Happy September – Welcome back!

Happy September Everyone. Hope you all had a great summer with time to connect with family and friends. 

This year we have quite a few new things to share, including our new home base at Canada Way Education Centre (tucked in between Canada Way and Woodsworth). Pop by and say hello in Room 3 > some of our workshops and teams will be held in the Presentation Room 8, while other sessions will be at school sites across the district. 

 

We have a number of focus learning sessions in the Staff Development Calendar to check out (more to come): 

  • Develop a web presence using blogs, websites (save time, get shortcuts)
  • Communicating student learning using digital portfolios and  multiple tools (eg. green screen, powerpoint…)
  • ADST centres kits (with core competencies) 
  • coding initiatives (Tynker (a whole program), Micro:Bits, Minecraft)
  • Fast ForWord to support struggling readers
Stay tuned for more information (email if you’re interested): 
  • O365 (basics and using Teams) 
  • coding initiatives (Tynker, Micro:Bits, Minecraft)
  • Using VR/AR to spark learning
  • All the Right Type (keyboarding)

As well, we have some joint learning teams (Making and Writing using O365; Math and Minecraft; CSL – Writing, self-assessment and inclusion). 

For those of you looking for support in addressing Digital Citizenship, please see the link in the top toolbar under CURRICULA or sidebar. 

We’re SO excited we’re starting right away!  Email if you have any questions or would like to jump-start ideas. 

Learning Walks

We are fortunate to live in an area that is surrounded with nature right outside our doorstep. The popularity of using “learning walks” add new elements to our day. I can think of the power of this opportunity in every one of the curricular areas.

“What if” we placed devices in the hands of students and asked them to capture images that they felt were significant. Now that takes focused observational skills to weed out the many and only select visuals that are “significant”. What would significant mean? It might mean something quite different to every individual. Imagine the conversation that would open. 

VOICE RECORD PRO (professional grade audio recording app with immediate feedback) allow audio recording of thoughts including the option to embed an image. Save the named clip as an mp4 and it is ready to upload to student blogfolios or websites.  (*Uploading requires wifi.)

Imagine the possibilities of this simple addition of technology in the immediacy. These might include: 

  1. decision making in the present moment 
  2. hone observational skills (slow down to appreciate the details)
  3. include every student in their efforts to communicate their choices of significance (written requirement is removed)
  4. oral language development practice (app provides immediate feedback through a visual needle gauge)
  5. collaborative conversation in partners with assessment feedback
  6. responsibility in care of a device

I was so excited about this idea that I tweeted it out last weekend. 

 

 

 

 

 

We would love to hear your stories of how this might work in your curricular environments. 

Catalyst of Curiosity

Ever wonder how ideas move from a tiny germ to something purposefully actionable? It starts with curiosity, or maybe perhaps a niggle or a conversation walking down a hallway. The trick is to balance what we’ve come to understand through experience and the notion of “what if…”. One needs curiosity to activate our “what if…” For some, this may be uncomfortable as it implies a lack of knowledge. However, I would suggest that this might be a catalyst for exciting new discoveries in learning. And perhaps discoveries about oneself along the way. When faced with a process that involve technology, what if I didn’t start my thinking by saying “I’m not very techie”. When faced with a group of students who haven’t had a lot of practice in self reflection, what if I embraced the opportunity to create small steps and recorded my efforts. When I hear someone doing something extraordinarily different, what if I asked to be invited into a collaborative conversation. And in the midst of the current process of reviewing assessment and reporting practices, perhaps one might also invite curiosity as a step towards openly dabbling in alternatives. The beauty of this process is in reflecting to move forward. Each opportunity can be a catalyst of the next steps. 

Please feel free to email us if you would like some support along the learning.