Thursday, October 22, 2015

Major Project... Sharing the Learning

This past week, Genna Rodriguez and I presented our Professional Development sessions on Digital Citizenship and integrating technology with Balanced Literacy. Overall the reception from teachers really good. Teachers didn't mind taking lessons they already had from different curricular areas, and looking at ways the elements of Digital Citizenship could be integrated. Basically it was just a matter of transferring the lesson into the Digital Citizenship Lesson Framework and adding in the elements. One person had commented that they liked the fact that just by looking at the framework you could immediately see that the lesson focus was still on Curricular outcomes, Digital Citizenship was one of the aspects of the knowledge and skills to be explored.

One of the benefits of these Professional Development sessions is the opportunity to collaborate face to face, but afterwards there is an opportunity to connect other teachers to these lessons. I had asked teachers if they were okay with sharing their work to be posted on our project website for the Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning, and many had sent in their lessons. One of our goals is to provide authentic examples and ideas from teachers in the field sharing their work. We are hoping that through Office 365, we can develop a repository of Cross-Curricular lessons that incorporate the elements of the Continuum that other teachers can access, thereby building and expanding capacity.

In addition to our morning Professional Development sessions, we also had afternoon sessions which looked at how teachers can integrate technology under the framework of the "7C's" or Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning. The model we proposed for creating and integrating Technology Tasks as a station into Balanced Literacy went over very well. To get teachers started, I collaborated with Genna and our English Language Arts consultant, and created "Tech Task" cards for students to go outside the typical "take online Reading Quizzes". The purpose of the afternoon was mainly to explore with teachers the 4C's framework adapted from the genius of Tony Vincent and his Learning in Hand website. Our framework follows the same general ideas as Vincent's work, but we've adapted it to suit the technology available in our division and for a variety of classroom audiences. This is the framework:
1. Set the Course
2. Provide the Content
3. Support Creativity
4. Capture Responses

If you are intrigued, be sure to check out his video on "Sprucing Up Learning Centers".

Teachers seemed very excited to have time to collaborate and complete their own task cards based on the examples we created. Again, one of the goals of our site is to provide these Curricularly Connected ways teachers can connect the Essential Skills to classroom learning and teaching practice.

Here is our Powerpoint for the Middle Years session, which has a slightly different presentation focus than the Primary session.

Here are a few task cards from the Primary and Middle Years sessions. Note that there are more in the presentation link! What I'm enjoying most about our project is the opportunity to build a vision for how we are going to integrate technology. The initial idea may have come from Genna and I, but the best part is, working shoulder to shoulder with other teachers to make it happen. In having teachers involved in the building we are trying to build from ground up... not top-down.

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