Technology Can Be Invisible

  "Technology should be present but ‘invisible’. When we pick up a pen or pencil, we don’t call it a ‘pencil activity’, the same goes for any other technology." ~ David Truss   It's amazing how things come together. On Friday I was fortunate to be covering for a principal at a school close to mine while she attended a meeting. Fortunate because I was invited to be a guest in a grade 5 classroom that was presenting their research findings to the local member of provincial parliament (@JeffYurekMPP), the mayor of Central Elgin, representatives from Kettle Creek Conservation Authority and Erin Mutch our learning coordinator for environment education. The project was designed by the classroom teacher and Jen Aston, an instructional coach with our board. As I moved from group to group and talked to the students I began to formulate this blog post in my mind. Then, this morning...
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GAFE You Have Me Convinced

 It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame ~ Marshall McLuhan There was a time when I was unconvinced about the power of web 2.0 apps and in particular Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Over the years I became more and more comfortable working with web 2.0 apps such as Evernote, Animoto, and Diigo. But for some reason the suite of Google Apps just didn't do it for me. It wasn't because they didn't work as advertised. I was impressed with the ability to collaborate on projects and share documents with a group. I just had this niggling voice in the back of my head that kept saying "What if your work disappears? Stick with Word, it will always be there." Well this week that all changed for me for two reasons. The first reason came to me as I...
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ECOO 13 ~ Bring IT, Together

If you live anywhere near Niagara Falls you really need to check out the ECOO13 Annual Conference from October 23-25. There are hundreds of sessions to choose from, as well as social activities such as a photo walk, dinner and networking and a morning run along the Falls! I'll be leading a session on Engaging Student Voice through Video, and I'd be happy to share my experiences with you, in fact I'd love it! There will be keynotes from Amber MacArthur, Jaime Casap, Kevin Honeycutt and Robert Baker.  Check out the ECOO13 website and register today. It's going to be amazing!      
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Thoughts on School Design

"School is a building that has four walls with tomorrow inside." ~ Lon Watters If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that in September I will be starting a new vice principal assignment at a large elementary school that is only 4 years old. In June as I met the staff and toured the school I began to notice things with the building that had me thinking about the principles of the design. It is a lovely new building with all the amenities that one would think a new school should have. However, that is simply a superficial look at the building. Looking deeper at the design I started to wonder how the school could have been built to suit the needs of students today. I admit that I don't know the building code or specifications for new builds from the Ministry of Education but...
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Stratosphere - A Book Review

  "The teacher as change agent is crucial, or we will get aimless multi-tasking" ~ Michael Fullan   If educational technology is an area of interest for you then Stratosphere by Michael Fullan is a book that you should consider reading. This brief review provides my thoughts and impressions of the book but by no means is it a comprehensive review. It is a very quick read that will provide many areas of thoughtful discussion with your colleagues as you move to more meaningful integration of technology in your school or district. In typical Fullan style, he uses his knowledge of change, without being too verbose, to set a framework for the use of technology in the classroom. He cites the work of Mark Prensky, Tony Wagner and John Hattie to illustrate the need for a new pedagogy, one in which students are partners in learning and teachers act as...
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