Making Learning Optional Makes Learning Better (Google Innovation Academy – Part 3)

There's something that Erica Fox, Google's Director of People Development, said to us that keeps coming back to me. When talking about growing Googlers (aka professional development), she said, "At Google, nothing is mandatory." Wait, what?! Training sessions, even their awesome "noogler" on-boarding process - optional. They will nudge and prompt you to go to relevant [...]

Informacy is as Important as Literacy and Numeracy (Google Innovation Academy – Part 2)

How do we teach in an innovative world? What is our value as educators? It used to be that educators were the keepers and distributors of knowledge and information - that is no longer the case. How do we reshape our ideas of learning and what is important to learn when the world's information is [...]

How Might We Make School the Best Place to Learn? (Google Innovation Academy – Part 1)

I recently returned from Mountain View, California, where I was blessed to spend three mind-blowing days at Google's headquarters participating in the Google for Education Innovation Academy. These days were jam-packed with so many takeaways that I've struggled to put it all into words. There will be more blogging to come on various lessons learned but for today, [...]

The Secret to Being Good at Technology

OK, I don't really think there's a secret, but.... Expect that things will go wrong. Seriously. A think a big part of my role in teaching my students technology is teaching them how to be problem-solvers when something goes wrong. I feel like I have this conversation on a regular basis: "Ms, it won't turn [...]

That Moment When

I think we all have a collection of "those moments" in our minds. The ones that remind us why we became a teacher. The ones that we can look back on to lift our spirits during the not-as-good moments. I've been busy lately. I think I've had a meeting or "extra" something everyday the past [...]

What *isn’t* learning?

I'm a big fan of putting kids at the centre of their own learning and giving them as much control as possible. By putting students in control, you can get unintended results. Sometimes students start an activity that makes me question if that activity is "school appropriate". Some things are obvious. If it's violent, negative, [...]

The Power of Self-Regulation

This year, my students and I have been focusing on self-regulation in the technology lounge. It is one of six learning skills on the Ontario report card, which defines it as: Sets own individual goals and monitors progress towards achieving them. Seeks clarification or assistance when needed. Assesses and reflects critically on own strengths, needs, and interests. [...]