Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Beginning of a New Era

A month has past, already!

The Chris Akkerman Learning Commons is underway and we've had a great start!

It has been a amazing moving into a new school and starting something new. My day to day work hasn't changed but the people have. All of a sudden, I have to build new relationships and learn new ways of doing things. I have stop and rethink what the important aspects in a learning commons actually are. I have to make sure we have our priorities in the right place and that all stake holders have input into what will be.

Moving into an alternative program called a Traditional Learning Centre (TLC) was always going to be an exciting challenge for me. The first month has proven that this is going be an extremely exciting year. The teachers and students at Chris Akkerman are so focused on learning. It will be amazing to really focus in on what is good learning.

Chris Akkerman has obviously had strong leadership in technology prior to me being there. The teachers and students are quite comfortable with technology as a learning tool. It will be a great opportunity to help everyone build on what they know now and push the boundaries of learning in positive and exciting ways.

The highlight for our learning commons, in the first month, has been around the implementation of the Google Apps For Education (GAFE). What an amazing medium for learning. The power of collaboration is exciting our entire school. Our grades 3-6 classes are buzzing in excitement and are all beginning to wonder what the possibilities of these amazing tools will be.

This past week, we focused in on what it means to work safely on the Internet. All students in our school worked through some tasks which reviewed Internet safety. We followed up these tasks by brainstorming what they knew, as well as new found knowledge, into a shared Google Doc. The idea was to build on what each other's ideas. It was amazing to watch the ideas develop over a few minutes! The video below shows the information being gathered over around a 5 minute period. It has been blurred to protect our students ID.

Over the next month, we plan to continue setting up this learning space to make it work best in our TLC environment. We are also experimenting and using Green Screen technology in Grades 4 and 5, as well as iPads in Kindergarten and Grade 1. We hope to share those projects in the coming weeks.

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