Today was we day in Ottawa...my students were excited to watch the live stream...
We knew Prime Minister Trudeau would be speaking in the afternoon. Then we RECEIVED an invitation...
We thought...why not? So we asked...
Then we watched...
It was exciting, but the kids wanted to know why he didn't answer our question.
And that is why I love twitter in my classroom.
Every year I go to the Bring IT Together conference. I started five years ago when it was still the ECOO conference in Richmond Hill. I think this year, more than any other, I realized how important it is for all educators in Ontario to attend this conference.
Obviously I have a certain comfort level with technology (hence the blog), but I don’t think that technology is at the heart of this conference.
Yes, technology is the glue that binds the conference together. It is the conduit that is used to share our knowledge and share, create and engage with our students, however, it is not about the technology.
I think in many ways, the perceived focus on technology is the thing that keeps some of my counterparts away. In many ways, they fear the tool more than the pedagogy.
From now on, when I advertise the conference to my peers I will not sell them on the tools, but instead I will talk about the inspiration, the passion and the sources.
What I truly mean is that the best sales pitch I could give for this conference is to talk about the amazing people I connect with every year.
I will talk about how Sandra McLarnon (@SandraMcLarnon) was literally shouting with joy, while holding her dogeared, highlighted copy of Invent to Learn, as Sylvia Martinez (@smartinez) was speaking about the Maker Movement.
I will share how Alison Bullock’s (@aliringbull) teary eyed description of her student’s engagement in her novel study almost brought me to tears.
I will describe the pride Sandra Chow (@watnunu) has in her students, her school and the amazing work they are doing with mathematics and technology.
I will show the book I received from Alanna King (@banana29), who organized a fantastic #bit15 book club and brought books to share and inspire others.
You see, technology conferences are not simply about the technology. They are about the people, the sharing and the passion. I leave each year feeling inspired and that is how I will advertise this conference to Ontario Educators.
Thank you all for an amazing #BIT15.
I spent the end of the week at the BIT15 Technology conference in Niagara Falls. There was so much information! Here is a small sampling of some of the workshops that were offered, from those presenters who posted their resources on the Lanyrd Site. Presenter information is on each link or more information is available on the Lanyrd link.
Online Quiz games:
Amazing use of technology in Math Slideshow :
Making Students Doers of Math:
Presentation Summary: Rethink Listening
Sketchnoting for Beginners:
Technology in FDK
Digital Portfolio for JK/SK
STEM with ICT & 21st Century Learning
STEM with Lego:
The Big Sift: Information Literacy
Research & Feedback:
Engaging Learners in a Connected World
As many of you know, I've made a change this school year. I'm back in the classroom. After 4 years being our school's teacher-librarian, I am back teaching a wonderful class of grade 7 students. I am also fortunate enough to be able to continue my work as a Special Education Resource Teacher when my class is on rotary.
I loved being a teacher-librarian and feel very fortunate to have had that experience. Without that time, I do not believe I would have made the connections that have helped me develop into a teacher who now feels comfortable incorporating technology into my classroom. I have gotten past the idea that technology is the learning and progressed to using it as a conduit for learning.
I am having so much fun using technology to connect my students with the world around them. I am having so much fun trying new things and learning from my successes but also my frequent failures.
I truly believe that you must be excited and adventurous in your teaching practice. If you are excited, students feel that excitement. If you are trying something new, students will also take risks. My students know that I often try new things and sometimes they fail but sometimes they are amazing learning opportunities.
So far, we are loving the online connections we are making through Student Vote and soon, the Global Read Aloud. We are looking forward to some Mystery Skype/Google Hangouts in the near future with new found friends in Alberta, B.C., California, New Hampshire and Illinois.
My class is tweeting about our adventures: @7ATweets
Please follow along & be sure to connect with me if you wish to try some online collaboration with my gang.
More pictures & updates to come soon!
weekend summary & resources!
Be sure to check back throughout the weekend, as I update my notes below & share.
Here the the two links to my presentations:
Saturday, Session 2 - 11:30 - 12:30 - Rm.201 - Google Classroom 101
Sunday, Session 8 - 2:15 - 3:15 - Rm.206 - Tips & Tricks to Get you Going!
Follow along as I take my notes throughout the summit:
What do you use or suggest for your students to use, to demonstrate knowledge in Math? I would love to hear your suggestions...here is my list. Send me a message on twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My list of Ways to Demonstrate your Knowledge in Math
Instructions to add multiple users in Chrome. Great if you have multiple people in your household with Chrome accounts!
Adding Multiple Users in Chrome
Also, have you seen the Learn Style icon that has been added to the UGCloud homepage. Learn Style provides great training videos, resources & strategies for students. This company provides computer training for our computers with ministry funded computer equipment. Click on their icon below to check it out!
I hope everyone had a restful holiday season. It is time to get back into the swing of things, with my...
15 Things to Check Out as you start 2015!
1. UGCloud's NEW LOOK:
Check out the new sleek look. Notice that instead of the colourful rectangles at the bottom, there is a new menu for staff, students and training at the top on the right side.
Calendar, Classroom, Drive, Gmail, Hangout & Sites are all Google Applications. Resources about any of these applications can be found on my Google Resource Page.
My Blueprint is well used by our Grade 7 & 8 students currently. It is a tool for goal setting, secondary course selection and exploration of post-secondary education options.
Report Bullying is easily accessible for our students to report any issues they are facing, if they are not comfortable doing that in person. This is also still accessible through UG2GO.
Oxford Next is typically used at the secondary level, but it does have great Shakespeare resources for Intermediate teachers who explore Shakespeare.
UG2GO is well used by our students. Gr. 7 & 8 students may wish to begin exploring some of the resources on the Secondary UG2GO site. Here is an explanation of all of the resources on the elementary site from Michelle Campbell, Supervisor of Library & Media Services at the UGDSB, as well check out the information on my resource page.
Desire to Learn (D2L) is something we received training on last year. For grades K-6 it allows easy access to resources from the Ontario Education Resource Bank, that are housed in a TEPS Library Classroom (students find it by selecting it in their courses). This was created by Sean Hamilton, who supports online learning in the UGDSB. Our Gr.7 & 8 students also have access to Homework Help through D2L as well. Don't forget, if you wish to learn more about how to use D2L to create an online environment for your classroom, let me know & Sean may be able to come in & support you!
Compass for Success is an amazing resource all staff were trained on last year. Please see me if you need any assistance utilizing this resource.
PaperCut allows you to monitor your printing & cancel any print jobs that are associated with your account. It is absolutely interesting to see how many print jobs you have sent and how many pages you have printed!
NOTE: These actually aren't new, just easier to access.
Sign in to Chrome: Why is this important? If you are on a desktop or laptop, you need to be signed into Chrome to access all of the apps & extensions you have downloaded & the board has given us the ability to use (e.g., Google Read & Write). The instructions to help you sign in to Chrome are available on this link, as well as here.
Google Training from Synergyse: Don't forget that Google Training is available within any Google Application. Now you can click on the Google Training Icon on the UGCloud home page, to access tips sheets, instructions and videos. As well, don't forget you can just click on the menu in any application to get a help list for that application. It appears beside your email address in the top right corner of the application you have open.
2. Web101 @UGDSB
This is an ever evolving site that has links to great resources, news and information, as well as the latest & greatest technology available in the UGDSB. Be sure to check out Web101.
3. UGDSBitrt Website
The Itinerant Technology Resource Teachers in the UGDSB have worked very hard to create a website that is easily accessible to both students and teachers. This site provides support with assistive technology that is readily used in our board. Be sure to check out UGDSBitrt.
Snapverter allows you to convert documents and image files so that you can use them & have them read to you with Google Read & Write. It is easy to use and there is a lot of information to support you. Check out this link to step by step instructions, as well as the information on the UGDSBitrt website.
5. Google Classroom
If you aren’t already using Google Classroom, you need to jump in right away. Google Classroom will make your life so much easier. It allows you to easily share documents, videos and resources back and forth with your students. I particularly find it helpful when setting up activities for my younger students. Everything is easy to find and all in one place! Check out some links to introductory videos here. To see how I use Google Classroom as a resource teacher, check out my presentation from the ECOO conference in November.
This resource, which is available under the Student tab on UGCloud, allows teachers to assign practice, tutorials or videos to students. You can create a class to manage your students. It is focused on Math, Science, Engineering and Technology. Students & teachers can Sign In with their Google Accounts (as shown below). Although it is called K-12, it is mostly geared for older students at this time (Junior/Intermediate). Check out a review from Common Sense Media here & Education World here. Also be sure to check out their YouTube & FAQ pages for help navigating the website & setting up a classroom.
7. Code & Codecademy
UGCloud now provides excellent resources to support our students with coding. Both found under the Student tab on UGCloud, Code & Codecademy provide opportunities for our students to learn web design and computer science fundamentals. Be sure to check out the Code YouTube page to learn more about coding and the Hour of Code. As well, check out a review of Coecademy from Common Sense Media.
8. Khan Academy
Khan Academy, found under the Student tab on UGCloud, provides resources and practice for students in many subject areas, however the math resources are the most popular. Students and teachers are able to login using their Google accounts. Check out a review of this resource by Common Sense Media. Also, check out their large selection of videos on their YouTube channel.
9. TED ED
Be sure to check out the link to TED ED that is found under the Student tab in UGCloud. Filled with inspiring videos and cool lesson ideas, which Common Sense Media rates for 8 years old & older, it is something that you can direct the students to as a part of an assignment, or use in your teaching. Videos can be found on a variety of topics, but as always, you will want to preview them to ensure they fit your students. Check out this review from Edshelf.
10. YouTube Education
Having a link directly to YouTube Education under the Student tab in UGCloud is useful and easily accessed by students and teachers. YouTube Education provides videos on a variety of subjects. These videos can be used as part of a lesson, or students can be directed to them as they are working independently. Videos can be found for a variety of age groups, but as always, you will want to preview them to ensure they fit your students. Keep in mind that you can refine your search to Primary & Secondary Education by clicking the option at the right.
11. Student Services (Teacher Only)
Don’t forget...you can reset your student’s passwords. By going to Student Services, under the Teacher tab in UGCloud, you only need to login using your regular windows login & password to access student accounts. This also will activate accounts that are inactive (meaning they have been left for longer than 30 days).
12. UG Share
Found under the Teacher tab on UGCloud, UG Share is the new place to find forms & large files that have typically been shared on First Class. Many of the forms found in the Board Forms section of First Class are now available on UG Share. As well, our various union Collective Agreements have been uploaded. It appears that many of the First Class Curriculum Conferences are having their large files moved into this sharing forum. Login and learn all about it here.
13. Merge Cells in Tables
It took a while, but it is here. We now have the capability to merge cells in tables in Google Drive. Hooray!!! For all of you table addicts out there, all you need to do is highlight the cells, right click & select Merge Cells in the menu.
14. New BYOD Wireless Network in the UGDSB
Be sure to switch your devices over to the new wireless network. It is fast & easy to access, without the hassle of constant logins. It is for students & teachers. If you are unsure of the password, check the staff conference.
15. OSAPAC Digital Citizenship Resources
This summer I had the awesome privilege of working with educators from across Ontario to help create lesson & activity ideas to teach digital citizenship. In creating the classroom examples we sought to demonstrate how digital citizenship education can be linked to any areas of the curriculum. That work is now on the NEW OSAPAC website. Lessons & activities are available from Kindergarten to Grade 12, so please check it out: http://osapac.ca/ccpalo/dc/
16. Inquiry Resources
Be sure to check out the UGTLA Inquiry Website as you plan your inquiry lesson activities. Also, be sure to check out the TC2 Pacs form the Critical Thinking Consortium. Marcy found these earlier this school year & found out more information from Heather Dyer. The board pays for staff to have access to these resources. More information can be found on the staff portal, under Curriculum > Social Studies > TC2. To access the pacs, you need to create an account using your First Class email (UGCloud email will not work).
Happy 2015 Everyone!!!
Join me this Thursday November 6th at 12:00-12:50 in Peller Estates Ballroom D, at #ECOO #bit2014, as I present about supporting At-Risk students with Google for Education.
I will also be presenting later that day, with OSAPAC from 4:00-4:50 in Room 103, looking at an amazing new Digital Citizenship Resource. I was lucky be one of the members of the fantastic team of educators that worked together to develop this resource this summer. It is absolutely something that is work checking out.
I hope to see you all there on Thursday & will be following Twitter Chatter to learn as much as possible throughout the conference.
WELCOME to my blog!
Please follow along on my journey. I am an Ontario elementary school teacher who loves to learn new things! I love to share, collaborate and learn from others, so please keep in touch!