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Google Apps for Education and more!

21 Oct

Google Apps for Education (GAE) is slowly taking hold in Palliser.  Thanks again to Terry Korte and the IT team out of Edmonton Public, we now have our own GAE domain. Teachers and students are starting to  take advantage of this 21st century classroom environment.  The vision of 24/7 access, paperless, collaborative process is showing a lot promise.  We are also beginning to see what the Chrome Web Store has to offer in the form of apps – lots of great educational apps!!  As well, we have found some great teacher admin apps that will serve to compliment the assignments that teachers will be requesting through the GAE.  Palliser is once again providing teachers with days to work collaboratively system wide and there are a large number of teachers who have chosen to work solely in the GAE environment.  Teachers have recognized the potential for what the GAE has to offer and thus, they have determined that they need to work collaboratively to development the expertise needed to effectively implement the powerful tool.

With the implementation of GAE and the sad event of the passing of Amanda Todd, there is an even more need to ensure that our students are practicing sound digital citizenship.  Some sites that I have found that address this well are:

The Learning Support Teachers (LST) in Palliser had the privilege of listening to Carolyn Freeman (Medicine Hat) early this month.  Carolyn has her Master’s degree in Language and Speech Pathology and she shared her views of the role speech plays in a student’s intellectual and behavioral development.  She then proceeded to share a number of iPad apps that she found were great tools in this area of a student’s development.  Thanks Carolyn!!

In February, Palliser LST’s and school administration will have the good fortune to listen to Lisa Boone from Aroga (Edmonton base) about what various assistive tools are available to classroom teachers.  Lisa has been in this area of business of years and has so much to offer with her own insights and what technological tools are available to help those students who might be able to take advantage of them.

This coming October 30th, Dr. Maurice Hollingsworth and Alec Couros will be hosting a daylong session on digital citizenship titled “Digital Citizenship: Preparing Our Schools for the Digital Age.”  It is being offered through the SAPDC (http://www.sapdc.ca).  It will have to follow-up webinars as well for this session.  I’m sure that space is still available if anyone else might be interested.

            On October 12th, the Noble Central School (Nobleford) took part in the attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest ever science lesson.  Schools all across Canada took part in the half hour science lesson that aimed to have as many students and staff take part in the lesson.  In the case of Noble Central School, all students from grades one through twelve took part.  We’re still waiting to hear if the record was broken!!

            I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the Adobe Master Teacher group.  There are 25 teachers from throughout Alberta who are currently being trained in the different Adobe products.  I’ve been focusing on Photoshop and believe me, it is a truly incredible product.  As powerful as it is, it’s also quite user friendly.  Thanks to Bill Brandley out of County Central High (Vulcan), I have seen firsthand what students can do with this software.  Bill had great applications for Photoshop that were applied to English and the obvious CTS classes.  I’m looking forward to our next workshop where we’ll be focusing on InDesign and Premier.  I should also mention Adobe Acrobat Pro – if you haven’t look into this software, you will be very impressed to where you can take form creations and the submission of these documents!

            To help in my learning curve for the Adobe products, I have subscribed to Tuts Plus (https://tutsplus.com/) and Make Use Of (http://www.makeuseof.com/).  Both of these have proven very helpful.  Tuts Plus has a monthly cost associated with it and Make Use Of provides a number of resources FREE!!!

            Have you ever had issues with how some people use ‘alot’ instead of ‘a lot’?  Have a look at the following link.  It has a nice little humorous look at this very issue – http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html.

            I’ve been asked to do a presentation to the southern Alberta school administrators as part of the South West Council on School Administration (SWCSA).  On November 26th I’m hoping to enlighten the participants with my view of how technology is being used within Palliser.  The presentation will hopefully showcase uses of technology that they might only be vaguely familiar with and hopefully they will be able to take back some ideas of technology integration back to their school districts.

            Lastly, 2Learn’s last publication of Vantage had a Math theme.  Click here to see the grade specific sites that they have recommended.

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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