Tag Archives: collaboration

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 3

This Virtual Coffee Shop podcast features an interview with educator Tanya Avrith. Our conversation centres around building digital fluencies through creative & engaging learning processes.

Grab a cup of coffee, relax in your favourite chair and enjoy the conversation.

Resources:
Connect with Tanya: @tanyaavrith
Visit Tanya’s  website
Subscribe  to the Virtual Coffee Shop podcast

~Mark

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The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 1

Today’s post is the official launch of my Virtual Coffee Shop podcast.  Podcasts will be featured on this blog as well as part of the fabric of VoicEd Radio.

I was thrilled that  Tania Bumstead  joined me for this kickoff discussion.  Listen in to hear her take on STEM, innovation and changing practice.

Resources:
Follow Tania on Twitter: @taniabumstead
Read Tania’s  Blog

~Mark

Learning Together with GHO

One of the highlights from my week was participating in a “mystery hangout”.   This particular (Google) hangout had an interesting twist with teachers and students learning together and collaboratively.

The Plan:   leveraged her PLN twitter connections with  Donna Fry and me to develop a plan to give the G Suite (Google Apps) lead teachers in  Rainbow DSB  a hands on experience with Google Hangouts to demonstrate the learning, collaboration and problem solving that can occur in this setting.  After a call for participants, we firmed up the the Rainbow DSB GAFE lead teachers as one team, and  Tania Bumstead’s  Vista Hills P. S. class as the other team.  Alison Bullock  and I played an online support role in the process as fact checkers and communication with each team lead.

Team Vista Hills

Team Rainbow (screen capture)
ghomystery

The task was for each team to determine the location of the other team through a series of yes/no questions.

The experience:  When it came time for he actual event, Heather connected everyone into the Google Hangout, and we were ready for a 45 minute learning situation, beginning with some introductions.  The Vista Hills class worked in groups to tackle the tasks – receiving answers from team Rainbow, interpreting them and tracking them on Google maps.  Another team generated potential questions and determined which question should be asked next. A third team interacted with team Rainbow and posed the questions.  The excitement in the room was high, and there was a steady buzz throughout the session.

I was fascinated with the ingenious yes/no questions asked by the two teams as they working through the process of solving the geography puzzle in front of them.   Are you located

  • in Canada
  • east of the Manitoba/Ontario border
  • in the eastern standard time zone
  • within 100 km of Algonquin Park
  • west of the GTA
  • located north of the 402/403 highway corridor
  • east of the escarpment
  • in a city with a population over 100,000
  • within 50 km of Lake Huron

and finally, team Rainbow asked: are you located in KW?  Team Vista Hills pressed on and with a couple more questions and one hint, determined team Rainbow was on Manitoulin Island.

It was evident to me that a great learning experience had been enjoyed by all, and that more mystery hangouts will occur in the future. Thanks to all the learners who participated in this event!

~Mark
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Sharing your Learning: Collaboration

This year, WRDSB  teachers  Alison Bullock  and  Andrew Bieronski  ran a very successful cross curricular and cross panel collaborative project with grade 4 and grade 10 students.

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Full project details may be read [here].   A “quick peek” overview of the  project  is included below as a point of reference.

The Collaborating

The grade 10 students will provide mentorship to the grade 4 students as they research, plan and write the scripts needed for the audio guided tour files.  Students will be collaborating through the WRDSB Google Apps for Educators  (GAFE) environment. The role of the grade 10 students will be related to their civics and English courses.

All students, in both grades,  will share about their experiences in this collaborative learning project through their blogs.   Blogging platforms may include Google, WordPress or Weebly.

As part of the professional learning with this project, Alison and Andrew met with me for a live streamed interview to share their learning and reflections on collaboration, student voice, engagement and professional practice.

formula

~Mark

 

The Power of AB squared

After hearing about this intriguing classroom collaboration project at  EdCampWR, I was delighted to meet with  elementary teacher  Alison Bullock  to learn more about this cross panel collaborative project with secondary teacher  Andrew Bieronski.

The  Learning Framework

The project framework is based on the new  Ontario social studies curriculum.  Alison’s grade 4 French immersion students will be partnered with Andrew’s grade 10 students.  The grade 10’s will be mentoring with grade four students as they progress through a summative project which requires students:

      • create a physical structure of a museum artifact
      • produce audio guided tours in both English and French
      • generate a QR code linking to the audio files and
      • share about learning process

The Collaborating

The grade 10 students will provide mentorship to the grade 4 students as they research, plan and write the scripts needed for the audio guided tour files.  Students will be collaborating through the WRDSB Google Apps for Educators  (GAFE) environment. The role of the grade 10 students will be related to their civics and English courses.

All students, in both grades,  will share about their experiences in this collaborative learning project through their blogs.   Blogging platforms may include Google, WordPress or Weebly. 

Bringing it all Together

As a conclusion to this learning process, the class museum will be created in the physical space in library, where  all students connect for a grand finale.  Projects will be displayed and the students of both classes involved will meet face to face. 

This project is just getting underway.  I look forward to following along this learning journey.

Note on the Title:  I thought is was interesting that the two teachers involved in this project have the same initials. Given their interest in technology enabled learning and passions for forward thinking, I thought the notion of  

formula

was quite appropriate 🙂

~Mark

The Training Factor

During the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to attend 2 interesting events: our Board’s PLP kickoff session and a K-12 briefing with IBM. In some ways one might think these event would have little in common.  However, in looking at effective teaching and leadership, there was a list of common elements which included: a focus on student needs, learning, collaboration, networking & relationships.

Reflecting upon these events, I found that I was left with one major question.

What would teaching look like today if all faculties of education primarily focused training on

  • building communities, both face to face (i.e. classroom) and online (extension of classroom) and
  • inquiry & research based, collaborative learning and problem solving

as the key strategies to address the various literacies required to today’s student?  Where would we be today?

Just thinking.

~ Mark

 

Creating a Facebook group for your K12 class

In my previous blog post, I made reference to a number of strategies to embrace the use of Facebook within the K12 classroom to support learning. One of the most powerful features of Facebook for use in the classroom, is the groups feature.

The process used to setup a Facebook group is straight forward and can be completed in just a minute or two. The steps are:

1. Select the Groups link on the left side of your Facebook ‘Home’ page.

2. Click the ‘Create a Group’ button

3. Complete the basic group information.

4. including the category and type information.

5. Click the create groups button to proceed to the group property settings page. I would recommend unchecking the ‘Non-admins can write on the wall’ setting. Unchecking this parameter prevents wall posts leaking out side of the group to Facebook friends of group members.

6. The bottom section of the group property settings page governs the visibility and privacy settings for the group.  For K12 purposes, I recommend the closed group setting. This allows the group name to be searched, but keeps the content of the group private to the group membership. With this setup, the group owner can invite members via email addresses and NOT be friends with the members. From the K12 perspective, this allows a teacher to create (own) a group and invite student membership without becoming Facebook friends with the students. In our case, this can be done easily by using our Board generated student email addresses.

Note (20101012): Since researching and experimenting for this blog post, the new groups feature was introduced within the Facebook environment. This feature may impact the functionality described here in terms of the groups members are, or are not, friend relationships. Until this is more clearly understood, I recommend that privacy and security settings are implemented accordingly.

7. Click the ‘Save’ button to activate your settings.

8. Select the ‘invite people to join’ link to send group invites.

Once people accept your group invitation, the collaborating will begin.  Enjoy your Facebook Learning space.

~ Mark