# Uncategorized

## Why Teach Computer Science in K-8? I Want Every Kid to Code by @mraspinall

Evey kid should learn to code because it teaches you how to think. -Steve Jobs Yesterday I had a bit of a flashback. Our VP’s niece is currently studying Physics at Laurentian University whre it is mandatory for her to take a Java programming course. I am happy to hear that ‘real’ computer science is […]

## App Smashing + Augmented Reality = Culminating Math Activity by @mraspinall

App Smashing: A Definition … The art of imaginatively using multiple apps to create an enhanced project. There are no limitations here peeps … let your mind (and your students minds) soar! I’ve been feeling quite inspired lately. I account some of that to my role on our TLLP project of helping others with technology. […]

## Finding The Factors of a Number Using Computer Science by @mraspinall #edtech

Factors and multiples. A very important mathematics concept. Understanding how to determine factors and multiples is a unique skill. There are divisibility rules for numbers ending in 0, 5, 2 etc. There is the sum of the digits rule. This week we took these practices to the next step. When it was evident we (as […]

## From Rote Learning to Blended Gaming with @GetKahoot!

I first heard of Kahoot from @MmeM27 who teaches French at our school. She was using it to teach French vocabulary in a very engaging manner. I noticed she had placed face images as questions and the students had to determine the appropriate emotion. Impressive. I immediately saw a connection to my math program. Our […]

## “Homework” is no Longer Being Done at Home

One of the benefits of an LMS like Google Classroom is that is tracks student progress on your behalf. Yesterday I put this to the test in a little experiment to see if my students were checking our Google Classroom without being prompted. What is interesting about this situation is the assignment I posted was […]

## There Is No Room For Ego in School #leadership #lkdsb

I read a short article this weekend about the possibility of schools letting teachers operate the direction based on consensus of staff. Not just about classroom decisions, but budgets and even hiring. It’s a unique idea and there is a video here from PBS: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/09/what-if-teachers-were-charged-with-setting-school-direction/ I thought about this for a while this weekend. Although […]

## Seven Back to School Week Activities to Get to Know Your Students

Sorry I lied. This post is not a list. People like lists though so I thought I’d piggy back the concept. I have a bizarre sense of humour. To be honest, I didn’t have a title. It’s back to school time as noted by every article in my zite feed. I’ve read countless lists this […]

## Clipkwik

Are you an educator? Are you a student? Are you constantly on the look for an engaging video to reassure a concept with your students? Are you a student looking for a video clip to help your studies? Using this service, you can search once and get results from multiple sources like teachertube, schooltube, howcast […]

## @scrawlar & @nkwiry For the School Year Start-Up

With September just around the corner, I want to share the latest on these tool web tools I have been working on over the last year or so. I’ve been busy adding, editing and debugging…. scrawlar (www.scrawlar.com) is a web based (html5) word processor and whiteboard. What this means is that students can write, edit, […]

## Stop Coding Just to Code

First of all – I don’t much care for the term “coding”, especially when it comes to linking blocks on a tablet so I am going to use the term loosely here and in quotes. There is a ton of critical thinking and problem solving but is it really “coding”? Nothing gets compiled. I suppose […]

Before we say goodbye forever, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am that I could be your teacher this year and last. I hope you know how much happiness you bring into my life and how much I genuinely enjoy interacting with you. I can’t tell you how many days I […]

## Curriculum as a Vehicle – Guest Post by @BeuckelareNic #lkdsb

Nicole Beuckelare is a friend and colleague of mine. She teaches at the secondary school we feed into. Nicole and I shared some ideas last week at #TLLP14 in Toronto so I asked her if she was willing to write for me. She has a great vision for curriculum, not as a driving force but […]

## Its Not About The Technology

Here we are. 2014. Fourteen years into the 21st century yet I keep reading about “21st century teaching practices” as if they are new. I’m growing tired of the countless lists of things/tools/ways to teach in this 21st century. It is not about the technology. It is not about the iPad. It is not about […]

## The Importance of School Culture

Remember Fight Club? Remember the rules of Fight Club? The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club We don’t really have a school wide set of rules. This can be problematic for some staff who need the boundaries made clear, but students don’t seem to mind. They have taken […]

This has been a recurring topic of conversation at school this year. Why do we ask students to remove hats when they enter the school? It’s a constant battle as many teachers attempt to enforce the rule as guards at the door. Far too often I hear “hats please” instead of “good morning!” when students […]

## You Asked For It! Now You Can Upload Pics to Sketch on!

We knew this feature would be a hit. When creating sketches you now have the ability to upload from your computer or camera roll to the canvas. This way you can share more with your students! When you click ‘New Sketch’ you will be asked whether you wish to create with a blank background or […]

## Uncomfortable in edu is the new norm. – A Guest Post By FSL Teacher @MmeM27

Myria Mallete is a colleague of mine. She is a fantastic teacher who makes worldly connections to her FSL classroom and finds ways to incorporate technology other people never seem to understand. She is a change maker, whether she realizes it or not. My grade 8 homeroom looks forward to French class on a daily […]

## Managers Get You Into Trouble, Leaders Get You Out-Highlights From #edcampswo

“It’s OK to be where you are, it’s not OK to stay there” Yesterday was our second EdCampSWO event and it was quite the success. We decided to run our event in parallel with EdCampLondon and use Google Hangout to share sessions. We had close to 300 people in attendance between both locations! Doug Peterson […]

## @scrawlar has been overhauled! A new web whiteboard & word processor all in one.

For quite sometime I have been tinkering and toying with the idea of adding a shared whiteboard to scrawlar. Until recently, scrawlar was a web word processor for teachers and students to share word docs. It was created to allow classrooms who share devices an option for typing, editing, collaborating and sharing by pushing student […]

## 31 Ontario Teacher Twitter Accounts Worth Following

My PLN is growing everyday with teachers from all over the world. In no particular order, I want to share some “local” twitter accounts worth following – teachers within the province of Ontario. I don’t want to offend anyone I missed so my formula for this list is based on who I have tweeted with […]

## All in a Flap – Students Creating Flappy Bird Clones Using TouchDevelop #CSK8 by @mraspinall

TouchDevelop is awesome. It is another tool for students to ‘code’ on a tablet. Built using HTML5 and boy does it work. TouchDevelop lets you create apps on iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, Windows Phone. Our touch-friendly editor makes coding fun, even on your phone or tablet! Yesterday our class had their first opportunity to […]

## A Reflection of TEDxCK

TEDxCK was a huge success. There were an overwhelming amount of ideas and inspiration shared by community members from all industries. I was even introduced to a group of developers who are working on a Maker Movement right here in Chatham. There were singers, comedians, doctors, authors, start-up people, and of course people from LKDSB. […]

There you have it – COPD. Choose your own PD. Yesterday I received the following tweet: Dear #PLN, who might be interested in sharing their expertise on assessment with some colleagues? Would you, @mraspinall , @kmalandruccolo — Robin Dubiel (@RobinDubiel) February 10, 2014   And I quickly shared: @RobinDubiel Any particular subject area? Immediately I […]

## An Educational Debate: 10 Progressive vs. Traditional Teaching Ideas by @mraspinall

I want to start this post by admitting progressive teaching has nothing (per se) to do with technology. Instead it is a pedagogical shift in the teacher’s mind. Yup – I used the word pedagogical. For those who know me, I’m not a fan of the word, but it applies here. Do I consider myself […]

Teachers have been blogging for years now about the power of social media and the importance of belonging to a PLN so I don’t expect this post to be a surprise to anyone but I would still like to recount yesterdays events. Let me rewind a bit. This weekend our senior boys basketball team participated […]

## Are You Attending @edcampSWO ?

Are you attending EdCampSWO on April 12, 2014? EdCamp South Western Ontario wants you to come and ask questions, offer resolutions and learn! Check out this video from edcampToronto. In a nutshell EdcampSWO is an ‘unconference‘. Do you like sharing ideas with other educators? Do you enjoy talking about the latest trends in education? Then […]

## TEDX Chatham Kent – Small Town, Big Ideas – Why This Conference is so Important For Me as a Teacher

It’s a humbling feeling to say the least. I have been chosen to speak at the first annual TEDx event here in Chatham Kent. As far as I can tell, I am the only educator. Other speakers are all successful experts in their own respective field and I hope to make some good connections. From […]

## How the Jelly App Will Help Change Education (Sorry Siri)

For quite sometime now I have been wondering about certain content knowledge items in education. Math formulas, historical dates, things like that. Now I’m not saying they aren’t import I am just questioning the certain quiz and tests we give our students. I’m certain we can all admit someone in our school still gives a […]

## 50 Things I Have Learned in the Last Few Years

Well, this is my first post of 2014. I want to start with a list of what I have learned in the last few years. Posting resources to my website every morning has given students a glimpse into the day. Allowing students to find valuable videos online will make them watch more closely. Allowing students […]

## Punk Learning

I love this term. It was first coined by Tait Coles (@TotallyWired77) in 2011. Punk Learning means many different things to different people. To me, I can summarize it with one statement – Put the kids first. Don’t let data drive your instruction. Don’t let policies you disagree with interfere with your student’s learning. Don’t […]

## Now That’s How You Make Toast! Using Computer Algorithms.

Yesterday I discussed with my class the basics of Procedural Writing. My grade 8 students have been writing procedures for close to ten years now and I wanted to introduce a little Computer Science. In my first year of Computer Science in the year 2000 I had to writer computer algorithms for trivial tasks like […]

## Thanks for my great life, Mr. Mandela!

Katherine is a 22 year old University student from South Africa. Yesterday she gave us an opportunity to chat and answer some questions relating to her life and Nelson Mandela. Tracy is just introducing you to the kids right now. Take a bow! (That’s Katharine in the middle) Lol! Bow taken So here comes a […]

## Joyful Blogging – In Response to @bgrasley and @dougpete

Brandon Grasley and Doug Peterson both challenged me and other Ontario bloggers to be joyful in our blogging and share in Lee Kolbert’s challenge. Here’s my entry in the fun. The Process Acknowledge the nominating blogger. Share 11 random facts about yourself. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. List 11 […]

## Classroom Control Interferes With Innovation

Last night I noticed this tweet by David Fife and it really got me thinking. When you are more concerned with losing "control" of your classroom program you're in the way of innovation and learning — David Fife (@DavidFifeVP) December 12, 2013 For so many years classroom management was leveled by the noise (or lack […]

## Games Based Learning as an Extra-Curricular

I am a gamer. I should rephrase that. I am a retro gamer who loves a good modern side scroller or top level RPG. I really enjoying watching my students develop 2D side scoller games. They are paying a big tribute to the NES and Sega Genesis – namely my youth! You can read about […]