Category Archives: TEL

Students Thinking Mobile and Cloud

You never know what surprise might happen in a day. This was such a great student written letter to receive – forward thinking and action oriented with a vision.

By happenstance, I received this letter during the same week as I completed a number of school visits to converse with Principals about the role of technology in the change process.

It is so awesome to see students thinking about change and signalling a readiness from their perspective. I look forward to responding to this student next week. I am thinking a Google Hangout conversation would be a nice approach if it can be worked out.

scan of letter (with student name removed for privacy)
studentletter1

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~Mark
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Learning with Spheros

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I intended to share this blog post much sooner than today, but life has been a little crazy.

 

On a recent (March)  visit to Ryerson P.S. I had an opportunity to visit the grade 1 classroom of teacher Jenni van Rees.  The excitement in the room was obvious as it was coding day!  Learning goals for the session were clearly laid out and reviewed with the students.

coding_chart

Students were clearly comfortable using both iPads and Chromebooks as they worked in groups of 2 or 3 for collaborative learning and problem solving.

CB&S

 

 

Tickle

 

 

 

 

The students really did work collaboratively, and it was great to see their joy in planning, testing, reviewing results and determining next steps.

Fast foward to April where I had an opportunity to attend a Sphero Challenge event organized by teachers Scott Dickie and Chad Lloyd from Westmount P. S. 

I arrived early to see the first of 4 sphero tracks being marked out in the gym. The remaining tracks were laid down as teams from a variety of schools began to arrive.

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As was evidenced in Jenni’s  classroom, the energy and excitement was in abundance.  Teams were eager to embrace the challenge: planning, measuring, calculating, comparing, testing, observing, collaborating, communicating, iterating … “all in” problem solving for sure. 

I hope this highlights video give you a good sense of the  Sphero Challenge event.

I am already looking forward to the next one!

~Mark
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Leveraging the Clipboard

On a recent school visit, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet teacher Kim Clegg and see her classroom in action.  One tip Kim shared with me was the benefits of leveraging the google docs permanent clipboard to facilitate providing better descriptive feedback to students.

Permanent clipboard

Kim’s thoughts on changing practice:

~Mark

Shifting Perspectives on Libraries

I stopped at the Starbucks at King & University this morning on the way to see  Carlo Fusco  at Waterloo CI to consult regarding his library project.  As I entered, I happened to notice the striking view change that (literally) just one step made.

sun-combo

One step, a small step, can strikingly change your perspective.  Have a listen to Carlo’s perspective on library change.

~Mark

Let Them Choose

During my ongoing curation of articles about learning, digital tools and social media, I recently came across this article exploring perspectives on  social media in the lecture theatres.  Although the article was primarily examining post secondary perspectives, I would argue the same discussions are relevant in K12. The discussion was centred around various viewpoints on whether or not students:

  • be allowed (by profs) to bring technology to class
  • are distracted by having access to social media  and
  • experience benefits?

Two interviewees interviewed commented that “… because the students are most likely taking notes. Many don’t use pen and paper, and rely on their devices. She says students are old enough to decide if they are to learn or not.” andMy view is they are old enough to choose and multitask (and choose to fail too),“. Meanwhile, others choose to dictate “no access”.

SM choices

Now, if I put a personal perspective on this and let you observe my learning mode,  this is what you would see. Typically I use 2 devices … taking notes on my iPad using notability – not just for notes – adding audio recording, and insert photos for context for a more complete package.  On the second device I organize lists, todos, ideas and share via social media, typically Twitter but this could easily be a Facebook group, G+ community, LinkedIn or open Google doc. I reiterate – this is MY style. This is how I learn best. Paper and pen doesn’t work for me.

device choice

Why not let students choose what works best for them – student voice. To me,  letting students choose what tools they use and how they organize shows a strength based approach to student learning. What benefit is there in forcing students to function in a way that may not be self directed and self optimized?

Weigh in:  Where do you stand?

~Mark

YEAR of {c0de} WR

Year of {c0de} Waterloo Region launched today the Kitchener City Hall.  The room was filled with energy and an amazing array of interesting demonstrations.

I had a great conversations with team members Susan Watt, Peter McAsh and campaign director Stephanie Rozek. I look forward to my meeting with her next week …. just think of the possibilities!

Here are a few of of the sights I enjoyed today.

Robot Video: 3683 in action!

checking out VR

VR

3683 up close

robot_close_up

programming ‘gizmos’

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more robots

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Additional Resources

Web:  Year of {c0de} Waterloo Region

Follow campaign director Stephanie Rozek on Twitter:  @srozek

Follow @yocwr

Follow the Twitter discussion at  #yocwr

~Mark

Help us learn about one to one

In the fall,  we are initiating  a 1:1 chromebooks for all grade nine students project in 3 of our secondary schools.

Our planning team would be interested in learning from your experiences.   If you have a suggestion, tip or perhaps would have done something differently, please share via this  [google doc].

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas and learning.