What will be different this year? What makes one school year different from the one before it? If you think about the bricks, busses and bells, the answer is likely “not much.” For me the difference is in the possibilities! None of the things that matter are ever really the same as the year before.
Students? New learning, new experiences and new interests.
Parents? New learning, new expectations and new hopes.
Educators? New learning, new connections and new ideas.
How do we support schools for this new year so they can best serve students, educators and parents? The answer lies in visible learning. When students and educators adopt an open and transparent learning stance, their learning becomes visible and more meaningful. This year we are providing schools with resources and structures to support visible learning for students and educators.
Each school in the SCDSB has been provided with technology designed to allow students and educators to document their learning and share it with others. Over 700 iPads are joining the 1,300 that schools received last year. As well, each school has received each of the following;
- iOgrapher Kits – to turn an iPad into a recording studio (lights, lenses, microphone, tripod)
- GoPro Cameras – to allow for recording video in conditions and places an iPad can’t go
- HD Webcams – to support streaming video and video conferencing such as Google Hangouts and Skype
These tools will help students and educators document their learning, but that is only half the story. Our new Board Learning Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BLPSA-WB) is an interactive tool which, for the first time, allows students and educators to upload evidence of their learning directly to the BLPSA-WB. Students and educators can search through all the uploaded images and text to see what their peers and colleagues are learning. This tool also provides a space for educators to document their own professional learning as well as support the learning of their colleagues around the county.
This combination of new digital tools and collaborative structures is set to support the authentic and purposeful learning of all SCDSB students and educators. I am looking forward to the possibilities!