At the beginning of March I had the opportunity to visit Upper Grand DSB in Guelph. Two teams from two different schools met to discuss the progress of their inquiry project for Learning Connections. Although this was originally going to be a joint project with YRDSB, there was a misunderstanding during the planning and the project has taken a different turn. Teachers in each of the two districts are working on individual inquiries with cross district sharing online in a joint Google Community. As well, the LC leads from YRDSB and UGDSB are working with me on a separate project (more on that later).
The teacher inquiry in UGDSB revolves around using Google Cloud Apps for teaching and learning. Two projects discussed were:
- How can teachers effectively use Nexus tablets and integrate Google tools in the classroom for grades 5 and 8
- How can teachers use Google Classroom to engage their students
The teachers using Google Classroom have used Edmodo in the past and compared the two. They discovered that Google Classroom didn’t provide the same learning experience for students as Edmodo and that Google Classroom seemed too simple. They felt Edmodo had a greater digital citizenship component for students and one teacher also used Edmodo for her own professional learning.
The teachers also discussed parent engagement as part of their project. They found that parents often didn’t understand the digital tools that their children were using for learning. This meant that parents could not support their children as much as they could when online assignments
came home. One teacher had positive results when she spent time showing parents some of their classroom online tools during parent teacher night.
The group also spent some time reviewing and getting familiar with their LC iPad Media Kit. It will be great for them to capture their work in the classroom with students.
My fun pic is related to my
personal excitement. So happy to wear shoes outside for the first time this year!