Mid November Reflections – Voices

It’s mid November and the leaves have displayed their Fall colours (either still hanging onto trees or splashed across the landscape). We truly live in a wonderful part of the world. 

One of our concentrations is to provide a written voice for every student. Six teams of classroom and LSS/ELL partnerships from six schools launched, each with their own set of laptops or ipads. These teams are using a variety of tools to support voice: Google Apps for Education, student blogfolios to reflect, Solo software (focused on CoWriter offering word prediction) or ipads with DoInk green screen, Explain Everything and padcaster. As part of the journey, the teams meet together to share and push their learning as well as document their ongoing story. Lessons learned and nuggets of connections will be shared here on our Teams page. Even better – ask them yourselves:

  • Maywood – Satpaul, Jason, Halina; 
  • Edmonds – Hayley, Angela;
  • South Slope – Grady, Deb, Jennifer A; 
  • Chaffey-Burke – Carlene, Alan; 
  • Suncrest – Balbir, Joe;
  • Parkcrest – Sheila, Scott;
  • UHE – Kristina (year 2);
  • Marlborough – Ann (year 2) 

We’re looking forward to strengthening our strategies. 

Why Blog?

With the many demands on a teacher’s time, what would make a person want to blog? Yes we know all about how a blog or what I prefer to say, “a web presence”, can communicate. That is what a blog can do. However this is too simple of an answer. 

Here is my current short list of what I think of blogging… Perhaps you have others.

  • global connector to extend classroom activities and learning to the world
  • breaks down walls to invite the world into the classroom (including scientists, mathematicians, artists, entrepreneurs…)
  • connects visible learning moments for parents (yes, it’s automatic – delivery service to their phones or whatever device they use) 
  • creates a place for students to share their story and practice digital citizenship in an authentic environment (positive digital footprint)
  • values the student in owning their voice and story (“They matter… one person can change the world.”)
  • creates an environment for students to push their thinking 
  • inclusive of every learner through visual, audio, video, text (“It’s not just words.”) 
  • share curricular learning journeys and stories that can be discussed at home 
  • gives opportunities for creativity, exploration and pose/answer the questions that truly matter 
  • allows learning to be captured, annotated and reflected upon (“Tell our collective story.”)
  • create opportunities for teachers to engage in capturing formative assessment information
  • allows embedding of content from multiple places (“connecting the pieces”)
  • extend classroom notes and links, criteria reminders, memory joggers (honouring parents/teachers/students time)
  • continues the conversation of learning as never ending, always moving through building a community of practice 
  • access, access, access… anytime anywhere any device

Maybe the bigger question is, do you have a web presence? If you would like to start a blog, contact any member of our Learning Technologies team or go straight to our FORMS/APPLY page to begin the process.