It’s 2018 – Moving Forward

It’s already  22 days into the new year! Recently we moved all classroom blogs and student BlogFolios to a new service allowing for growth over time. It’s been exciting to connect with people from all the team initiatives and be a part of their learning stories. 

LOOKING AHEAD:  As I’ve said before, change is the only constant one can depend. While I have written about available opportunities with regards to tools and platforms  in past posts, a few others are worth mentioning. You may wish to forward this information to anyone who might be interested – extending the learning for others. 

Synergy – Focused on innovative practices in communication, these teachers (primary and intermediate) use iPadcaster and green screen to bring experiences of past, present and future to life. Imagine having your own portable TV recording studio. What’s involved is a whole lot of research skills, organization and practice in oral speech; lots of practice. See the connection?

WordPress Class Blogs/Student BlogFolios  – Start the new year with a new theme look to wake up your audience, especially if you’ve been on the same one since you started. New themes (Frindle, Emmy, Lavelle, Merriment, NewFangled, Renden, Child Ed, Hand-drawn) and features like calendars, tables, Forms collection or direct notification to parents, serve to communicate the ongoing story of learning. Capture the heart by pulling “aha” moments, and connect them to curricular standards – leads to great dinner table conversation. Extend these stories in student BlogFolios as opportunities for private reflection. Engage student thinking as they work through the “evidence of their learning process” – I see core competencies here, don’t you? These connecting parent-student-teacher conversations are not restricted by time or place (happens anytime, anywhere).  

Google Classroom – our longstanding integrated approach to written output in a collaborative conversational environment. Simple interface allows any grade level access to this powerful tool. Take advantage of new extensions that support struggling writers (eg. voice typing. We’re working towards adding Read/Write).  Use any device available to you. 

O365 – all secondary teachers and students now have access to connect/work within this online suite of Office. Pilots will go out to elementary soon. This extensive suite includes all that you expect and more (eg. Sway). Consider this environment for collaborative teams (teachers or students). Another any device available to you.

iPad Apps – a couple to strengthen our Top Twenty List

  • Image Compress and Resizer – compress any image taken on ipads/phones for uploading to any site. Extremely simple slider makes a successful entry point for any age. Instructions here
  • Compressor – oldie but a goodie. This one uses a slider for that simple touch.
  • Video Slimmer – want something more? Add editing tools to the mix. Worth the small price. 

ADST – if you purchased Spheros and need a little support, find our instructions under the Curriculum tab of ADST. If you are interested in adding more Spheros to your collection or starting one, please email us. 

*Check the Learning Portal (Staff Development Calendar or February District Day) for upcoming sessions. 

*Check our Resources links on the sidebar for any new connections.

If you have any stories to share, please add your comment below. We’re always interested in what’s happening at the school sites. 

On the Geeky Side

gearcircle_400If there’s one thing you can count on in Learning Technologies is that change is a constant. No longer can you rely on getting comfortable with only one tool; before you know it another version or upgrade is available. Even worse is when your favourite resource has been shelved and you’re on the hunt for another. Some of the following may pertain to you or it may peek an interest to find out more.

  • Raz-Kids (our famous online support for reading fluency and comprehension) has changed its weblink and management look. New weblink is: kidsa-z.com (Please ensure that you have changed your links on class blogs and school websites.)
  • Sd41 Blog/website – new supports (ask us about doing things a little different, additional tools or widgets). Great way to tell your story, student stories, communicate with parent community and go green.
  • Google Drive – changes/updates to this collaborative writing/sharing resource may make life easier
  • Digital citizenship framework – new this year (contact us for more information). Citizenship belongs at every level.
  • Review of online math resources (replacing Destination Success) – interested in test driving? (contact us)
  • Padlet (online brainstorm/collaborative board) – It now has an app for ipad users. Create a teacher account so you can expand it to students. (Content reside on US servers.)
  • Book Creator (ipad app) – extended video section to integrate Thinglink (online, app for interactive posters) and Google Drive. A powerful way to write and capture your learning story.
  • New BC curriculum – get the latest to explore –  https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
  • ARC-BC – register for a new year. Information and training: http://www.arc-bc.org/

For more information, please contact our Learning Technologies team. You can also surf our blog site, http://blogs.sd41.bc.ca/learningtech

Learning on a Curve – Learning Tech Inquiry Team

 

So much to learn – that must have been the thinking bubble of each participant in our Learning Tech Inquiry group.  It was a day to use the new technologies (laptops, ipads, software) and get a bit more comfortable.

This is what we explored:

  1. Start with a bit of brainstorming ideas.  We used Padlet (previously known as Wallwisher) to park some ideas.  This online board provides space for collecting inspiration, images, links and grouping content.
  2. Categorizing ideas?   Popplet  is a online application that allows images, writing, drawing, colours to visually convey ideas.   Having an online account can connect computers and ipads – students have ready access at home.    An exploration of  Inspiration offered a powerful way to embed video to frame our thinking process.  This gave us brainstorming with direct visual/auditory memory support from the movie.  The addition of rapid-fire tool (in Inspiration) gave us the ability to type almost at the “speed of thought”.
  3. Image work – While image work can be done on the laptop, we chose to do this with iPads.  The camera app on the iPad was used to take pictures or video and save them to the camera roll.  Importing these into other apps was simple to further communicate our learning.  We discussed the challenge of getting our projects off the device.
  4. Screen capture – Screenhunter was downloaded and installed on our laptops.  [The software performs simple screen captures and cropping of any content displayed.]
  5. Writing and Sharing/Commenting support – in line with our brainstorm “out of the box” thinking, we went to 5-Card Flickr (http://5card.cogdogblog.com/play.php?suit=5card).  This site pulls random images from Flickr, which you select to create a story.  Once the  5 images were selected, we used Screenhunter to capture the image.  This was inserted into a Google Doc.  Then the writing proceeded.  [Google Docs allows many people to be working on the same document at one time. Collaboration and revisioning at its best!  Students and teachers gain the power of the commenting feature to engage in dialogue.]

You can tell we had a very busy packed morning.  Time to mull over the activities and see how they might be used in our classes to support our inquiry journey.  We encourage you to try some of these and let us know how it went.