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How do we prepare teachers for teaching and learning the ever evolving landscape of technology? Chris Kennedy, the Superintendent of Schools / CEO with the West Vancouver School District (West Vancouver, BC), suggests that
"We’ve shifted from seeing technology as a way to support distance learning to looking for ways to make blended learning part of every student’s educational experience. And we are beginning to move beyond being excited about the tools themselves to looking for ways we can best use these tools to support learning goals and good pedagogy."
Alberta Education's Guide to Education: Kindergarten to Grade 12 provides important guidelines for the school library program in Alberta schools:
"Students in Alberta schools should have access to an effective school library program that is integrated with instructional programs. Such library programs improve student opportunities for achieving a basic education. Student learning experiences should integrate information retrieval and research skills. These skills are learned best within the curricula. To promote integration, opportunities for cooperative planning between teachers and teacher–librarians should be provided.
In an integrated school library program, the services and activities are not peripheral or supplementary to the school’s instructional program; they are an
essential and dynamic part of it. The integrated library program broadens, deepens and personalizes learning by involving students in the planned and
purposeful use of resources. Library resources are designed to help students expand their abilities to find, generate, evaluate and apply information.
Developing these information skills will, in turn, prepare students to function effectively as individuals and as full participants in society. An integrated school library program attends not only to its formal instructional role, but also to its function as a centre for informal learning. As a resource centre, the school library should be a place where students can pursue their individual educational interests." (p.69)
Alberta Education (2012). Guide to Education: Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2012-2013). Edmonton Alberta: Alberta Education
Retrieved from http://education.alberta.ca/media/6719891/guidetoed2012.pdf
The school learning commons should be a space where learning and technology intersect. Ewan McIntosh discusses ways to create multiple learning spaces within your school and/ or learning commons:
Many schools offer literacy programs in and around Edmonton, Alberta, but Dunluce Public School at 11735 162nd Ave might be the only school that combines a reading club with breakfast.
Teachers say that offering breakfast is a vital part of the project, but that the chance to read with an adult is what makes the reading program so effective. “In our demographic, we have families that don’t speak English at home,” says Charlene Banjac, a Grade 2 French immersion teacher and volunteer. “Literacy is so important and some of these children haven’t had the families that were able to read with them at home in those crucial years.”
The program is incredibly effective. According to teachers and parent volunteers, students who couldn’t write full sentences are writing pages of paragraphs after about a year of extra help.
Read more about Dunluce’s program here.
Celebrating Science and Technology can be accessed at http://clatoolbox.ca/casl/slicv31n3/313cover.html