At Lord Tennyson Elementary in Vancouver, Suzanne Lapierre’s French Immersion students have embraced technology to its fullest. As part of a SET-BC Tier 2 Classroom-Based Solution, Suzanne received several iPads to support and enhance a project focused on students highlighting the history and culture of a chosen country in a way that was graphically attractive and demonstrated their ability to use technology resources effectively. Tied directly to the new BC curriculum, students were challenged to think critically about how immigration and multiculturalism continue to shape the Canadian identity.
Suzanne runs a classroom where critical thinking and problem solving abound. With a firm belief that the use of technology can support learning in multiple ways, Suzanne encourages her class to routinely access all manner of web-based supports and provides her students with frequent opportunities to try their hand at sharing and presenting their learning electronically. Using the Smartboard, document camera, Apple TV, iPads, apps and even their phones, students have become increasingly technologically adept and have presented information in multiple ways. Dropbox, Airdrop, Airdisplay, Webmail, Pages, Word, Keynote, Prezi, Stopmotion, iMovie, Kahoot, Brainpop, Youtube, Spelltower, Dragonbox, Word Reference, Verb2verbe, Bonpatron, Weebly, Overdrive, Khan Academy, iBooks and more are all now an inherent part of the class vocabulary. Representing knowledge is in no way limited to pen and paper tasks and students are encouraged to express themselves and demonstrate their learning using whatever means works to their advantage.
In the fall, Suzanne gave her class the opportunity to present one part of their language and culture project by creating a stop-motion film using the Incrediflix app. Students attended the Vancouver Museum to learn about story-boarding, then applied their new-found knowledge to create their own short films. Creativity and learning at its best, you can view their video “Anti-Asian Riots of 1907 Vancouver” here: Anti-Asian Riots of 1907 Vancouver
For their latest endeavour, students used the Book Creator and Pic Collage apps to create Chapter 5 of their Country project, “La biographie d’une personne de mon pays d’origine”. Already tech-savvy and wanting to use their personal devices for support, some students chose to download Story Creator to their phones instead of being tied to iPad use. Students worked diligently to find and present information. Interviews, research, video clips and recordings were brought together as students presented their creations to the class. While presenting, they fielded questions not only about the content of their work, but also about problem-solving technology-related glitches. Underlining the theory that “the smartest person in the room is the room itself”, throughout the process of using technology, the students and their teacher support each other when encountering trouble-shooting difficulties.
Ever a life-long learner, Suzanne is open to any technology information or new app she can discover to support and enrich the learning environment in her class and school. As BC’s new curriculum says: “The world is changing – and we have to change too. Technology and innovation are reshaping society – and the future.” We can certainly see that technology will live long at Lord Tennyson!