A small group of educators from Coquitlam gather at a restaurant where 10 of them take turns doing an Ignite talk. 20 slides, timed at 15 seconds, for a fixed total time of 5 minutes.

If you’ve never done one of these, I can tell you that they are challenging. I’ve presented 3 of them, Let’s Transform Our Learning Metaphors, Transforming our Classrooms, and “What If… We Transformed our Teaching?” (I recorded this one, but didn’t like it enough to share it.)

The format for the evening was 3 presentations, dinner, 4 presentations, desert, and then 3 more presentations. Not all of them were specific to education, and one of my favourites of the night was Kelsey Keller sharing Eureka moments as a parent.


My colleague at Inquiry Hub Secondary, John Sarte, shared thoughts on the purpose of schools, and delved into some of the projects students work on, including one of our students that designed and built snow-making machines, built a bunch of them, and then created a job for himself at local ski mountains running them and maintaining them.

He also shared that although he hates Halloween and dressing up, he finds himself doing 5 costume changes in a single day, while participating in a LARP – Live Action Role Play that is designed and organized by our students. Why? Because the costumes have purpose and the students are fully immersed in the learning experience.

My favourites Ignites that I have ever seen include Chris Lehmann‘s The Schools We Need Presentation at Ignite Philly 2 (I’ve only watched it online, He did it 9 years ago and it is still relevant). And Dean Shareski‘s “Busy is not a Badge of Honour”. This presentation completely reframed what I thought about the term ‘busy’ and I stopped using it. I started focussing more on using descriptors that actually helped me move forward, rather than convincing myself that I was at best “busy but good” when people ask questions like ‘How are you?’.

Below is a ‘Storify’ sharing tweets from the night, shared by our host Craig Ma.

For those interested in Twitter chats, Craig and Bryn Williams (who presented on Teaching with HEART – Health Empathy Advocacy Respect Trust), are co-hosts of #BCedchat on Sunday nights at 7pm. Also, if you aren’t into Twitter (yet), at some point I’ll get my free All-you-need-to-know-guide completed… you can get an email from me to tell you when it is ready. It will also be in my monthly newsletter, if that’s something you are interested in.

If you’ve never tried to do an Ignite presentation, I challenge you to try! Start by going to one, then jump in and give it a go!


Also published on Medium.

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