Virtual School Meanderings

April 23, 2018

FLVS Corkboard: April Highlights

From today’s inbox (I believe)…

Catch up on our latest updates!

FLVS Corkboard: April Highlights

We were once approaching April and now we’re rapidly advancing toward May! Not only are there lots of activities, schoolwork, and projects going on, but incredible volunteer efforts as well. FLVS would like to take a moment to thank all the FLVS Full Time 6-12 grade students and families who participated in our FLVS Earth/Environmental Day […]

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MindShare Learning Report >> Top 10 Canadian EdTech News Stories of the Week

From the inbox this past Friday.

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April 20th, 2018

Dear Thought Leader,

Spring is finally upon us! And so has conference season!

In place of this Week in EdTech, I had the good fortunate of attending what could be one of the first elementary student-led STEAM conferences hosted in Dufferin Peel CDSB in Mississauga Ontario. I had the pleasure of watching Lucas in grade 4 perform a TedTalk, who was poised and passionate. I’m really optimistic for our next generation and hopefully we see a growing trend toward more of these types of student empowering events. They should be the rock stars of the future; NOT to say we don’t need our ‘teacher’ rock stars!

The STEAM conference breakout sessions included, students demonstrating animation, coding with Dash and  Dot, sphero and microbits. I was impressed to see how engaged the students were with teachers taking a back seat. What I observed and learned from the day is that while innovation is happening at the grass roots. However, the provincial education systems are challenged to keep pace with the curriculum to reflect the emerging needs of students to prepare them for the global digital village we now live in. Perhaps we need to adopt the notion of agile and rapid curriculum development, both in K12 and Post-secondary.

Be sure to check out our fascinating seleciton of Top10 news stories and in particular the Conference Board of Canada story– Canada Gets an “A” in Education, But Needs to Fix Links Between Post-Secondary Schooling and Workforce. We have work to do in closing the gap between K12 and Post-secondary student readiness.

I hope you enjoy this week’s Top10.  We’re inspired by the growing pockets of excellence we see across Canadian education systems, and welcome your comments and continued updates!

Until next time, keep the digital learning curve steep!

P.S. Drop me a note if you’d like to attend our 14th ISTE CanAm Celebration of Excellence Meetup June 25th in Chicago.
Robert Martellacci, M.A. EdTech
President, MindShare Learning Technology™
Chief Digital Curator, The MindShare Learning Report™
Co-founder & President C21 Canada™

Follow us on Twitter @MindShareLearn

“Canada gives its students a first-rate education at the primary and secondary levels.” “Our priority must be to build on this strong foundation to make Canada more innovative, competitive, and dynamic.”

“A pressing need is to strengthen the links between high school and the post-secondary system. Within the post-secondary system, we must improve coordination among offerings, thereby creating better pathways to workplaces, jobs and careers. And Canadian employers need to step forward with increased resources for education and retraining of their workers.”

– Daniel Muzyka, President and CEO, The Conference Board of Canada

1. Canada gets an “A” in Education but needs to Fix Links between Post-Secondary Schooling and Workforce.
March 27th, 2018 – Conference Board of Canada
Canada’s system of education and skills remains one of the best in the world, but needs to do much better at matching what Canadians learn to evolving labour market needs.

Ottawa, March 27, 2013—Canada’s system of education and skills remains one of the best in the world, but needs to do much better at matching what Canadians learn to evolving labour market needs.

2. University of Waterloo program aims to reverse women’s flight from computer science
April 16th, 2018 – The Globe and Mail

When Joanne Atlee was an undergraduate student in computer science, more than a third of her class was made up of women. In graduate school, those ranks began to thin out, a decline that has continued through much of her career as a professor at the University of Waterloo.

“All of a sudden I am an instructor at Waterloo and 10 per cent of the class is female and it’s ‘Oh no, what happened?’”

3. Made by humans: A recipe for innovation
April 12th, 2018 – Financial Post

Innovation doesn’t just happen — it is designed by humans for humans.

While economists discuss new theories, scientists develop new technologies and industrialists exploit new markets, the process of innovation is first and foremost socially constructed. To navigate its complex and risky path requires courage and knowledge — courage to learn the recipe, and knowledge of the techniques.

4. Announcing Canada’s Top 7 Innovative School Programs
April 6th, 2018 – EdCan
From students managing farms and marketing organic products while re-engaging in a Worldview First Nation perspective, to tackling bee extinction, to leveraging art as a tool for activism and for portraying scientific concepts, to thriving inclusive and equitable classrooms, this year’s diverse group of winning programs all exemplify the value of learning through trial and error.
5. Lingo Media Completes First Installation Under Its Alliance With HP Inc.
April 17th, 2018 – Lingo Media

The  ELL LAP installation will enable offline learning for ELL Technologies’ Campus English language learning program for students at the university through its multi-room deployment.

“We are pleased to announce the first installation of the  LAP device under our partnership with HP and are very excited to be a part of this innovative classroom-focused initiative to merge high-speed ubiquitous wireless access with blended learning.” said Gali Bar-Ziv, COO of Lingo Media. “With the best-in-class Learning Access Point solution, we expect to continue to expand the market for our digital learning solutions throughout Mexico and Latin America.”

6. In place of This Week in EdTech, one of the highlights for Mindshare was taking in an elementary student-led conference in Dufferin Peel CDSB – Power M.E. Up STEAM Conference
April 17th, 2018 – MindShare Learning
Students teaching students about coding at a student-led Power M.E. Up STEAM Conference
7. Why Is It so Hard to Teach K-12 Educators How to Personalize Learning?
April 18th, 2018 – EdSurge

As a long-time music teacher and instructional technology coach, modeling has been key to my work for over a decade. The concept of gradual release of responsibility is second nature to me when working with students in grades K-12, but in my new role teaching graduate students in an education technology program, I am struggling to model so many of the practices I expect these teachers to use in their own classrooms.

8. Women in EdTech: Women Founders and Co-founders in Edtech
April 17th, 2018 – ELearning Inside News

When it comes to founders and co-founders, in the tech world, women continue to lag behind their male counterparts. As recently reported on TechCrunch, “In 2017  just 17 percent of companies had a female founder.” The same article emphasized that this number has not changed in five years and that companies with at least one woman founder raised only 8 percent of late-stage money in 2016.

9. How to Turn your Classroom into an Ecosystem of Innovation
April 20th, 2018 – The Tech Edvocate

Are you ready to help your students explode with creativity and fresh ideas? Switching up the structure and organization of your classroom could be your ticket to nurturing learners who value innovation. Education technology provides educators with all of the tools they need to make this shift possible. All it requires is a little planning and a desire to deviate from the traditional pathways that have long defined academia in the classroom.

10. MindShare Workspace TV Launches first Episode with Inaugural Member, Colin Barry

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Virtual School Course Design: Accommodating Students with Disabilities – Academia.edu

A third open scholarship item.

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Experts in course design, by contrast, have reported that they feel their work is to design a template of curriculum materials for a general population of students, but that teachers, parents, and on-site mentors must be the ones to individualize for students with special needs, even when other personalization features are embedded in the course (Rice, Mellard, Pace, & Carter, 2016). Thus, while online learning, with its promise of flexibility, holds potential to mitigate multiple dilemmas in providing high quality education to large numbers of students, new challenges are also…

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The emerging research base for online learning and students with disabilities.

Rice, M., & Dykman, B. (2018). The emerging research base for online learning and students with disabilities. In R. Ferdig and K. Kennedy (Eds.) Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 189-206). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.  Students served under federal civil rights laws (i.e., IDEA, Section 504) are entitled to enroll in the full range of online learning environments and receive mandated services. Attending to these students’ needs has presented challenges for educators in online schools, but research that would inform decision-making and planning has been scarce….

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