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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The November LRC Newsletter is Out!

Please take a look at the November Newsletter to find out more about what is happening at the LRC. We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear back from you, so please feel free to leave us a comment or two below.

The image below is only a preview. Please click here to download the complete newsletter.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Screencast Tutorials

Our 6th and 8th grade students have created some exciting screencast tutorials in ICT lessons. In these tutorials the students teach many different technology skills that they have learned over the past few months and even years. We have begun publishing them on our LRCABC Youtube Channel for the world to enjoy and learn from and hope you will find a few minutes to browse through the collection. Who knows, you may even learn something new!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


This post has a simple title, it needs little else apart from that and the presentation I am sharing within. I recently put this together for a presentation I did on why we should have iPads in our school.

I fell in love with the iPad as a personal device quite soon after purchasing one this past summer, since then it has opened my eyes to the huge range of possibilities for its use in education, some of which I have shared below.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Why Not Use Cell Phones in Lessons?

Cell phones can be so much more than we tend to give them credit for. If you think about it, how do kids use them most as phones? One might argue that the phone call function is perhaps one of the less used on most student cell phones. Cell phones are mini video and audio recorders, digital cameras, devices for browsing, accessing and creating content for projects and ultimately for the web.

 Last year we used cell phones in a few lessons as response devices, allowing students to connect up to teacher created surveys and view the results in real time. This year many students used them to record their raps durin the rainy week, their talking head videos for English class as well as video for the creative carrousel.

Cell phones are powerful tools, most students have them and know how to use them, so the question is, why not use them in lessons when it makes sense to do so.

I am interested in gaining some insight on this from the student perspective and have created a survey for them to fill in.   It is anonymous and only ABC community members can access it. I have embedded a copy below and included a screen shot of it for those of you who are not immediate members of the ABC Community. I would really welcome any comments and/or questions you may have on this. Please do use the comment option in this blog to respond.

Screen Shot of the Survey


Friday, 11 November 2011

Across Borders

My good friend Lisette Casey and I will be presenting our Across Borders project at the Global Education Conference this coming week.

Here is a sneak peak of our session.

Across Borders: A Day in Our Lives 

Across Borders: Students from two hemispheres working together, getting to know each other and learning that they are not that different from each other after all.

If you haven't yet signed up for the conference yet click here and join in on the smorgasbord of high energy, interactive learning on offer. Oh and if that weren't enough, it is completely free!

Teaching Reading through Gaming and Teamwork

For several years now, I  have been hearing stories about how educators  use World of Warcraft for teaching and learning. Recently I decided it was time to take the plunge and give it a try. I was fortunate enough to attend ISTE 2010 where I made a Twitter connection that would prove very inspirational.

The Inspiration for my initial work with WoW came from the fantastic work done by WoW in Schools. If you have ever wanted to know more about how teachers are using WoW to teach students important 21st century skills, this is the place to go.

Anyhow, I need a plan that accounted for several things, the purpose or rationale for using WoW with our students (below), the skills I wanted to teach, the resources we would use, and of course the role of parents in all of this.

The purpose of the unit I came up with is to engage students in reading activities which that draw parallels between online gaming activities and involve an element of teamwork in a virtual world. Through quests, students interact with other players, reflect on their experiences in written form as well as through discussion drawing parallels between their quests and other experiences in-world and their readings. Each of the 10 lessons will include a blog post which will reflect on different aspects of the readings and student gaming experiences.

In planning the unit, I decided to focus on one of our school's Traits and Values, TEAMWORK. It seemed to me that a MMOG was a great way to focus on it. I chose a graphic novel to be the basis of our reading work, The Arctic Incident. Adapted by Eoin Colfer Andrew Donkin (Artemis Fowl Graphic Novel), and downloaded the trial version of WoW. I ordered 10 copies of the graphic novel, wrote a carefully worded letter for our parents, which explains the learning intentions, created a brief quest example video, and approached my school Admin team with a proposal to discuss. At the same time I began preparing lessons, each of which focuses on the following areas: A reading, A game challenge or activity,a discussion and a blog post, My next step was to create a response blog.

In about 2 weeks time I will be in a position to run an information session for the kids, send the letters home to parents and see what responses I can collect.

I haven't been this excited about a new project in a while, or at least a month or two anyway.

Wish me luck!