I recently visited Sudbury again to spend the day with RDSB. This time, the visit was for their involvement in the multi-district project with SCDSB. This year LC is supporting three multi-district projects where two districts work and collaborate together on a joint initiative.
The RDSB and SCDSB project integrates Inquiry Based Learning with literacy strategies of the “Adolescent Literacy Guide” in the grade 8 science classroom. The two districts worked together to create authentic inquiry learning for the students based on the Water Studies unit. They will use the questioning process of the “Adolescent Literacy Guide” combined with the inquiry process and the “Smarter Science Framework”. Students conduct a water study in their local area and will share their findings with their partnered class from the other district. RDSB students have already been on the ice to get their samples, but SCDSB classes are waiting for the thaw. Teachers and students from the two districts will share and collaborate online in one space they created in Desire 2 Learn (Ministry e-Learning platform).
The leads from the two districts have planned and coordinated their project completely online through Google Hangouts, Docs and email. The day I visited RDSB, the two districts were having a full day meeting – online. Teachers met at one location in each district and then connected the two sites throughout the day using Google Hangouts. This worked much better than I expected as the teachers were engaged during the video conference times and during the breakout times. The two groups met online in the morning to introduce each other and set the stage for the day. Teachers were provided mini tasks to do at each site and then reconnected with the other district to discuss, share and reflect.
Through the day, the groups were introduced to their shared D2L courses and familiarized themselves with posting in discussion forums with the goal to have students from both districts collaborate in the online course. They also had time to explore the ProScope Mobile devices that they were using for the water study. Both districts were able to connect multiple iPads to each ProScope…so cool!
At the end of the day, teacher partners, one from each district, met in their own Google Hangout to plan time to meet again and plan how their students may be able to work together in their shared online course. They decided to focus their collaboration on creating the assessment rubric for the inquiry process and a plan was put in place to have the teachers continue their connection through April and May.
Of course it wouldn’t be a complete visit without some fun. Martha and I had some time to pose with some coin. Don’t spend it all in one place 🙂