Annual Speak Out Conference

 6th Annual Speak Out Conference
April 11 to 13, 2014 in Edmonton

The 6th Annual Speak Out Conference was a huge success! Over 250 students aged 14 to 19, along with their chaperones, gathered in Edmonton from all areas of the province from April 11 to 13, 2014. Hosted by the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (the Council), the Speak Out Conference gave both students and chaperones the opportunity to attend engaging, interactive sessions and provide input on a variety of topics. The three-day event provided delegates with many workshops, and mentorship and networking opportunities. 

The weekend included
·         Keynote addresses by Sunjay Nath and Ahmed Ali, where delegates were inspired and motivated to be leaders and effect change in our schools and school communities.
·         A fun evening of leadership and team-building games with the Student Engagement Olympics.
·         A Plenary Session on Inspiring Leaders of Change on Sunday morning where a panel of education stakeholders including a student, parents, a teacher, a principal, a superintendent, a school board trustee and the Deputy Minister of Education provided their perspectives for the audience.
Following the Conference, Speak Out and the workshop presentation teams have worked tirelessly to write the What We Heard reports for each Conference session. Please click on any session title below to find out what participants had to say, and what action will follow from their input.
The Speak Out team wants to thank everyone who helped to make this event a success.  The 7th Annual Speak Out Conference is tentatively set for April 17 to 19, 2015.  Once again, Speak Out plans to bring together almost 250 students, aged 14 to 19, their chaperones, and a multitude of Alberta Education staff and partners. Applications will be available online starting Fall 2014. Apply early as the Conference fills up quickly.
Please click on any session title below to read the What We Heard report.
Student Sessions
Digital Exams
Join us for this interactive session on digital exams. In the first part of the session you will get to experiment with digital questions in an online environment. In the second half, you will be asked to provide your opinions as to the pros and cons of online exam delivery. We want to hear from you about how we can improve the online exam experience for students.
This session will focus on ways you can identify or map your high school and post-secondary path. Key resources (e.g. websites, tools, supports) and possibilities will be shared and applied in activities during the session to support choosing your own pathway, including a key spotlight on the opportunities that dual credit courses/programs provide. Dual credit opportunities allow high school students to receive high school credit and post-secondary credit for the same course/program, and possibly receive preferred placement (course exemption) in post-secondary and/or workplace certification. Participants will have the opportunity to share their current learning experiences, receive key information and tools, and provide input that may guide future dual credit opportunities in Alberta.
Education Resources – Now and for the Future
What type of resources are you using to learn – both in school and at home? What makes a learning resource interesting and effective for you as a learner? How do you use books, videos, audio, apps and online resources to help you learn different things? Join this interactive session to help shape the future of resources for student from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Changing your Community through YOU! – Youth Engagement, Empowerment, Action and Contribution
What is your role in creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe schools and communities? This session will look at how youth can be empowered to create the change they would like to see. Information will be shared on the essential elements of youth empowerment and action along with evidenced based strategies. The new Education Act and Social Policy Framework will be discussed. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on what youth engagement means to them, as well as what supports and resources they would require to make a difference.
Creating a “Killer” Option
Come share your thoughts on the ideal option class! This session will allow you to be creative in helping shape what options could look like in the future, and have fun doing it. You are encouraged to bring your own “smart” device to share your ideas during the session.
Curriculum Redesign focuses on developing literacy, numeracy and competencies in ALL subject areas. How do you show your strengths as a learner and what might help you to become stronger in areas that challenge you?  This interactive session will engage participants in learning more about the roles that literacy, numeracy, and cross-curricular competencies play in their education.  Come to this session and help to shape Alberta’s future curriculum.
How are diploma examinations made? How are they marked, and what if you don’t like your mark? Come to this interactive session where we will dispel the myths and answer your questions. You will also have an opportunity to provide feedback on several aspects of diploma exams directly to the people who make them.
This interactive session will allow you to provide your thoughts and ideas on how we can bring the vision of the Learning and Technology Policy Framework to life. How do you feel about the vision of classrooms where students are using a variety of technologies and choosing their own approach to the learning outcomes? Is this happening in your classrooms now? What do you think needs to happen to make it a reality in all classrooms?
Speak Out About Assessment
What should/should not be considered when student marks are calculated and final grades determined? What student attributes should only receive feedback in verbal or written communication? How well are your teachers doing in ensuring that you are marked fairly and accurately? These questions will be discussed, and the discussion will inform a new Alberta Education Assessment Capacity project that is looking for ways to build the assessment skills of teachers.
We need your help! Come and discover resources and tools to help you plan your post-secondary path. At the same time, we’d like your input on how these resources could be improved to better help you and your fellow students to navigate the transition from high school to post-secondary education.
Chaperone Sessions
Redesigning high school to create student-centered learning opportunities, which are focused on increasing student engagement and student achievement, means that we need to intentionally engage in conversation with, and collaborate with, our students. Join us to hear what students are saying about the importance of redesigning high school to transform students’ learning experiences in order to make them more inclusive and personalized.
Please bring your mobile devices to this session.
Get the conversation started now at #rethinkhs and #SpeakOutAb
Curriculum Redesign is one of the initiatives helping to bring the vision of Inspiring Education to life. It is an opportunity to review Alberta’s provincial curriculum to ensure it is engaging, relevant and enables students to reach their full potential.  Join Alberta Education staff in a discussion on what you have heard and need to know about Curriculum Redesign.
Working Together to Support Mathematics Education in Alberta
Do students still need to know their multiplication facts? Why don't students learn traditional ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide? The answers might surprise you. This session will focus on learning mathematics in Alberta, misconceptions about the program, how Education and its partners are supporting students' success, as well as opportunities for mathematics as part of Curriculum Redesign.  Please bring a web-enabled device to participate in the sessions' interactive components.
Inspiring Education paints an impelling vision of Alberta’s graduate of 2030. The complexity and depth of change articulated in Inspiring Education and the Ministerial Order on Student Learning will require all partners, including parents, teachers, and other education stakeholders, to consider the way in which future students will be supported, to realize their full potential. The graduate of 2030 will be embarking on his or her formal learning journey in the fall of 2016. Come and help us support the next generation of successful Albertans.


6th Annual Speak Out Conference 2014
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