In this episode, we interview Julie Vandendool who is an ISSP Teacher at Alloa Public School. Julie shares how her role involves helping teachers design their lessons with all their learners in mind. She talks about working from a Universal Design For Learning standpoint and guiding students to make choices that help them know themselves as learners.
What’s New in the World of EML?
Jim shared a student’s project that explored how energy can be converted into different forms. Specifically, her LEGO Mindstorms robot converted electrical energy into kinetic energy. The project was exciting to her and she talked about various other interesting things she learned along the way. Also, and perhaps the most important point, is that her project was not one of 25 LEGO Mindstorms projects, each exploring energy. She chose to explore the conversion of energy in this way creating a project she was excited about. Other students followed their own passions and found their own ways to explore that was exciting to them.
Amit shared the work that he was doing with teachers and students at Whaley’s Corner Public School around a digital playground where learners got to explore Dash & Dot, Sphero, Lego WeDos, Ozobots, Osmos, Scratch Jr. and Makey Makeys. What started as a Lunch & Learn for teachers turned into a full exploration with students who were very curious about the different robots that were “crawling” around the room. He worked with the teacher librarian Kate Sharp on using the various tools with learners.
Links from the Interview with Julie Vandendool
- Julie mentioned resources that can be found from CAST
- She also mentioned 3 books:
- She also talked about the Ted Talk by Todd Rose
Julie also shared these fantastic resources for educators:
- Be a Great Coach
- Choose Your Own Math Practice
- Project Based Learning Choice Grid Example
- Me The Learner: Google Form
- UDL Guidelines
Shares for the Week
Jim shared the free, online tool Desmos. His main point was that younger students, for example, in the junior level, can easily explore concepts such as y=3 or y=x and see a graphical representation on the Cartesian plane. Because Demos was designed to be interactive and easy to use, young children can play with simple or complex equations and explore mathematical ideas to see what happens. There are plenty of teaching ideas and classroom activities shared on the site to help teachers get started.
Jim shared that his first Desmos project was a circle. The project demonstrates how easy it is to add interactive coefficients in order to play with the equation’s points in real time. One of the things Jim learned from experimenting with circle function in Desmos is that as long as the powers are equal and even, x^a + y^a = 25 where a is 2, 4, 6, … the greater the power is, more the circle turns into a square! Give it a try here.
Amit shared the work that he is doing with the GEG Ontario Team and the Ontario Learning Series that will take place on February 28th at 7:30. You can find more information about the session on the GEG Website or by checking out the details in the photo below.