In 2011, educators at Thom Collegiate formed a technology catalyst team (TTCT) to explore the integration of technology into their teaching as a supported professional learning community. Excited by their experience, members of the team presented a two hour session at this year’s STF IT Summit in Saskatoon on May 6, 2013. During the presentation, members of the TTCT shared their experience building their PLC, how it inspired their professional development, and its impact on student engagement and achievement. The team explained and demonstrated a number of tools and resources that they have used across all subject areas to support student learning in a secondary environment.
Kate Evenson began the presentation with a brief review of how the PLC developed, and then moved into explaining the role of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in her ELA classroom, and the need for instruction in digital citizenship. She also shared her digital citizenship unit, which can be accessed in the presentation links at http://bit.ly/11NGYfb. This was followed by an overview of Skype by French and Spanish educator, Krista Gates. Through her Animoto videos, photos, and resources, session attendees were introduced to what a Skype classroom is, how students can use Skype to actively engage with international perspectives, and how Skype can be easily implemented into any core area. Next, Carmen Holota addressed how social media can be a key tool for connecting with students in a responsible manner via teacher Facebook pages, and how Twitter can be used for both professional development, as well as for student assignments. She also shared student work completed in her ELA A31 class, where students used the website Xtranormal.com, to easily create animated videos. Margo Campbell then shared how she uses Pinterest and Glogster in her Core and Immersion French classes in order to have students actively represent their learning using visual digital platforms. Kelsey Bially, highlighted the impact of the TTCT on her teaching, and how the diverse teaching experience within the team pushed her to try new technology in her ELA classroom. She shared her successful approaches to using Twitter and blogging with her classes. Finally, Joanna Sanders, who recently left the TTCT to become the Consultant of Digital Fluency at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, shared a plethora of resources. Highlights of her aspect of the session were the benefits of engaging students by utilizing programs such as Google Apps, Socrative, and Timetoast.
It was a wonderful afternoon, full of collegial sharing and exciting tech opportunities. Not only were participants in the session excited to try new resources, but the Thom teachers left the conference excited to continue their journey as a Tech Catalyst Team.
Chcek out the InfoGraphic we developed for the presentation: