PAATA convention features informational session and comedian

Kristen McEwen
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The Prince Albert and Area Teachers’ Association (PAATA) is inviting teachers, substitute teachers, superannuates and interns to attend their convention at Carlton Comprehensive High School on Friday.

The convention is designed for teachers in the city and surrounding area to experience directed professional development, said president of PAATA Randy Krammer.

The day is set to have an informational session in the morning and a motivational speaker in the afternoon.

Morning speaker, Alec Couros is a professor of educational technology and media at the faculty of education at the University of Regina who has spoken at hundreds of workshops nationally and internationally. He will be talking about using new technology, mobile devices and social media to transform the classroom.

Curous will be addressing topics such as critical media literacy, how social networks and new media can be used to support student learning, how teachers can deal with digital identity and citizenship.

“He’s presented to Saskatoon teachers and the Regina teachers and the people who saw him there used the word fantastic,” Krammer said. “We’re hoping that he’ll be a big success.”

“Those are really critical topics for this information age that many teachers, especially teachers who are in the middle to later stages of their careers, know very little about,” he added.

The Saskatchewan Rivers Public School board and the Prince Albert Roman Catholic Separate School board are also collaborating to provide a free barbecue lunch for all members of both school divisions.

This is the first year the two school boards are working together to provide an event like this, Krammer said.

In the afternoon is motivational speaker Ken Valgardson, who taught for years in rural Alberta. He eventually became a standup comedian after years of finding humour in the classroom.

Both speakers are meant to provide inspiration and motivation for the upcoming school year, Krammer said.

“That’s certainly the purpose, to inspire teachers as they begin the school year,” he added. “Everyone is excited anyway but it always helps to have someone to jump start you.”

Krammer thanked the teachers on the convention committee for organizing the convention during the busy back-to-school season.

Organizations: University of Regina, Saskatchewan Rivers Public School, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Regina, Alberta

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