Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Best Practices for BYOD Implementation

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

The following is an introductory guide to implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) project in K-12 schools. The information in the table serves as a guideline to aid administrators and teachers in planning for their BYOD initiative. The contributors have a minimum of three years experience implementing technology as a tool for learning within their work context.  

The people involved in this project were:

  • Lori Brown – English & Design Teacher, Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School
  • Andrew Hannah – Math Teacher, Beaconsfield High School
  • Rosemary Hill – English & Math Teacher, Beaconsfield High School
  • Amanda McCulloch – English & History Teacher, Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School
  • Kim Meldrum – Pedagogical Consultant in Technology Innovation & Google for Education Trainer, LBPSB
  • Louise Outland – French Teacher, Beurling Academy
  • Maria Pan – English Teacher, Beurling Academy
  • Chris Webb – Math Teacher & Google for Education Trainer, Westwood Senior High School


Google Doc Version | PDF Version (09/06/2016)

Digital Citizenship in the Math Classroom

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

A lot of Math teachers are not interested in Digital Citizenship; their subject is very paper based, they don’t see how Digital Citizenship could possibly fit into their subject area, or they simply don’t think that it is their job. I think that they are wrong.

Why? Well it’s fairly simple, given the right tools and few ideas you can actually lead your schools Digital Citizenship Curriculum from your Math classroom.


As we all know a lot of Math is all about thought processes. If the thought process doesn’t make sense, then often the work on the paper, and at the end of it all, the solution doesn’t make sense. Students are inherently bad at showing that thought process, because all we ask them to do is show their work (i.e. the mathematical steps) but not to show why they did this. But by blogging, we can get students to do a problem, and then write a blog post about what they had to do, how they solved the problem, and why. You can use whatever blog platform you want, but if you’re using Google Apps for Education, it makes sense to use Blogger.

Once you begin blogging, you can now open up conversations about appropriateness of content, and about freedom of speech.

Digital Portfolios

Students spend a lot of time in Math working on activities with manipulatives, completing work on paper, or completing exercises from workbooks. The problem with this is they have no evidence for the future, the number of times that my classes have completed a puzzle to just put all the bits away, with no record is shocking.

The solution is easy though, use a Digital Portfolio to get students to record what they did, they could take photos with a phone or tablet, and record their accomplishments. This gets them to reflect on their best work, and to showcase it for the future.

There are plenty of ways to do this, but a Google Site, or a blog are the simplest methods. Using a website is teaching your students important web design skills.

Online Communities

Using an online community in Math can be rewarding, it’s easy to set up your own, using tools like Google Groups, or Classroom (if you prefer you can use Edmodo, or Schoology). This is a great way to begin Math conversations, and to talk about appropriate use of discussion forums, and how to stay safe.

The inclusion of Digital Citizenship is an important one, in all subject areas. No matter your experience and knowledge you can help your students learn.


GAFE and Creating Reflective Learners

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think — rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men” – John Dewey*

Imagine!!! John Dewey wrote about the critical role of learning from our experiences and developing reflective practice as far back as 1938 and yet we are still working on these two essential components becoming  integral aspects of both teaching and learning.

The great news is that now we have incredibly powerful GAFE tools available to both teachers and learners that will facilitate these amazing practices.  Here are some examples using Padlet.


  • Accessing students’ prior knowledge:  When students enter your classroom have a Padlet page on the screen with an open ended question posted directing them to share any information that they have on a new topic or concept that you are introducing.  This is a great way to find out what your students already know.  It is rewarding to them and allows you to adjust your lesson planning accordingly.
  • Padlet can also be used at the end of a lesson for the teacher to reflect on the learning of the students.  The students can be asked to share on Padlet one new thing that they learned during the lesson.  The teacher will then have a record of that learning and can reflect on whether or not they need to add to their lesson plan, change things up or move on. (checking for understanding)
  • Padlet gives a voice to students to never put their hand up and those who are never called upon.

Padlet – How To by Richard Bryne

Padlet Features

Kim Meldrum, M.Ed. Google Education Trainer and LBPSB Pedagogical Consultant

*”The aim of education should be to teach us rather how … – Mindbloom.” <>

It’s Time to Embrace Your Child’s Digital Life – Nov. 6 Webinar

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 2.44.17 PMThe Lester B. Pearson School Board in conjunction with the Board’s Digital Citizenship Program held a live streamed parent webinar November 6, 2013. Dr. Alissa Sklar Ph.D. and Tanya Avrith M.A. Ed Tech facilitated the webinar. The focus of the webinar addresses how we can use social media in positive ways as well as a vehicle to improve learning.

Topics that were addressed:

• Develop an understanding of how your child builds their digital footprint.

• Learn how to instill in your child values that will help them become responsible digital citizens.

• Learn some tips on how to engage online with your children.

• Practical ideas for how you can embrace digital technology with your child.

• Looking at how you can develop an understanding of how your child builds their digital footprint.

The videos that were addressed in the webinar can be found here:……

For more information on the Digital Citizenship Program visit:

You can also connect with:

Alissa Sklar at and follow her @alissasklar

Tanya Avrith at and follow her @edtechschools


How to Tackle Digital Citizenship the First 5 Days of School

Friday, November 8th, 2013


Digital citizenship is not a one time discussion. It is an ongoing process that needs to be taught to all grade levels and to all stakeholders. The problem is that things are changing so rapidly that it is difficult for everyone to keep up to date with the trends.  Everyone has to be educated and develop an understanding of the role digital citizenship plays in our everyday lives. There is so much that goes into being a digital citizen; from taking photos of others to knowing when it is appropriate to share something online.

Our students are like cowboys living in the wild wild west. Without any guidelines or structure they can get in a lot of trouble. Armed with a concrete plan for teaching about appropriate use you can guide your students to become better digital citizens, who will learn how to build their digital presence in a positive and productive way.

Day One: Create An Acceptable Use Policy WITH Your Students – Give Them a Voice

Every September we pass out the obligatory Acceptable Use Policies with little thought to what they include. This has to stop!  Instead, the first five days should be a time for an amazingly rich discussion on safety and responsibility. Get the students involved by writing a classroom AUP together and begin the discussion with a framework of questions that guide the process. When you involve students, they will surprise you with their ability to understand the choices behind their digital interactions. Student voice equals more student buy-in.

For this discussion, think about digital citizenship in general, at school, at home and in transit. A rich discussion should include these and other components:

  • Who is responsible for the technology or the device – what does that entail?
  • Who is in charge of accounts and where do they keep their passwords
  • Discuss the idea of password literacies
  • Decorating of devices – can students put any backgrounds and homescreen they want?
  • What will be the limits on pictures and movies
  • When can they be on social media and communicating with others?
  • Consequences of off-task behavior in class
  • Limits on personal work on device
  • Charging of devices
  • Parents monitoring at home – should kids have to power down at a certain point

Day Two:Discuss “Online Privacy”

It is essential that we teach our students that NOTHING they do online is EVER private. Social media sites such as Facebook have created a false sense of privacy for our students. They are lured into believing that privacy settings allow them to be protected. It is crucial that they understand what “digital” means. This is not the diary under their bed, on the contrary, it is the diary under everyones bed! Their digital life is easily reproducible and shareable to audiences from around the globe. These concepts are foreign to them. Ask your students how many friends they have on Facebook and you will see that they are sharing things with hundreds of “friends” they don’t really know. These friends can easily take screenshots and re-share with an unknown network of people. Consider having  the students complete Facebook and Twitter cleanups as a possible homework assignment. Reflecting on this cleanup effort will segue perfectly into day three.

Day Three:Personal Identity – Their Personal Brand and Reputation

Students need to understand that everything they post becomes part of their “personal brand.” To begin this discussion, have the students google themselves or their parents. Develop a discussion around the results, and ask the students to share what  they found. Where the results positive, negative or neutral? If we put the results all together what does this tell us about their digital footprint. If there are no searchable results this could be even worse because it means the student is not in control of their digital identity. With little digital identity information available someone else could easily populate lies and inappropriate photos about that student and ruin their reputation. Understanding this personal branding component of digital citizenship is crucial for our students. They need to USE social media to create, collaborate and CONSTRUCT their own personal brand – before someone else does it for them. Their digital reputation may be at stake.

Day Four:Digital Communication

Day four should be a time to delve into the idea of appropriate digital communication. Digital interactions can quickly become a sticky issue with some students – especially with the 1:1 device classes. Students with iPads want to use iMessage to talk during class, ask their teacher questions after hours and to communicate with their work groups after school. This type of collaboration is powerful, until someone overuses the tool or sends messages late into the night. Is it appropriate to text your teacher a question? Should you use Twitter to carry on a private conversation? All of these questions need to be addressed early in the year. A  class discussion around this topic is essential to come to a shared understanding.

 Day Five: Digital Etiquette

Thanks to the abundance of devices in our lives, there are now more cameras in any given classroom than there are people. Having a discussion about the digital etiquette of photos is now an essential component of any device infused classroom. Given that parent release should have  already been obtained it is imperative to address student to student permission. Our students need to learn that they cannot take a picture or video of someone and post it online without obtaining approval. As students begin to share more media projects with the world, it is imperative they follow certain guidelines. Students should have release forms ready for the other students to sign. This will serve to reinforce how important photos are to online privacy and reputation. A shared vocabulary around etiquette and taking photos should be developed.

 These activities for the first five days will help lay the groundwork for a productive and positive year. It will lessen the potential to have to react to negative communication. Starting the year off building relationships is the foundation to healthy and positive student digital identities and classroom culture.


Holly Clark is a Google Certified Teacher and National Board Certified Teacher. She is  the newest member of the EdTechTeacher team. She will be featured in many upcoming webinars and speaking at the iPad Summit. Follow her on Twitter at @HollyEdTechDiva.

 Tanya Avrith, MA. Ed Tech is a Google Certified Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator. She is the Educational Technology and Digital Citizenship Lead Teacher for the Lester B. Pearson School Board in Montreal Canada. Follow Tanya on Twitter @edtechschools

Both Holly and Tanya co-host where they highlight in short segments innovative teaching practices from around the globe.