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: Heather Theijsmeijer 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)
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!
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)
There has been two awesome GAFE learning events in Ontario (Waterloo Region and Thunder Bay) over the last two weekends. I appreciated the opportunity to team up with Donna Fry, Provincial Capacity Building Lead to present workshops at each summit.
The presentation slides from our sessions are published below along with links to resources developed by the OSAPAC committee.
a) Digital Citizenship Resources for Educators
b) Digital Leadership Resources for Administrators
c) Digital Leadership Support for Education Leaders
On behalf of the Waterloo Region District School Board, welcome to the 4th annual Ontario GAFE Summit. In reflecting back on our 1st summit, this has been an absolutely amazing journey – still going strong with sellout participation each year.
Before we begin, I want to extend a sincere thank you to ECI Principal Jeff Klinck and his staff for their efforts and openness to support this event. I also want to thank the many people in IT Services and the EdTech team who have contributed to the preparations for the weekend.
And, thank YOU for giving your time this weekend. Not just any weekend – a historic weekend. Why? Last night SpaceX landed a stage one Falcon rocket on a floating drone barge. Wow! When I watched the recording on YouTube I couldn’t help but make a couple of connections to our Summit event today. One – this is mathematics and problem solving at its best, and two, watching the rockets trajectory reminded me of the many conversations I have had with Donna Fry about the importance of professional learning to fuel opportunities to change the trajectory of a student.
I have a hope for this weekend.
My hope is that as you participate, learn, network, make new connections, discuss and trade ideas that you will TAKE ACTION with what you learn this weekend. I challenge you to share and make your learning visible. Please start conversations, participate in online sharing, and blog about your experiences to support the learning of others. Become part of the Ontario Wave of Change by keeping the ripples moving in positive directions.
Enjoy your learning experience!!!
Watch the SpaceX webcast
Today’s post shares the recordings of two streamed conversations from EdCamp Waterloo (2016). Many thanks to the event organizers for a rich day of learning and sharing.
EdCamp Waterloo: Learning Spaces
EdCamp Waterloo: Google Apps
Enjoy the learning.
Note: cross post from OSSEMOOC
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.
Kim’s thoughts on changing practice:
Using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) offers many opportunities to develop new ways to approach curriculum delivery, instructional design, providing feedback, assessment … well, you get the picture – OPPORTUNITY!
At 2:30 p.m. EDT (today, October 17th, 2015) Andrew Bieronski and I team up to deliver a session at the Ottawa GAFE Summit to dig into this topic from a WRDSB perspective.
If you would like to join us remotely, we will be sharing our session via @Livestream (free account needed to view)
Note: the stream will be activated approximately 15 minutes before the session.
Video recording of our presentation: