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)

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.