Final Reflections

What have been your favourite apps that you have used during this project and why?

Most of the apps that I have come to enjoy are more of the open ended production apps. Rather than just being consumers of knowledge, children are able to be producers of their own. iMovie is a great tool for students to use when retelling a story. Not only does using the iMovie app on the iPad create multi-modal connections for literacy, it also allows teachers to transform more traditional language arts activities or skills into an engaging authentic learning experience. Although google drive is not an app I have used yet with my grade one students, it has become a central to my practice as it allows me to work in collaboration with others and access my files from any device with internet access.

Have you had any “A-ha” moments in connecting with others through social media?

With regards to my experiences connecting with social media, I can definitely appreciate the value of being a contributor to the wealth of knowledge rather than just a consumer. Twitter has opened up access to educators around the world and also allows me to seek information in a more connected and personal way by connecting with real people for answers to my questions. While the short and sweet notion of Twitter lets you conveniently skim through tweets that cross your feed, links and items shared by others are usually very easy to access. What a great way to stay current on all of the hot button topics in the world of education, network, connect, collaborate and share with other teachers and professionals.

Discuss some of the sessions that you have delivered to your staff. What has been the impact in school?

A school wide session I delivered during a PD day focused on the impact of globalization and contemporary literacy. Not only has globalization contributed to rapid advancements in our society, technology, and the mass distribution of information, it has also significantly altered the way children learn. To facilitate 21st century literacy we must:

• Understand how children’s brains differ from any humans before

• Redefine traditional definitions of literacy to make room for multiple modes

• Choose to integrate technology in more open ended ways

• Support home literacies students are already fluent in and empower them to use their voice to engage and change society

This session opened conversations amongst teachers about where we see ourselves on the continuum of closed ended gamified literacy apps, where students are consumers of knowledge, to more open-ended transforming literacy practices when integrating technology, where students are producers and developing a voice? We also discussed how we can transform our practices to incorporate more open-ended practices.

The second session I facilitated was a small focus group that collaborated to create and utilize classroom blogs as a vehicle for making learning visible and for supporting early literacy development. Throughout the year we have maintained, revised and added to our blogs. Many students and families have cited several positive experiences but also agreed that the classroom blog did support student learning.

@nmarcinkevics

Final Reflection

Although I haven’t enjoyed all of the apps that I have downloaded, some of my favourites are imotion for creating clay animation projects, and SolarSystem and Periodic Table for references.  My students each have their own favorite game apps for when they receive the ‘golden’ free time.  The app that I am interested in ‘getting to know better’ is ShowMe.  I am planning on adding a new section into my unit and lesson planning for apps and blog ideas.

This year I haven’t felt any ‘a-ha’ moments, but rather ‘I’m totally stealing that idea’ moments.  I love hearing from other teachers how they’ve applied technology into a lesson in their classroom, and feel proud when I apply it into my own instruction.  I’m always reminding myself to keep an open mind, and that students can also share those ideas and feel the same pride when a teacher applies their own app discovery or technology idea.

@sclaughton1

Final Learning Leader Project

This year’s learning leader project was beneficial for a few reasons. First of all, it reaffirmed that what we are doing at MCHS is in the right direction. Since our first wave of teachers did the learning leader project last year, we have already been exposed to a lot of the new apps that we learned at the sessions. We are fortunate at our school to have many teachers who provided sessions at each staff meeting on what they learned. Secondly, it reinforced what I had already learned and forced me to dig deeper into each app. This allowed me to become much more comfortable with the apps so I would use them outside of school too.

Personally the favorite apps I used are Socrative, Google Docs and Google Drive. Socrative is a great tool that allows the students to put their Smartphones to use in the classroom. Kids enjoy using their phones as opposed to pen and paper. In terms of Google apps, I use them all the time because they are so good for group/collaborative projects for kids. In the past, I would have to limit who could be on the document at any time or have the kids copy and paste their work into one document as only one person could use it at a time. Those days are thankfully over. As for Google Drive, I love it. No longer can a student say they didn’t get an assignment or they forgot it was their day to present something. I have all may class work, calendars, assignments, course outlines, etc on Google Drive. They can access it at anytime and from anywhere. Parents can also be added. This alleviates the old excuses and blame that teachers get when a kid has not been doing his work.

In terms of A-ha moments, I have them all the time. I find myself finding news ways to use my iPad and the apps we learned all the time. I am often sitting at home when one hits. I will discover a new way to use on the apps for my classes. This in itself is an A-ha moment.

As for sessions, I held in my school. I held one formal session after school. It attracted about 5 teachers. At the session, I demo’d how to use Socrative to enhance Smartphone usage in the classroom. Teachers were exposed to how they could apply multiple choice and True/False questioning as a review mechanism for their class. I also demo’d how they could use the Exit evaluations and quizzes for formative and summative assessments. Last of all, I helped them get setup on Socrative so they could create their own quizzes and exit evaluations.

In the second session, I help a couple of teachers get setup and use Socrative. They were unable to come on the previous day so I did it again for them.

The impact of the sessions on the school is tough to evaluate. I know the teachers who attended are integrating Smartphones into their assessments now. I am sure word of mouth will carry it further too. As a whole, our school has taken what has been delivered from all of Learning Leaders over the past few years and integrated them into their lessons. The iPad cart gets used regularly so that is a great sign.

Overall, I am very happy with the Learning Leader program and how it continues to evolve. Teachers are sharing what they are discovering with one another.

Final Reflections

It’s definitely been a year of growth in my use of technology, particularly as I was working with a younger group of students in my new Grade 1 position. I really appreciated the opportunity to reflect on my own professional use of technology through this Learning Leader Project, and also on the potential of my students’ use of technology.

I have benefited from the chance to read about my peers’ professional learning through this blog and Twitter this year, and it’s encouraging to see all the directions that the Learning Leader Project has taken teachers in. I am grateful that PSD has made this type of initiative possible, and that our growth as teachers is a clear priority.

While I’m possibly not destined to become a Twitter-fiend like some of my colleagues, I’ve continued to hone my teaching and discover innovative approaches to teaching through my use of Pinterest this year. Having an iPad at home to explore teaching ideas, and in the classroom to open up a world of opportunities to my students.

We’ve been fortunate to have all the staff at Millgrove sharing apps this year, and I’ve learned so much from how my colleagues are using the iPad in their classrooms. Here are some of the Apps we use at Millgrove:

Haiku Deck

Used for Social Stories with children who require pre-teaching for a fieldtrip or cultural event

iMovie

Great for learning Math for example going on a shape walk in and around the school and making a movie of those things that are similar

Endless Alphabet

This helps children learn the letters and build vocabulary at their own pace

Bad Piggies

This app allows students to use critical thinking, problem solving skills and cooperation

Number Rack

Here is an app that is open-ended and uses Base 10 beads. We use is for “How many ways?”

Dolch Words

Students read the words, trace them and can complete a voice recording

Felt Board

Inspired by flannel boards, Felt Board is an app with hundreds of flannel pieces in digital form. It has enabled students to collaboratively illustrate scenes from a story, and has inspired student writing as well. It’s great for use in a literacy station where students can create a picture and then write about that picture. The illustrations can be saved to the iPad’s photo roll, and is great fodder for beginning story-writing.

Story Buddy 2

This user-friendly app enables beginning writers to publish their own polished, illustrated books. Students can include pictures from the iPad’s camera roll or from an internet search and even allows students to include an audio recording on the pages. The book can be saved as a PD and is a great way for students to showcase their writing and learning.

A-Ha Moments with Social Media

We see the value of Social Media to enhance our teaching by connecting us with fellow colleagues around the world. We also see how articles are found and conveniently retweeted. This cuts down the search time and links us directly to relevant information.

Sharing With Staff

On the November PD day, we hosted Learning Leader iPad centers. Staff was invited to explore the various apps and learn how different grade levels used this tool. This hands on, interactive session was well received and more time was requested.

In March, we hosted the Tri -School PD morning. We supported our staff from the Tri-Schools at the tables by sharing how the iPad works in our classrooms. We also shared apps that are our favorites when working with our early year students.

During PLCs throughout the year, there was consistent collaboration at each grade level. It was very helpful to have a learning learner represented from each grade to attend those meetings.

Learning Leader Project – Final Assignment

Participating in this project has rejuvenated my teaching practises!  I am excited again about what I am doing in my classroom with my students.  I had found that I was in a bit of a rut and if I was feeling somewhat bored, my students were also likely to pick up on that.  So, when the opportunity to become involved in the Learning Leader Project came up, I am very grateful that I signed on.

I have learned so much during this project, and there is still so much more to learn. I have found several apps that have become favorites.  The first one is Evernote – I love this app for organizing the information that I have found and it gives me an easy way to access things later.  I don’t have to remember a lot of hashtags and labels, as things can go into the many “notebooks” I’ve created.  This works for me, and it makes sense to me for my style of learning and retrieving information.

I was trying to find a way to utilize an app immediately in the classroom and I discovered that Show Me does just that.  I teach Food Studies, and one of the things that is so important for my students to see are exemplars of what a good product should be (standards).  I had used my iPad to take lots of pictures of my students’ work at various stages during the cooking or baking process.  I had an “a-ha” moment, when I realized I could simply take one of these pictures and turn it into a mini lesson to illustrate what the standards for a good loaf of bread should be!  It literally took 21 seconds to do.  Now, I have big plans to turn out more of these “show me” lessons that will also be valuable to students who may have missed a demonstration that I have done in class.

I have also enjoyed using Twitter.  I found it took me awhile to get comfortable “tweeting”, but I am able to see how valuable Twitter is now for obtaining information and sharing and connecting with others.  Going back to what I said earlier about taking pictures of my students’ work, I sent out a few of these pictures through twitter, and was surprised to get several responses that connected me with other foods teachers (up to that time, my PLN consisted of no one in my area).  That led to a dialogue with a teacher in Red Deer who was struggling to fit a particular module into his program, and through Twitter, I was able to share with him what I had done.  It was a great connection, especially because most schools will only have one Foods teacher, so you really do need to have someone else to bounce ideas off of.

In my school, many teachers were part of the Learning Leader Project in 2011-12.  As a result, we have a lot of staff who are very savvy on this technology journey. I found this very helpful for me, because each of the sessions done in this project were packed with a lot of new information.  This, at times, could be somewhat overwhelming, so it was great to have others on staff that I could go to for help.  They could clarify or show me how they had used various apps and programs.  I don’t feel that I am an expert in any of this, but I have felt comfortable sharing what I have been learning, and it is encouraging to know that I am much further ahead now, than I was even a month ago, in utilizing apps, google docs and blogging.

My goal is to get my students comfortable sharing their learning.  For a group who readily shares their life on social media, they have been somewhat resistant to blog/share what they have learned.  This has surprised me, yet I know that if I am comfortable doing it, they will be too.  My hope is to create our own web page where my students consistently post their work and what they have learned as they created it.

Cheryl Jereniuk – Spruce Grove Composite High School

 

Learning Leader Reflection

I have explored many apps during my learning leader year.  One of my favourites is haiku deck.  I love this one due to the simplistic nature of it.  It makes it easy for my grade 2s and 3s to use with minimal assistance.  It is a powerful tool for them to reflect on their learning as well as to teach others a topic.  I have also enjoyed zite.  There have been some excellent articles to read on zite to do with education and technology.  Through the use of zite, I have felt more comfortable with tweeting out articles which has helped me to be less of a lurker.

An aha moment for me was when I was using evernote.  This helped when I went to visit another school.  It helped me to take pictures as well as to add notes.  I was able to keep track of everything that I saw while on this visit.  It makes so much sense and it was so easy to do.  I also enjoyed the simple fact of google drive on the ipad.  It makes making and sharing documents so much easier and it’s right at your fingertips.

Bob and I did a presentation on our PD Day on May 10.  We presented haiku deck to the staff and it went really well.  The staff were engaged as they were able to make their own by creating 3 slides and could really see the benefit of using this app in the classroom.  We also presented the value of twitter.  We watched a video and had each person send a tweet on what they thought of our video to our new SPC hashtag (#spc70) which is newly created by Bob.  Even staff that are tech savy and enjoy twitter enjoyed this.  It went very well and it was great to show staff who were not familiar with this technology how it can be valued and how it does not take a great deal of time to do so.  Bob showed me how to use storify (another aha moment, would be great for presentations) and here is the storify of what our staff did while watching the video.

I will continue to explore the twitter world and hope to learn even more.

@AmandaButler9

 

 

 

Learning Leader Final Project

Throughout this project, we have looked at many different apps, but I would have to say my favourite are Drop Box, Google Drive and Show Me. I love using Drop Box because of its ability to allow me to access my documents from all of my different electronic devices. I don’t have to carry around a USB stick with me or worry about forgetting to bring it home. The one setback to Drop Box is that two people cannot be working on a document at the same time, which is why I love Google Drive. I have yet to use it for student work, but plan to in the future. Lastly, I like the Show Me app because of its ability to record voices as well as allow students to show what they learned in another format. This app allows students who do not enjoy doing work with pencil and paper another option.

I have not had any “A-ha” moments with social media as I tend to be a very quiet person and I don’t often like putting my thoughts out in a public forum. As I have begun to use Twitter and have started to become comfortable with putting my thoughts out there as well as asking for advice or materials. I have found some articles on Twitter that have been helpful in my daily teaching and I look forward to having an “A-ha” moment in the future.

My school is very focussed on incorporating technology in our school and already has a weekly technology session called “Tech Tuesday’s”. Instead of presenting what my colleagues and I have learned through the Learning Leader Project to the entire staff, we focussed on having small sessions with individual people to help in more of a one on one situation. The first session that I was part of was working with a grade level/subject level colleague and showing him some apps that I use in class. Several of these apps are related to science and the ones I focused on were those related to the solar system. My colleague who was also part of the Learning Leader Project also showed him some apps that she uses as well (haiku deck) and lent him her iPad to use in his classroom. Since showing him these apps, he has borrowed an iPad on several occasions to use these apps.

The second session that I was part of was focussed on Google Drive and using Google docs to collaboratively create a final project for the grade 8 level. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of collaboratively working on the project this way and how Google Drive can aid in creating the project. It was decided that we would use Google Drive and Google docs and the first session working on the project was very productive because all of us were able to work on a different part of the project all at the same time, increasing our productivity.

Learning Leader Final Project

I was excited to take part in the learning leader sessions ] to listen to the ideas and the suggestions of other leaders and teachers within the division about their ideas on technology integration.
Through these sessions, I have learned about a number of apps.   Of all these apps, both myself and my students have really have enjoyed ‘Haiku Deck.’ I used this app when doing novel studies and had students use it to describe the theme of a novel, or describe the qualities of a specific character. By carefully selecting a word and matching it with an appropriate image- the students (even the non-readers) were able to demonstrate their understanding in a new way that they found interesting. There are also a number of other apps that I now use on a regular basis such as Google Docs and Dropbox. I use these to share resources and ensure my work is also backed-up.

Before participating in this project, I was not a Twitter-user. I was somewhat slow in catching on, and seeing the potential for how it could be used; however I believe that I am now more capable and have been able to access useful resources. I am still in the learning stage, but as I continue to explore, I have found a number of resources that I have been able to use and implement in my classroom. As well, I have been able to make connections with a number of other educators. It is a simple and easy way to make these connections and greataccess resources.

Our school is very technologically aware and already has “Tech Tuesday” sessions lead by other technology leaders within the school. As I felt that I still had ideas and knowledge to share, I met individually with various teachers to share my learning and ideas and discuss ways hat they may be able to incorporate these, or similar ideas, into their own classes. It has been great to be able to sit down and collaborate and exchange ideas and experiences. I hope that this collaboration continues, and we can work together to think of new and creative ways to integrate not only the iPad, but all technology into our classes.

Final Project

I have learned a great deal this year as a Learning Leader for Parkland Village School, including how to use several incredible apps to support my teaching and to provide my students with a wider variety of engaging ways to present their ideas. My favourite apps that I have used throughout the project are Google Drive and Haiku Deck. Google drive has provided me with a simple and convenient way to organize and share all of my documents from anywhere. I am using this app so much now, that I’m not sure that I could function efficiently without it at this point! As for my second choice, Haiku Deck, I just love how simple it is for students to create presentations. One of my favourite features is how structured it is, so kids don’t get caught up in all of the minor things like font choice and other things that consume a lot of time in programs, such as PowerPoint.

In teaching, there are always so many “Ah-Ha” moments, but I have found this journey with technology to be particularly full of them this year. I suppose the one that really stands out is just recognizing the power of social media and how much it opens our previously restricted knowledge base and professional community up to having the ability to connect and collaborate with incredible educators from around the globe. As a beginning teacher, I heard so many times that it is such a solitary profession, but clearly this is not the case anymore. Teachers no longer have to “re-invent the wheel” on their own year after year. Now, we have the ability to connect and share our ideas and build on that wheel, making it better together and to provide our students with limitless and diverse opportunities within our own classrooms on a daily basis. How incredible!

In our sessions that we delivered to the staff, Tirzah and I shared our learning with Haiku Deck and Google Drive. I could see the value that they both had for our K-4 students and Teachers and found that many staff members enjoyed the sessions and took the information away with the intent to use it in their classrooms right away. Many of them have been using one or both of these apps and have gone on to find more apps that are similar, but fit the needs of their classrooms even better.

 

Learning Leader’s Final Reflection

Taking part in Learning Leaders this year has opened my eyes to many opportunities of bringing technology into my classroom. I have found apps on my ipad useful for both my students and for myself. My students of course enjoy the math games that help them with their basic facts. They have also used my ipad for research during projects. Students in my class with learning disabilities in writing are able to use Dragon Dictate to complete written assignments. The “Show Me” is a great way to assess how students solve a math problem, instead of just being handed an answer the app records the process the student took to get to their answer. With a large class and lots of significant behaviours in my room I am not able to meet one-on-one with students very often, having apps like these allow me to see a better picture of who my students are as learners. For my own organization I have used apps like Evernote, Google Drive and Dropbox. Evernote allows me to record and organize student work. Google Drive is useful so that I can access my files no matter where I am and provides a great place to store videos so that I am not filling up our school’s computer storage. Dropbox has allowed me to collaborate with other teachers and share resources easily.

My biggest A-ha moment has come from using Twitter. First, it has been a great tool in helping me expand my collaboration outside the walls of my school. As my social network grows I have been able to ask for resources and ideas and received answers from many different sources. One struggle that I have had is getting that network started. When I first started using Twitter I was extremely nervous about putting myself out there, I felt like what I was doing in my room wasn’t “Twitter Worthy”. As I began posting and receiving positive feedback the process became much less stressful and I realized that Twitter is about sharing and sharing makes my job a lot easier.

Learning Leaders has also allowed me to share some of my learning with the staff at my school. I have delivered two formal sessions to the staff at my school, one about google drive and one about Imotion. Imotion is a great app that allows students to easily create “clay-mation” videos. Both session went well and I got lots of positive feedback from my colleagues however I think the biggest impact has not been from these session but from the impromptu conversations that happen before or after school.  We are growing as a whole when it comes to technology and Learning Leader’s has allowed me to bring new ideas to the table.