Face-to-Face Huddle, On Safari, Open Discussion @AncasterSrPS

Last week for two days, ASPS students and staff hosted E-Learning Contacts from Northern Ontario. Often referred to as eLCs, these are educators whose focus is to support Ontario students with digital learning opportunities.  As well, learning alongside with us were Education Officers from the Ministry of Education.

My Wondering:  
How to organize our time together so that our visitors would really understand our learning community and our collaborative culture? Continue reading

Leveraging the ‘Instrumented’ Pocket & Backpack

Many of our students, not all, carry with them daily very powerful devices. My team and I often position that many students have what we call ‘instrumented’ pockets and backpacks.  I think we would all agree that pockets and backpacks carry the essentials that we need to get us through the day.  From a student perspective, backpacks travel with them throughout their entire academic career and often beyond.  So, what’s in their

What's in my backpack minus the smartphone that took the picture and my laptop.

Continue reading

Constructivist PD with Livescribe

It’s almost here and this is very exciting!  On June 2, 2011 in Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, a learning fair entitled, Live Learning with Livescribe will take place.  The learning fair structure  and design is based on an open learning style. Participants will construct their own learning by choice in focused areas of inquiry by interacting with facilitators at learning centres.  To understand the design of this learning fair, take a few moments and play this pencast:

Opening learning is active, flexible, participatory, social and self-regulated.  Sounds very 21st century to me!  This is an exploration in professional development and building capacity in staff.  Will this create a model of learning with each other that should be sustained?  Stay tuned as I will be seeking input from all and share my reflections by writing more on this constructivist approach to professional development.

In addition, this learning fair will celebrate the teachers who were very committed to the Live with Livescribe TLLP this school year.  It is an honour for HWDSB to host and organize this learning fair that celebrates in the best way their hard work and year long commitment by sharing their expertise and building capacity in others. This interactive learning fair focuses on how the livescribe is a tool that facilitates student learning and engagement  in many different ways tailored to the needs of the students.  I conclude by saying out loud I have very good vibes!

Just like the kids!

It was exciting today to offer a group of colleagues a technology tool for exploration, experimentation and most importantly experiential learning for professional growth and a focused purpose.  In my observation, adults can be just like the kids!   Hand them a piece of technology and watch them play, ask questions and begin to learn.  For the most part, curiousity and inquisitiveness bubbles to the surface, especially when you have others nearby to share in your experience.

The rationale for giving the twenty participants on the HWDSB 21st Century Fluencies Advisory Committee an eReader is to bring a focus on our learning through the use of a piece of technology.  It’s about an intentional blend of learning with a device and as the chair of the committee, my hope is that we have engaged and intrigued members on many fronts.

The beginning of our learning road map will focus on these intial goals:

  • To engage  in dialogue around professional reading including face to face and web 2.0 methods
  • To provide an opportunity to experience reading through an eReader
  • To augment professional reading pertaining to the 21st-century fluencies and teaching and learning in the digital age
  • To increase awareness of reading materials available for loan from the HWDSB, the Hamilton Public Library, and for purchase from various locations
  • To discuss the experience of using eReaders for professional learning
  • To dialogue openly about our learning experience
  • To discuss the teaching and learning potential of the device as it relates to student and staff engagement and learning

Posted on our wiki, committee members were left with a list of six things to do in preparation for a hands-on learning session at the end of May.  At that time, we will also select our initial texts for shared reading and review guiding questions. It’s going to be interesting to see how each committee member internalizes the use of an eReader as a tool for individual as well as group learning.   More posts to come!  I welcome your advice, comments, resources and experiences.

2011 Project 365

Happy New Year everyone!   On this first day of 2011, I share with you my  commitment to participate in 2011 Project 365.  Each day I will take a photograph and post on my Flickr Photostream as well as share on the Twitter PLN 365/2011 and 52/2011 Group.

This will be a great way to document life from many perspectives on a daily basis.  Time moves surprisingly fast and often we capture moments mentally that merit a snap.  Taking images will allow me tell stories and share messages that might remain untold otherwise.  On another note, I hope to become a better and more creative photographer.  The Twitter PLN group has already inspired me!  I have enjoyed viewing and commenting on their twelve  images today.

I’m excited to get started and so please enjoy my very 1st photo of 365 photos.
My dog, Bill.   He is the best! My dog, Bill on January 1st, 2011.