GarageBand - An underused resource!

This past week, I was asked to come to Homma for one of their iChallenge days. One of the sessions was on using GarageBand with students. The teachers were interested in the ESL possibilities as well as use in Music classes.

Garageband seems to be getting better and better with each new version. I shared a resource with the teachers that I had put together a year or so ago with some idea starters: making PSAs, recording poetry readings, doing a radio play based on a novel or fairy tale, interviewing a historical character or author, creating news bulletins or weather reports - the list is almost endless. Since it is installed on all the lab computers, it makes sense to explore this great program.

Here's the link to my handout: [LINK] [some notes]

I also sent out a list of some more up-to-date resources to consult, which I posted on my webapps blog: [LINK here]

BCALMER - Copyright basics

BCALMER asked me to do a short presentation on Copyright basics at their Fall AGM.

The implications for teachers and publishers has consequences for how resources are shared, promoted and used in the classroom. While there were some raised eyebrows at some of the new freedoms teachers have in using materals, the group did some good brainstorming about how some of the implications could turn into a "mal pour un bien". (à la Napster as the impetus for iTunes and a new model for music distribution.) We also talked about the fragility of the Canadian market, and the value of home-grown resources. No answers, but lots of discussion.

See my presentation web-page here: [LINK]

RTLA Fall Conference 2013

This year's RTLA mini-conference was on the theme of "Creating Engagement"

Our video-keynote kicked off the day with a look at Challenge-based and problem (or project) based learning. There was a lot of interest in exploring these ideas at future pro-D sessions.

We spent some time looking more closely at EBSCO magazine resources, and then there was a "roll-out" or Learn360 and FollettShelf.

Here's the link to the conference web-site: [LINK]

Summer Tech 2013 - Richmond

This past August, Richmond district offered our first "Summer Tech" Pro-D day. We had a great turn-out, with teachers from other districts as well as SD38. There were a range of presentations on Twitter, iPads, adapated program offerings, SMartboards, to name but a few. There was a fair amount of interest in my digital resources session.

Here is the link to the agenda for the day, which includes links to materials that were given to participants. [LINK]

Richmond District's iTunes U

Implementing an iTunes U presence
Richmond District has an iTunes U channel, and has been thinking about how to populate it with useful and engaging content. I had the pleasure of presenting, with Chris Loat, how we have been making progress in using this avenue for encouraging teacher collaboration and lesson delivery.

Our slideshow is here.

Earlier in the month, we also did an intro session to interested teachers in our district, to find some "early adopters" who would like to help with content creation.


Don't Quote me on that

Citing with tech tools
Along with Arlene Anderson and Jeff Yasinchuk, I was happy to present for one of the BCTLA's Spring Pro-D sessions.

We spoke about some of the tools available for helping students cite the work they use in their research. Our goal was to help teachers "find out how cloud-based citations tools can support critical literacy and create a culture of academic integrity."

I began with a quick over view of some of the issues ( and then we each took a tool and talked about its features and limitations. I spoke about Bibme and the other two presented EasyBib and NoodleTools.


Canadian Points of View (CPOV)

This week I'm beginning a series of "brownbag lunch" sessions to promote Canadian Points of View (CPOV) to high school teachers. This resource, which is really a front door to the existing magazine and newspaper database in EBSCO, provides a number of significant Canadian topics supported by an overview essay, point and counterpoint articles as well as collections of Canadian and international articles. Here is a link to my presentation: [LINK].


Principals' Meeting - Pro-D resources

This past month, I pitched some Pro-D resources to a gathering of principals at a regular monthly meeting. My goal was to talk about custom DRC ordering and to highlight the ASCD ebooks we have available.

1) Since DRC has many DVD and print resources available on a range of topics, my suggestion was that administrators could order up a bin-to-go of materials on a specific topic and have this delivered to their school for their Pro-D committee to review, for their study group to peruse or even to have on hand for a Pro-D day as a "browsable" resource pack. I brought some Leadership resources and signed out a few on the spot.

2) I spent a few moment highlighting the elibrary of ASCD books we currently have via Gale-Cengage. These resources offer a perfect (and free) source of content for school-based study groups. Participants can view individual chapters from a wide range of materials, read them on any number of devices or even print a chapter for tech challenged members. I hope to expand on the series in the future. (There are also a number of recommended ISTE titles as well.)


CnC Presentation - Learn360

I am beginning a series of presentations to Curriculum coordinators and Consultants on the various electronic resources we have available in the district. (I have done many sessions for schools and specialty groups, but the CnC folks are usually not there, and so miss out on these great extras to support instruction.)

My first presentation was on the Learn360 platform, which we are currently using to deliver some CBC content we subscribe to via ERAC. Here is a link to the "how to" page. The basic login is the same as with any of the databases we use in Richmond. (Each school TL has the building ID and password.) In order to download the clip for off-line viewing, teachers need an additional login ID, also provided by the TL.

Once logged in, teachers can find the CBC content by searching for either "CBC" or "Radio Canada." While there are not many clips at the moment, we hope to increase the number of videos available as time progresses. Some generic material (ie Bullying) is available to all subscribers.