The wind

Last week SD60 staff from schools and departments were fortunate to hear Shelley Moore (@tweetsomemoore) speak about inclusion. During the session she shared the video below.


Her point was that Technology in schools and Technology to support inclusion is the wind and we need to stop ignoring it. We should not ignore devices and tools that can facilitate the inclusion of a child into a classroom. I’ve been involved with or supported students who got to fully participate and access the curriculum because of the technology tool available to them. I’ve also seen many students that there is no access without the technology.

While purchasing the latest and greatest can be a challenge, many devices are available with the occasional ask or simply allowing them to cross the threshold into our schools and classrooms. SD60 has a Bring Your Own Device strategy that can help with this.

Text to speech and speech to text capabilities on mobile devices is the first thing to try if you haven’t experienced them. If you need support on that or on what more they can do please ask Learning or Technology Services, or check with your school team!

Thanks again to Shelley for a wonderful, empowering session.

My sketchnotes are included below.

Feb 2010 FSA Results – in response to Energeticcity

Energeticcity recently posted a story about School District 60 kids and stats on FSA, class size, and Provincial Exams.

I’d like Energeticcity to reference where they are getting their results from as they are mixing various reports which may represent different years however no referencing makes their assertions difficult to verify or refute and paints an unclear picture for members of our community. From the article,

In the FSA Student Achievement report School District 60 ranks higher than the provincial average with grade 4 students in reading and numeracy, SD 60 ranks lower in writing. In grade 7 students, the district ranks higher in reading, but lower than the provincial average in writing and numeracy.

Which year are you looking at in that statement? Here’s my synopsis of the February 2010 FSA with SD60 and Provincial results along with the reports and links to where you can find them. These reports show that SD60 students are equal to or  higher in all areas in reading, writing, and numeracy except for grade 7 numeracy for students meeting or exceeding expectations on the FSA.

2010 FSA Results for Grade 4 – % of Students Meeting or Exceeding

Reading: 68%  SD60 / 68% Province – 0% difference

Writing: 81% SD60 / 69% Province – +12% SD60

Numeracy: 67% SD60 / 63% Province- + 4% SD60

2010 FSA Results for Grade 7 – % of Students Meeting or Exceeding

Reading: 65%  SD60 / 65% Province – 0% difference

Writing: 78% SD60 / 68% Province – + 10% SD60

Numeracy: 56% SD60 / 63% Province – +7% Province

Feb 2010 Provincial FSA Results

Feb 2010 SD60 FSA Results

taken June 29, 2010 from

PowerSmart Idol

Very proud to come and do some video of six grade 4 students from Charlie Lake school who entered and won a BC Hydro PowerSmart contest for a radio spot. The students worked with their teacher, Linda Haugen, during their grade 3 year to plan, write, and produce their commercial entry.

This week they had the opportunity to record the following spot at the MooseFM studios in Fort St John. Way to go guys!

BC HYDRO POWER SMART IDOL – Charlie Lake Students

Computers for Schools

I was often concerned about switching from an older thin client to a fat client around the power consumption difference. Looking at the signature line from Computers for Schools though I feel pretty good about it all of the sudden!

Transfering 100 computers from business to schools extends their useful life, often by double and is the equivilant of:

* Electricity to power 30 homes for a year

* A reduction in CO2 emissions of 1,469 metric tons

* Removing 13 cars from the road per year

* The weight of 9 refrigerators of primary material savings

* 9 pounds of toxic materials

Along with the reuse of a still capable computer we can apply power saving features from our LanREV software to save even more power!

We received 15 computers to replace Teacher-Librarian thin clients from CFS and they were immaculate and all Dell GX280s with at least 512Mb of ram and a windows xp pro license. For a low cost of $50 each! (The thin clients won’t support the new library system which will be implementing over the next two years.)

Time for a serious look at CFS

TS raises a Ruckus

Screen shot 2009-11-06 at 2.36.16 PM

Ruckus Wireless that is. The new district wireless system components have arrived. After successful implementation at the SBO since July we’ll be moving to replace most if not all of the seven year old Apple base stations in our schools with Ruckus Wireless devices. More to come.

Tech and Inclusion

Occasionally I get the chance to work with our great inclusion and LA Teachers on the odd technology project here and there. I much prefer working on something with them than my usual roll of telling them that we have to pay for software we want to put on computers.

I was doing a video for Dr. K today of the PISP team helping with a student and their inclusion into the school community. They were providing her with an adapted iPod to make it easier for her to use and play some music they had on her SetBC machine. Even had a Wii to show kids that they could play together. On the iPod, I thought of our Spectrum server with the podcast capture and suggested that we have some of her tag students, who do the “Lame Joke of the Day” in Mrs. Gunn’s class, do some recordings for her. The recordings get put on an internal server and iTunes on the SetBC computer syncs with them and the iPod.

I’ve setup an account in spectrum, setup the computer and will revisit with Mrs. Blair and some of Mrs. Gunn’s students in the future.

I was explaining that on the scale of difficulty this is on the easy end of things. No really, it is! Looking forward to helping out on this some more.

Haikus from Mail Outage

In my usual way I asked the staff over at NPSS to respond to a test email, but asked that if they had comments about the service interruption to please put them in Haiku format. Points for effort, but not all follow the Haiku that I know.

went to get my Email
no mail made my day real bad
but now I feel glad

It was frustrating
communication loss to
the outside world missed

Life as we know it
stops when mail is here and gone
must talk face to face

There once was an internet junkie
Who worked it online like a monkey
His ears they burned
As comments they spurned
That calm little internet junkie
(is that about me?)

Our technology
Dependence is not quite as
great as we think it.

CSW: Simon Lavoie

I’d like to welcome, Simon Lavoie, our new computer support worker to the district. Simon will be starting with us on November 17th in the shop and will eventually be attached to Ecole Central as their point CSW.