Visit to Catholic DSB of Eastern Ontario – 2016

CDSBEOI took the TRAIN! This was a new adventure for me to take the train to Cornwall for my visit to CDSBEO.  Although it was a great way to travel, note to self, don’t take the train that heads to Kingston on the last Sunday of reading week 😉 My visit to St. Andrew’s Catholic School was a great learning experience with the four teachers from the school.  This was their third session together with the focus on their inquiry question:

What impact will technology tools have when used to leverage assessment and evaluation for student success?

The session was lead by Andrew, the Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching Consultant with two other consultants.  Their technology focus is the Ministry’s BrightSpace LMS along with Microsoft Office 365. The learning for that IMG_1958day was around One Note Classroom to provide students with ways to organize notes, submit assignments and then receive timely and effective feedback from the teacher.  The two goals of the day were:

  • Leaving ready!!!
  • Learn and try!!!

They set the day with a video that inspires the need for us to think differently, be innovative and take action.  Have a look at the video The Adaptable Mind which looks to answer the question: What are the skills that prepare us for a world that is constantly changing?  Interesting point made in the introduction is that we should not just consider STEM or STEAM, but rather SHTEAM (Science, Humanities, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).  We should focus on the human skills that technology can’t master.  The video shares examples for a list of necessary skills (nothing really new, but a great scenario is presented with the list):

  • Curiosity: opens the pathway to learning
  • Creativity:  liberates the human mind – have to do something with your creative ideas
  • Initiative: get it done using intuition and reach out to others
  • Multi-disciplinary thinking:  involve others in your idea by multi-asking and collaborating
  • Empathy: sense the motives and thinking of othersIMG_1978
Now, more important than ever is the idea that “human skills are just as important as your knowledge!”
The discussion that followed in the room made everyone realize that they have to address the question: How do we bring the human side out of technology?  Our students live in the world of technology, but we as educators have to bring them in to the world to experience it and contribute to it in a meaningful way.
Most of the day was spent learning about One Note and One Note Classroom.  The teachers also had opportunity to set up their own One Note Classroom that they could use right away with their students.
This was the first time I have worked in Microsoft’s One Note Classroom. IMG_1962One thing I liked, is the notebook structure of the platform that makes organization clear in an education setting.  However, I think it would be difficult to get used to the way content is added to each page – that you use objects and boxes which is not like a Word Doc.  During the day, they also explored other tools such as: Yammer, Snip and Microsoft Mix.
So many cool adventures on this visit that I have to share a few fun pics. The train! ‘nough said on that.  Also, the town St. Andrews is quite historic with the cemetery where Simon Fraser, the explorer, was buried; the site of first Roman Catholic log church circa 1784; and the oldest remaining stone structure in Ontario that was erected as a church in about 1801.
IMG_1446IMG_1460 IMG_1457IMG_1461

Thanks to the team in CDSBEO for having me and to Celine and Maryann for taking me on a tour of the town 🙂

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