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Student Voice and School Design

    "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." ~ Malala Yousafzai   I was doing a bit of organizing and cleaning of my files last night when I came across a report that I had written in 2008 when I was a learning technologies coordinator. In late 2007, upon the request of my superintendent, I organized and ran a Student Voices Forum on Technology with the purpose of gathering input from some of our high school students on the current state of technology in schools and more importantly what they thought school needed in order to help them learn. We invited 2 students from each high school to participate in a variety of activities with no teacher or adult support other than 6 learning technologies coordinators to guide and facilitate the conversations. The students did a masterful job of articulating their thoughts and ideas for us....
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Technology Can Be Invisible

  "Technology should be present but ‘invisible’. When we pick up a pen or pencil, we don’t call it a ‘pencil activity’, the same goes for any other technology." ~ David Truss   It's amazing how things come together. On Friday I was fortunate to be covering for a principal at a school close to mine while she attended a meeting. Fortunate because I was invited to be a guest in a grade 5 classroom that was presenting their research findings to the local member of provincial parliament (@JeffYurekMPP), the mayor of Central Elgin, representatives from Kettle Creek Conservation Authority and Erin Mutch our learning coordinator for environment education. The project was designed by the classroom teacher and Jen Aston, an instructional coach with our board. As I moved from group to group and talked to the students I began to formulate this blog post in my mind. Then, this morning...
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Is Innovation Possible in Education?

"For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." ~ Margaret Heffernan   The definition of innovation from Merriam-Webster is: the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device. Innovation in education seems to be a popular topic with boards of education. But what is innovation really? For many, the word conjures up images of computers and technological advances, which is partly true. Innovation, however, can manifest itself in many ways. It could present as alternative furniture, unique school and classroom design, or even alternative and creative timetabling. The difficulty is that the organization looking to innovate must have a culture that promotes and celebrates innovative ideas. In other words employees must be free to create new ideas and to think differently. Without this culture the concept of innovation will only be ever be a "buzz" word.  George Couros has written about innovation in...
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