Sunday, September 23, 2012

Digital Classrooms and BC’s Education Plan

This post is a compilation of activities, links and resources for the staff at Laity View Elementary.


BC’s Education Plan

The Ministry of Education in BC has a plan to change education in the province.  Their tag line is “The World Has Changed…The Way We Educate Our Children Should Too.” 

Watch this video and read the summary of the plan.


SWOT Analysis

We will work in groups to complete this chart.

Strengths of the Plan Weaknesses

Questions – what further questions do you have about the plan?  Are there details that are key to understanding and implementing the plan?


Blogging in the Classroom

Here is a demonstration of the an amazing blogging tool Posterous.  Posterous can take photos in an email attachment and format them into a great looking blog post.  When you send Posterous an email with a link to a YouTube video it automatically embeds the video onto the blog site.  Posterous also automatically embeds documents created in Word or even sound clips too.

  1. Be a guest blogger on my site by sending an email to  Test the site by including a photo, image, a link to a youtube video or a document.  Once the posts are approved by the teacher they will appear on the website.
  2. View the results at

Your turn.  Create a free account at Posterous and start your first blog.  Choose a template and send in your first post.


Twitter for Educators

BIG IDEA: Participating in a Professional Learning Network

Here are some of the essential twitter skills that you’ll need to build a professional learning network.

Login and view your timeline

Twitter is like a newspaper in that every time you login there is a stream of text, links and thoughts to explore.  Scroll through your list of tweets from people you follow.

Please start by adding your twitter account to this list ( so we can connect to each other.  My twitter address is:!/jmcconville1000, I look forward to following you back.

Write your Bio

Then upload a picture – most people won’t follow people without the basic information.

Following others

You’ll notice right away that people start following you.  Don’t be alarmed most people find you by the connections that twitter suggests.  When it comes to following people back here are some suggestions:

  • Follow people that have similar roles as yourself.  I always follow back educators that follow me.
  • Follow local people that you know!  Obvious but sometimes overlooked.
  • Politicians and special organizations are all tuned to twitter now.  Check for BC politicians or your BCTF executive.
  • News organizations that you visit will send out tweets of their headlines with a link to the full article if you are interested.
  • Look for people that don’t tweet too often.  If they are writing about what they had at the conference lunch then move along.

Make a list to categorize the people you follow such as people from your district to join the conversation.  Here are my lists.

Reply and Retweet

Now that you have a few people in your timeline it is time to send a thought, comment or response to someone.  Retweeting is a way to repeat what someone else said to your followers.

Sending a Tweet

Most people spend a while ‘lurking’ and reading other tweets before sending out their own post.  Looking for ideas?  Here is my guide to writing a good tweet.

Search Terms & Hashtags

They sound weird but are simply a way to find people having a conversation about a specific topic. Check out #Canucks (during a hockey game), #edchat (adhoc educational conversations),#bcedplan (BC’s education plan) or  ____

Advanced Skills – experts only

Use a tool like TweetDeck to personalize the experience. Twitter on your cell or other device.

Manage your followers – some tools to help you weed and prune.


Will this supplant twitter AND facebook in the future.  Google thinks so. View this video that explains how G+ works.  Unique features include circles, hangouts and more.

People to follow:

Monday, September 10, 2012

World’s Largest Science Experiment

Looking to engage your students in science.  Here is a very cool event being organized by the government of Canada to promote science education.  I’m part of the organizing committee and wanted to get this out to a many educators as possible.  Anyone in the world can participate!  I hope you take 30 minutes with your students to be part of this event!



I am pleased to send you the announcement we are now circulating to parties that may be interested in our World Record-setting event.

As you may already know, we at and our partners are organizing the World's Largest Practical Science Lesson at multiple locations. It is a world record-setting event that will take place for 30 minutes on Friday, October 12, at exactly the same time across Canada.


We are now looking for event organizers and participants to make this historic record as great as possible. Do you think that you or the members of your organization would be interested in promoting this event for young Canadians? Or perhaps you would like to join other science centres, schools and organizations across Canada in being part of this memorable and fun experience.

The event will follow a simple lesson plan about Bernoulli's Principle, and attendees will perform two very simple experiments based on it.

All participating organizations and schools will be recognized, and event certificates for awarding to all who participate will be available for downloading from

Please visit to find out more and register.  This record-setting event will also mark the beginning of the National Science and Technology Week, which will be held this year from October 12 to 21 with celebrations and fun events for all Canadians.

Please help us by sharing this e-mail with any individuals and organizations that you think may be interested in helping out with this fun and educational science event.

I look forward to your reply, and will welcome any suggestions you might want to make to ensure that this event is a success!

Best wishes,