Connects Unconference

Time to consult the experts? It’s a little different here. The purpose of the Connects Unconference is to bring CIS Ontario educators together, of varying levels of experience and expertise. It's a powerful way for faculty to accelerate their research and learn from each other. Table facilitators have a critical role, as they work to generate dialogue around four topics of group interest, pre-selected and voted upon by all participants. You could be discussing the integration of design thinking, experiential technologies or digital portfolios. The ultimate goal is to capture new opportunities for student experience. 

Save the Date: Connects Unconference 2020

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2020 Unconference Strands

The 3rd annual CIS Ontario Connects Unconference is shaping up to be a powerful day of learning and sharing as we leverage the expertise of CIS Ontario educators in four compelling areas of future-thinking pedagogical inquiry. Facilitators will engage participants through provocations designed to generate and incubate ideas and best practices. Participants choose 2 of 4 themes to explore:

1. Future Readiness - How might we authentically embed 21st century skills across the curriculum and co-curricular programming in order to develop future-ready students?

This conference strand is designed to surface and explore how CIS Ontario Schools are strategically planning for the future in their academic and co-curricular programming. Session experts will share frameworks, tools and approaches they are currently using along with examples of recent integration practices. Participants will be asked to share strategies in order to build their own knowledge and practice, and that of those in their session. Participants and experts will contribute to a bank of growing research that supports the compelling “WHY” our schools must strategically and intentionally build skills for an ever changing and unknown future.

2. Wellness Dashboard - How might we best measure, collect and evaluate student wellness data?

All of our schools are concerned about and are prioritizing student wellness; however, we can only respond to what we measure. This conference strand is designed to surface and explore how CIS Ontario Schools are, or how they might strategically capture, measure and share student wellness data across their organizations. Session experts will share their school wellness definitions and broad-based stewardship strategies as well as data capture tools, practices and platforms. Participants will then explore and share the criteria for how their schools are defining student wellness and what important metrics they are using to measure it. 

3. UN's Sustainable Development Goals - How might we best leverage the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to enhance learning outcomes across academic and non-academic programming?

Following the recent Global Climate Strike, most schools have turned their attention to the UN SDGs as a lever to support their students understanding, action and exploration of current issues and events. This conference strand is designed to surface and explore how CIS Ontario Schools are intentionally and authentically integrating the UN SDGs into lessons, units, assignments and co-curricular programming. Session experts will share current practices and integration ideas as well as examples from their classrooms and programmes. Participants will share and explore how they are currently leveraging the UN SDGs to connect real world problems to their course content, curriculum and whole school value proposition.

4. Gamification - How might we best integrate and apply game-based pedagogies, strategies and technologies to enhance learning outcomes?

From Minecraft to Badging, the age of gamification in education is maturing. This conference strand is designed to surface and explore how CIS Ontario Schools and teachers are integrating game based pedagogies and strategies into projects, lessons, units and assignments. Session experts will share examples of current practices, tools and platforms that gamify the learning experience. Participants will be asked to share and explore how they are currently using games to enhance and deepen the teaching and learning experience.

Unconference 2020 Schedule

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Arrival & Check-In

8:30 - 9:15 a.m. Conference Intro & Mindset Building (Opening Address) - Forum

9:15 - 9:30 a.m. Networking Break & Room Set-up

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. First session (120mins)

Breakout locations:

  • Future Readiness - Forum
  • Wellness - Studio
  • SDG - Room 103
  • Gamification - Room 102

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch & Networking

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Second Session (120mins)

Breakout locations:

  • Future Readiness - Forum
  • Wellness - Studio
  • SDG - Room 103
  • Gamification - Room 102

3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Closing Address & Exit Ticket

Download our Impact Reports

Download these Impact Reports for a host of valuable resources.

Connects Unconference 2019

CIS Ontario Connects Unconference


Date: January 27, 2020
Time: 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Location: BMO IFL
3550 Pharmacy Ave, Scarborough, ON M1W 3Z3

Target Audience: Teachers, Administrators, Innovators and Changemakers!

Fee: $225 per participant


Garth Nichols
Lead Facilitator

Justin Medved
Lead Facilitator

For additional information, please contact:
Sheri Little
Executive Assistant/ Event Manager

The smartest person in the room is the room itself.

Garth Nichols, lead facilitator