Using Glogster as a Presentation Tool –

This Glogster was created by Angela in Room 213


(article from:

I introduced Glogster to my Grade Six students this past week as an option for displaying their research for their bio-diversity projects.

Glogster has tried to make this tool as teacher-friendly as possible by making it easy to set up a class account, which provides a private account for each student (and generates passwords and e-mails them to the teacher). As with other Web 2.0 Tools, teachers are trying it out in a variety of ways. Especially helpful to new Glogster users is Traci Blazosky’s Glogster Tutorial page.

University of Victoria Presentation – Join us!

On Wednesday October 28, 2009, our classroom has been invited to do a LIVE presentation for the University of Victoria in British Columbia. This presentation is being hosted by the Ministry of Education (e-Learning Programs Unit) of BC and will last about 20 minutes.

You can watch the presentation by going to this website (Elluminate): at 12 pm Oct 28.

Our presentation will be student centered. Students ( 11 year olds )will talk about their own learning and growth and they will demonstrate some of the following tools and activities –

As many of you are already aware, my class has explored the use of Skype (Video Conferencing) as a method of expanding our classroom walls and having the children learn about the geography, culture and climate of other countries, continents and time zones (we have traveled over 50,000 km’s). Each student has been provided with the opportunity to use a blog to post their own work as well as comment and collaborate on the work of others.  Quite honestly, I am taken by complete surprise everyday at how willing these students are to show leadership and help one another through these tools – much different than when we were kids, tucking our completed work into a desk or bringing it home, only to be seen by family and close friends. Recently, students have explored the use of Diigo, which is a bookmarking tool, allowing students to make notes, highlight and save websites to their account and of course, allowing students to share information with each other for group projects. Some students have explored the use of Digital Story Telling tools within their literacy subjects. As part of our Reading Unit (main idea’s and inferring) , they have read and recorded current news and publishing their own newscasts in video form through use of iWeb and Movie Maker. All students are now using an on-line word processing program through Google Docs. This allows them to write and then share their work with their teacher and parent. I encourage you to have your child help you sign up for a Google Doc account so they can share their work with you regularly. Students have recently been given an account for ‘Bitstrips’ which is an on-line graphic (comic) making program. This program was purchased for ALL Ontario students.  We are also exploring the use of Wiki’s in the classroom. This is a joint website, allowing student to post, collaborate and edit work on one website. The purpose of this is for children to learn the benefit of learning from one another.

Am I setting my students up for failure or success?

Not long ago, I was asked if I was setting my students up for failure in High School. I was asked this because my students have become used to learning with a certain amount of flexibility – A flexibility that may not be available to them when they enter Secondary School in a couple of years.

My students are encouraged to use a variety of resources and tools including daily blogging and podcasting. Throughout all subjects, these students use cameras, video cameras, podcasters, smartboards, laptops and handhelp devices as tools for learning, including a variety of web 2.0 applications. Students write and rewrite and rewrite again several times a day until they feel their writing is “good enough” for publishing and then – they publish their work on the world wide web. They do this because they think this is good modeling for other students. My students share their work through applications like Google Docs and edit each others work, never questioning if this is “cheating”. They help each other to feel successful. They are teachers.

My students learn by working through problems and projects and usually start the week with two or three “big idea’s” in which they are required to discuss and collaborate. Rarely are my students faced with a requirement to regurgitate information and instead are encouraged to think deeply about the information that they are reading or discussing. The classroom is centered around them.

My students know quite well that they are accountable for their own education. It is this driving force and belief that continues to make them successful, regardless of their level and ability because they know that each one of them is bringing with them something incredibly special and worthwhile. I want the students in my class to learn because they want to learn.

So, to answer the question – Am I setting them up for failure – Absolutely NOT. These students are learning how to learn and to take responsibly for their learning. These students are becoming more resourceful and have a true belief that what they say matters. These students believe in collaboration and practise it everyday when they read each others blogs or talk to partner classrooms from around the world through video conferences.

My only hope is that by the time these students reach Secondary School, their teachers and leaders are also practicing and modelling true collaboration also. I hope that my students educators trust them enough to let them work at their level and their own learning style. I hope that they are given the autonomy to learn from experts from outside their classroom walls and to be leaders themselves by teaching and collaborating with each other.
I hope their teachers are willing to learn new teaching methods – ones that are more familiar to the students, rather than themselves.

My students were asked what their VISION of Secondary school is. Let’s read what students have to say HERE

PODCAST by Elementary Students –  Vision of High School

The Maker Culture Project: Skype between Lawfield and Ryerson University

Through studies in Aboriginal Culture and Early Settlements as well as connections around the world, students are learning about how this has influenced the Maker Culture of today.  Students are learning that they are in control of their own education and can use current technologies to help them learn about the past as well as tapping in on the expertise of others. The following video is the first meeting with Ryerson University for the Maker Culture Project.