Elrose Composite School

Technology Goal: Teachers will apply innovative uses of technology to enhance teaching strategies and improve student learning.

To begin our progress towards this goal, staff at ECS were surveyed to determine their current comfort level and experience with various forms of technology. They also identified where they would like to improve in incorporating technology. After analyzing the results of this survey, I was able to speak at a school PD day to all staff and together we came up with ideas or places where they could incorporate technology.

Some possible ideas we developed from this PD day were:
  • using Audacity to narrate books for reluctant or struggling readers
  • using Scratch to animate stories that were created by students
  • using Audacity for podcasts or radio broadcasts
  • using computers for online programs such as Spelling Egg, Mathletics, etc.
  • using Wikis for areas like reports, science fairs, class websites, etc
  • using Blogs for sharing student thoughts
  • using Skype to connect with other classrooms or people
  • using Prezi and other presentation software to enhance the publishing aspect of writing
  • using SmartBoards as a more interactive program instead of simply a projector

After the PD day, staff came away enthusiastic and ready to experiment with these different technology uses. It was interested to note that many realized that in their current teachings that they already are making steps towards our staff goal, and this was very reinforcing for them. Some concerns did arise from this day though as well. As a staff we identified some of the challenges that came up as a result of incorporating more technology into our lessons. One of the biggest and most obvious challenges was many staff had limited knowledge about what the various uses of technology were and would have to learn the programs themselves before being able to use them with their students. This was solved through myself as a lead teacher and also through the Supporting Technology Wiki. In cases where I was asked to help, I was able to show other teachers the basics of the different programs and I encouraged them to explore the programs as much as possible when they had time. I also encouraged staff to attend Live! Technology Tutorials when they came up, and if they couldn't attend, I made sure to attend so I could assist staff at a later point. They were also directed to the Supporting Technology Wiki to view tutorials and videos related to the different technology areas which was very helpful!(thanks to Jade and all those who put that Wiki together)! Staff was also encouraged not to try to stretch themselves too far as it could be very discouraging, but instead focus on a few smaller things to start and to work their way up as they become more comfortable. This seemed to work very well.

In terms of we were are at now, with feedback from the staff, it was recognized that many teachers were able to successfully incorporate some innovative technology uses into their classrooms. Some specific examples were:
  • Aleisha Moore using Tagxedo with the K/1/2 to learn about the seasons
  • Tanya Doucette introducing Scratch to her 3/4 students
  • Reta Marchand using Audacity in her 5/6 classroom to narrate "The Breadwinner" so students could listen and follow along in their books as itwas read in class
  • Shirley Jones using Prezi with the grades 3/4 and 7/8 students to present research projects
  • Tanya Sampson using an online program called "Music Shake" in her 7-10 Arts Ed classes where students could compose and produce their own songs
  • Jeff Kingwell using student blogs to share thoughts and ideas about given prompts related to the ELA curriculum
  • Rheanne Lehmkuhl using Mathletics with her math students to enhance their understanding of math concepts
  • Vicki Moore allowing multiple technology options in her choice projects

It is also very exciting to note that we received a classroom set of tablets to be used in our school. This was only recently brought to us so we haven't had a lot of time to get used to these but I was able to show the staff some of the great things they are capable of at our last PD day in May. As we transition into the future, we will continue to incorporate technology uses into our classroom and use it as a tool for student learning in meaningful ways. Overall, I would say we were successful in meeting our school technology goal! Enjoy some of the pictures below of students in our school being engaged in a variety of technological uses.

Tagxedo images done by K/1/2 class on their favourite season

Students using Socrative app on tablets to do a Science 10 unit review

Grade 5/6 Health Prezi on diseases


Grade 7/8 students using Mathletics program

Grade 7/8 book covers made with the Paint program