Over 2000 teachers registered and over 1000 admitted to the Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force (JDETF) Virtual Advancement in Education Summit, July 7-9, 2020. The annual flagship event was JDETF’s fifth summit and its first virtual staging. The event initially planned for California, after rotating from Jamaica and Florida moved to a virtual staging due to COVID-19.
The three days of professional development sessions for Teachers featured lectures from Educators in the Diaspora. Sessions included Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities by Ms. Shari Franklyn from the Middle East. Early Childhood Education by Abigail Thompson from the UK, and Developing and Sustaining an Inclusive School Culture by Dr. Rohan Jowallah from the United States among other workshops presented with significant ratings.
Over 95% of the participants gave the Summit a 5 out 5 rating that the “content was relevant to their job” and the “Summit was valuable overall.” Several teachers also provided additional feedback:
Nikeisha Henlon-Sterling commented: “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the summit. It has been a life-changing experience for me. I have been empowered and refueled to engage my students in a new learning experience.”
Venice Fraser wrote: “Had it not been for this crisis I would have missed so many excellent presentations because they would not have been done on the zoom platform but I would have to fly out to get all of this. Three days marathon! Awesome! Breathtaking! Inspiring! I have gleaned some invaluable information that I know will transform my teaching life for the few years I have left in this noble profession. I am happy that I was a part of this Virtual Summit 2020. Thank you team JTDAN!”
Mrs. Janice Allen shared: “I must say each really added to my development and made me reflect on the way forward for me as an educator during such a time as this. I must commend you and the other organizers of this summit for your foresight and organizational skills. Please continue to reach out in support of us as educators as we certainly need as much help as we can get. This was truly an awesome experience.”
Dr. Dwayne Dyce JDET Chairman said: “This year, we went virtually due to the onslaught of COVID-19 as a result, our impact has become significant not only to provide professional development sessions in pertinent areas but also showing educational practitioners that there are several ways to continue to educate students. The Education Summit transformed the way all participants look at online learning for all learners.”
The JDETF is part of the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce Action Network (JDTAN.) Leo Gilling, JDTAN Chairman, congratulated Dr. Dwayne Dyce, Lesleyann Samuel and the rest of the JDETF team. “It’s nice to see Dr. Dyce continue and expand this flagship program and how much it was oversubscribed. It was a monumental task, commitment from all partners, 3 days, 13 PD sessions including middle managers! It’s not an easy feat but they did it.”