Teachers learning to Twitter & Facebook via Smartphones & Tablets

Halton District School Board's Staff to acquire 21st century learning skills

Teachers learning about Social Networking Tools
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More than 300 Halton District School Board staff members will attend a one-day workshop on 21st century learning techniques and how to bring these new skills to the classroom to provide students an even richer educational experience.

On Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, staff will explore how the Halton Cloud (a sharing and storing system) and other tools can boost 21st century learning and collaboration with students and staff during a one-day symposium called, To the Clouds and Beyond.

“We want students to think critically, be more creative, collaborate effectively and delve into the social/emotional aspects of digital citizenship,”  – Jeff Cantania, Instructional Co-ordinator, Information & Communication Technology

Jeff Catania, the Board’s Instructional Coordinator for Information and Communication Technology, said staff members will learn how to use various technologies to improve numeracy, literacy and technology skills, how social media platforms like Twitter can be used to enhance communications for support services for students, and learn how to use tablets and smartphones to connect and engage with parent and school communities. He said the Board has adopted International Society for Technology in Education standards as a framework for 21st century learning. These are standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and are widely recognized and adopted worldwide.

“We want students to think critically, be more creative, collaborate effectively and delve into the social/emotional aspects of digital citizenship,” Catania said, noting the Board also supports teachers throughout the year with additional staff learning to augment this kind of event-based learning. “These skills are applicable to all subjects and programs and will help us prepare students for the 21st century.”

The Halton District School Board has embraced technology as a way to provide a fulsome learning experience for students in the classroom.

Two key areas include:

Bring I.T.

It encourages students and staff to bring information technology to school. It focuses on the broader questions of when and how personal technology can be used in classrooms and the best ways to use these devices. Included in this is the creation of a broader policy governing uses of mobile devices in class as well as addressing equity. The ultimate goal is to help students learn more effectively by feeling engaged.

Halton Cloud.

This is a suite of web-based messaging and applications Google hosts on their own servers. It provides tools and storage for students and staff members including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and forms. Google provides these applications as a service rather than as software to be downloaded and installed. Only a web browser on any computer with an Internet connection is required to access these applications. Each student and staff member has access to the Halton Cloud through a computer login.

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