Tagged: Tech-Rich Learning

Unleashing Deep Learning

Last week, our school celebrated Climate Action Week. The events from Monday through Thursday were organized by the ISD Green Team. It was the intention of this team of students that this week coincided with the Fridays for Future march that was taking place in the city on Friday afternoon.

As an educator, I have always struggled with weeks like this – kindness week, spirit week, earth week, etc. While they encourage positive actions, I believe that it is our job to have discussions with students about how we ensure these actions continue in some way, even when these weeks are over. It was this very point led to a great discussion on Friday during our Grade 5 Gathering. 

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Frameworks for technology integration – are they still relevant?

Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

As I started looking through the resources for this week, I was reminded of a recent conversation I had with a colleague of mine. We were discussing the relevance of a technology integration coach in education today. 

In this conversation we decided that while yes, there is still a need for individuals to support educators in effectively integrating technology, is this really separate from what would be the job of an instructional coach? In today’s educational landscape…isn’t the integration of technology into our teaching just good practice? 

It seems that many schools are having these discussions. More and more it seems that technology integration coach positions are being replaced by positions like innovation in learning coach. While technology is a tool that can and should be utilized in the classroom, it takes a real mind shift to be able to use it in a way that really transforms learning.

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Be the change you want to see in the world.

Image result for flipgrid png

Prior to this completing this week’s assignment, I had never used Flipgrid. And…to be completely honest, it took me waaayyy out of my comfort zone.

For whatever reason, I really dislike filming myself. I find I get really nervous and lose my ability to speak when on camera. Irrational, I know, but the thought of completing this week’s tasks almost brought me to tears as I had worked myself up in my head. For me personally, I would have really valued having had the option to express my thoughts in another way – writing, creating visuals, etc. 

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Let them be amazing

Check out The Show About Science on Soundcloud

As I listened to Scott McLeod’s TEDx Talk about empowered young people my mind immediately went to Nate. At the age of 5 years old, Nate Butkus turned his passion for science (I mean it had been his “favourite topic since [he] was 3!) into a podcast in order to share this passion with the world! The Show About Science has been running for four years now, and Nate is still creating new episodes. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s definitely worth a listen! His episodes feature interviews with scientists and experts from around the world. He has even branched out and has recently created a new podcast about politics.

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Course 1 Final Project – Increasing Voice and Choice

Wow! I can’t believe we’re already at the end of the first course! It has been great working through this course as it’s forced me to take the time to reflect on my practice and really think about the reasoning behind why I do what I do. I have enjoyed reading through the posts of others and look forward to continuing on this journey in Course 2!

Increasing Student Agency

My teaching team has worked hard over the past few years to open up a lot of our units to allow for a lot more student voice, choice and ownership in their learning. Here are a few examples of this. We start the year with How We Express Ourselves, in which students explore the concept of originality as they work as an artist in a medium of their choice. In our Who We Are unit (with the central idea – transitions are a part of life), students engage in a guided inquiry looking at the physical, social, and emotional changes that children go through during puberty. They also have the chance to construct their own personal inquiry into an area of their choosing that relates to the central idea.

By opening up these units,  we have seen huge growth in students’ engagement and in their approaches to learning. Students learn how to be good learners. They learn to manage their time and materials. They learn about goal setting and self-motivation. Arguably, the biggest benefit is the perseverance and resilience that begins to develop. So with all that said, the unit I have chosen to modify for this final project is one that we haven’t spent as much time working on, and doesn’t have as much choice for students. (more…)

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