Thursday, 28 January 2016

Day 93: Mentoring Through Digital Media

If you want to learn some specific skills, why not call in an expert? 

Many schools across the county are preparing to participate in the upcoming SCDSBLive Radio Expo. In order to support the teachers and students to build some background knowledge for the project, we decided to call on a newly trained expert! Brad MacDonald, is a former student of Elmvale District High School. Before that, he attended Huronia Centennial Elementary School...and that's where he went today. 

Brad generously spent part of this morning sharing his knowledge about making effective audio recordings. In order to capture his advice and share it further, we decided to make a video recording using the school's iOgrapher kit and enlisted the help of some grade six and eight students. It was exciting to hear Brad talk about his experience as a news reader on CBC Radio One in Windsor after graduating from Humber with a degree in Journalism.  He taught us lots of "lingo" from the industry, explaining that reporters refer to their tripod as their "sticks" and the light on their camera as the "sun gun". Brad went on to give many practical suggestions for making effective audio recordings. 

Here's an example of an actual script that Brad used on one of his CBC Radio One newscasts.  

Be sure to check out the #SCDSBLive website where the full version of the video will be posted soon. You'll also find the complete list of categories for the "contest" including news reports, music spots, creative stories and many more. Share your learning in a new, creative way.  Be inspired and inspire others...just like Brad did.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Day 87: Teachers and students helping teachers and students

Today, 19 educators from around the board gathered at the Ed Centre to share their learning, resources and ideas around "Student Tech Support Teams".  The idea is something that is going on informally in many schools in the system.  A small network of support has grown over the past couple of years. The idea originated during a session that some SCDSB staff attended at the Bring IT Together Conference in 2014. Staff advisors in several schools are creating clubs or "tech teams" of students who troubleshoot technology issues and teach their peers and teachers about how to use various tools, apps and resources.

There are many different paths on this journey.  Just as it is in our classrooms, the learning goals and tasks can be different for each group.  Why not consider a variation of this idea in your school?  Start small in your classroom and empower students to take the lead with the technology while you connect the curriculum content and essential teaching practices (pedagogy) to make the learning rich!

If you are interested in finding out more information, feel free to contact
 Marie Swift or Marci Duncan .

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Day 86: Creating engaging blog content!

I had such a great time working @HewittsCreek yesterday! We were exploring different ways to create content for our blogs. Video is an exciting way to share learning and thinking, but I wanted to go deeper than just posting a "selfie video". So we talked about common craft style videos> How this medium can help to make a complex idea easier to understand!

Here is a sample of one of the ideas!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Day 85: Edcamp Barrie - A Day of Collaborative Learning

On Saturday, educators from SCDSB, SMCDSB and beyond came together for a day of conversation and connection that followed the Edcamp unconference model. Edcamp is an innovative model for professional learning that begins with the question “What do you want to learn about today?”. When participants arrived at Edcamp Barrie there was no session schedule yet because we built it together, based on interests.

Creation of the Edcamp Barrie Session Schedule:
At Edcamp Barrie every educator in the room had the opportunity to contribute to the wall of ideas by sharing their interests, passions and questions.

picture by Patrick Camire
While the planning team organized the ideas and questions by themes, participants listened to three SCDSB students share their thoughts about learning. The students described their learning environment and shared a variety of ideas, from outdoor learning to #DPAaday and how they use technology in the classroom. It was inspiring to hear them describe the journey of how they have become a community of learners.

picture by Melissa Oliver
Next, participants were asked to vote on the themes to determine the session topics. As learners approached the idea wall to vote with their stickers, you could hear and feel the excitement as new connections were made and ideas were already being shared.

Finally, the planning team organized the themes into a session schedule that reflected the choices of the participants. While the session board was being created, participants were engaged in hearing more student voice from the Simcoe-Muskoka Catholic District School Board. These innovative students shared how they are using Google tools to collaborate, how they make their thinking visible and even answered questions from the audience!

Watch the video to see the creation of the session board (that was filmed on an iPad using the iOgrapher kit and put together with iMovie).

Once the session board was created, educators chose what sessions they wanted to attend. At Edcamp sessions are conversation based, which provides an opportunity for everyone in the room to share their ideas and resources. Some learners chose to listen and share ideas in the collaborative notes or on Twitter. If you want to learn more about any of the topics discussed at Edcamp Barrie you can click the title links on the session board to read each session's collaborative notes or view the summary of #edcampbarrie tweets.

For more information about Edcamp Barrie and to hear when we announce the next event, follow @EdcampB on Twitter or visit the website.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Day 77: Share your Learning at the PUSH Your Learning Conference

We are excited to announce our second annual PUSH Your Learning Conference focusing on integrating technology. The conference will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Bear Creek SS.

This event focuses on engaging participants in authentic learning around the innovative integration of educational technology in learning and teaching. Through a variety of sessions, participants will explore and develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes around the effective use of Google Apps for Education and other educational technology tools, such as D2L and Office 365.

We invite you to submit a proposal to share your learning and experiences with integrating technology. Interested presenters should submit a proposal by: Friday, February 5, 2016. We will contact all applicants the week of February 8-12, 2016.

To submit a session proposal, fill out this form:

Guidelines for Session Submissions:
All sessions should demonstrate how you use the tools to enhance learning and teaching, including STEAM, coding, assessment, parent communication, etc...
Types of Sessions
  • Inspiration Session - an interactive learning experience for sharing ideas, resources and best practice in using technology to enhance learning and teaching. (60 minutes)
  • Create & Connect Session - an interactive learning experience where participants are asked to create and learn by doing. (60 minutes or 120 minute session)
Title and Session Descriptions
  • Provide a brief 250-300 word description of your session.
  • Provide a short description of each presenter including their name, work location, role, and twitter handle.
Target Audience (select all that apply)
  • Kindergarten, Primary, Junior, Intermediate, Secondary and/or Administration.
User Comfort Level with Google Apps for Education
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

For more information and examples of previous presentations visit the PUSH Your Learning Blog.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Day 76: OERB Updates

I've recently learned that the Ontario Education Resource Bank (OERB) has been updated.

You can still access it from Once you have logged in, and click SEARCH you are taken to a new, user-friendly landing page. In particular, there is a link on the top right to an "elementary interface". This interface lets teachers and students use the interactive modules available on the OERB. Of course, all the old features like being able to download resources and search based on curriculum connection are still available.

You can find our board login to the OERB here on the staff website (top right).

The OERB contains the educational material created by the Ministry of Education (eLO branch) in addition to teacher-created and shared materials.