Category Archives: Education
The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs are once again renewing our stand against bullying by marking
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 as this year’s Pink Shirt Day in the Okanagan.
We hope you will join us!
Pink Shirt Day 2013 will once again be an opportunity to increase public awareness in the Okanagan, and to demonstrate that we are all a part of the solution and won’t tolerate bullying any longer. The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs will be joining this National movement for the fifth year in our valley, and together in partnership with our schools, families and with other community partners we are working to create an environment of respect year- round to make our Clubs, schools, and streets safer.
Please join with us by purchasing your new 2013 designed Pink T-shirt and wear it to work, school, and out in the community to make your statement. (See order form attached.) All proceeds from T-shirts sold will help support anti-bullying initiatives throughout the year within the Okanagan
Boys and Girls Clubs.
Climate change is already being felt around the world, with the world’s most vulnerable people shouldering the brunt of its consequences. Do your students feel empowered to take action?
Lights Out Canada (www.lightsoutcanada.org) is an annual event, during which schools turn off their lights and follow lesson plans we provide on climate change and how youth can take action. Our materials seek to engage students with the science of climate change andempower them to take action. Participants lend their efforts to a national movement for change involving hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and administrators across Canada.
This year’s Lights Out Canada will be held on April 22, 2013.
Our resource packages (K-12) are available online in English and French and will be sent to registered schools. The materials include posters, a press pack, lesson plans and step-by-step instructions for how to organize Lights Out. We understand if turning off the lights is not possible in darker areas of your school.
Register online at http://bit.ly/Acp0O1 for the 8th annual Lights Out Canada, to be held onApril 22, 2013. The full Lights Out project summary and more information can be found at http://www.lightsoutcanada.org under “Downloads”.
School boards across Canada are challenging all of the schools in their districts to sign-up. Why not be the one to lead the challenge in your district?
Currently, I am moderating a free online course, Digital Storytelling for Young Learners, with a dream team of moderators who are phenomenal at working with young learners, Esra Girgin, Barbara Sakamoto, Özge Karaoglu, Jennifer Verschoor, David Dodgson, and Michelle Worgan. Over 250 participants have joined and have shared incredibly imaginative stories in our online class portfolio. One of the most surprising discoveries, though, was that 62% of the teachers who took our survey said they had never had their learners create digital stories. Our language learners have powerful stories to share and often share personal stories in blogs, Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. Through digital storytelling we motivate our learners to apply, contextualize, visualize, and personalize the language they learn. There are 100s of free digital tools and websites to inspire your learners to create extremely imaginative stories and share them with a global audience. I hope the following tips and resources will help you along your journey towards integrating digital storytelling into your curriculum…..” (Teacher Reboot Camp )
Comments so far…
The following experiences with technology and digital resources are examples of learning activities in which students might engage during Grades 10–12 (ages 15–18):
Design, develop, and test a digital learning game to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to curriculum content. (CT, CI)
Create and publish an online art gallery with examples and commentary that demonstrate an understanding of different historical periods, cultures, and countries. (C, CI)
Select digital tools or resources to use for a real-world task and justify the selection based on their efficiency and effectiveness. (C, CT, TC)
Employ curriculum-specific simulations to practice critical-thinking processes. (CT, CI)
Identify a complex global issue; develop a systematic plan of investigation, and present innovative sustainable solutions. (C, CT, CI)
Analyze the capabilities and limitations of current and emerging technology resources and assess their potential to address personal, social, lifelong learning, and career needs. (CT, PR, SR, TC)
Design a Web site that meets accessibility requirements. (CI, PR, SR)
Model legal and ethical behaviours when using information and technology by properly selecting, acquiring, and citing resources. (C, CT, PR, SR)
Create media-rich presentations for other students on the appropriate and ethical use of digital tools and resources. (CI, PR, SR)
Configure and troubleshoot hardware, software, and network systems to optimize their use for learning and productivity. (CT, TC)
The numbers in parentheses after each item identify the cross-curricular competencies (C, CT, CI, PR and SR) most closely linked to the activity described. Each activity may relate to one competency or to multiple competencies. A sixth ISTE Standard, Technology Operations and Concepts (TC), does not correlate directly with B.C.’s Cross-Curricular Competencies so is included as an additional skill area.
B.C.’s 5 Cross-Curricular Competencies
Matching ISTE Standards
Communication and Collaboration
Research and Information Fluency
2. Critical Thinking
Research and Information Fluency
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
3. Creative Thinking and Innovation
Creativity and Innovation
4. Personal Responsibility and Well-Being
5. Social Responsibility
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
The current issue of New Scientist is just being circulated ( thx our sweetheart colleague- Dini ) watch for this amazing article- even you humanities types! Also the Library provides teachers with access to the digital archives of this terrific British journal. Megabytes of good stuff!
** to login from anywhere grab the user ID from > I://staffshare/library/passwords/facultyDB.docx , email me or TXT me 250-878-0578
(Image: van Wanten Etcetera/Souverein. Page detail: Anne Frank Fonds/Anne Frank House via Getty Images)
“…We are all collections of memories. They dictate how we think, act and make decisions, and even define our identity.
Yet memory, with its many virtues and flaws, has puzzled for centuries. How are memories made and stored in the brain? Why do we remember some events but not others? What do other animals remember? And how can we improve the flawed instrument handed to us by evolution?
In these articles we answer these questions and many more, starting with a revolutionary new understanding of memory’s purpose…” (Robson, 32 )
Robson, David, and Emma Young. “Memory.” New Scientist 6 Oct. 2012: 32. New Scientist. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
The Librarian in the Middle, by Kristen Hearne, is a great South Carolina TL blog to follow. Also read,
” Check out this EdWeek article about the role of the school librarian in Common Core. I think you will see that much of what is being done by librarians around the country is what we have always done, but now we are getting more attention…”
REACHING A CRUX…. a learning commons update
A high school learning commons may seem like an oxymoron to some folks but to us it’s a happy educational stew cooking on a light boil. We are struggling with as our KSS Library has evolved. In no specific order…..just a few observations as we enter a busy June
1.) mission: even with a tradition and a school library culture of open access, literacy instruction and intellectual scholarship the purpose of a program is high-jacked by other agendas and mythologies. Reclaiming or re-purposing staff, schedules, services and resources in a timely fashion is not only costly but logistically challenging ( see JComfort >
2.) food: our site and student body are getting messier and messier. I am not a janitor. We are in serious shortage of custodial service already. It is an awful problem. Check out out student parking lot. My casual nature and love of the latte is conflicted but I also appreciate the need for a clean and healthy carpet. I do not wish the ‘learning’ side of learning commons to be invaded by the common sticky slurpy.
3.) space: I have the luxury of a large space at KSS yet I have to be a field manager and parking lot attendant or sometimes policeman. The demand is too great. I have been innovative and designed niches that are always utilized. When kids suggest they need to leave the commons area and find a quiet place to think or do work, I get very worried. There are no quiet environs in the building with exception of the broom closets!
4) laptops: lovely devices yet… unless I am booked at capacity with classes ( which is frequent ) I loan out ThinkPads to students by the dozens. To help maintain inventory for each block, I choose to barcode and circulate the units. It’s a hassle but I get them back. We cannot afford to have units all over the school when we need for a class next period (I do get circ data too)… but it can be so busy sometimes I feel like a laptop jockey….
5) patrons: the best part of any learning commons is students. The added bonus as a teacher-librarian is the professional rewards of serving and collaborating with teachers. Students receive a rich learning experience when we can engage with them and their teacher. Perhaps the most interesting and dynamic patron of our Library is the ‘casual’ or drop in student. As a senior high school we welcome an average of 1100 teens across our threshold each day. The resource period students, DL students, DIS students, teacher preps, etc and the am/lunch/pm crowd that uses the commons for reading or homework or whatever, is a diverse and unpredictable crowd. We serve a large and dynamic community. We are challenged to provide resources and develop new teaching strategies in a huge range of curricula.
6) books: the popularity and demand for print remains very high. “Good morning Ms. Bede, huuummm do you have any THINKING books?” Well there is a new expression we are going to
Should educators and students blog? I’ve been an advocate of blogging for years. I don’t consider myself an expert or even a proficient writer. I’m a librarian who could teach English not an English teacher or a Creative Writing instructor or even a Journalism coach; however, I do coach many others in the mechanics and the experience of blogging and social media platforms. Blogs can serve educators in many ways. From personal journals to editorials and of course publishing tools for teaching strategies. One superintendent I follow, Culture of Yes, is not just a good writer but a thinker. His community is stronger by his sharing. He does take a risk- a political risk of opinions, etc. but he also builds consensus and can motivate change.
There are pitfalls. I’ve made my share. One issue for me is finding the boundary of personal and occupational. Here I write as a professional teacher-librarian from the KSS Learning Commons. I’m modeling for a colleague. I will cross-post on my own blog( a no no ) to make a point of how roles can get blurry. This IS VERY IMPORTANT. Not just for circulation but for integrity. Our students- especially journalism students need to discuss and study this new digital publishing reality. Whether it’s Facebook posts, Linked in resumes, or Pinterest albums, protecting integrity and privacy while sharing is important.
I don’t think we should avoid writing in the public sphere because there is risk. We need to manage the risks and learn. Improve. Teach. Share. Learn some more. Isn’t all in the interest of communication? I think blogging has virtue because it provides greater scope and a timeline for writing quality not found in brief, fast tweets or updates. Teachers of English, Journalism, Social Studies, Sciences, heck everyone….can use blogs to enrich their classroom learning experience. Even our Library is a stronger place with avenues to engage beyond the shelves. This is the power of our age.
- Al Smith
Another spring production by NightOwl Theatre. After the fall production of Laremy Project, this Neal Facey rendition of Midsummer Night’s Dream illustrates the diverse skills and attributes of a great education program! – Al Smith
For anyone who wants to take in a great show, check out Night Owl Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” playing in our school theatre this week. Neal’s students impress again with this tidy rendition of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies.
All of the students give strong performances but Isabella and Brett absolutely shine as Puck and Nick Bottom, respectively. Jamie also stands out with her fresh and hilarious version of Helena.The costumes, choreography and props are perfectly suited and the 80′s soundtrack will have you reach for a poofie hairdo or don a blouse with cardboard shoulders. (At the very least, you will go home and hunt for the music of Wham and give them another listen)
“Bottom” Line: this is a strong cast doing a fab rendition of a Shakespearian classic.
Surprisingly, Facey’s crew achieves the virtually impossible: taking an unnecessarily convoluted, improbable and sometimes confusing script and making it perfectly accessible to an audience of all ages. Very well done!
The play is on this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm.
Of course you are too busy to attend, but this is the kind of event that makes you proud to be involved in the education field. And let’s face it –in this current political climate, who could not benefit from such a reminder? – Mr. M