September – A New Year

View from Stanley Park

Welcome back! It’s great to still have summer weather around as we ease into another year of discovery, exploration and thinking deeply. 

You’ll notice that we have a PROJECTS IDEA button on the sidebar. This takes you to the Projects page where we’ve listed stories to spark ideas and opportunities to learn from your colleagues. These illustrations are from our Design Teams. 

 

SOME OPPORTUNITIES TO SPARK CONNECTIONS

  • Create a web presence where you can share your curriculum, thoughts on your assessment practices and what you believe, dialogue with students (giving them authentic practice in digital citizenship), inform parents. These can all be done using our sd41 class blogs. Click on FORMS/APPLY to get started on your journey. 
  • Use O365 to enhance and organize your lessons with your class (Secondary). Go to Learn Portal for resources to start your journey. (*Intermediates – stay tuned)
  • Documenting learning – strengthen processes in communicating student learning. These support using a variety of tools  to engage in reflective process.  (*Interested in student blogfolios? Click on FORMS/APPLY to get started or to continue your journey.)
  • Pop Up Make Writing Studio – The process of making creates inclusive opportunities for supporting voice and the writing process. This new flip merges writing with ADST, core competencies, communicating student learning and collaboration. Be prepared for fun and interactive parts. 
  • Need students to gain added skills practice in Literacy or Math? We have licenses for Skoolbo Canada – Click on FORMS/APPLY to get a class account that you can manage. 
  • ADST – our multi centers kit with focus on core competencies are bookable for a term. Stay tuned for additional experiences with this curriculum.
  • Check out our TOP SUGGESTED iPAD APPS for schools. 

Other projects surface as the year progresses. Do you have a burning idea at your school that you would like to discuss? Contact us – we’re always available for a chat. 

Authors & Voice – Using Google Classroom/GAFE

Storytelling is about discovery; discovery of oneself, discovery of our relationship with the world, discovery of questions within ourselves. Purposefully and intentionally immersing technologies that are simple to grasp, amplifies the discovery allowing the power of voice to lift off.

This year’s joint project between Learning Technologies and Literacy accessed the collaborative nature of Google Classroom to strengthen writing, voice, and empowerment in every student. The simplicity of the environment made it the best alternative to focus on writing communication, not learning the tool. Pre-assessment set the groundwork in maintaining the focus. Activities ranged from heart maps, personalization to self-reflection of goals. All classes learned and accessed the many tools embedded to support inclusion (eg. audio, voice-to-text (sometimes it’s easier to speak and watch it flow out on a page), dictionary with images, integrated web research (no leaving your page), auto translation (ELL inclusion from day one), text-to-speech, word prediction…). Again, these were done purposefully when need arose and all students engaged when they felt the need or wish. Immediate timely support through teacher and student comments provided opportunities to focus on growing the writers voice. The values of core competencies were evidenced throughout their writing process. 

These stories of learning are captured in the words of students and teachers.

 

More stories are on their way and will be posted as our project teams round off the year. 

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.