Each school site highlighted a high-yield technology-based strategy that you facilitated to support and enhance learning and teaching for students/teachers at their school. What worked? What kind of growth or change did they notice? Were there any recommendations to the group? How is technology being embraced at their site?
BLUEBERRY: Audio assistance given to students for summative assessments. Use of mp3 player to assist students in listening to summative assessments. Teachers send in test to the office, an EA will record it using AudioGrabber which allows a track for each question. Easy for students to go back and forth to particular questions. Students know how to use the technology, just providing the opportunity for them to hear the test. Tests are archived and then updated on a yearly basis. Use MediaMonkey to change preferences. Easy and beneficial to grades 7-9 students. Moving this to grade 6 and maybe 5 next year.
BROOKWOOD: Implementation of Read & Write Gold embedded in the grade 4 classroom and with further support. In the Spring, some grade 3 students receive training to prepare for following learning. An EA is assigned and trained for implementation and support of RWG for students and teachers. A designated space with 4 computers, a laptop and project is set up where training for students happens. The support model is found in and out of the class. The EA also comes into the grade 4 classrooms where there are computers installed with RWG.
BROXTON PARK: Technology at the point of instruction and learning. All classrooms have projector and ELMO, half have a smartboard. Technology is brought into the staff meetings, especially with Etherpad (now TitanPad). EYALT students enjoy using the smartboard to develop their learning and reduce behavior breakdowns due to frustration. With Adapt programming, WiVik is used that predicts and assists students in their writing. Middle Years Options included use of MovieMaker (next year will be working with Adobe Elements). Claymation example shared.
CONNECTIONS FOR LEARNING: Independent programming for each student. Embed technology with their learning – change is difficult for students. Admin provided release time for teachers to experiment with new technology, specifically with interactive whiteboards, Microsoft OneNote, and WordPress blogs. Social Studies wiki for middle years saw some participation of students; still reluctant to participant. Next year, looking to use OneNote to set up teacher planning units.
DUFFIELD: Engaging parents and students in using technology. Guiding them to answer questions online on the school website through a Google Form. There still is dial up in the area so they must realize that once students leave the school, not everyone has access to online activities, resources and/or information. Assessment app – admin/teacher can give feedback to students on their work through an mp3 file. As well, smartboards are being used to assess numeracy, literacy, science, social studies and music skills.
ENTWISTLE: Tools to engage learning and teaching. Have brought in more smartboards this year. Portal has connected to the comprehensive reporting focus this year where the report cards are all shared for staff through a document format. Next year, the portal for the school will be expanded to include Calendar, Annoucements and Documents for staff to connect with 24/7. Classroom web-based work with wordless, brainstorming with Bubbl.us, use of MightyBook and SurveyMonkey (students created a survey themselves and will use it to register students for options for next year). For 2010-2011 middle years options, a look at latching onto technology integration for students instead of InfoPro.
FOREST GREEN: Embedded PD for teachers. Time was embedded to work with teachers and administrator. From smartboard work to social networking. Administrator started with Twitter. Also asked twitter followers in real-time to say why they use it – check out #psdadmin for results. Looked at using Google Apps benefits for sharing information online in the ‘cloud’. Then also started social bookmarking on Diigo to share with staff and parents. E-portfolios search lead to a professional blogfolio on WordPress. Now staff are starting to blog themselves and some have their students blogging.
GRAMINIA: Technology available to students anytime in the school. Movement of computers from one computer lab and adding laptop carts. Gathering of information from staff online using a wiki. Use of a GoogleDoc for parents to give input on education plan. Staff modeling using technology during staff meetings. Working with a teachers, a student and their parent in regards to bringing in his own computer to class so that he can participate more effectively in his learning.
HIGH PARK: Improvement in comfort level of staff using technology through consistent and effective PD. Inservice with Kim Peacock of web 2.0 applications: admin using Ning, use of Protopages with Teachers for students. Use of smartboards through Smart Playdates with each classroom having a smartboard and some even an Elmo. One topic picked at the Playdate with a staff member being the ‘expert’ sharing their use of it with teachers then dispersing to play on it. Grade 1 – for manipulatives, Grade 6 for LA student writing and even video conferencing. As well, getting used to the Notebook activity toolkit and how to use it for student learning. Lots of support and collaborative atmosphere on school site.
KEEPHILLS: Effective numeracy software for students has improved math knowledge and skills. Dreambox Learning by Pearson as a supplementary to Math Program of Studies. No reading required so students who have reading difficulties will be able to individually participate. Very interactive, goofy, positive and set up as stories that student work through. It allows students to stop whenever they like. As well, it has an assessment piece which shows details of learning. Web-based; therefore can be accessed 24/7 on and off-site.
MEMORIAL COMP: Professional Learning Communities assist in sharing, reflecting and demonstrating effective uses of available technology. All classrooms have smartboards; challenge is to have all staff involved in implementing the technology for student learning. Also looking at what technology skills students are coming into grade 10 with and how can those be further developed. Engaging staff using cellphones and laptops during staff meetings to interact with the information being presented. InfoPro, WebDesign, and other CTS areas are highly effective in their use of technology in class. Have nine labs and COWS (computers on wheels) available to staff and students.
MERIDIAN HEIGHTS: Authentic learning experiences using a variety of tools, activities and conversations. Marvelous learning at the Leading Our Way Forward Conference, yet what are we doing to make learning interactive? At MHS there are wireless mice and keyboards. Some blogging has been introduced. A lot of photography and video snippets that are put together. Balancing real life experiences and technology tools to make learning productive and effective. Sharing time is also provided during PD day.
MILLGROVE: It’s about relationships, mentoring and modeling the use of technology. Doesn’t matter about the gadgets, but as a leader is to act as a gatekeeper and networker of people. Learning with technology is about practicality and all about the students. SMART learning with student experts – grade 4’s as ERLC hosts. Tech committee consists of representatives from each grade. Get SMART sessions open doors of the school up to outside educators where technology is seen ‘in action’ which can be scary at times, but it is very affirming of the great learning happening within the school. The ability of having a Technology Integration Assistant is key to success in allowing teachers to move forward with their use of technology in the classrooms.
MUIR LAKE: Student learning in the 21st century with tracking their progress through the use of e-portfolios. Digital Portfolios engage students in assessing and showcasing themselves. Weekly dedicated time for grade 7’s to work on their portfolios. Some work with HTML on NotePad, website development with a 5 page template. Struggles of immersion in the technology tool and graphics, yet discussion of value of work occurred. Possibility of using WordPress to have online conversations, continual feedback – looking at a model by another educator. Next year, look at providing PD sessions for grade 8 teachers to continue this process of e-portfolios. Also introducing Airliner wireless slate to students with limited mobility, teachers who are walking around, students at desks to engage their thoughts during class time on the smartboard.
SEBA BEACH: Connecting students with others to share their learning experiences. Elmos in all classrooms – using the technology in a meaningful way through manipulatives. Just receiving smartboards which are new to the school so there still is large learning curve with these. However, to connect with other local schools a teacher wanted to her students to share with other grade 6 students. Although the school has a VC unit, the other schools did not, therefore Voicethread was decided as a great tool to use for students to share their comments from different regions in the school division.
SPRUCE GROVE COMP: Linking the Flexibility Project with interactive and authentic technology experiences. Focus on technology has not always been continual due to Flexibility Project and staff movement in the Office. Engagement is important. Technology needs to be part of this larger project. 4 laptop carts and 2 computer labs are moving about the classrooms. Constant demand with wireless and the hope of opening up of the wireless for students to bring in their personally owned devices is great (IT dept. will be installing a NAC server to assist this aspect sometime in the near future.) With the technology committee that has representatives from each department, technology tools like interactive whiteboards have been trialed and Promethean boards have been purchased for the Math department which fits with the new curricular resources. CTS like the Elmo document cameras. In-house PD for technology has happened with online tutorials and staff experts.
STONY PLAIN CENTRAL: Visual literacies – using the tools well in the classroom. Video-embedded learning is occurring such as LearnAlberta, Discovery Education streaming video, YouTube and CBC videos. Ability for teachers and students to compare and contrast real-world events for teachers and students. Clips are used to motivate discussions, kick off Pride Assemblies and finalize specific subject concepts. Students like to see images and videos and interact with them.
TOMAHAWK: Giving students a variety of ways to communicate what they know. Notebook recorder utilized for students to talk about the learning that is going on for them in Math. Discussions on how to use this in Social Studies and Science. Challenge is managing all of that language communication to plan the teaching day.
WABAMUN: The relationship of Digital Media with Citizenship and Social Responsibility. Working on digital citizenship of digital media in-house is very important. Looking at CBC archives clips and how students express themselves through video rather than poetry for In Flanders Fields. Real-world discussions about copyright. Making of commercials to make Social Studies curriculum come alive. Matching of middle years students and early years students in using Windows Movie Maker (ie. Giving voice to grade ones in showcasing reptiles, math shapes in the community). Use of PhotoStory as well. Novel studies in literature circles on wikis on Wikispaces – discussion about being an online expert and ensuring that facts are solid. To compose music, with no musical instruments, the use of online notation with Noteflight, allows students to become composers.
WOODHAVEN: Networking with others to share thoughts, best practices and tools to engage staff and student learning with technology. Consult with other technology leaders in Parkland and Edmonton region is important. With an older building, it is important to note that students are more interactive in the lives, therefore, learning at Woodhaven is working towards building, teaching and learning in a more interactive way. Afterschool workshops and staff meetings have some time to showcase some interactive and web 2.0 tools PD. Starting to add smartboards in the school as well as Wii + pen = in-house interactive whiteboard. Use TodaysMeet in Social Studies classes. As well, need to continue to address digital citizenship. Created own web domain to house Google Apps for Education for two classes of students with access to computers once a day (not enough school computers for all students to access). Addition of LCD displays in hallway to engage students and staff with information, demonstrations of learning and celebrations.