with reports from Jafar Hussain and Andrea Payne
Exciting things are happening at Allenby in terms of technology! Within the last five years, Allenby, with the strong support of the APA, has made an unprecedented leap in its acquisition, mastery, and usage of technology in its classrooms. In 2006, SMARTboards, laptops, document cameras, iPads, etc., were non-existent in a school that now boasts almost one interactive whiteboard per classroom. We currently have 8 document cameras in the school, a SMARTboard in 20 classrooms, 10 iPads, an APA netbook cart with 30 netbooks and an accompanying WiFi hub. In addition, we have a TDSB notebook cart of 30 HP notebooks and many more. So what’s happening now at Allenby?
APA Netbook and TDSB Notebook Cart
These carts are signed out regularly by teachers. The netbook cart is used for word processing, creating power point presentations and internet research. The notebooks have a wider range of software and can therefore be used in an enhanced way. For example, two French Immersion teachers have pioneered collaborative projects with two schools, JRR and Glen Park, in our Family of Schools (FOS). Messieurs Hussain and Scott are using the TDSB cart of 30 Mini-HP notebooks that are fully loaded with a bonanza of software. The students in these two classes are communicating with their peers via the internet, thus enhancing the French Immersion experience.
Global Partners Project
Mme. Linka and M. Hussain, two grade 5/6 teachers, participate in a Global Awareness program called “Global Partners Junior,” which is sponsored by Taking It Global Education (TIGEd). This program, based in New York City, brings international peers together to communicate via a centrally monitored site. It is a synergy involving the domains of literacy, global awareness and technology with a view of enabling students to work through a different theme-based curriculum each year. This year’s theme was International Theatre. This program necessitates frequent use of the computer lab and the notebook cart.
Taking IT Global
A professional learning project (TigEd) in partnership with the TDSB has sponsored this year’s Global Awareness courses for teachers across the NW3 Family of Schools. These courses are presented in a blended-learning format, partially online and partially in person. Allenby has 5 teachers enrolled in the Global Citizenship course. They are Mrs. Vangou, Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Sherman, Mme. Payne and M. Hussain. These teachers are developing guiding questions to kindle the curiosity of students which lead to the creation of projects with a global awareness perspective. This experience is then transferred into their classrooms.
iPads The 10 ipads we have are currently being used in collaboration with Mme. Payne, our Teacher Librarian. She has supported teachers in working on Literacy projects (e.g. procedural writing), science and environmental projects connected to non fiction storytelling, math thinking and communication, creating labelled diagrams in kindergarten, digital puppet shows, all with the goal of taking students beyond simply playing games using the software towards using it as a learning tool to enhance their thinking. They have also been used as