We said Let’s Roll With It! And Indeed We Did!

Pat Halewich, Community Learning Network

0 0 12 October 2021

Lights, camera, action on another virtual Symposium

Literacy & Learning Symposium 2021 (Virtual)

Again this year, I, and I’m sure most of you, long for the day that we can meet in-person again, that we can wake up one morning and that Covid-19 is no longer part of our everyday life. In the meantime, we continue to live and work in a virtual world.

Theme: Let’s Roll With It!

LLS Logo 2021 Transparent 2


A little more whimsical than in past years… our keynotes brought us light and uplifting messages, hope for the future, building community, and messages of resilience in sense of moving forward.



Behind the Scenes

Our Symposium Goals:

  • Provide relevant training and PD opportunities
  • Build and strengthen connections and relationships by:
    • Enhancing engagement
    • Providing networking opportunities
    • Encouraging communities of practice
    • Celebrating milestones
    • Recognizing outstanding achievement in the field

I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in our event:

  • To our Attendees for joining us for this second virtual PD event
  • To our Presenters and Authors for enlightening and entertaining us
  • To our Energizer for energizing us – I always feel “Better When I’m Dancing
  • To our Adult Learner Speakers for so generously sharing their learning journeys with us
  • To our Award Ceremony VIPs and Recipients for joining us from across Alberta
  • To the Encore and Chime Live teams who helped us host an online event, provided studio space, guidance and tech support
  • To our CLN Board and Staff ­for their dedication and commitment to a virtual format. With a shout out to our gracious hosts, Colleen Thiessen, CLN Board Chair and Lisa Dickner, CLN Executive Director
  • To our funder and supporter, the CALP Team at Alberta Advanced Education
  • And of course to my fellow Symposium Planning Committee Members for the yearlong process starting with our event goals and objectives, then program planning, ideation, event logistics, finding the right presenters and so much more…it’s all in the details!!

I am extremely proud of the learning and connecting that happened in the virtual setting at Symposium 2021!

The Actors

Our Attendees:

  • # of Attendees: 285
  • % of CALPS in Attendance: 94%

What Some Attendees Had to Say:

  • “Great strategies and examples, tied into an overall instructional approach. I really enjoyed the real life audio and video and the creative passion of the presenters.”
  • “Having the opportunity to talk to others from around the province and hearing what others do.”
  • “Very engaging presenters!!”
  • “Great presentation and energy. Not preachy and recognize that we are all learning and "un" learning.”
  • “Chatting with others, getting ideas of who I can connect with moving forward.”
  • “Fun interactions, too :-)”
  • “Loved the questions and breakout sessions to reflect and bounce ideas off of each other.”
  • “Re-thinking about community mapping, resources, benefits to needs assessment.”
  • “Lots of new information for me and different ways of thinking about things.”
  • “It was all useful. Good balance of information, personal stories, sharing of resources, breakout room discussion and large group discussion.”
  • “Being reminded of the importance of making connections within our community”
  • “The importance of connecting with people first and creating relationships. People are people first and learners second.”
  • “The effective presentation of a very complex topic. To understand our past we need to know it. It was one of the best presentations I have been a part of in my career.”
  • “Loved it :-) Great hands on practice with solid tips on how to incorporate into different classes.  And a very refreshing way to start day 3.”
  • “Every. Single. Word. Leah is awesome!”
  • “All the tips and ideas were very relatable to our every day "online" life.”
  • “This was such practical information. I love this type of training. Would love to see this session expanded into a longer training session.”
  • “All of the ideas that were presented, as ways to engage our learners, especially online.”
  • “There were so many great ideas that we can put in to practice immediately. Thank you so much for sharing.”
  • “It helped fill my cup! So much of every day is helping, supporting, and cheerleading others and this was very much needed as I am feeling very drained. Something with some laughter and strategies to move forward. Definitely valuable to use in a class setting as well. Thank you to the facilitators.”
  • “Recognizing the need for resilience and the tools you can use to find it, professionally and personally.”

What Some Presenters Had to Say:

  • “Thank you to you and your team for an amazing Symposium and for the opportunity to lead a session. It was so special for me and a great experience.”
  • “It was so great to be able to speak with everyone!”
  • “My friends, Thank you for the most heartwarming visit this morning.”
  • “Thank you very much for organizing the literacy & learning symposium. I enjoyed presenting.”
  • Thank you, everyone, for today! What a pleasure to work with all of you and I do hope that you enjoyed the keynote.”
  • Thank you so much for having me today! It was so awesome to join you and I loved the informal nature of the session! It was great to be a part of! Thanks for doing such a great job of facilitating the process!”
  • “I had such a great time yesterday - thank you for inviting me to be part of you event!”
  • “Thanks again so much for allowing me to present at the Literacy & Learning Symposium. It was once again, an absolute blast! We had some great conversations and I’m going to have to remember to allocate more time for questions at the end! I’m looking forward to the evaluation feedback, as the feedback from last year was incredibly helpful in customizing my presentation.”
  • “We enjoyed presenting at this year’s Literacy and Learning Symposium. Thank you so much for including us.”
  • “Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate. Tons of fun! Great group. Nicely organized. Pass on my appreciation to everyone involved....”

Moving Forward -- How will our next Symposium roll out?

Moving forward, I wonder what's in store for us leading into our next Symposium?

  • What will we bring with us from before?
  • What will we leave behind?
  • What new ways of working and leading will we keep?
  • What will we do differently, value more, and care more deeply about as we move forward?
  • And what will we be focused on?

As always, please reach out if you have session topics and/or presenter ideas for us for next year!

Pat Halewich
Symposium Event Lead
Community Learning Network


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