Rural Schools Technology Trainer Session

October 22nd, 2008 Sheraton Wall Centre

The trainer session goes over how to support our rural teachers in the cohort.

Highlights

  • Session was provided F2F with a synchronous elluminate video/slide feed.
  • Rural Schools will provide four elluminate sessions through BCELC for leadership development.
  • Looking for partnerships with district initiatives so that we are maximizing opportunities
  • Rural schools has asked me to provide some collaboration with or rural teachers. They will provide some funds for this as well!
  • Intent of the conference is not that it is a two/three day conference that ends here. This will continue on throughout the year via elluminate
  • nearly 500 registrants this year to conference
  • Participants felt that the themes of the conference represented the needs of the participants
  • They effectively modeled the use elluminate in the classroom
  • Need to check machines are rural schools that elluminate will run on them. I believe this should be fine but I will ask the teachers who come to have an elluminate session with me before.
  • The NRT cohort will have one f2f session and three elluminate sessions. Other teachers are welcome to attend those sessions. We can invite all rural teachers to these sessions. Could we use this a gatekeeper for those who would like to attend the conference next year?
  • I will be posting times to this site and will support teachers who would like to attend
  • Professional Online sessions are also available through Rural schools on Monday afternoons for an hour
  • The topics for conference this year will continue on with the plenary speakers through elluminate sessions
  • http://www.learnnowbc.ca/educators/Rural_Education/Prof_Learning_Login.aspx
  • Draw for people that participate, some district uses a moodle forum for rural schools… use the news forum to get the info out there so participants will get the email, others can check and join… prizes for participants to the moodle site.
  • Elluminate could be used with Duncan Cran and their rural schools for meetings
  • I’ve posted a new moodle course on the district moodle site called Rural Schools. I’ve added the webconference dates in the calendar and will work this week on adding more info.
  • Specifics for Trainers
  • We held two sessions in the same room where one was out loud, and the other was through elluminate via headphones with the presenter at the back of the same room.. really cool!
  • Elluminate version 9 is being added Friday
  • Went over setting up profile in elluminate that will follow you whenever you login. Great!
  • Went over breakout groups, amazingly fast and simple. This could be great for the admin meetings
  • Showed application sharing with regions so you can keep the communications window open and share your desktop and it looks great!

ERAC 2008: Wrap-up

Looking at streaming video. A possible change for next year would be purchasing videos provincially and selling them (similar to what the ministry used to do) in digital formats at low cost with specific BC focus.

There is a concerted effort to keep people informed, but cannot release negotiation info until things are agreed upon.

Learning Resources: ERAC is working on some way to organize things for the province again (similar to what the ministry used to do). They are working on models that they will be able to update us on by the end of October.

All 60 districts and over 100 independents have joined ERAC. Looking to work with neighbouring provinces on consortium acquisitions.

Participants will be the SD’s Professional Learning contact so they can help us help our schools.

ERAC 2008: Video and Streaming in the Classroom

Waynor and Discovery Education streaming (aka united streaming) are in partnership with this streaming project. http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/

Started the session with questions from the group to help and steer the direction of the presentation which included whether these can be embedded into moodle, what are the costs, compatibility, bandwidth issues etc.

Discovery Education streaming is a password protected user site, access to 5000 videos, and 44,000 video segments. Use 22,000 different images and clip art, over 1500 editable videos,  more than 1000 closed captioned videos, full teacher guides and blackline masters, interactive atlas, calender, aligned to BC curriculum standards, download capability for virtually all videos.

Site has an administrative capabilities with user reports, content filtering at discretion, managing users, generate stats, gauge effectiveness of streaming.

Enables engaging multimedia lessons so our students do not need to power down when they come into our classrooms.

Each school that signs up gets a unique pass code that is used to register teachers on the site. Teachers can create a custom account and save items including assignments links, quizzes…

There is a professional-development section that shows teachers how they can integrate video into their classrooms.

Streaming can be used to preview, but teachers should download if they are planning to use it in their classroom to avoid any network problems. Video’s can be added to powerpoint, web, moodle etc.

Very good teacher section with LO, students can do assignments online, email verification to teachers, add video, images, questions etc, export assignments to word.

Also demoed how it can be imported into WP. Moodle would work as well. I’d recommend using the mov format as it is cross platform. Let’s try…

calorie (mov file)

calorie (asf)

Yep, it works!

Drumroll on the cost:$1.98 / FTE in schools with a minimum of $485.

Each school gets a point person for the company (department head) who will receive passcode info for their teachers. This also enables better pro-d within the school as there is support locally. (pro-d available on website as well that helps that point person)

I would list this as a BUY if you have money in your LR budget, especially if you have projectors, and smartboards in your classrooms.

ERAC 2008: Online Databases

Question about all or nothing offer with the online databases is apparently a hot topic. My understanding is that it is $1.65 / FTE in your district is pretty steep when only our high school has used them. 5800 x 1.65 = $9,570 per year when our Teacher-Librarians have shared with me that NPSS is the only school that has used either Worldbook or EBSCO in the past, cancelled worldbook recently, and few used EBSCO. Students have access through their public library card to EBSCO and all librarians have a public library card.

Presentation talked about students ability, or lack thereof, to effectively search using tools online, how do they collect the information, the time spent by students reading a website (pretty short time, low depth of investigation, focus on top only). Students are not using the internet for homework, they are not being assigned assigned projects conducive to using the internet, not being assigned projects at all, and are not using the we in a knowledge creating manner.

Searching is covered in the ICT learning outcomes, do we need to pay for something that searches better or should we not teach our students to search more effectively?

Kevin Ford from World Book continued on with their presentation. They used GoTowebinar (a citrix product) to do a walk through with one of the staff from Chicago. Site is set up either through IP authentication or username and password. Worldbook does have some very nice search features for kids, but there are many free places for this as well that include lesson plans, safe searches that teachers can find and use. Does one central solution warrant the cost?

www.worldbookonline.com/student has very good search results and at the bottom of the page there are links to Educators tools which find how content is linked to the BC curriculum. This is a very nice feature. I can get in at SFU, so they must be paying for this or is it open? Looking at the biography section for political leaders in Canada it has specific leaders but not biographies on all. These are written by staff at Worldbook and must have some selection process that apparently happens twice a year. My concern that I shared is that Canadian elections occur in a span of one month and this is not a good resource for current events.

Between National Geographic, Britannica (which appear to be both free), as well as CBC, and BBC I believe there are more than enough quality, free sources online for our secondary schools. WWP uses some specific search engines that are kid friendly that are free as well.

EBSCO Host

Presented their database offerings, there is resources for everyone at general and advance secondary, elementary, middle, and T-L’s, Teachers and Admin. Strength of EBSCO is in negotiating rights with publishers to aggregate content behind a search interface. High quality content, published articles, videos, sound, SWOT analysis, images, books, etc. I would support a purchase of EBSCO since it is a database collection rather than only articles created by staff.

http://trial.ebscohost.com

UserID: ebsco
Password: erac

Can be set up at an IP level, login/password (for home use)

Something that was mentioned in both parts of the presentation was that everything is really simple… the problem is how do we get the information out effectively to everyone and help them get to the point that they are feeling that it really is simple. With the massive amount of resources it is really easy to only see the forest and not focus in on one tree.

ERAC 2008: Inspiration

We already have district licencing for Inspiration for all of our mac laptops. I’m enjoying using it more and more for different projects that I need a visual of the links and organization. Gantt charts is helping as well for tielines (http://ganttproject.biz)

I’m currently using inspiration for a mindmap with the restructuring project.

I learned that we can add a note to each of the topics that can be up to 15 pages long. That can be good for details on the restructuring.

Book pick – Teaching for Every Student: Universal Design for Learning
Available at http://cast.org for free

SpeakQ and WordQ looks like good add-ons to inspiration for special ed kids, enables word prediction, read text, read highlighted text, thesaurus etc.

We should look at licensing this for the labs and library at NPSS…

We can use Inspiration for how-to’s with pictures and video, sound, notes etc. Could be great for troubleshooting. (would the video and sound export well to html?)

Many examples at learningforall.ca as well as inspiration.com

ERAC: MS Learning Essentials Templates

We were provided with a CD of templates with 390 different MS templates… I can zip these and post them here for people to download. They are freely available through MS.

The powerpoint presentation will be available at http://nbteacher.wikispaces.com

These are amazing! I’ve seen some of the templates on the wwp image. I wonder if these are the same or we can include these on there.

We’ll have to add it on images or central server locations and create some how-to’s for teachers… Great stuff!

MS-Essentials Zip File

This is free in our district since we have volume licenses in our district.

www.microsoft.com/learningessentials (versions in multiple languages! ~French, English, Spanish, German etc could be very helpful in our district)

There are toolbars that can be initiated in MS office 2007 for Learning Essentials… Side by side project assistants. Two programs, Learning Essentials for Educators, Learning Essentials for Students.

SCORM compliant… Can this work with Moodle for creating quizzes? Quiz and Test tool in the learning essentials for educators.

Looks like the learning essentials programs only support MS Office on the PC at the moment… The templates will work on either though.

I’ve added the files at NPSS at O:\MS_Templates (\\ookapik\o.drive\MS_Templates)

ERAC Digital Conference 2008

Oct 2&3 SFU Surrey

Here are my notes from the ERAC conference

  • no influence is more pervasive or significant on student learning that is the teaching process
  • ERAC Professional Learning Model: Assist districts in providing enriched student learning environments to increase student achievement
  • Annual meetings with district contacts
  • Professional learning and training opportunities… two contacts at districts, digital and text (Jarrod & Kim)
  • ERAC is working on building a network with all pro-d in the province… rural, bctf, etc
  • Mac Petry… ERAC is about four years old
  • Ministry took on the task in the past and ERAC has been created to pick up the resource acquisition piece. Districts pushed the ministry for more involvement: ERAC was created to meet these needs
  • ERAC is a district lead consortium
  • 1.2 Million dollar budget from ministry, 0.3M from districts
  • aim is to support districts with purchasing of learning resources
  • collaborative environment, consortium saves time and money, and pools expertise from around the province
  • ERAC is us, changes depending on the needs of the school districts
  • The old: Theoretical model of teaching (push information to students)
  • The new: Theoretical model of teaching (push information to students via technology)
  • Both are just filling the “container” (students’ brains)! We need to change that!
  • All of the flavour of the month learning methods share the fact that the learner is the active agent
  • Must move to student centred learning to move past where we are. If we are stuck at the 80% graduation rate, maybe this is what we need
  • problem based learning… students must have direct access to learning resources, no barriers
  • students are actively engaged in their own learning, self direct, monitor etc
  • Authentic tasks
  • have opportunity to investigate and discover
  • demonstrate what they know in various ways
  • pushing information leads to small single loop learning that is stored, unconnected in the brain
  • in student centred instructional design double loop learning occurs and knowledge is connected in the brain
  • David Johnassen (book search)
  • Start with central question and connect it outwards, but always bring it back to the central point
  • ICT performance standard for grades 5-10… load inspiration
  • IDS course for problem based learning course where students create their own course
  • Authentic tasks are generally broad an ill defined
  • example for FNS12 regarding aboriginal graduation rate, how do we increase that rate from 60%? (Derrek Laychuk)
  • Implementation: challenge is getting the resources in place
  • Takes time, resources, support
  • ERAC evaluates, acquires and deploys resources, support districts in supporting teachers to use learning resources – especially digital
  • anything we purchase is not worth it if teachers are not using it in classrooms
  • One off workshops don’t work, they don’t change practice!
  • What does work? Planned, sustained, embedded, and guided professional learning over time
  • Planned: part of the fabric of your school /district, has resources (people money technology)
  • Sustained: over time, not one shot, sustained over years
  • Pedagogical change takes time
  • If stand and deliver is boring F2F then it is tragic done online… different approaches are needed
  • Embedded: must work anywhere everywhere anytime
  • Guide: mentorship is required. Teacher-Librarians are key to this in many schools
  • In-service T-L’s more on the online databases???
  • Implementation models
  • -trainer of trainer (key district staff, hold workshops, workshops don’t change practice)
  • -trainer of trainer plus (key district staff trains trainers in schools and they train, more successful)
  • – this allows local mentors, help “in situ”, need reliable accessible technology and resources
  • – district mentor needs training and support on how to build community of practices, cross curicular integration strategies
  • –ERAC provides training, leadership, and hope to build a provincial community of practice

Some things to keep in mind while looking at resources on these two days

  • What are some key features of this product that I would highlight in my district?
  • How does this product support learning?
  • What are some strategies for implementation in the classroom?
  • What kind of training will teachers need?
  • What kind of barriers to teachers using this resources in their classroom? How could we eliminate/reduce these barriers?