technology in the classroom

Let’s Talk Shop – My First Meetings

It was a long day but after two inspiring meetings with two absolutely incredible teachers we are poised to begin this new journey into the flipped elementary classroom.

Makrina – Grade 7 Teacher

My first meeting today was with Makrina, a grade 7 teacher who was part of a board-wide tech rollout last year.  Each grade 7 class in our district received 10 netbooks for the class, a mobile cart, a projector and a teacher laptop. Teachers also received an incredible five days of PD to go with their new toys.  Needless to say it was well received and for the most part, the technology is still being used.

I know that you may think this is an ideal situation to attempt a flipped approach… and you’re right.

Makrina’s touches with technology are far beyond beginner and she displays a wonderful child-like curiosity when it comes to 21st century learning. I remember sitting across from her thinking that I would be learning more from her than the other way around. 

Ryan – Grade 1 Teacher

My second visit was with Ryan, a grade one teacher who had been teaching grade 7 last year… need I say more?  Ryan and I hummed and hawed about how a grade 1 classroom could be flipped effectively and I will admit that I was less than optimistic.  As we sat down to discuss the idea, thoughts surrounding the grade 1 flip became clearer and we decided on a two-pronged approach that would include the parents as much as possible. I have to admit that by meeting’s end the energy in the room had increased ten-fold.

After much discussion we both determined that for a flipped approach to work in a grade one classroom, the parents had to be onboard. Embracing this approach, we decided to begin the communication to the parents and involve them in the approach… we both knew that this had never been done quite like this before.

After sharing the ‘blue sky’ scenario with each teacher I wanted to make it clear that failure was indeed an option – but not a deterrent. 

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Tomorrow, I launch my newest workshop: The Art of Google; Friday, I continue my flipped classroom journey into the secondary panel with a big meeting at Blessed Mother Teresa C.S.S.

Lesson plans to follow.

 

From Dark to Light! Part I

‘Cautiously Optimistic’ – For years I ridiculed this ludicrous phrase contending that it really had no meaning in the world of authentic language and yet here I am reflecting… And using this nonsensical phrase to describe my own feelings..

About 6 months ago, TCDSB rolled out a program like none other of its kind to grade 7 teachers and their students across the city.  Each grade 7 teacher was to receive a new laptop and each cohort was to receive a mobile cart, projector, wireless networks and 10 netbooks.
This rollout effectively took the TCDSB from the dark ages of technology to the forefront of its integration into the classroom. Lucky enough to be a contributor to this rollout, I was privy to the throes of this project’s developments and challenges, slowly causing me to become… cautiously optimistic!

Stay tuned for more as I share the challenges and successes of this incredible project.