interdisciplinary Learning in Business Education. Heather is currently teaching at Eagle Butte High School in Dunmore, Alberta. This presentation covered some of the benefits of interdisciplinary learning and the structure of combining English and Business Education. Following Heather’s presentation was a short coffee break before Alec Couros, professor at the University of Regina, closed off the conference with his presentation on Web 2.0, Business Education, and Your Classroom. I was fortunate enough to have taken a class from Alec last semester and I have also been in the audience for a number of his presentations. Every time I listen to Alec present, I am once again blown away by everything he can teach me in a one hour presentation, and as usual he outdid himself again. Following all of the presentations, the conference ended with the Annual General Meeting and my university semester was officially brought to an end.
Overall this was an amazing professional development event for everyone involved, and I learned a lot of great tools and ideas which I plan to use in my internship semester in the Fall. To catch some of the twitter conversation over the weekend, check out #sbta2011.
Do you attend any conferences such as this? Are you currently using, or interested in using any of the tools and strategies talked about at the conference? Do you have any ideas of other presentation topics you would like to hear about?