On the Educational Technologies front…

The streets are lined with golden leaves and the air is crisp and clear. It must be November. Hard to believe that we’re well into the middle of term. Quite a few of our Learning Teams and workshop series have started up and I think I’ve visited almost every school site. 

A short synopsis (especially if you’d like to join us or want more information): 

  • Classroom blogs and department blogs – a great way to communicate curricular information and happenings to a community
  • Digital Portfolios with focus on Communicating Student Learning
  • O365 sessions (beginner, OneDrive, Teams basic) continue to see popularity (more sessions coming) 
  • O365 & Makerspace Writing – this Joint Learning Team is in collaboration with Tanis Anderson and started 
  • ADST centers kits making their rounds – they’re out at Douglas Road now and headed to Clinton next. Entry points for all students and staff. 
  • Coding? Tynker (coding lessons launched > if you’re interested, email Amanda Coutts 
  • Coding? Micro:Bits (kits are ready and classroom support is available – email Amanda Coutts 
  • Coding? Minecraft for Education. Joint Learning Team in collaboration with Donna Morgan has started their journey merging Math & Minecraft.
  • All the Right Type Online – this keyboarding program is part of secondary and elementary intermediate program. Email Michelle Mactavish for information on accounts. 
  • Digital Citizenship – ever on the forefront embedded in everything we do. 
  • SETBC Tier 2 Classroom Solutions – at Gilmore focused on strengthening communication and growth mindset
  • Fast ForWord – supporting vulnerable readers. If you wish more information, email Janet.

Coming your way…

  • VR/AR opportunities (email us) 
  • iPads as creation tools – developing critical and creative thinking. 
  • ideas from you are always welcome – let’s chat! 
  • elementary intro training in MyEd reporting (happening now)

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.