PowerUP

Update on Peel's Vision for 21st Century Teaching & Learning

Our vision

The Peel District School Board’s focus on 21st Century Teaching & Learning is not about Wi-Fi installation or which tablets we buy. It’s about how staff teach and how students learn, using technology.


Research shows that the effective use of technology in learning increases engagement which leads to increased student success. This is our shared goal. Our progress will be measured on how well we use the technology to improve learning and power up student success.


Learn more about the board's Vision for 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

#Peel21st Storify

If you're on Twitter, we hope that you've been following the #Peel21st hasghtag. It's the best way to see how staff and students are using technology in the classrooms. Here is a collection of just a few tweets from the past few months.


Be sure to check out the #peel21st hashtag as well as the weekly Storifys for more ideas, resources and conversations.

Beyond Your Own Device

Today's students are already technology leaders. They want to take the technology they use in their daily lives and make it a normal part of their classroom experience. This is one of the reasons why we launched our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative in Peel schools.


But BYOD is not about the device, it is about the engagement—the learning! And to make a real difference in learning, every student does not need his or her own device (1:1). In fact, even five or six devices in a classroom can have a powerful impact on student success (1:3 or 1:4).


Collaboration matters


Used collaboratively, technology can transform learning. Here are some of the ways 1:3 can work better than 1:1:

  • Shared access promotes learning through rich discussion.
  • Students dig deeper into subject content when they discuss personal interests related to the topic.
  • Each team member works to their strengths in support of positive group outcomes.
  • All learning skills are practiced daily when students share devices in team learning activities.
  • Students receive immediate feedback and coaching from their peers.


Watch students in Centennial Sr. Public School’s SciTech program, led by Teacher Andrew Dobbie, demonstrate how collaboration around devices inspires student success.

Munden Park Public School participates in Hour of Code

During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9 to 15, 2013), 500 students from Munden Park Public School participated in Hour of Code. The Hour Of Code is a global campaign designed to spread the word about and demystify programming/coding.


The week-long initiative at Munden Park was led by Teacher Tony Saccucci. He sees every grade 1 to 5 class in the school's computer lab twice a week. Lessons leading up to Hour of Code hyped the campaign and its important link to learning.


During the week, each class participated in their own Hour of Code. To enhance the experience, he provided students with KitKats—the same snack Google's programmers/coders snack on while coding.


Students were encouraged to work with a partner/partners to increase retention and understanding of the skills and process involved. They worked on a computer or a tablet or both, and used web-based programs and apps (e.g., Light Bot, Kodable, RoboLogic, Daisy the Dino, The Maze) to code on their own, with the support of Saccucci.


Students were fully engaged throughout the hour. All students received a Certificate of Completion celebrating their participation.


Watch some of the school's Vine videos to get a glimpse into the Hour of Code experience.

Labs and Carts on Wheels (COW)

The board expects, due to changing technology options and continual price decreases, that schools will begin to purchase and leverage mobile technologies. This move supports the true integration of technology in classrooms.


Moving from standard desktop computers in labs and libraries to the purchase of mobile technologies will increase the availability of technology and improve access to technology for students.


This, however, does not mean that all computer labs will disappear. Some secondary courses require consistent access to computer labs due to the nature of the courses' Ministry of Education expectations. Examples of such courses include Computer Science and Media Arts.


As technology has changed, we have improved how technology is distributed and accessed in schools.


COW


In previous years, the COW had to be moved throughout the school as the wireless access point was attached to the cart. Now that schools have Wi-Fi installed, there is no need to move the COW throughout the building.


Instead, schools have found it effective to have mobile technology stored in the library and bar-coded like a book. In this way teachers and/or students can sign out mobile technology that can be used in the library learning commons and/or taken to classrooms for use. This allows the school to track the technology and ensures that the charging and storage of the technology is cared for by the school librarian.

Library at Allan A. Martin Sr. Public School enters digital age

Watch CTV News' story about the Learning Commons at Allan A. Martin Sr. Public School and how it is transforming learning for students.

Equity of access a key priority

We know that not all parents can or want to send their child to school with a device. That’s why teachers continue to plan assuming that not every student will bring a personally owned device to school. As well, we know that technology will not be used every day for every lesson.


We are committed to working with technology providers to create greater equity of access to technology for our families. The Peel board has partnered with VIG Solutions to offer a low-cost tablet option for parents. Currently, we are meeting with a laptop provider on a plan to support Peel middle and secondary students.


To assist with equity of access, there may also be opportunities for School Councils to supplement the purchase of technology.


Investment in 21st Century teaching & learning


Devices and other technology are available for students to use at school, and all students will have greater access to technology in their classrooms than they have had in the past. This is due, in large part, to a $7 million investment by the Peel board, but also due to the board's annual computer plan allocation formula (see below), which provides top-up funds for small schools and those with a high Social Risk Index.


The computer funds allocation model, which provides maximum flexibility to schools in their equipment decisions, was developed through the Core Classroom Technology Sub-Committee in consultation with Peel Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (PPVPA) and Peel Association of Secondary School Principals (PASSP).


Questions about budget allocation?

Technology purchases—what to purchase?

School technology planning will vary from school to school, and purchases are made based on local program needs. Each school will implement teaching and learning technologies in ways that make a real difference for students.


Board funding models have continued to support the sustainment of a desktop computer in classrooms. To supplement this, it is important for administrators to consult and collaborate with staff and parents to plan for the purchase and use of technology that supports 21st Century teaching and learning, and ensures equity of access. Administrators may also consult with their Instructional Technology Resource Teacher and LAN technician on their long-term technology vision for the school.


Find guiding questions, worksheets and other resources on the Peel 21st site. Products available for purchase are found on Purchasing's portal. Purchases must adhere to the board's procurement guidelines.


Questions about what to purchase?

  • Patrick McQuade, Curriculum & Instruction Support Services, at 905-890-1010 ext. 2138 or by email at patrick.mcquade@peelsb.com
  • Sally Briggs, Learning Technology Support Services, at 905-890-1010 ext. 2286 or by email at sally.briggs@peelsb.com

Central Peel Secondary School students finding success under flipped classroom model

For the last three years, several teachers at Central Peel Secondary School have been using the flipped classroom approach in a variety of subject areas, i.e. Math, Business, Science and English as a Second Language. In fact, grade 11 and 12 Accounting classes have been fully flipped for 1.5 years now.


Lessons are pre-recorded by the teacher using Screen Capture Software and posted to YouTube. Students review how to be engaged and active while watching videos at the beginning of the semester. They are then asked to watch lessons at home or outside of class time and be prepared for class.


During class, students work collaboratively on problems, with the teacher available to help and give feedback. This allows more class time for interactive games and other engaging activities.


Dianne Fitzpatrick, teacher at Central Peel believes there are many benefits to this approach:


  • Students who miss class can easily stay caught up.
  • Students can work at their own pace (some learn faster than others).
  • Help is available when they need it.
  • Students can re-watch and rewind lessons as many times as they feel they need to.
  • Lessons can be reviewed again before tests or exams.


Students are enjoying it and give feedback on a regular basis. Learn more on Fitzpatrick's blog.