Site blog: TESIC

Anyone in the world

The following is a reprint of the Tech@Work article I wrote of the Jan/Feb edition of the NLTA Bulletin.

It was about two years ago when my 11 year old nephew, AJ, introduced me to the world of Minecraft. For those who are unfamiliar with Minecraft, it is a video game that has several ways or modes of playing; the most popular of which is creative mode. In creative mode the player is placed in an open environment and can build anything they want with the items the game has to offer. It is similar to a digital version of Lego blocks. In introducing me to Minecraft, my nephew showed me the house he had built, how he planted and harvested crops to eat, and even a roller coaster he had built just for fun. Maybe it was the teacher inside, but I didn’t really understand the point. As a teacher I was looking for the next thing to do, the next curriculum outcome to teach. I could hardly cope with being dropped into a world where there were no objectives, no outcomes - just your imagination to run free and play. I had to dig deep to remember the creative kid who played with Lego blocks all those years ago to connect with my nephew. If you recall from our 21st century rainbow, creativity is one of the 4 C’s.

Last year I was assigned to teach Grade 7 Social Studies and I sat down to lesson-plan the chapter on World War I. In preparing, I read about how the trenches were built with duckboards to walk on, places to sleep, and a firing step for looking over the parapet towards enemy lines. I thought what a great idea it would be if we could recreate some of that experience in Minecraft where the whole class could be given tasks they needed to carry out to get our side ready for battle. After a little research, a little begging from the administration for money, I was armed with 30 copies of MinecraftEdu, the educational version of Minecraft. MinecraftEdu adds features to make it more teacher-friendly and in retrospect, it saved me hours of learning the technical side of Minecraft and let me focus on the learning.

I downloaded a prebuilt world of a WWI battlefield. There are literally thousands of these worlds that people have created, as well as ones that have made it to the MinecraftEdu online library. The ones in the library have been vetted by the MinecraftEdu team and are downloadable into the game. I planned my lessons with the help of some students who had to show me a few things. You cannot imagine the response when you ask a student “Do you know how to make an item in Minecraft?” If they don’t know, give them a night and they will have an answer! As for my Grade 7 Social Studies class, four classes allotted for the project. One class to work out the bugs and have the students play through the tutorial world (a nice introduction for students who don’t play Minecraft), two classes for instruction and the actual playing of the game, and one class for a discussion and questions.

I’ll admit I was not prepared for the utter chaos that ensued when I let the students into the WWI map in Minecraft. I thanked MinecraftEdu for adding a teacher friendly “Freeze button” so all the students would be stopped in their place and couldn’t do anything until “unfrozen”. We had a further conversation about what was acceptable and about working as a group to get the job done. I assigned team leaders. They in turn assigned roles to their group and before long, they were working to get trenches built, barracks made and duck boards laid down. If they got their work completed I allowed them to hollow out the ground and to build an underground bunker complex. Some of the students I let roam to the enemy side of the map. From this, the students learned how to communicate and collaborate together to achieve a goal. Check two more of the 21st century learning skills off!

In the classes after, we discussed and referred back to the Minecraft experience. Students talked about problems with organization and the importance of having a command structure. The issue of making sure that the teams talked to each other so that the trenches would line up was discussed. Students who got to go to the enemy side of the map talked about the advantage of having the high ground in battle. Do I hear another 21st century learning skill being taught? Check off critical thinking!

Although I do not teach social studies anymore, I have transferred my skills in Minecraft to the production module in Technology Education. One of the curriculum outcomes is to trace the evolution of houses. My students used to do a presentation on a certain style of house. Now they research, build, and present all in Minecraft. This year I have added a blueprint component to cover another objective and add another level of depth to the project. The open environment allows students (and teachers) the freedom to use the game as they see fit. Other examples of classroom uses include (worlds are in the MinecraftEdu library):

  • HungerCraft – based on The Hunger Games trilogy, students are separated into two groups- District 12 and the City. Students in the district mine raw materials for the city and students in the city set the prices for the districts.
  • Escape from Everest – students have to balance between growing trees (ecological stability) and using trees as a fuel source (industrial progress).
  • Wonderful World of Humanities – A vast map which includes sections of many of the world’s ancient civilizations represented. Visit the Egyptian pyramids, Greek ships, and Rome’s Colosseum. 

Minecraft is a great way to engage students in a virtual environment and explore in a way that is not possible through other means. Having access to an open environment allows teachers to develop situations where students need to be creative, communicate, collaborate and critically think about the virtual situations. As with any technology there is a learning curve and setup time is a factor for custom worlds. Using the MinecraftEdu version however allows teachers to overcome some of the technical hurdles, be cost efficient (it is cheaper than the standard edition), and, through their online library, allows for instant access to pre-made worlds developed by teachers. Most importantly it is a way to engage students on their own terms and in the words on my nephew “It’s just fun”.

 
Anyone in the world

Applications are now being accepted for the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2015 program at ade.apple.com

Interested educators who are also doing amazing things with Apple technologies to improve learning can apply to become an ADE and join a powerful group of innovative educators.

Follow the #ADEClassof2015 posts on Twitter and please retweet the announcement.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, March 1, 2015.

[ Modified: Wednesday, 4 February 2015, 12:45 PM ]
 
Picture of David Gill
by David Gill - Thursday, 29 January 2015, 7:17 AM
Anyone in the world

Teachers are the backbone of education.  Hard working, diligent, honest, creative, collegial and compassionate teachers inspire and encourage their students to reach beyond their limits and to achieve the seemingly impossible on a daily basis.  But too often this is not the view of our profession.  Too often teachers can be criticized from within and without as being ineffective, non-conformists that block innovation.  While recognizing that in any large organization opinions will vary and perspectives will differ, it is the collective opinion of the Technology Special Interest Council (TESIC) that the vast majority of our members, and teachers in general, affect a positive lasting influence in their classrooms, schools and through our extended province-wide educational community.

In an effort to highlight the good work that our members do and to help re-enforce the idea that teachers are competent educational leaders TESIC has developed a new initiative.  Out of TESIC’s perceived need to recognize the large number of individuals implementing innovative and creative teaching practices through technology education and educational technology we have developed TESIC’s Technology Innovators Spotlight recognition program.  Through this program of peer recognition teachers, administrator and other educational stakeholders are invited to nominate individuals that exemplify best practices and a commitment to improving student learning through the innovative use of technology.  Whither this is through the use of emerging technologies or the creative use of established technologies the focus remains on its positive effects on teaching and learning.  Over the last year TESIC has recognized six teachers from across our province as meeting and exceeding the criteria for our humble award.

So who are these innovators?  They’re teachers like Brian Antle from Botwood Collegiate, who for the last 26 years has been inspiring students to reach their full potential through innovative uses of technology and most recently through the development of a nationally contending high school robotics club.  Patricia Edwards from C.C. Loughlin in Corner Brook is another fine example of a TESIC Technology Innovator.  During Patricia’s 22 years as a dedicated teacher she has always endeavoured to utilize technology to help her students become connected learners with an equal voice and as Patricia’s principal simply puts it: “Students in her class are motivated and engaged”.  When Tina Costello from Holy Family School in Paradise puts her mind to a task there is no doubt that students and teachers alike will benefit from here skill and leadership.  From SmartBoard certification to online courses, over the last 17 years Tina has made it her mission to stay informed and has sharpened her technology integration skill set to the benefit of her entire school community.  But these are just a fraction of the stories concerning the good work of our members and we have made it a priority to profile as many teachers as we can over our current mandate, finding candidates won’t be an issue and this is where we all can collaborate.

Over the last year TESIC has worked to establish our Technology Innovators Spotlight initiative and we are now ready to expanding even further.  As of January 2015 we will be opening the nomination process to the entire membership of the NLTA.  The TESIC website (http://www.tesic.org) outlines that the goal of this recognition is “to publicly acknowledge the skills, expertise, talent, dedication and hard work of individual’s that stand out as technology innovators at the school level.  Everyday countless individuals go above and beyond to make a positive difference for their school community by meaningfully integrating technology in their classrooms and leading the way for school wide innovation.”  If you know someone working in your school that fits the above description why not nominate them in the New Year for a TESIC Technology Innovators Spotlight?  The nomination criteria is simple.  First, this recognition is for TESIC members by TESIC members.  Not a member?  Membership is free, easy and open to any NLTA member.  Just create a new account on http://www.tesic.org to gain membership.  As a member you will have access to our latest news releases, professional development offerings, online resources, and qualify to nominate or be nominated for a TESIC Technology Innovators Spotlight.  After membership has been secured a simple nomination form, which will be posted on our Innovators Spotlight webpage http://goo.gl/Jk81Pm, will provide the details of the nomination process.  Nominations will have to be supported by a small number of TESIC members and include a profile picture and executive summary that provides evidence that the nominee meets the Spotlight criteria.  Our aim is to announce a new Spotlight for every month of the school year, and with your help we can make this a reality.

                It is our belief that teachers are more than conduits of curriculum and policy, they are the primary change agents in education and affect a positive long lasting influence on their students and broader school community.  We hope that the Technology Innovators Spotlight will become an important part of TESIC’s strategy to advance our mandate of advocating on behalf of our members.  We all have a voice in shaping our education system and this recognition can help shed light on the many good things happening in our schools.  More than an individual award, this initiative also has the potential to cultivate a broader sense of community within our geographically challenged system.  Technology easily overcomes this challenge and allows us to share and grow together regardless of the distance.  We look forward and are excited about receiving your nominations in the coming New Year.  Together we can make a difference.     

For more information on TESIC’s Technology Innovators Spotlight and our current recipients please visit: http://goo.gl/Jk81Pm

TESIC membership is open to any NLTA member and you can always join at: http://www.tesic.org

 
Picture of Tom Kennedy
by Tom Kennedy - Tuesday, 14 October 2014, 12:50 PM
Anyone in the world

In response to a general need for professional learning (PL) highlighting technology integration, the Technology Education Special Interest Council (TESIC) recently facilitated a three-day event over the Summer break, an event offering teachers the opportunity to participate in practical and theoretical sessions grounded in the NL classroom. The Summer Institute of Technology Integration (SITI), hosted at Memorial’s Faculty of Education July 25-27, was a tremendous success due to its committed facilitators, dedicated attendees and supportive partners. While SITI@MUN 2014 was a TESIC PL initiative, the event relied on the successful partnership between the special interest council (SIC) and educational stakeholders.

Success through partnership

By securing partnerships with educational stakeholders that share the TESIC vision of professional learning, the SIC is able to offer a diverse catalogue of PL to individuals across the province. In general, these partnerships provide the Council with venues, expertise and opportunity, which serve as the necessary scaffolding to support the delivery of PL. Like most events offered through the TESIC catalogue, SITI@MUN was no exception.

Venue / facilities

When the framework for TESIC’s Summer Institute of Technology Integration was discussed with representatives of Memorial’s Faculty of Education, the Faculty was eager to offer its resources and support for the initiative. A partnership with the Faculty of Education allowed the SIC to host a professional learning event on site at Memorial and avail of the recently renovated facilities within the Education building. Sessions were hosted in rooms such as the newly upgraded Teaching Commons, STEM room and McCann Centre, all of which offered a comfortable setting for professional learning. The Institute attributes a portion of its success to the sheer volume of participants and sessions the Faculty of Education facilities could accommodate. As a result, SITI could offer registration to high volume of interested individuals without having to impose limitations on general registration. While individual sessions had limited seats available, these sessions could accommodate larger numbers due to the spacious classrooms slated for the event.

Sessions and Facilitators

An integral element of the Institute’s framework was emphasizing hands-on professional learning for teachers looking to integrate technology in their respective curriculum. Therefore, the SITI slate was scheduled to offer both practical and theoretical sessions on technology integration during the morning and afternoon slots, respectively. Participants could choose from a wide range of sessions and piece together an event schedule customized to their integration focus.

AM sessions included breakout groups on iPad deployment, Web 2.0, inclusive technology integration, project-based learning, iPad basics, Firstclass as an instructional tool, elements of visual design, Minecraft and an educational tool, and 21st Century learning and social media. As a compliment to its practical counterpart, PM sessions drew on the theoretical by offering discussion-based sessions highlighting trends in technology integration, teaching and learning in the 21st Century, barriers to technology integration and assistive technology for exceptional learners. Together, all sessions were reflective of current trends in technology and drew on the experiences of the facilitator,

 SITI facilitators formed a diverse group with a healthy mixture of experiences and specialty areas. With representation from Memorial’s Faculty of Education (staff & student), the Department of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD), the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI), industry leaders and classroom teachers, the Institute left no resource untapped. And, while this diverse group as facilitators was a great feather in the Institute’s hat, their participation as attendees added to the collegial tone of the event. As one participant commented, “…seeing facilitators as attendees was a great thing as well. The notion that these experts were still learners as well was very empowering.”

Gauging Success

Often when individuals judge the success of an event like SITI, they link success to numbers. Number of participants, number of sessions, number of facilitators. With over a 100 attendees, 37 breakout sessions, 25 facilitators and a slate offering 6 concurrent streams of PL, many would say these statistics alone indicate a successful institute. However, for the SIC, the positive feedback from attendees which praised the relevance, diversity and necessity of the Institute’s professional learning painted a better picture of SITI’s success. Participants were pleased with the grounded nature of the sessions, as one such participant explains “It is my experience that some of the best PD comes from fellow teachers sharing their practices and the advantages and challenges they have experienced. Also, because they are still in the classroom, it makes the material more current and relevant”. Others enjoyed the collegial, relaxed nature of TESIC’s approach to professional learning. At the Institute’s closing, many attendees were already asking about SITI@MUN 2015.

SITI@MUN was undoubtedly a successful offering of professional learning in our province. Feedback from attendees and facilitators has already provided important information on how to improve future offerings of the Summer Institute of Technology Integration. SITI@MUN 2015 will be a PL event you will not want to miss. Check back at TESIC.org throughout the year for more information regarding SITI and other PL events being offered in the coming months. And remember, free membership is only a click away.

Tom Kennedy (B.A., B.Ed., Dip. Tech Ed, M.A. & Ed. (E.F.L.C.)) is a teacher at Carbonear Collegiate and President of the Technology Education Special Interest Council (TESIC).

 

 
Anyone in the world

One of the primary goals of TESIC (The Technology Education Special Interest Council) is to provide and facilitate professional development and learning for its members.  Over the last year and a half and through the work of two consecutive executives, TESIC has developed a vision and strategy for implementing a wide range of sessions that touch almost every aspect of teaching and learning.  With the current focus on 21st century learning, it is important for TESIC to share a role in the development of these skills for both teachers and students.  District, school, university and industry partnerships, bi-annual meetings, online support and our upcoming Summer Institute of Technology Integration (SITI) all play a role in our mission to help each other engage in meaningful professional learning that can meet the ever changing needs of our students.

Since partnerships are critically important, one of the first steps in re-vitalizing our professional learning mandate was to partner with the Eastern School District of Newfoundland and Labrador (ESDNL) last year.  Through this partnership we arranged to co-sponsor multiple technology integration sessions during the winter and spring of 2013.  These sessions were facilitated by TESIC executive members and placed on the district’s professional learning calendar.  Teachers and district personnel gave very positive feedback from these initial sessions.  As a result, TESIC was able to secure a continued partnership with the newly formed Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) for the winter and spring of 2014.  Between February and April of this year, TESIC has co-sponsored four professional learning sessions with NLESD.  These sessions were facilitated by TESIC executives/members and included topics on Intermediate Technology Education, Inclusionary Technology Integration, Google Drive, and Cross-Curricular Technology Integration.  Once again, these sessions were very well attended and received.  As TESIC and NLESD are both committed to identifying and delivering meaningful technology based professional learning, it is our hope to continue and cultivate this partnership as our term continues into the next two school years. 

In parallel with our independent district partnerships, we have also had the opportunity to develop ties with industry leaders.  During the spring of 2013 and 2014, TESIC has partnered with Apple Canada to host events in conjunction with the Eastern and now Newfoundland and Labrador English School Districts.  These events primarily focus on the integration and management of Apple’s line of iPad products.  As the integration of new devices into curriculum implementation is currently at a premium, our partnership with Apple Canada is significant.  Apple Canada brings a great deal of understanding and expertise about the possible innovative uses of its products in the teaching and learning environment.  Although TESIC has many connections to industry partners through our bi-annual meetings, Apple Canada has demonstrated its willingness to work with us during our regular executive term.  With this example, TESIC has begun to actively seek out other industry partners that will be able to share their expertise with our membership in a substantial and meaningful way through the course of the school year.     

Another branch of our professional learning strategy has led us in an effort to consolidate our session offerings online.  TESIC has moved forward with the creation of a working catalogue of available professional learning sessions that our executive and membership can facilitate at any given time during the year.  This catalogue (http://goo.gl/x8Bu7l) has been the basis for TESIC to partner with several schools across the province in the delivery of school based professional learning sessions focusing on technology integration.  With the help of the NLTA and the School Administrator’s Council (SAC) our professional learning catalogue has been circulated throughout the province.  During the 2013-2014 school year this has resulted in TESIC delivering sessions for individual schools from the Eastern, Central and Western regions of our province.  These sessions have been directly facilitated by TESIC executive members and are another area of growing interest.  Any administrator looking for a unique professional learning experience on a wide variety of technology integration topics can easily browse our online listings and contact TESIC directly for the logistical details of booking a session for their staff.  This is an exciting new venture as we move forward with our professional learning re-vitalization plan.  We hope the utilization of our continually growing catalogue becomes a staple of our offerings during the years to come.

As a means of continuing to build our professional learning momentum, we have reached out to the Faculty of Education at Memorial University.  Through this new partnership, we have been able to launch our latest professional learning endeavour, TESIC’s Summer Institute of Technology Integration (SITI).  This three day institute, to be held at the Faculty during the weekend of July 25-27, 2014 has already generated a great deal of interest.  Sessions focusing on a wide variety of technology integration and education topics will be facilitated by teachers, faculty, industry experts, and department of education personnel.  SITI will be an excellent opportunity for anyone involved in the Newfoundland and Labrador Education System to network, share and learn in a relaxed professional setting.  This summer will mark the first time our executive has offered an institute of this nature.  It is our intention to make this an annual event that becomes one of our professional learning highlights.

Supported professional learning is one of the cornerstones of continued teacher success in any area of teaching and learning.  This is especially true in the areas of technology integration and education as the pace of change can be extremely quick.  Feedback from our various professional learning activities has indicated demand for high quality guidance, and support in this area is overwhelming.  TESIC has responded to this demand by expanding technology based professional learning offerings through the development of many different partnerships.  It is only through these partnerships and a network of dedicated hardworking TESIC members that we can offer rich and meaningful professional learning.  Who are TESIC members?  They are the energetic, motivated and intelligent people working every day to make a difference in the lives of their students across our province.  Any NLTA member can become a part of TESIC.  It’s easy to join, just visit http://www.tesic.org and find the “create a new account” link.  It’s that simple.  As a member you will have access to the most up-to-date information on our current and upcoming professional learning opportunities, and will be connected with your peers across the province.  So, as we move forward, remember: we can make a difference, and we do - every day!       

 
Picture of Rick Collins
by Rick Collins - Thursday, 17 April 2014, 11:50 AM
Anyone in the world

 

The ‘Learning In Technological Environments’ (LITE) project involves the integration of a broad range of technologies in the classroom while providing students the opportunity to develop 21st century learning skills.  During the last three years, district supports have included a partially allocated teaching unit, an Itinerant teacher coordinator, funding to acquire additional technology, and substitute time for teacher participation in professional learning (PL) events.  Schools involved in this project have designated a lead teacher to promote technology use in their school and have committed to the continual integration of technology directly in the classroom environment.  The ultimate goal is to enhance student learning and engagement through technology integration and to provide continued PL for teachers.

 

The LITE project was initially started in the former Cormack Trail School Board in 2001 and remained intact when the Western School District was created in 2004.  In 2009, the Western School District received a HP Innovations in Education Grant to implement the project at French Shore Academy (former Roncalli High School – Port Saunders) and at Stephenville Middle School (Stephenville).  Once the HP project ended, the Western School District continued to support the LITE project. As a result, the project was gradually expanded beyond the two schools listed above to include GC Rowe Junior High (Corner Brook), Labrador Straits Academy (L’Anse au Loup), Presentation Junior High, (Corner Brook), and St. James Regional High (Port Aux Basques).

 

HighLITEs of Success

 

All schools involved in the LITE project have had similar successes.  However, my focus and the specific examples used will be from GC Rowe and Presentation Junior High School, as I am currently the Lead LITE teacher for both schools.  The focus for this section will be the level of technology integration by staff, professional development and student engagement/motivation.

 

Technologies Being Used

 

Many technologies have been used by students and teachers in LITE schools.  Hardware includes wireless internet, laptops, tablets, personal computers and other student owned electronic mobile devices.  These technologies are being used regularly for various purposes.  Software use has included Smart Response, Socrative, Google Apps for Education (Gmail, Google Docs, Blogster, Google Sites, Youtube, etc), Sophia.org, Audacity, Moodle, Twitter, Facebook, Quizlet, Puzzlemaker, Popplet, Today’s Meet, Repix and various apps on mobile devices.  The fact that these are being used is a success in itself.  With the help of the Lead LITE Teacher, teachers are augmenting this feat by learning how to effectively use these to complement the curriculum.  

 

 

Professional Learning Opportunities

 

Teachers are using varying technologies at different levels of interest and/or ability.  In many cases, teachers do not know about the educational possibilities before professional development opportunities have been provided.  It is therefore important to provide opportunities for appropriate PL and this is what the LITE project has continued to do for the schools involved.  First, there is traditional PL where teachers, during a district wide or school closeout, would attend sessions regarding a technology or set of technologies that they would like to use.  The LITE project is training leaders to create and lead these sessions.  Personally, I have provided professional learning on the Flipped classroom, the LITE project, Google Apps for Education, and numerous other web tools. These topics have been highlighted at the Canadian Association of School Administrator’s (CASA) conference in summer of 2012, the Leadership at Work (LAW) conference in 2012, and there have been ongoing professional learning sessions at staff meetings throughout several schools in the area.  Secondly, the LITE project (through a partially allocated teaching unit) provides the means for more ‘just in time’ PL experiences for staff at all LITE Schools.  This is accomplished on a day to day basis and involves the LITE teacher assisting other teachers in creating, evaluating, teaching and/or reflecting upon lesson plans that integrate various types of hardware and/or software into the teaching and learning environment.  Similar to students in the school, teachers are also learning on a day to day basis.

 

Student Engagement and Motivation

 

Survey data has also been obtained through the LITE project to indicate that technology integration has the potential to increase student motivation and engagement.  Here are some results that were shown in GC Rowe and Presentation Junior High Schools combined (~650 students, October 2013):

 

Table 1: Student Response to Technology use at two LITE schools

Statement

% Agree or Strongly Agree

I prefer to use technology to do writing project instead of using pen and paper, and technology makes schoolwork more fun/interesting

Over 90

Technology helps improve quality of schoolwork

Over 80

Technology helps me understand better what I learn in school

Over 80

 

 

 

 

As a leading edge school in technology integration in the area, we are also involved in action research.  One such research project involved the Flipped classroom strategy for Grade 7 Math and Science classes.  With district support through Christine Elliott (Itinerant), Shelly Hicks and I found several positive results as outlined in the table:

 

Table 2:  Student Engagement in our Flipped Classroom Action Research

Statement (after Flipped classroom experience)

% Agree or Strongly Agree - Math

% Agree or Strongly Agree - Science

Class was more engaging and interactive

82

90

I participated more in class

77

85

Videos made subject easier to understand

77

79

 

 

 

Conclusion - A Direction Forward

 

The LITE project has had several successes.  Many teachers are using technology in their teaching and learning environment, and it has been illustrated that students want to see technology in their classrooms.  Through initiatives such as the Flipped Classroom and Bring Your Own Device days, I have no doubt that many staff and students are becoming more motivated and engaged in the teaching and learning process.  I sincerely hope that this level of increased focus on technology integration through projects such as LITE continues into the future.    

 
 
Anyone in the world

Patricia Edwards demonstrates Apple TVStaff at C.C. Loughlin School in Corner Brook participated in a technology professional development on January 27th. Teachers and student assistants registered for two of the three sessions offered: The Flipped Classroom, Using Tablets in the Classroom, and Google Drive and other Web Tools. In the Flipped Classroom session, Rick Collins presented how he uses sophia.org to implement the flipped classroom strategy at the Intermediate level.  He highlighted the successes and challenges of this method as discovered by conducting action research through the Learning in Technological Environments (LITE) project.  Patricia Edwards explained the set up and demonstrated the use of ipads and Apple TV. I Tunes U was introduced as a means to further teacher PD with technology.  During this session, several other teachers also highlighted apps they are using with their students. Brigitte White introduced teachers to Google Drive and ways to use Google Docs and Google Presentations. She also demonstrated how Symbaloo can be used to bookmark educational sites used in the classroom.

 

The Technology Education Special Interest Council (TESIC) and the LITE project partnered with C.C. Loughlin for this initiative. TESIC provided the nutrition break for all involved, and both entities share a mandate of integrating technology throughout as many teaching and learning environments as possible.

 

These sessions were presented in the morning session and during the afternoon session, staff had the opportunity to sit down and put what they learned to use. Small groups of teachers and student assistants could be found learning the features of the three types of tablets: iPad, Nexus and BlackBerry Playbook. Some were busy creating Symbaloo webmixes to use in each subject and others were learning how to share documents in Google Drive. It was a busy day for all involved and a great opportunity to share what is already working in our classrooms.

 When asked to provide feedback, teachers were thankful to be introduced to these new technology tools and were excited to begin using them in their everyday teaching to motivate students and enhance collaboration between students as well as teachers.

 

[ Modified: Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 8:59 PM ]