Our Learning Circle is for supporting one another in our common goal to meaningfully integrate technology in our classrooms by sharing ideas, lessons, challenges, and successes, especially for making best use of our Interactive Whiteboards.

Monday, June 7, 2010

SMART arguments... it's the teacher, not the tool!

An article from 'StarMatica' refuting the arguments often waged against the use of SmartBoards in the classroom. Some sound reasoning behind the effective use of SmartBoards. Love the comic!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Whiteboard Challenge 2010

The challenge will be launched in June and involves participants creating videos and / or screencasts of some of the great things they are doing with their IWB to share with teachers and students across the globe.
The aim is to improve the use of Interactive Whiteboards in classrooms around the world. Great way to connect with others! It might be a good goal for us to begin September!! Are you in??????

Final Meeting of the Year...

It was great to see many of you out to our meeting on Thursday at Lazo!! A big thanks to Lynn & Jann for hosting. For those of you who were unable to make it, we missed you and hope you will take a moment to complete the survey for our Partnership Project. This will provide us with some data, as well as some direction for where we might go next?

As always, we ran out of time on Thursday to get to everything we had hoped to--sorry about that! But many of you had the opportunity to explore the Ning, blog, and Diigo, with some guidance from those who are already users. We have some plans for how to share lessons and it sounds like there is interest in continuing to meet next year.

That said, please go to the Survey Monkey survey link below to provide more specific feedback...

We need you to complete the survey by next Friday, May 7th AT THE LATESt!!

Also, please find attached the Professional Competency assessment--on page 56 of this PDF! This was handed out at the meeting, but in case you lost it or were absent:

This was the self-assessment we completed in the Fall. Please repeat this now, to give us some comparison of how our competencies have changed over the year. You don't need to include your name. But please only do this now, if you did it in the fall. Remember, you are simply considering yourself when completing this rubric. It is a self-assessment! It needs to be completed and sent via interschool mail to Michelle Honeysett by Friday, May 7th, AT THE LATEST!!

Thanks for your help with wrapping up the Partnership Project. We'll look forward to seeing the results and how our competencies and comfort levels have changed over the course of our time together!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Agenda for April 29th Meeting

Looking forward to seeing you this Thursday, Apr. 29th at Lazo... This is our final meeting before the Partnership Projects Showcase.

It will be a last chance to explore, discuss, and solidify some of the communication and collaboration tools we set up this year. Jaki has been playing with the possibilities of a Wiki for our uploads.

We will also spend a little more time playing on the boards, this time in grade groupings, so please bring your favourite grade-specific (we'll split into Primary or Intermediate) resources, lessons, or ideas to share.

Alissa suggested sharing some ideas around Classroom Management strategies for using the SmartBoards effectively in our classrooms, so we'll have some discussion regarding your ideas around this always important topic as well.

We will close the afternoon with some reflection on how the Learning Circle worked this year. What worked? What didn't? What's next? :-)

And of course snacks & doorprizes...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wishes for our April Meeting?

As we approach our final meetings before the Partnerships showcase, what would you like to see us focus on in April?

Have we done what we set out to do? What else might we do to help ourselves become more comfortable with the effective integration of technology, specifically SmartBoards, in our classrooms?

Weigh in by leaving some comments here...

March=Blooming & Branching Out... Elluminate, Diigo, RSS, and time to play!!!

Dear Learning Circle friends... Thanks to all who made it out to our March meeting on Monday. Your enthusiasm and willingness to experiment, engage, and explore are admirable!

We were so lucky to tap into Jan's PLN and experience an Elluminate session with Lesley and Brian, two enthusiastic educators with unmeasureable enthusiasm and expertise in technology.

The purpose of this virtual rendevous was threefold: to demonstrate the power of PLNs, to highlight the importance of connection with other educators outside of our schools and district, and to shed some light on how to manage the "stuff" of technology integration. Technology can be overwhelming at the best of times and Lesley and Brian introduced us to some tools and techniques to help us better manage our forays into technology integration.

First, Brian gave us an enthusaistic "tour" of Elluminate, which is a real time virtual classroom. Then, Lesley shed some light on the Diigo tools and some of the advantages of social bookmarking. Finally, Brian explained RSS feeds and the use of Google Reader to help manage blog subscriptions. If you missed out on the meeting, or would like to revisit the presentation by these tech experts, please visit the archived Elluminate Session.

After our Elluminate-ing experience, we broke off into comfort level grouping to share SmartBoard lessons, tips, and tools. Some of us also explored our Diigo group further and there was much discussion about the use of RSS feeds, too. Working in small groups allowed time to explore challenges, successes, and questions regarding effective tech integration.

We ran out of time to come together at the end of our meeting for doorpirze draws, so I put our names in a hat on Tuesday and am happy to announce the winners: Julia (wins the technology carry case) and Jan (wins the cordless mouse).

The feedback received so far from Monday's meeting has been very positive. If you have any further comments about our March gathering, please feel free to email Michelle or comment here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fri. Feb. 26: More time to explore... and enter the draw!

As the intention of tonight's Virtual Meeting was to help folks feel more comfortable with the blog and Diigo sites, and we have received some feedback that folks would like more time to explore, we are extending the 'door prize' entry deadline.... and giving everyone until the end of the week to contribute! Our desire is for this to be a useful experience not an exercise in frustration or panic. :-)

However, for those of you who did take time, energy, and perseverance to contribute tonight, do not fret... we noticed your enthusiastic efforts and we have TWO EXTRA door prize entries for you! It was exciting to see people reaching out of their comfort zones tonight... and I was especially glad to see a few folks request help and support, too!

For those who were unable to join us tonight, I encourage you to set aside a little time to explore and connect before Friday, Feb. 26th. If you need help, please just ask. :-)