Sunshine in a Time of Crisis

Spring Break 2020 – not the relaxing holiday I was anticipating.

March 17 – Minister Rob Fleming

On March 17th the provincial government announced that all in-class instruction was being suspended indefinitely throughout BC. School districts were suddenly being tasked with turning our primarily face-to-face teaching paradigm on its head — to move everyone into a virtual teaching platform by the end of Spring Break.

To be clear — we were not being asked to move the entire district to an on-line platform. We were not creating a system of on-line teachers and learners. We were being tasked with creating remote learning during a crisis.

There’s a difference.

Storytelling Our Way to Better Comprehension

Superhero Dave

I’m thinking I was probably around 6 or 7 when I began to daydream about my superpowers — where I transported myself to a make-believe world filled with possibilities. I opened my superpowers through an invisible control panel in front of me using buttons and secret codes that gave me those amazing abilities. As an added bonus these powers came with all sorts of cool sound effects.

One of my favourite powers was being able to fly effortlessly around the neighbourhood in search of crime or people in distress. While I didn’t have a name for my new superhero alter-ego, he was able to do these incredible things and make the world a better place. He was cool.

Dave – probably around age 6 or 7

Stories, whether they are true or fictional, paint a vivid picture for your audience that are often filled with adventure, emotions and possibilities. Imagine how excited I was as a kid to occasionally live in this world of make-believe. My guess is that you might have a similar story from your childhood — a time when you imagined the impossible as possible.

Does Technology Inhibit Positive Classroom Relationships?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will recall that I’m a big fan of taking risks to make things better in our classrooms and schools. How better to show my belief in this statement than me writing about technology in our schools. It’s hard to find a more polarizing issue in the world of public education.

So, let me put it right out front — I believe in the power of technology to make a difference in student learning. Full stop.

I view technology as that tool that makes curriculum accessible to more children in more ways than if we didn’t have it available. Some examples that come to mind include:

  • e-resources that can be adapted to varying reading levels making curricular content more accessible;
  • reading intervention software that helps build neural pathways to strengthen the reading centers in the brain;
  • math programs that provide just the right amount of practice to master basic skills before moving to the next topic