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New frontiers for new learning
Category Archives: Science&Technology
April 7, 2014Posted by on
On Saturday April 5, 2014, The York Region Science and Technology Fair took place at Stephen Lewis S.S for schools from across York Region for students in grades 7 through 12. There were amazing projects on a wide variety of topics.
We had two teams of grade 8 students participate. One team looked at “Mind Teaser or Mind Tweezer” with a hypothesis “does listening to your own choice of music affect your concentration?” This team then researched with other students on the possible effects.
Our second team looked at “Polystyrene: and you thought it couldn’t be used elsewhere”. This team’s hypothesis examined whether or not polystyrene could be remolded into other plastic and then reused as other material. We are thrilled to announce that this team won silver at the event! This team also helped to remind us of the links to our school’s work on Eco initiatives.
What was amazing throughout all of the projects was the students’ enthusiasm and passion for the topics they chose to explore. In front of us we saw students who spoke confidently about ideas, questions and research they themselves had conducted. All the students had a clear eye to the future in their work.
We thank Mrs Daryanani for her mentoring support and sponsorship of our four students.
It was an inspiring afternoon.
August 9, 2013Posted by on
Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of our work from the 2012/2013 school year. Here is a post from last fall looking at digital literacy at our school.
I want to commend our School Council. Last night, we had the opportunity to review our 2011/2012 School Improvement Plan. Over the next month, we will revisit our plan and finalize the goals we establish for this school year. I will share out key areas of our plan with you. One focus area will be digital literacy. Over the last two years, through the support of our school council, the Blueprints for Change initiative and our individual school budget, we have purchased over $40 000 worth of technology. Last night, school council again supported a cost sharing initiative which will allow us to purchase 15 more netbooks, an IRover interactive whiteboard for our FDK programs, docucams and additional IPads. By December, each classroom will have a dedicated Technology cart with an LCD projector, a netbook computer and a Docucam. Our Learning Commons now houses 25 IPads for use…
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June 18, 2013Posted by on
This summer, our school will undergo a significant “computer refresh”. Our board has developed a plan to help remove computer technology that is unable to run Windows 7 that will be the new operating system our board will use. For our school this will mean the upgrading of over 70 computers in our school. Over the past year I have worked closely with our board’s I.T team and appreciate the plan we’ve co developed to replace these computers through both school and board budgets over the summer. Our continued work as a school in the area of Digital Literacy will remain a key focus area next year. In addition to this refresh, our school has been working hard over the past three years to support technology integration at our school as follows:
– Purchasing additional laptops and netbooks to provide mobile learning both in our Learning Commons and through classroom sign outs.
– Ensuring each classroom has a dedicated technology cart that includes an LCD projector, computer and document camera to support classroom instruction and programming.
– Purchasing 30 iPads to support mobile learning and with a focus on staff professional development.
– Dedicating an Interactive Whiteboard “IRover” in each of our Full Day Kindergarten classrooms to support instruction and enable interactive learning centers in the classrooms.
Technology demands a long term vision with a careful balance of the following:
– Acquiring technology itself to support student learning and engagement with a long term plan to keep the technology as up to date as possible. I’ll be honest and say this is a significant challenge for most schools but am very proud of the work we have done in this area.
– Professional development for all of our staff to support the integration of technology into our classrooms in meaningful ways. No single technology tool itself will improve student learning simply by “existing” at our school. The work for us is to all learn and explore these tools and look for ways that technology can actually enhance learning. Each of us are at different points in our learning at a time when technology itself changes so rapidly. This is a challenge our education system faces however and we will continue to embrace it.
– Supporting student learners. We will continue to support our learners in using technology in responsible, meaningful ways at our school. This includes our implementation of Bring your own Devices which we field tested this year.
We look forward to the “refresh” but more importantly, to our ongoing work on integrating technology in meaningful ways for all of our learners in our classrooms.
May 1, 2013Posted by on
At the West School Council forum in April, there was a presentation on social media for parents. The presentation was shared by one of our board staff and he has kindly offered to share it with our community. The presentation shared some of the challenges and cautions for all of us with regards to technology and concluded with some of the valuable ways we can use social media to positively impact the work we do.
One way our board is working on supporting students and teachers with these new frontiers for new learning is through what we call our Knowledge Skills and Attitudes standards, namely:
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Communication and Collaboration
3. Research and Information Fluency
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision
5. Digital Citizenship
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
The notion of digital citizenship is worth careful consideration as we all work together to support our learners in developing safe and responsible uses of technology.
We also thank our police partners in York Region for their tips for parents on “Be Net Aware”.
Let us know what you think of the presentation document.