Sunday, January 31, 2010

The road to a paperless classroom begins on Monday

...Like Oxygen
Originally uploaded by colemama
I'm lucky enough to have gone on a $20,000 shopping spree at Best Buy on Friday and was able to purchase many new tools for my classroom. As a recent winner of the Best in Class Fund, my students and I are now the proud owners of a class set of iPod touches, a class set of netbooks, a number of headset microphones, a few Kodak Zi6 cameras, a Nikon SLR camera and two new 21" iMacs.

What are we going to do with all of these new tools you ask? Well, you will just have to wait and see. I can't wait to see the excitement on my students faces on Monday morning when they find out I finally got to go shopping and was able to buy all of the things that we have been talking about buying for the last few months. I also can't wait to see how they will use these carefully chosen tools to enhance their learning experiences in my classroom.

Our goal in our choices, was to have the ability to effectively integrate technology into our classroom so that it becomes a normal part of our learning day. We will no longer have to think twice about using a tool that we want to use to explore, document or demonstrate our learning. All of these wonderful tools will be at our fingertips and part of our everyday school experience.

I find it fitting to see a number of wonderful educators posting their thoughts and experiences from this year's Educon this weekend. Dean Shareski posted a link to the photo included in this post from colemama that includes a quote from a leading administrator in the integration of technology, Chris Lehmann and the founder of Educon about the need for tech to become like oxygen: 
"We should use the technology to create whole new schools. Technology needs to be ubiquitous, necessary and invisible." - Chris Lehmann, Principal, Science Leadership Academy
As I strive to effectively integrate this new technology into my classroom, my hope is that you check back to read about our journey. I also hope that you will see a learning journey that is supported by these new tools and not just a log about how to use these tools in the classroom. Please wish us luck in our new adventure. I can't wait to share it with you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

With only 30 days to go, Olympic fever has been spreading rapidly through my classroom. We have been counting down the days to the openning ceremony since the first day of school. Students come to school on a regular basis and tell me about a story they heard about this athlete or that venu. We also adopted a former student who was named to the Canadian Olympic Long Track Speed Skating Team yesterday, Lucas Makowsky. We can't wait to follow his progress and cheer him on during the games. We have set-up a page on our website to track Lucas and to showcase some of the things we have done to support him thus far. Check it out at:

For the students that weren't as excited as the others, they have come on board and joined the band wagon. It helps that the Olympic Torch Relay passed through our city during the weekend giving most of us a more direct connection to the games. I made a video to document the torch's visit to our city over the weekend. You can check it out below. My appologies in advance for some of the shaky cinematography. I need to invest in a tripod. Here it is:

It also helps that my class started working on their online collaborative project on Monday.You can check out our progress over the next 6 weeks on the collaborative project wiki:

For us, it is a big deal that we are the host country for the Winter Olympic Games. It has been 22 years since we have last hosted such an event. I'm wondering if other people that aren't Canadians are as excited as we are about the start of the games? Or, if you are a Canadian Teacher, are you working on a special project? What are you doing to study the Olympics in your classroom?