Episode 10 – Short Circuit

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In this episode, we interview Adam Hughes, who is the Chief Information Officer for the Peel District School Board. He shares how the work being done in Learning Technology Support Services (LTSS) connects to Empowering Modern Learners. He also shares the new vision LTSS has established and the journey they took to get there.

What’s New in the World of EML?

learnersJim shared his strong first impressions of a Thanh Trieu’s Grade 5 class at Cherrytree PS this year. Students were excited, engaged and empowered in their inquiries and project work going on. It is clear from the first moments one enters the class that this is what it looks like when a strong belief about learners being competent, capable and able to take an active role in their own learning is being realized.

Amit shared the work that Sapna Khosa, who was a guest back in Episode 5: Family Ties, did after attending a coding workshop. She modelled being a lead learner with her students by learning about how to code one evening, and diving right into the learning the following day. This is a great way to promote a positive Learning Culture in the school as teachers learn along with their students.

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Links from the Interview with Adam Hughes

Adam shared the new vision for LTSS:

At LTSS, our vision is to collaborate as strategic partners to deliver innovative, reliable, and adaptable solutions that will enable all learners to reach higher levels of success through equitable access to technology. To achieve our vision, we will:

  • Be strategic partners to better serve the needs of all learners, including our students, staff, parents, and our community.
  • Provide adaptable and robust technology solutions that manage cost and risk while promoting creativity and innovation for all learners.  
  • Deliver operational excellence with modern, reliable, and responsive services to drive efficiencies.

Adam also shared the journey that LTSS has been on to get to this point. He talked about a quotation from Michael Fullan.

Shares for the Week

Jim discussed a new curation and sharing tool he and some teachers & students are exploring at makershare.com. Jim recently set up his portfolio page there. The site provides the means by which users can create a maker profile and then add projects to their profile’s portfolio. This aligns with many established practices of using portfolios as a major component of creative learning approaches (e.g., creative learning spiral, 4Ps, design-thinking) in the classroom. (Scratch also uses the project page portfolio approach.) Jim has promised to revisit this resources in a later podcast to comment on its effectiveness when using with students. If you try this with your students, be sure to first obtain parent permission if students are younger than 13 and please share thoughts on how well it works for sharing and curating project-based learning activities.

Amit shared an episode from Chris Nesi‘s House of EdTech Podcast that goes over a number of different apps that can help empower students.

Amit also shared a video that was produced by The Communications and Community Relations department at the Peel District School Board in conjunction with Peel’s Director of Education Peter Joshua who did a Jimmy Fallon inspired video entitled “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.

There was also a share to the bloopers that came out of the video as well as a mention that there will be a section on our website to highlight our own bloopers (watch for a link here over the winter break to listen to our outtakes).

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