I am privileged to work with some of the most talented educators in the world. I’d like to introduce you to Kelsey, an incredibly creative teacher who joined the Thom Technology Catalyst Team (TTCT) last year and hasn’t looked back since. Although Kelsey no longer teaches full time at Thom, her presence is certainly still felt. She is also keeps connected with the TTCT through Twitter.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Kelsey last month to talk about her experience as a member of the TTCT. The following is just a short excerpt of that conversation. What I find interested about what Kelsey shares is her progression regarding the way she uses technology in her classroom. She describes joining the TTCT as beginner, creating a blog to interact with her students’ parents, and finally using that blog for student-centered inter-activities. In the interest of time, you won’t hear her talking about how she masterfully used Twitter in her English class to engage her students in conversations around literature, but she did that too. Clearly, she has demonstrated tremendous growth and development in the area of Ed tech. Her story is an nice example of why we need to encourage risk taking and experimentation with emerging technologies and trust that teachers will gradually, or in Kelsey’s case quickly, move towards pedagogically significant applications of technology.
With any luck, Kelsey will be making an appearance at the IT Summit in Saskatoon on Monday, May 6th when the TTCT will present their work. Until then, you can check her out in this video or follow her @KelseyMcTeach
Kelsey- Professional sculptor of minds and finder of students’ stories.
Take a few minutes to watch Matt’s animated movie on fractions in the real world! Matt and his fellow grade nine classmates were asked to think about the value and importance of having knowledge and skills related to fractions. The students were then charged with the task of writing a persuasive script involving two characters, and then using Xtranormal.com to create a short movie.Literacy, technology, critical thinking, and numeracy all rolled into one for this learning experience!
Impressive job, Matt. Thanks for sharing your work with the world!
By the way, did you know grade nines at Balfour Collegiate also did an Xtranormal project involving Exponents? They were even featured on the Xtranormal blog. All the “power” to them!
I just love the way Carmen Holota, teacher at Thom Collegiate in Regina, designed the final project for her English 30 class. Carmen had her students select and research an important world issue before developing an Animoto video for a final presentation.
What I like most about Carmen’s approach:
- The project was in lieu of a final exam, a different method of summative evaluation that required students to demonstrate the skills developed during the semester.
- The assessment task provided learners with choices, including: topic, creative authority over how research would be presented, and whether to work individually or in pairs.
- Process, Content, and Product are equally valued.
- Carmen’s selection of technology was dead on. She knew that needed to use Animoto due to accessibility and ease of use. The tool fit the job here.
- Unlike traditional exams, these presentations can be shared with the world rather than locked up a file cabinet without ever being seen.
Check out an example of the students’ work:
Ian Mitchell, teacher and learning leader at Thom Collegiate in Regina, used an innovative instructional approach in his Social Studies class this semester. Using Google Earth, Mitchell charged his learners with the task of creating a Google Earth Tour, which would showcase various tourist attractions and activities focusing on French Heritage.Think Amazing Race, Google Earth Style.
Working in small groups, students quickly picked up on the basics of Google Earth and had a great deal of fun adding activities and locations. Mitchell said he is glad he decided to integrate technology into an activity where he traditionally used worksheets and print resources.
“The learners were far more engaged compared to previous years. Having them go out on their own and use technology to research French Heritage and present their findings is a far more learner-centred instructional approach. When the students presented in small groups, it exposed the entire class to a much deeper body of knowledge. I would never have been able to cover that much content on my own.”
Google Earth has a nice set of resources for Educators wanting to use the application for instructional purposes. Check them out.