Bruce trail public school

1199 Costigan Road

Milton, Ontario

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2018 PIC Conference - Parent Involvement Committee

I just spent the morning at the 11thAnnual PIC conference – Parent Involvement Committee for Halton and what an informative and engaging conference it was!

For any parents who have ever thought about going but were not quite sure if it is worth giving up time on an early October Saturday morning, I highly recommend you check this conference out.

For one, the organisation of the conference was seamless and the event had everything required without any unnecessary frills. I can only imagine the hours spent in putting this conference together; I’m sure it was no easy feat! I am personally grateful to all those who contributed to its success. The keynote speaker, Amber Mac, was excellent; on point, engaging and a much-needed resource for parents raising children in our technologically advance world. (more on that in a minute) The sessions offered covered a wide variety of current and relevant issues that parents face with children ranging from elementary to high school. People were friendly and welcoming, and the high school students who volunteered did a stellar job at making sure participants were assisted with directions and information. The marketplace had a variety of tables with information about local resources, some of which I had not known about but very relevant and useful to me, my children and my school.

This was my first year attending and Amber Mac presented the keynote address about the future of work. An important topic for us parents raising children in a different age where technology is moving faster than ever before. What does all that mean for us as parents and for our children?

Amber addressed many points on this, above all she shed an optimistic light on the future of technology’s role in future work. She balanced out the misconceptions of robots or technology eliminating jobs for humans and addressed the positive and negative effects that AI (Artificial Intelligence) will have in our future careers, particularly those of our children.

The presentation had me thinking about how am I going to prepare my children for the future? The jobs they may end up doing might not even exist right now. How will technology change the way we live, work and play?

Amber walked us through a day in life in 2025 and what role technology will play. Very eye opening for someone like me who isn’t necessarily tech savvy, I use technology but I don’t seek out what more it could do for me. Those that do, are paving the way of our future.

Hearing Amber talk about the future and technology made me wonder when did my parents’ generation think about what life was going to be like in 2018? The futuristic movies I remember from the 70’s and 80’s – they’re not futuristic anymore – we have technology that do things and answer questions at the push of a button or upon a voice command and they are everywhere.

For someone like me who doesn’t necessarily embrace technology at breakneck speed; I welcomed Amber’s take on how we could be looking to the future – focusing on preparing our children, how we can be involved so we can stay current and engaged with the next generation as they take on roles in careers we may not have even dreamed of yet.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a keynote presentation by Amber Mac I would without hesitation recommend you sign up. She was able to read the audience well and engage them, making connections between her work in the tech world and the relevance it has on their lives.

The breakout session I attended was ‘Embracing failure and the journey to Mental Wellness’ by Siobhan Kukolic, a freelance writer and author of The Treasure you seek’a year’s reflection on inspiration and change. Siobhan highlighted many high-profile successful people and their previous failures and how they approached their challenges and overcame them. She highlighted the non-cognitive skills such as perseverance, grit, and growth mind-set all which are instrumental in facing challenges in life, work and school. She touched on many talking points that would be great conversation starters with our children; our children that will be taking on roles in the future where technology will be advancing beyond our current predictions.

Personally, I strongly believe that no matter how much technology advances it’s the non-cognitive skills of grit, perseverance and resilience, growth mindset and courage that we need to continue to build in our children for them to be successful.

Many thanks to all those involved in organising the PIC conference event, an all-around positive experience in many respects and well worth the few hours on this cold October morning. Make sure you check out next year’s PIC conference – you’ll be glad you did. I highly recommend attending with another parent. I found being able to discuss thoughts about the keynote speaker presentation and about the sessions was a great way to see how some of the ideas could be relevant in our lives, the lives of our children and our schools.









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