I have been a longtime believer in a self directed job embedded approach to staff development. For several years I have had the privilege of working with a dedicated team in IT Services at the Waterloo Region District School Board to design and deliver staff development programs fitting this ideal.
Last fall I participated in the 2013 Connected Educator Month activities which included an opportunity to complete an interview and submit documentation about our CATC Camp and CATC connections programs along with information about the WRDSB Futures Forum Program.
I am honoured and thrilled that our WRDSB submission been selected as a part of the Future Ready program as an international case study and is published on the US government Tech Ed website as a one of six case studies selected.
A special announcement was shared with over 12,000 US based school superintendents.
Learn more about the Future Ready program.
The case studies, including our WRDSB submission are online here.
View the Future Ready professional learning toolkit.
I want to acknowledge the team of Rebecca Rouse, Harry Niezen and recent retirees Ron Millar and Anita Brooks-Kirkland for their insightful and collaborative work with me in on our ITS staff development program. I also appreciate the on going support and collaborative work of Mary Sue Meredith and Ken Whytock.
“The Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning was established with the generous contribution of Dr. Ken Spencer to recognize and publicize innovative work that is sustainable and has the potential of being taken up by others; to encourage a focus on transformative change in schools; and to provide profile for classroom innovation within school districts, schools, and the media.”
The Waterloo Region District School Board’s Futures Forum Program was recognized for for innovation today at a ceremony hosted at Forest Heights C.I.
Ron Canual, CEO of the Canadian Education Association presenting the aware to Chair Ted Martin.
WRDSB Director John Bryant
Perspective from CEA member Marty Keast
See the amazing work in these Canadian schools.
The 13-14 Ken Spencer Award finalists
Full press release: CEA_PR_KSAward_2014
Each summer, for the past 21 years, the Waterloo Region District School Board has run a 3 day self directed, professional development session focused on technology enabled learning. The event is known as CATC By the Water. CATC is our acronym for Computers Across the Curriculum. In our Board, CATC is part of the language and culture.
We had a lot of positive feedback on the framework provided to start the day, so I thought I would share a few highlights here.
Welcome to CATC Camp 2012 and a special welcome to new campers this year. You are in for a great 3 days. What makes this great is that you are in charge of your own learning and we have an awesome facilitator team to support you. I wanted to touch on a few points to provide a framework to help you keep your thinking and learning aligned with Board goals.
- a new strategic plan will be released in the fall, with technology enabled learning being one of the focuses
- one aspect of this is a large expansion of the formal Ministry of Education e-learning courses
- Ministry of Education blended courses will also be offered
- the Futures Forum project will be expanded in each secondary school
- we will embrace online writing projects in grade nine English programs
- a draft document outlining success steps for a 5 year digital learning plan has been initiated
What do we mean by technology enabled learning?
- technology as a natural part of the learning environment (not ‘over there’)
- usage to support and improve learning, not teaching technology for technology’s sake
- aligned use of technology with our main suite of products (blogs, wikis, GDocs, FBk, Twitter, YouTube, OSAPAC, Desire2Learn)
- instructional uses of technology that align with our identified 5 high yield strategies AND communication & collaboration
- consideration of the 4 any’s: anytime, anywhere, anything, anyone learning
- student engagement
- authentic audience
- consideration of TPack (Technology, Pedagogy and Content) – finding the sweet spot
To this end, the recently passed (June) Board budget included funds for mobile equipment for each school and additional classroom supports. We will establish a plan to address wifi in portables over the next 2 to 3 years, and start to address this need during the 2012/13 school year. Related internet and infrastructure upgrades are under way to support student learning and achievement.
Things for you to consider as you learn:
- familiarize yourself with the new Responsible Use Procedure (RUP)
- consider how you will role model ethical use of technology for your students
- determine how will you promote digital citizenship within your classroom
- now that we have wifi access in all school instructional areas, how will you leverage this in your classroom?
- how will you use both desktop and mobile devices available in your school?
- have you thought about taking advantage of BYOD?
Spend some time pondering possibilities. Thank you for being here. Have a fantastic learning experience.