Each year SET-BC conducts a small number of provincially coordinated classroom-based projects. In 2013-2014, most of the projects explored STEM and Fine Arts outcomes in the classroom using technology as a tool. For more information on any of these projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students in a life skills program and their teacher used a Smart Board, laptops and iPads, to explore the science curriculum outcomes for Grade 6, 7 and 8 using existing and newly created materials using an “All, Most, Some” UDL approach. The team hoped technology would make the following areas of the curriculum more accessible: experimental design, exploration of extreme environments, diversity of life and ecosystems. The technology devices helped students to observe, inquire, create and problem solve as they participated in experiments and also helped them demonstrate knowledge obtained from research. A ‘Smarter Science’ approach was used to guide the creation of new and existing materials at differentiated levels.
Ins-PI-re: Classroom Coding
The ins-PI-re Project was an inclusive curriculum where a class of Grade 7 students from Lynn Fripps Elementary School in Langley learned about Computer Programming through a ‘credit-card-sized-single-circuit computer’ called a Raspberry Pi. Research has highlighted that individuals with Autism tend to have a higher interest in technology and computer programming. With this in consideration, the project team believed that Raspberry Pi technology could truly facilitate a wonderful ‘Universal Design for Learning’ environment. Children (as young as 5 years old) from around the world have used this device to create video games, control robots and design a pet feeder! The team consisted of Vern Mainman (Grade 7 classroom teacher), Dr. Sam Pimentel (Math Professor at Trinity Western University) and Ann Pimentel (Learning Assistance Teacher and lead teacher on this project). This educational technology was new to the British Columbia school system and so Ann created and implemented her own curriculum documenting her adventure through videos, photos and written blog posts. The team was truly excited to pioneer this transformative inclusive technology at their school.
Bayridge Elementary has a school-wide commitment to continue to focus on the key concepts of student learning capacities with an expansion to “think critically and reflect” about information technology. The team hopes to incorporate a focus on student learning in the area of digital storytelling, using a variety of iPad apps, appropriate for primary and intermediate grade levels. This particular SET-BC project is Language Arts based (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking) but also includes performing and presenting, for example, and addresses social, emotional issues. It involves opportunities for a grade 4 class (19 boys, 9 girls) and their Kindergarten little buddies to identify lessons in stories, write plays based on the lessons taught in the stories, rehearse, and perform digitally. The project will provide opportunities for students to set goals, make decisions, employ self regulation skills and celebrate successes. This project has been designed to build on students strengths and work with areas of challenge. It is an opportunity for every child to participate, and to be proud of inclusion and to document and share their work through technology!
See What You are Missing
A number of teachers use videos / video clips as part of the instruction leading into assignments but many students are not able to adequately access the information in these videos (e.g. students with hearing loss, learning disabilities, auditory processing issues, English language learners) because the closed captioning, especially when specialized content vocabulary is used, is not accurate, Part 1 of this project was to correct the closed captioning on instructional videos being used, starting with math and science courses at the secondary level. Part 2 of the project was to provide a district transcriptionist in courses for students identified that would benefit from this support. The role of the transcriptionist was to provide real-time access to all auditory information in class (instruction + peer discussion/questions) following with a complete set of notes for the identified students or any other students that would benefit from having the transcripts.
In the “Meaningful Faces project,” middle school students with an autism related disorder worked inclusively with a grade 7 class to create digital or video social stories exploring reciprocal social communication. In small teams, students identified and captured different facial expressions and body language cues using cameras. Photographs were then used to create social stories, digital books, comic representations or videos with the assistance of the iPad and a number of different iPad apps, such as iMovie. The desired outcome of the “Meaningful Faces project” was to teach multi-aged students on the autism spectrum about non-social cues. Presentations were also shared with elementary aged students, and used to create an inclusive environment where grade 7 students developed empathy skills while experimenting with digital art.
Cross Curricular Aboriginal Investigations
The project we completed was a cross curricular study of circle geometry, surface area and traditional First Nations housing. Each student chose a First Nations building to learn about (Tee-pee, longhouse or igloo). In groups of 4 they researched and created a Keynote presentation about their chosen building using iPads. After creating this presentation they also created 3D models using AutoDesk apps on the iPad so that they had a visual representation of their building. These models were then used to introduce circle geometry concepts as well as the idea of surface area for composite shapes. The class that completed this project was a grade 9 class with a wide variety of abilities.
Increase Personalization and Deliver Success (iPads)
In this project, iPads were used in and out of the classroom to help integrate Math, Science, and Reading. The project team’s goal was to increase the sharing of ideas and communication between all students in the classroom. The iPads were used as part of the classroom’s daily routines in Science, Math and Reading to help enrich the interactions between all students. Students used the iPads to communicate with their peers, teachers and the community about the self-directed learning opportunities in which they were engaged. The team hoped the students would demonstrate their accomplishments and learning through projects and presentations on the iPads.
Live Captioning in Science 8
Our goal was to find a way to provide cost efficient live captioning in the classroom. This project was an extension of the Live Captioning with Dragon Project 2012-2013. This year when the teacher was delivering instruction she used: Interact-AS software, patching into our existing Frontrow Infra-red Sound field speakers, and brand new Phonak Roger Digital Technology, to create captions on the D/HH Student’s laptop. The student with the compromised hearing had the laptop in front of him as he needed real time captioning. The lecture could then be saved, emailed to the other students in the class, including the student with compromised hearing. This student needed the notes and could hear the teacher’s message without having to multi task. This allowed the students to refer back to the teacher’s oral instructions or directions for assignments, clarification, and review and vocabulary development.
Kindergarten Learning and RTI
At Frank J Mitchell Elementary School in Sparwood, three Kindergarten teachers joined forces with administration and Student Services staff to experiment with iPads. They received several iPads to use within an RTI framework. At the universal level, teachers projected lessons using a combination of iPads, document cameras or Apple TVs for whole class teaching. The iPads also supported targeted instruction of students in group work. The Speech and Language Pathologist worked with one Kindergarten teacher to do intensive intervention with iPads as a communication support. The communication app had a data collection component for each student identified as needing one-to-one support. Another Kindergarten teacher collected data to determine if the use of iPads encourages students’ expression of ideas or student voice. And the third Kindergarten teacher, a newcomer to iPads, documented her own learning and her students’ learning using the technology with the three tiers of support. In addition, the team explored device management strategies, photography skills, Dropbox sharing, and creating digital books using a variety of file types and sharing methods.
Young Haida Speakers
“Young Haida Speakers” was about supplementing the Haida Language program with a technology loan from SET-BC and other school district resources. The team utilized video recordings, voice recordings, a language website www.first voices.com and various apps, all in the hopes of giving students more opportunities to use and practice the Haida language. The grade 1/2 class participated in a partial immersion program and was lucky to have an elder come into the class every Friday. The class also had a different elder in the school five days a week. With the use of technology the team hoped that they could record the elders and create relevant and meaningful opportunities for the students to speak the Haida language. The students in the grade one and two class were very familiar with technology, and it was a useful and valuable tool to support their learning. The school, Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary is located in Skidegate, on Haida Gwaii.
Transitions with Clicker
Students developed independence engaging in their daily programs in all appropriate areas and learned to use Clicker 6 to increase their written output abilities with their ongoing projects in curriculum and life skills development. Peers in a leadership program were trained in how to program Clicker and helped support their peers in the classroom.
Differentiated Instruction in Science
The focus of this project was to integrate technology into all aspects of the curriculum with an emphasis on Science “big ideas”. The essential question that guided the class throughout the year was, “are adaptations essential to the survival of living organisms?”. Not only did this question allow the students to delve deeper into the Science curriculum, it also provided them with the opportunity to discuss learning adaptations and how ALL of us require adaptations in order to best meet our learning needs. The ultimate goal, through the use of iPads, was to level the playing field for all of the students in terms of accessing their learning, increasing engagement and creating passionate learners. The class was an active group and thrived on hands on, meaningful experiences. The teacher learned along with her students and was excited by the opportunities that technology provided the students.
Inquiry Based Math
The project was about integrating the use of iPads in two blended grade 6/7 math classes. Each class consisted of 28-30 students with diverse needs (EAL, learning disabilities, autism). Classroom teachers and the Skill Development teacher co-planned and co-taught lessons on geometry. Math apps such as BrainPop, Khan Academy, and Script Calculator were used to support students with special needs. The purpose of the iPad was to build an inclusive classroom community where students with special needs could access the curriculum in a visually engaging format.
Six students in the SHINE Elementary Life Skills program were six of the most unique and incredible students on the Sunshine Coast in 2013-2014. The six students who participated in the project ranged from grades 1 – 7 and had special needs that required they learn the skills needed in life in a smaller class and through a specialized program. All six students had individualized education plans that strove to reach a number of goals, including improving communication and literacy. In this project we created Pictellio books using photographs and using our voices to tell the stories.
In the spring of 2012, a BVCS student with deaf-blindness created a musical e-book with his music therapist using a well-loved rhyming book. That final project was the impetus for the 2013-2014 SET-BC Project. The goal of this project was to have a combined grade six-seven class create a musical e-book using several iPads, various Apps, Garage Band and a synthesizer. The class was comprised of 26 students, two of which were low incidence, both already using technology on loan from SET-BC. One student had a gift for remembering and reproducing melodies on the piano, and the other had a love for selecting songs and listening to music. It is through this musical e-book project that both these students became active participants with their classmates in a project that they enjoyed and also shared with younger students.
In the summer of 2013, the staff at BVCS took a course on Project-Based Learning. The SET-BC project was set up using PBL philosophy where the students generated several ways to use the technology and Apps to include their two classmates using their different gifts and learning styles. The high school IT class documented this adventure and produced a short video to share with such organizations as PISP and POPDB. It was also hoped that other schools could replicate this musical adventure resulting in meaningful inclusion through the use of technology.