This is the second year that the Catholic DSB of Eastern Ontario is involved in Learning Connections, but the first year they were part of the project from the start of the year. Their project is to explore the effective integration of technology into mathematics to engage students and to capture student voice and thinking. And their goal is to make the learning of mathematics enjoyable and meaningful through the use of a variety of devices and the appropriate integration of technology.
My visit was spent at Saint Joseph’s Separate School in Gananoque. This school just received 40 Samsung tablets that teachers could access to support the learning in their classrooms. The tablets were provided through Samsung since the principal was awarded top principal of Canada. With the new technology in the school, it was important for teachers to become familiar with how they could use this tech effectively. Every teacher in the school attended a 100 minute session that was run three times throughout the day. During this session they: learned about the goals of their LC project; reflected on last year’s project that focussed on Accountable Talk (Crystal provided the group with class sets of Accountable Talk Stem bookmarks); learned about the SAMR model; discussed types of apps that could be used to address the board vision for tech implementation (creative and assistive, not just consumption) and had time to play with apps that were introduced (Lensoo, Socative…).
Great discussion occurred throughout the day around how teachers are getting students engaged in mathematics. They also discussed the importance of students showing process for problem solving and strategies teachers used to capture student thinking. One teacher mentioned that their students provide math solutions in pen, which means students can’t erase their thinking. In this session, teachers were learning another strategy to capture student thinking by using apps like Lensoo. Lensoo is an app similar to Explain Everything (which is not available for Android). It is important for teachers (and students) to understand when the process is important and when the final polished answer is important. There needs to be a balance.
The school has also put in place “Math Buddies”, connecting older students with younger students. This is not a new concept, but they are moving towards using the technology as a vehicle to support this initiative. Older students put the math problems in Lensoo and then they work with the younger students to solve the problem within the app. Very cool approach!
The drive was long, but well worth it. What an awesome day working with the teachers in CDSBEO. My fun photo happened on the way home. I couldn’t resist the colourful trucks parked in front of the colourful trees. Hmmm, I guess this photo gives it away that I am trying to catch up on my posts as a photo now would be all white 🙂