Episode 3: Come SAIL Away


In this episode we interview Jim Blackwood, who is the Head of Innovation at Jean Augustine Secondary School. He shares the work the school is doing around Service, Advocacy, Innovation & Leadership (SAIL) and how it connects to Empowering Modern Learners.

What’s New in the World of EML?

  • Jim talked about a teacher who has designed a regular, reflective structure into her mathematics program. Students create videos using iMovie to discuss and demonstrate math ideas they are exploring. For example, Jim talks about the week he was part of a session where students were creating and editing talks about comparing fractions and equivalent fractions. Students added their fraction talk videos to their growing portfolio.
  • Amit talked about Vex Robotics that he saw happening at Herb Campbell Public School. He shared a clip from a video that explains the competition side of Vex Robotics, and mentioned that teachers can get in touch with Costen McCann at Herb Campbell if they want to find out more about the competition. He also talked about a video he took while at the school with students exploring.

Links from the Interview with Jim Blackwood

Shares for the Week 

  • Amit shared a news story about the “Better Butter Stick” and challenged teachers to have their students create a product and have them make the connections to the curriculum and/or learning skills.


  • Jim shared an article entitled How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space by Suzie Boss. The article includes some example of spaces that support thinking, collaboration and project-based learning (such as the Google offices and High Tech High space pictured below). The article also includes 11 ways you can fine-tune your classroom learning environment to better accommodate project-based learning.

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