Showing posts from December, 2010

Student Spaces

I think that it is getting more complicated for school districts to decide what to buy or build and what to leverage for technology learning spaces.  The past few years have brought so many options, many for free, out on the public Internet.  Tech savvy teachers are taking their students to wiki, blog, google docs, social networking, social bookmarking, video sharing, and other spaces on the public Internet.  There are so many fantastic tools available for free. There are some challenges though with just using what’s out there on the Internet… privacy law issues, especially for Canadians, and more so for British Columbians (obligation to protect student identity) multiple digital identities to create and manage (this seems to be evolving though – often a user can login with their google, twitter, or facebook account) different tools have different setup and navigation details = complexity for less tech savvy teachers (kids care less about this though) complexity for

Parents want to know about technology and education

I have never done this before - open source a presentation.  I was invited by our District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) to present in January to parents on educational technology, the future, and digital responsibility.  Seems like a pretty straight-forward topic hey. So, I am thinking of an outline something like this: Comparing / contrasting of school before technology and school today to show how things have already changed Talk about some interesting technologies that are available today but not necessarily existing in schools, yet Share some possible future scenarios of how technology could change education and create a wow effect Talk about what is happening today in our classrooms and show some interesting short clips that I’ve gathered from classroom visits this past fall of students and teachers using educational technology today Provide some context to digital responsibility and emphasize the importance for parents to know and be involved with their k

Technology is a Game Changer for Learning

I know, it’s not about the technology.  We all say it.  But, I think we may be kidding ourselves.  Look around and you’ll see technology changing and challenging almost everything.  It makes things possible that weren’t necessarily even a thought before.  Think about the iPhone – did the millions upon millions of people “know” they needed it before it was?  Our modern tools, conveniences, and inventions today would not be possible to design, engineer, or produce without sophisticated technology. For schools and classrooms there is often a debate about technology as a tool, technology as a skill, or even that there is no need for it.  We often suggest that technology is a nice to have but real teaching and learning can continue on without it as it always has.  In light of all the writing and discussion about 21st century learning, personalized learning, etc., is this really still the case? “Technology can provide new options for assessment and improving learning outcomes.”, BC Pr

Learning Today and in the Future

In my classroom visits I encounter all sorts of great examples of flexible learning environments.  I’m specifically interested in how technology is being used, good or bad, to support teaching and student learning.  What I increasingly see are natural, seamlessly integrated uses of educational technology and less of the standalone technology focused uses.  Check out this cute K/1 class learning about the number 10 using a variety of technologies, physical objects, and student interactions. K’s and 1’s learning about the number ‘10’ This teacher created opportunities for kids to use a variety technology with other traditional classroom objects and tools.  It is important to note that the technology really does need to be in the classroom and not in a lab for the occasional “field trip”.  I had a great time that day – if I was a teacher I’m pretty sure Kindergarten would be high on my list of preferred grades to teach. It is interesting how the notion of “personalization of learn

Our Students are Immersed in 3D Learning

We are fortunate to have very creative teachers in Coquitlam School District.  A couple of our middle school teachers (at Banting ), on their own initiative, discovered Quest Atlantis , a 3D immersive learning environment.  Quest Atlantis (QA) is “ an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks ” developed at the University of Indiana.  Meghan describes how QA supports her students learning Meghan Enga provides a great overview of how her students are using this.  She is partnered with Cory Cleto (another teacher at Banting Middle school ) and her class on this initiative. Quick side bar, it’s amazing how easily these kids are able to talk about what they’re doing and learning.  With no preparation, warning, and very little prompting, they take us on their own personal learning journeys.  How cool is that. Dr. Sasha Barab is the principle researcher for the Quest Atlantis project.  From Dr