Archive | May 2012

Global Teenager Project Meeting: Using Wikis for Global Collaboration

After being part of the Global Teenager Project this semester I was able to meet with others in the project face to face and also the director of Mr Bob Hofman who flew all the way from the Netherlands (

With the amount of technology we use and possibility of having virtual meetings it was nice to have a face to face meeting with the group.  Garfield Gini-Newman was also present discussing the importance of critical thinking and best practices in embedding them into the classroom.  The other teachers involved in the project discussed how they used the project to connect.

I really enjoyed the project as students worked on Environmental Sustainability as the main topic.  Students collaborated on their own wiki and we posted collectively on the global teenager project wiki (  We talked to schools from around the world by submitting critical questions and answering.  We learned from a global perspective how out activity affects other places in the world.  A big development was that we connected counties thousands of kilometers away to work on a common goal.  We used Skype to talk to talk to one of the schools in Kenya where we further discussed environmental sustainability.

Details of the meeting below.

Present at the workshop

Helen Raso – Bishop Strachan School
Stephanie Ratti – Redstone
Sally Loats
Brandon Zoras – Cedarbrae C.I., TDSB
Amy Scarpone and Sabrina Asti – Bruce Trail
Grant Davidson – ICT Consultant Haltton School Board
Garfield Gini-Newman – OISE
Anita Townsend – GTP Country Coordinator Canada
Bob Hofman – Executive Director GTP



OISE Masters of Education Urban Education Symposium

All the M.Ed. Urban Education students will be be presenting our posters at our event.  Please share with those who have an interest in urban education as there are many great research topics.

Please join us as the graduating class shares their research findings in urban education that challenge traditional education discourse in Ontario. Hear about the implications for minoritized students and their communities, teacher practitioners, policy makers and academics. Engage in discussions that dismantle the dominant narrative about urban schooling and support emancipatory research to help create an education system that truly supports education for all students!



Success of Teaching to Teachers, Using Demonstration Classrooms to Improve Pedagogy and Practice

I was asked to lead a demonstration classroom to 8 other teachers within my school board.  I was nervous at first, as I knew I was going to be one of the newest and youngest teachers there (which turns out I was).  I was also very excited to share some of the ideas I have tested and receive feedback.

The session was called Incorporating Literacy & STSE to Engage Digital Learners.  I firmly believe a great way to engage applied students in science is to pose a problem that is relevant to them.  We started off by watching the trailer to the documentary called H2Oil ( , and then an ad from  Cenovus Energy, a company wanting to extract oil from Alberta Oil Sands ( .  I had the students write on an oil drop if they believed we should remove the oil from Alberta and sell it to other countries.  The students had various opinions, and were given the option to change their opinion once they watched both trailers.  The following week we actually screened the full H2Oil documentary to the students.

The other teachers came into the room and watched how the students used netbooks to create a wiki about power generation.  The lesson plans will be placed below the post.  The idea was a new island was formed in Lake Ontario that needed its own type of power generation.  The students needed to make a wiki to make a pitch to the mayor to choose their best power generation (nuclear, coal, solar etc.).  Students had time to research and then use Wikispaces to create the site that included diagrams, picture and YouTube videos.  The teachers were very impressed with how seamlessly the technology was integrated into the lesson.  That is how technology should be integrated, the curriculum and concepts are more important, technology is the tool used.  We can grow our technology skills and transfer them to other areas as well.  We ended with an Exit Card, which had the students write down 3 things they learned, 2 things they wanted to learn more about and 1 way they can make a change to help the environment.  This allowed me to read them and see what they learned from the lesson and what I needed to add next time, as well as their interests.

The debriefing of the demo class went very well, we worked together with the Instructional Leader for science to provide feedback and also how the other teachers could do this same lesson this year.  I really enjoyed running the session and hope to do another soon.  It is very important as a teacher to step out of your classroom and try a new project once and a while.  The most important thing about technology that I have learned is that the students will always surprise you by doing something beyond or even helping you when you are stuck.

3-2-1 Exit Card Environment

Electrical Energy Wiki Assignment Handout

Lesson Plan SNC1P Power Generation

Learning Virtually with Virtual Researcher On Call (VROC) Partnership between University of Toronto and TDSB.

Today our class had a virtual researcher in our grade 11 Chemistry class.  Dr. Sanchita Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh joined us from the University of Toronto to talk about Green Chemistry.  She is from Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing University of Toronto and works with biodegradable composites, cellulose nanofibres , biopolyol and biofoam.

Her lecture was informative discussed the major links chemistry has to industry and the environment.  She graciously shared her work in the field and discussed the next steps.  She challenged to students to enter into science fields to fix the problems we have and make a sustainable future.  She shared her passion for the environment and told the students how she got involved and why she keeps on working in this field.

“2050 ‘biological capacity’ equal to two planet earths would be required to keep up with humanity’s resource demands and waste production.”

VROC has proven to be an excellent tool for the classroom.  We were able to link chemistry to a researcher in the field and look at the environmental impact.

Thank you Carol from VROC and Dr Sanchita Bandyopadhyay-Ghosh for participating in an enriching learning experience on Green Chemistry with the Toronto District School Board.