Clouds and Records

Today I had a chance to connect with OASBO IMPAC (Information Management, Privacy & Access Committee) co-chairs Lorie Hough and Sandra Vieira via Google Hangout (GHO).  The provincial committee is examining school board privacy and records management considerations for business functions as they relate to cloud computing. Today we decided to document our initial discussion and thinking by live recording our  session. There are many aspects to consider prior to transitioning to a full cloud solution in this area.

The dialogue:

I want to acknowledge the work, learning and professional reflections of Lorie and Sandra in preparation for this session. I look forward to our next discussion.

~Mark

Banding Together for THINK

Congratulations to the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council for their efforts in partnering with a variety of community partners, including the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to produce the  T.H.I.N.K.  campaign to promote positive uses of social media within our community for Bullying and Prevention Week (Nov. 18-22, 2013)

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Related Resources

CTV KW News video clip

Blog post and resource links by WRDSB Technology Support Teacher  Susan Watt:  Think before you …

Follow along on Twitter:   #THINK  and  #bandtogether

~Mark

A Visit to New Dundee PS

Nurturing the Classroom Community

On a recent visit to  New Dundee PS,  I had the pleasure of meeting with  Ms. Andrea Michelutti, Principal and teacher  Scott McKenzie.  Their plan for using technology is well aligned with our Board  student achievement plan.  I noted in our conversation that both  spoke enthusiastically about how the seamless use of technology in the learning environment has produced a positive attitude in students, increased engagement and improved literacy.  As the school’s new iPads arrive, all classes will have the use of 5 to 10 devices so that all learning spaces have access to technology and can use it as a natural part of the learning environment.

The students in Mr. McKenzie’s class are using a combination of Board owned mobile technology and personally owned devices. Given the variety of devices used, Mr. McKenzie has wisely chosen to take a device  agnostic approach by using writing and collaboration tools that easily cross platforms such as Google docs, Evernote and a variety of Chrome browser extensions.  Students were coached on responsibilities and appropriate use to prepare them for this flexible learning environment.  As their new iPads arrive,  all classes will have the use of 5 to 10 devices so that all learning spaces have access to technology and can use it as a natural part of the learning environment.

Teacher based observations include:

  • students leverage voice capabilities by speaking to the computer, minimizes typing and spelling challenges
  • students used computer based read alouds
  • careful font choice and size can positively impacts student reading abilities
  • technology facilitates options for students to self select their approach to learning
  • students are typically confident with technology, particularly when they use a personal device they are familiar with

On a classroom visit, I noted the students were working independently and making their own choices concerning when to use technology, when not too and what application to use for their learning task. There is definitely a culture of risk taking and an explorer approach evident in the classroom.   Some students were demonstrating graphing tasks in Minecraft, while others were  focused on collaborative writing tasks.  The class is also leveraging digital newsletters and blogging as a way to share information with the community while reducing paper usage.

iPads in Action

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Related Resources

Follow New Dundee Public School on Twitter
Teacher Scott McKenzie’s blog
Kindergarten class sharing

~Mark

Mindset for Success

Today I attended the WRDSB Business Services professional development session.  Part of the morning focused on the importance of nurturing a growth mindset.  Some excellent points on this topic were made in this Ted Talk.  Pause and take time to watch this 11 minute video: The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success by Eduardo Briceno at TEDxManhattanBeach.

What elements of the video will you act on?

~Mark