Category Archives: Library Learning Commons

Kicking off the 2010-2011 School Year

I enter the 2010-2011 school year with great anticipation and excitement.  Many of the projects that were in major planning stages last year will ‘go live’ this year.

  • Effective today, we have wifi hot spots in each secondary school. These hot spots will allow staff and students to use their own equipment for Internet access.
  • Expanded use of web 2.0 and social media tools to support curriculum delivery. Staff and students now have access to Facebook. Facebook and Twitter, along with other resources will be used to extend school community and support curriculum delivery.
  • By mid month, we will role out email for elementary students. In addition to the secondary role out last April, all students fill have a Board assigned email address to support curriculum and communication needs, and identification in other online environments.  All students will be part of our FirstClass system.
  • Launching our Future Forum project (semester 2), developed as our 2009/2010 PLP project
  • Automated processes now reduce manual work to support account management
  • Redesigned and significantly improved drupal based web sites for our secondary schools
  • Moodle hosted setup to deliver Health and Safety content (launched Sept. 2nd)

Significant projects for this year include:

  • expanded development of our Library Learning Commons (LLC) project
  • a complete rewrite of our Technology Acceptable Use procedure to align with Digital Code of Conduct, Digital Citizenship, and Character Development programs
  • iPads & netbooks in the classroom
  • continued involvement in the PLP program
  • a look at e-book strategies
  • expanding our wireless project
  • building on our Digital Citizenship program

Day one went well. We hit our startup targets and hit the road running. It is going to be a great year!

~ Mark

iPads on the Move

After using my iPad for the last 6 weeks, thanks to @ron_mill, I thought I would share a few first impressions and some thinking about use in education. On the topic of first impressions, I note:

  • how much I enjoy using the touch screen interface – very easy to use
  • the context sensitivity of having the right options at the right time (such as a pop up keyboard) is amazing
  • the pop up keyboard is sized to allow for ‘traditional’ typing (not the fingering poking method)
  • battery life is amazing – I am getting 9 – 10 hours per charge.
  • the selection of quality apps is good
  • e-reader capabilities are strong
  • overall, lots of potential
  • the only drawback I have found to date, is that the wifi connection process seems a bit clunky as stored known networks do not always auto-connect

With all of these good qualities, I can’t help but think about the possibilities ….  iPads for classrooms, staff development, library learning commons, moving the e-books agenda forward all would link nicely to our key initiatives.

Currently, the following iPad plans are in place for the 2010/2011 school year:

  • some will be available for staff to try at CATC Camp, our summer teacher PD session
  • a number of units will be available for use by elementary classroom teachers
  • iPads will be used in our secondary school Futures Forum project, developed as our PLP project
  • units will be purchased for our central elementary teacher librarian group for September

Other plans under discussion include:

  • iPads preloaded with staff development reading material that could be loaned out
  • additional expansion of the iPad program as it relates to our Library Learning Commons project

I am looking forward to supporting these new initiatives!

~ Mark