Category: Innovative Teaching and Learning

Being Data Informed – Student Driven Conversations

Funny thing around data – when students are an intricate part of the conversation, it takes on a whole different meaning. Recently, I was facilitating one of our Joint Teams (LSS/Classroom partners and Learning Technologies) with a focus on supporting learners with written output challenges. There were several tools...

Know Your “Why”

Recently we had session 2 of our Communicating Learning via ePortfolios Team. When I wrote up this session to post for the group, it struck me that these thoughts applied to everyone especially at a time when we’re all focused on assessment, report cards and all the things that...

Thinking Math Supports?

In partnership with Ron Coleborn (Math consultant), we are pleased to announce two Math softwares available for teachers: Dreambox Learning (Math) Skoolbo (Math and Literacy basic skills) (Canadian version) DreamBox is an online Math resource (K-8) intended to support personalized instruction for students from intervention to enrichment. The ongoing formative...

Learning on the Edge – Reflections on Pro-D

We just finished a districtwide Pro-D, where for the first time we squeezed 2000 people into one building. So parking was quite hairy and the deluge of rain didn’t help matters. Once inside, the atmosphere was positively electrifying (thanks to the facilitators and participants). Our opening started with North’s own...

“Citizenship” is Everyone’s Business

February 1st is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the day before Groundhog Day, the day (1920) of the newly established Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  But more importantly, it is the official launch of our Digital Citizenship Initiative (K-7). While some may hone in on the...

Celebrations

Around this time of year, the terms of celebration, reflection and sharing, become even more of a focus. It’s almost cyclical in nature. Beyond the “let’s have a party to showcase all the end products”, I wonder about the little things. Things like perseverance and tenacity and the courage to turn...

When Opportunity and Resources Meet = Success Happens

Connecting a ‘just right’ opportunity to engage in independent deeper thinking and a resource that allows that to happen is a challenge. When the two meet, it’s almost magical, especially when it can include students who struggle with reading and writing. For these, time is spent mostly on the mechanics of...

Summer Thoughts

As we go into the summer, a huge ‘thank you’ goes to teachers, students and parents.  To the students, you’ve practiced focus and attention and this is no easy feat. It takes hard work to build and exercise an efficient brain.  To our parents, you ensured your children had...

Secret to the Universe When Motivation Wanes

Many times I’ve been asked “how do you motivate students”? This is usually during the time when the newness of the exercises wear off and it’s clearly drudgery that takes over.  This might happen during week one (sigh) or perhaps pop up in week three.  If you’re lucky, you...

New Beginnings

A huge welcome to our new sites – South Slope, Marlborough, Buckingham, Burnaby South Access Program and Moscrop Access Program.  A great time of learning with all teams and we continue to have more gatherings in the near future to continue the conversation of supporting our students. The days...

App #10 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #10: Partner a beautiful image that you’ve drawn or photographed with interactivity and you’ve got Thinglink. These rich interactives provide another way to curate and organize information. I’ve written about this before using the SAMR Model as an example (developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D) and also here where I was participating in CLMOOC. Thinglink offers interaction...

App #9 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #9: In our effort to highlight the SAMR Model of integration of technology, we’ve been considering what activities might fit into Redefinition (technology that allows creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable). What activities might have significant impact to student outcomes? The “tell your story” concept remains one of the powerful ways we have...

App #8 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #8:  Image editors are the tools that help your ordinary images dance off pages. IrfanView is a free program (on your school computers) that does a variety of basics like compression.  I love the “batch conversion” feature when I need a ton of images resized for the web.  (click here for...

App #7 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #7:  How do you present information from research projects?  Usually we default to PowerPoint.  Another option is Haiku Deck for all platforms. I wrote about this app for the iPad before (click here).  The presentation software offers a beautiful, yet simplistic way to to share information.  Each slide offers options for...

App #6 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #6:   QR Codes (or Quick Response codes) are everywhere – in magazines, on professional cards, on billboards, websites, newsletters all because those little squares can be packed with information. You can even find them at the grocery store gracing the fruit section (giving you additional details of the grower)....