On Friday, February 10th, 2017 over 275 students and 50 teachers arrived at Ponoka Secondary Campus for the 3rd iteration of Youth Tech Nation (YTN), a student led technology integration conference. This means that students were presenting to students and this year, even the keynote speaker was a student!
As part of the organizing committee, it was exciting to see students so engaged and excited throughout the day. Witnessing students take ownership and lead one or more sessions all day was the most gratifying part because that is the purpose of YTN.
Although the focus of Youth Tech Nation is on technology integration in schools the purpose of the conference is to give students the opportunity to share and lead on topics or ideas that they are passionate about. In some cases there were students at YTN who may not always get an opportunity to be a leader and here they were presenting to their peers and teachers. The power of student leadership is evident in schools across Wolf Creek, from student leadership clubs/classes, to student tech teams, to students creating/presenting morning announcements, to participating in the upcoming Alberta Student Leadership Conference at Ecole Lacombe Composite High School.
Providing opportunities for students to take on leadership roles, whether it be big or small, empowers students to build and develop effective communication skills, work collaboratively with peers and work on problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Students who presented at Youth Tech Nation definitely experienced the opportunity to work on their leadership skills. Presenters at Youth Tech Nation worked in teams, on their own time, to build and practice their presentations, they took pride in their work to make sure they were giving the best presentation they possibly could and they had FUN! The majority of student feedback we received was students wanting to present again next year or students who were attending only excited and wanting to present next year. Students want to lead, but they need teachers, parents, and peers to support them and guide them so they can be successful. It is important for us, as teachers, to encourage and support our students to lead whether it be at YTN or any other opportunity that arises! That being said, Youth Tech Nation is a great opportunity for that to happen so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next year’s dates!
This site is a resource to support the teachers of Wolf Creek Public Schools as we continue to learn and grow.
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