Monday, 24 June 2019

ISTE Day -1


I'm here!  ISTE is my bucket filler. For the last three years, it has helped me build relationships, engage in great learning, and surround myself with positive energy.

My plan was to microblog...and well...you know the saying...the best-laid plans of mice and men.  Yesterday (what I call Day -1) was jam-packed - and I didn't pull out my laptop once.  I did post on Instagram though - so check that out.

That said, I did see some great things and connect with some great people.  Here are some highlights:



ISTE Ignites - They were all great but I particularly enjoyed Jen Casa-Todd and Henry Turner.  Jen spoke about ensuring students have voice and the importance of adult mentorship.  Henry spoke about how he turned an incident of hate into a learning opportunity to empower students.


GooseChase EDU - I have heard of GooseChase but have never used it.  It is a platform that helps create education scavenger hunts.  I am part of a GooseChase now and it is a lot of fun.  I learned that they are a Canadian company!!


Lunch at the park - Self-care is important - and so Lisa Bettencourt and I headed out to Dilworth park for great food and phenomenal live entertainment.  The best part was the connection - Lisa and I got to chat away from the hustle of the conference and She told me all about a great initiative the students at Ashbury college did in partnership with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)...more on that later.


Bought some exciting books - I love a good  book so I hit up the bookstore and picked up four!  (Which gave me 15% off and a tote bag!) . The books:


I met the Wakelet crew!  Walking around in a pack the Wakelet crew is doing some major engagement with their community.  It was great to meet them IRL.




Today I will try to blog more...but no promises, it might come out tomorrow!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Another Day another EdTech conference! #ECOOCamp 2019

I left Connect, went home and pick up the fam and headed to Owen Sound for #ECOOCamp 2019.


The boys are at the pool and at the Owen Sound library's Mini ComiCon this morning while I am learning with friends from the BWDSB and beyond.

The day began with Peter Skillen who spoke directly to my heart.  From pedagogy, to tools, to learning, to bias, Peter's experience runs as deep as his passion, and his down to earth delivery was perfect.

I also attended a session by Leslie Boerkamp (@lboerkamp) and Nicole Batte (@nicbatte) and it was all about my favourite things - extensions. They introduced me to a couple of new ones including:

Convert Google Docs to Gmail drafts - you can write and format an email in Google Docs and, with a click of a button, you can convert the Doc into a GMail email!  (It is all explained in the company's blog post)

Momentum - Replace new tab page with a personal dashboard featuring to-do, weather, and inspiration.

All the extensions they shared can be found in their slide deck.

Thanks to Peter McAsh who invited me to speak.  It was a great day!





Friday, 3 May 2019

Google Data Studio with Richard Swandel and Jason Rodger

Richard and Jason took us through a quick look at the Google Data Studio and here I am...


This blog post will not do the tool justice as I was too busy playing to really capture as I learned...but here is what I have to say.

Google Data Studio is a powerhouse of a tool that helps you visualize data.  It is a monster of a tool but basically, we played around with some NHL statistics to create a report that looks like this:


In many ways, it is easier than manipulating data in a Sheet - no need for functions.  But grab some data and start playing around.  You can use their slide deck for info to play with and see a little of what the tool offers.

The New NFB

The National Film Board has a bunch of new and coming soon features that were highlighted in this presentation.



Campus is a collection of 5,200 documentaries, animated films, interactive productions, and short films in English and French.  It allows you to create playlists and chapters to show parts of films. 

Playlists on Indigenous Voices are also included and, coming soon is, the Learning Lodge.  Geared toward gr. 9-12, this collection will help raise awareness around Indigenous issues and stories.

Ocean School - knowledge and tools to understand our influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on us.  It includes

NFB Media School is also coming soon and it will offer workshops, master classes and more.

Check out a ton of new features on the NFB blog.

Badging with GSuite with Tanya Harris (for Melanie Mulcaster)

Note:  Tanya was filling in for Melanie Mulcaster who could not attend - so reach out to Melanie with questions!

The slide deck included some great videos including:


My pal Kim Pollishuke (#ShukesAndGiff) created this badge in a few minutes for our colleague Jeff who rocked the karaoke stage a few nights ago.


Cathryn Wake, a teacher from Ottawa Catholic DSB shared how her school uses digital badging to track learning skills.

You can access the slide deck for all the resources.

Cool Things I learned from Amber Mac

Amber Mac was the Friday keynote at Connect and her focus was on AI.  She shared some fascinating information...and some very cool apps like:


She also, near the beginning offered this advice:
And reminds us to:







Thursday, 2 May 2019

Apps with Jessi Lalonde

Jessi (@jessilalonde) took us through an A-Z look at apps we can use in Education.  It was fast paced and full of great info!  Jessi brought everything back to great pedagogical uses.  Some cool tips I took away

  • Her first slide was full of Scrabble tiles (see above) - each one was linked to the slide with the apps for that letter - VERY cute idea.
  • Save your favourite Bitmojis in Google Keep
  • Use Apple Clips to add closed captioning to videos - great for accessibility.
  • DriveTunes - a new extension to me - DriveTunes allows you to play .mp3 and .m4a audio files right from Google Drive.
  • She talked about ways to help student with executive functioning disorders keep organized with Google Keep - totally going home to do this with my son!
  • 57 North - a choose your own adventure app for your MergeCube.
  • Make challenges for students to become Chrome Kings - experts in areas of Chrome (or any app for that matter!)
See Jessi's slide deck at: bit.ly/appsohmy