Category Archives: media

GO Station Library – Book Sharing

When I first started commuting, I ended up at the Barrie Go Station to find this great innovative idea for book sharing that was setup close to the train tracks. The definition of innovation is to improve on something, and if you’re a lover of public libraries, like me, you’ll love this idea.

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YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 2014

It was such an honour this month to attend a celebration of many of the wonderful, courageous or accomplished women in Guelph who contribute to the development of youth and the community!
It was an exciting night, so well organized by they YMCA/YWCA, and contributing to a fantastic program that I’d never heard about called TAPPS in support of young parents and their children.  I was thrilled to contribute to this wonderful cause and it turned out that I was the lucky recipient of the award in the category of Information Technology!  Although Steve and the kids were not able to be there that night, it was great to have my parents there with me! IMG_2099

I’m not one for liking being the centre of attention,  and I didn’t know what was to come when I agreed to let my nominators Kim Kowch and Andrew Cloutier put forward my name. They went ahead in the background and gathered letters of support from colleagues and friends and sent all this in to the nominating committee. I haven’t seen those letters, but I know that it was a lot of work and I’m grateful to both of them and the people that I’m aware contributed: Mary-Kay Goindi, Peter Skillen and Cathy Novosad. It was delightful to be recognized, and I want to thank Andrew and Kim, as well as my supporters who attended the gala evening, for their part in this!

This kind of event certainly reminded me of the importance of contributing to the community and the impact that each of us can have. The night was filled with stories of amazing women inspiring and helping others through the arts, education, research, business, science and volunteerism. I’ve always been more involved in school community and in the global community of educators but this program has piqued my interest about some of the other ways I might contribute to our amazing Guelph community!

 

Connecting with kids in new ways

I’m always looking for ways we can use technology to amplify current practices to make them more powerful or to become more innovative – to do things we couldn’t do before.   While working on a PD session for some teachers last week, I came across this video of a first year teacher who used Google Forms to connect with her students on a personal level – and from where they were most comfortable – using their digital tools.

Many people are critical of the role technology plays in keeping us disconnected from others, but this is a powerful example of how technology can support those f2f relationships.

Thanking our Minds on Media Presenters!

Thanks to Facilitators for Excellent Minds On Media at ECOO12

We want to thank, and to celebrate, the facilitators at Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s Minds On Media event held on Wednesday, October 24th.

This year we had a full house of 120 participants and 9 centres! It was a hive of activity and the energy was phenomenal.

We heard many wonderful comments throughout the day, but one we overheard was a teacher saying to her colleague, “I have learned more in the last three hours than I’ve learned in years!”

Another teacher was seen to be leaving the event after an hour, laptop in hand, and we were discouraged! But, she said to us, “Wow! I’ve learned so much I am going to find a quiet spot to put it into practice. I’ll be back!” And she did return – hungry for more!

What is Minds On Media?

Minds On Media (MOM) is a model of professional learning that respects the learner’s ‘desire to know’. Teachers come to learn and we respect their choices in how they wish to do that. We want them to take a ‘minds on’ approach.

Our Core Beliefs

We believe that:

    • the locus of control for learning should be in the hands of the learner
    • the facilitator must be aware of, and respond to, the learner’s desires, needs and expertise
    • the learner should leave empowered to learn further – beyond the MOM event
    • there are always experts among us

Facilitators at MOM sessions look forward to, not only teaching but, learning with others. They respect the knowledge and expertise that each person brings to the table.

2012 Facilitators and Their Resources:

Pedagogistas

Pedagogistas are there to ensure that we don’t get lost in the mechanics of the tools – but rather remind and support us to think deeply about the role of technology in learning and teaching.

Most sincerely,
Brenda Sherry
Peter Skillen

Seriously Folks, Can We Just Get On With It?

Most days, I’m really upbeat. I go into schools, I give workshops, I help kids and teachers, and at the end of the day I feel that I’ve been successful in helping someone shift their practice and perhaps try some new things that will ultimately give students a wider variety of learning experiences.

Most of the time, it’s not actually about tools, but it’s about celebrating good practice. So when I was at a school today and seeing all kinds of purposeful play in kindergarten and primary grades, would I have suggested putting students behind a screen?  No way!  Would I have wanted teachers to capture these learning moments digitally to be archived, shared with parents or developed into stories that students could revisit?  You bet!

And then I saw this. I’m trying to help a teacher get a Smartboard going.  He believes it may not be working, but actually he just needs a really long VGA cord because the outlet is in a very awkward spot along the side of the room, crowded with some other attachments.  I look up, and see that a LCD projector has been mounted in the ceiling about 2 feet out from (and in the way of)  a big television screen that is also wall mounted.  My mouth literally dropped open.  Who on earth would have thought that was a good idea?

Honestly, it’s even hard for upbeat me to see electricians deciding how teachers will teach, non-users of technology buying technology, deciding (with apparent lack of logic) where it will go and therefore impacting teachers and students forever after (or so it seems).

Once again I quote my friend Peter Skillen, who says, “It’s like the illiterate, telling the literate what to read.”   Seriously folks, just how long is it going to take for us to get this right?

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Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century Conference

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Whew!  I’ve returned from a whirlwind of 3 days of learning at OTF’s latest conference: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century and as usual, my brain is full of new learning, not only from the keynote presenters, Will Richardson … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking and Elementary Media Literacy

In October I was taking part in OTF’s Critical Thinking Conference with teachers of all subject areas and grades who are new to the Critical Thinking Framework as defined by the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2).  Garfield Gini-Newman was the lead … Continue reading