Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Her comes Kona ...


Kona went to Pelican Narrows today to visit students. She filled a borrowed vehicle full of goodies for the students to enjoy. Drive safe Kona!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Being Successful Online

What does it take to be successful in an online class - this statement from an online student really sums it up!

"I really like the online school. I think it is the best option for me. I am a bit behind, but I know I will catch up and finish in time. Edcentre.ca is a really good school and I am glad I tried it. It teaches you independence and drive. You have to make your own schedule and motivate yourself to get the work done."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Engish A30 poem by Ronald Linklater

I’m a Saskatchewanian

I’m a trapper
I’m a commercial fisherman
I’m a hunter
I’m a bed to rest after a hard days work
I’m a northern Pike
I’m a boat ride across the lake
I’m a farmer
I’m a daughter’s homemade bread
I’m a moose
I’m a trout
I’m a double at Jan Lake Bar
And I’m a bridge across the Saskatchewan.
I’m a bird
I’m a butterfly
I’m the wind under a cool Northern sky
I’m an ice sculpture
I’m a dog musher
I’m a square dancer
I’m the Prince Albert Winter Festival
I’m Tommy Douglas
I’m Poundmaker
I’m from the Northeast
I’m from the Southwest
I am Dene
I am Cree
I am First Nation
But most of all
I am a Saskatchewanian and proud to be one.

By Ronald Linklater

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nortep EPS class

December 10, 2008 the edcentre online teachers will be visiting a face to face class to share experience and a variety of web 2.0 tools they have stumbled across recently.
They have put together an outline of where they hope to go with the session.
It is a google docs published link: NORTEP CLASS VISIT.

Stay tuned for more on this adventure.

Behind the Scenes

This is a video produced by Communication Production Technology student, Martina Carriere. Martina is working on her high school credits online through edcentre.ca.
A film crew visited their camp this fall and she thought it would be" a neat project to film the crew and see what they do." These are behind the scene shots that illustrate some of the machinations that take place just to get those clean well composed video sequences we have all become accustomed to viewing on the tube. Thanks Martina.........and stay tuned everyone else for more feature footage and projects.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chrome

What will they think of next? Google developers have come up with a new browser called CHROME.  
I downloaded the new browser this morning and have been using it for about three hours.  I'm not sure if this is love at first sight, but I suspect this may become my new default browser. The uncluttered intuitive approach is very attractive to me. 
They say that because the browswer is so clean, it is extremely fast and more resistant to spyware. I love the way it shows you where you have been when you click on a new tab.

They are working on a mac version but it has not yet arrived....stay tuned mac users.

They have made the code open source as much 0f it has been built through other open source projects. (Apple's WebKit Mozilla's Firefox and others.)
So there you go......Chrome

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Good YouTube post re Online Learning Community

Hi everyone,
I watched a few videos about online learning and liked this one best. Lots of great visuals. Enjoy! http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=a32eDsxDfjY
Donna

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New feature: Reactions

Two new features have been added to this blog.

1. Look for the quotes window at the bottom of the page. This is a google widget that doesn't want to fit in the sidebar of this blog layout. The quote changes each time you reload this page.

2.Look for reaction boxes at the bottom of each post. This feature allows you to react to a blog posting so that people posting to the blog have some feedback.


Please leave a comment if you have a suggestion.

Monday, December 1, 2008

School Website Changes

It is easy to forget the joys of designing a website from scratch, right from reviewing what HTML code looks like to navigation issues. This weekend a beta version of the edcentre.ca website began to take shape. The software tool used to do this was Dreamweaver. Being able to move back and forth between a code view and design view really helped to isolate problems with content areas that won't move where you want them to move.
One thing I recognized while moving back and forth between pages to make changes to the navigation bar is that this excercise shouldn't be necessary for web sites that will be changed by more than one person. Free content management systems like Joomla and Drupal provide all that is needed to create an easy interface for multiple users to make contributions.

Now after all of that Gobbldegook, here is a preview of the changed edcentre.ca website: http://www.nlsd113.org/masina

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kids teaching themselves how to use computers

Hi All,
Here is a cool link to an experiment done in India. The experiment was called "Hole in the Wall" and the researcher put a computer literally through a hole in the wall and let kids use it. The kids taught themselves how to use the computer and how to speak English as well. It is very interesting watch the video by clicking on the link below:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html
Kona

Thursday, November 13, 2008

GED Online

Have you thought about writing the GED exams to obtain recognition for a course or career path? Do you know someone who is interested in preparing to write GED exams? It is possible to get ready for the GED exams on your own, but highly advisable to connect with real live people for support.
Northlands College will be providing access to live tutorial support and a set of support resources online in the very near future. This service may be accessed through Northlands College at edcentre.ca.
Northern Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to contact the edcentre.ca office 1-888-299-5680 or any of the Northlands College Program Centers for more details.
Stay posted for more developments here.
In the meantime, here is a link to an interesting free support resource for GED preparation: Free-ed.net GED Prep

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time for reflection

Mid-term reporting time is here again. We are busy providing progress reports to schools to include in feedback that is shared with parents. We are also busy at the school with local students accessing tutorial assistance. This is a good time for all of the learners in the online learning envrionment to reflect on their original goals.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Northlands College Inservice


Every year at the end of October Northlands College employees get together for Staff Inservice. This year I am in Buffalo Narrows representing the edcentre.ca staff.
I look forward to the Inservice every year (this is my 12th). The networking is amazing. The people that work at Northlands College are so diverse. It is important to remember that we can always learn from one another.
Dakota House is the Keynote speaker. Other presenters include Franklin Carrier (King Trapper), Picaboo (working with photos) and Pahkisimon Nuye ah Library System.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1 Minute VoiceThread


Voicethread has a lot of potential for sharing, collaborating and learning. Anyone can sign up. It doesn't cost anything to register. Educators can set up areas for class use for a fee.

Blogs for all reasons

k12 online conference: it's on until the end of this week.....check out the presentations on this blog site!

Classroom blog: 21st Century Skills class

edublogs: a place to get your own class blog started

english 11 honors : a senior english class .....it's all there with web 2.0 tools. Nothing "canned" here folks! Theme: The Hero Journey

Friday, October 24, 2008

How are we using the Internet

Thank you to everyone who participated in the online assembly on Wednesday. The monthly assemblies are great opportunities to get together with others to chat, share ideas and experiences online. Our "special guest" was a beautiful baby boy sitting in on the session with his mom.





The online learning community is enriched each time we are able to come together to interact. The assembly topic was, "How are we using the Internet?".





This is the group brainstorm we did on the whiteboard:




If you would like to view the session, here is the link: October Assembly

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Rice

FreeRice is a website that allows you to answer questions about Art, Chemistry, English, Geography, Language Learning and Math. For each answer you get right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Careful, this is addictive!

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide education to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on this site.

Help end world hunger
Here is what a teacher has to say about freerice.com.

“A teacher of fourth and fifth graders on the Yurok Indian reservation in Klamath, CA, . . . emailed the WFP. ‘My students absolutely LOVE the FreeRice site. Almost daily they earn several thousand grains of rice!’ she wrote. ‘You cannot imagine the joy in my heart when I look out and see 25 kids doing vocabulary work and enjoying it.’”

- School Library Journal

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Classroom 2.0


Here is a post for teachers visiting this blog:

At the Northern Area Teacher's Association Conference on Tuesday, Oct 14, the edcentre.ca team members had an opportunity to share ideas and experiences with participants at the conference. I have a feeling that there is a genuine interest in in Web 2.0 tools and people are beginning to shift the way we think about learning in this digital age.

An good site to visit and find out more is Classroom 2.0. This site is an excellent place to visit, observe and learn about new ideas and find out what learners are doing with collaborative tools.


The Classroom 2.0 site was created using Ning, a free tool for creating social networks. There are links on the Classroom 2.0 site to Ning for folks who want to find out how easy it is to set up your own network for your classroom or interest group.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

edcentre.ca is at NATA


Ted, Debbie and Kona are presenting at the NATA convention in Prince Albert today. Kelly is presenting from La Ronge.
Most of the staff will be back in the office Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vote - October 14th


Are you going to vote? Voting is a privilege we have as Canadians that many people around the world do not have. How can you decide who to vote for? The best way is to spend some time learning about what the issues are and what each candidate's opinions are on that issue. In this election it seems as if the main issues are: environment, troops in Afghanistan, health, economy and crime. In addition to the links given in this post, check out blogs and other things to find out what is going on - it can be pretty interesting once you get involved.

Both the following sites have up-to-date news on the Canada Election 2008. Watch videos, read news and keep yourself informed
CBC - Canada Votes
CTV - Election 2008 There is an interesting game of choice on this site that you can work through to find which party is closest to your views. Play the game - Click

Party Websites: All the parties have information about their parties platform (that is what they propose to do if they are elected as a government) Remember, when you are reading from any of these sites the view is of that party only. Use your thinking skills to evaluate what is being said.
The following parties have candidates in our riding - Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River
Liberal - David Orchard (Bio)
Conservative - Rob Clarke (Bio)
Green Party - George Morin (Bio)
New Democrats - Brian Morin (Bio)
First Peoples National Party of Canada - Rob Ballantyne .(Blog)

Political Party Leaders - info on main leaders of parties

Elections Canada website provides information on voting etc.

Your vote is important no matter who you vote for.
Have your say --
Vote on October 14th, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Setting up blogs

There are many different places to Blog. For teachers and learners here are a few blog sites you can get set up on. These blog sites have features that lend themselves to schools.

21Classes ( This one is free for a basic account. If you want access to more features, you pay a fee. )

edublogs Edublogs.org is a site specifically for teachers, students, librarians, researchers, professors, administrators, corporate trainers and anyone else involved in education. I find it interesting to note that this tool is Currently powering 225,294 blogs.

Blogger.com This is the one you are viewing right now. It has some really useful features and templates.

If you are interested in setting up a blog, I suggest exploring some of these links to determine what sort of blogging service would be most useful for the blog site you would like to set up.

Google docs rocks!

If you don't have a google account yet, I strongly urge you to get one and start exploring the features. We are using google docs at the school to collaborate on documents on a regular basis. We also use google docs to send information to other communities.
This morning I reviewed over 20 documents that five other people have also reviewed and made changes to. These documents will in turn be reviewed by support people in each of the participating schools and programs. The time saved this morning using google docs was refreshing. Another huge positive here is that no paper was printed to share and collaborate on these documents.


Click on the googe image to go to set up your own google account.
If you want to find out a bit more about google docs in plain English, watch the video below. ...Yes, I know it is already here in the blog somewhere, but here it is again. This is an amazing set of tools.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How many passes do you see?

Here is an interesting experiment.

Watch the video below and observe how many passes the students in the white shirts make. Record your answer in the comment to this post. Be sure to include your name and gender.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And the Winners are......

The first online assembly this year was a success. Many students from a number of communities participated. The discussion focused on planning for success in online classes. Students came up with a good list of things that they should do to be successful - we all know though - that knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. So what was on the list...

Students were happy to learn that they are eligible to win several different awards by being successful in their classes.

Lucky winners of the assembly participation awards for this assembly were: Kim, Alysha, Trisha, and Susan. They will all look good in their edcentre.ca gear!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hoe Hoe Hoe



This is what has been happening outside the school window all day today. Looks like we are getting new walkways.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cranberries

Looks like it is going to be a great weekend - so maybe a good activity for you would be to go an pick some cranberries! The wild cranberry crop is great this year so it won't take much time to get all you need for the winter. Info about Cranberries

Why pick cranberries - They are good for your health. Check out the research.

What to look for - For those who have never been out to pick cranberries, look for small plants that grow close to the ground and have small dark green leaves and sort of a purple-red berry.

What to do with Cranberries - make sauce or juice, put them in pancakes and muffins. Here are some links to recipes and how to's for using cranberries.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Down the road....

Leaving the office and our computer workstations is difficult to do at the outset of the school year with new students just getting settled and oriented. There are situations that call for desperate measures and that's exactly what Debbie and Ted did. They traveled to Prince Albert to speak with the principals from the Northern Lights School Division about the online services available through edcentre.ca.

As it turns out this was a good thing to do. The principals got to see what distance learning looks like and were able to talk with online teachers and one of the online students in a live web conference. One of the other benefits for both Deb and Ted is that it was a beautiful day for a drive. Using the web conference tool with an LCD projector and audio system with a wireless mic allows everyone in an access point to interact. We expect to be doing more of this throughout the year. Stay tuned.......there will be opportunities to join in through this blog area. We'll post access links to public sessions.

Ghost Burning Party

I am going to a Ghost Burning Party tonight. You write down your fears, worries, resolutions, etc. THEN burn them...they magically disapper...I guess that is what is supposed to happen. Click on the link to see what I'm burning....

What is this thing called JING

The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.

Try it, you’ll like it. It's free.

Click here for a sample Jing video.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Google Docs

We are encouraging everyone at edcentre.ca to explore what is available through google docs.
Check out the video to see an introduction to what google docs has to offer. We feel that this tool will be very valuable for online learners.

I need a blueberry INTERVENTION!


Hi Everyone,
I seriously need some help and advice. The other day I was in a blueberry nightmare as there was a sea of huge blueberries and I had no more room in my pail and it was getting dark and I couldn't leave. I am obsessed with picking blueberries as the frost is coming and once they freeze you can't pick them! By the way does anybody know where there is a good patch of cranberries? You can pick those even if they freeze. Some people pick them in the Spring as they stay frozen on the plant all winter....

Friday, September 5, 2008

School is open

This has been a very busy week talking to new students, getting them enrolled and set up for online classes. We are still dealing with the aftermath of moving. There are still unpacked boxes but we have most of the bugs worked out and are on the ground running. We are all looking forward to this school year and to our eventual permanent home. We know this means one more move, but these are all incremental steps in a positive direction.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

edcentre.ca has moved!













We are now located in the Northlands College administration building in Air Ronge just south of the Montreal River.












We may have moved physically, but our contact information is the same.


Phone: 425-5680 or 1-888-299-5680
Fax: 425-5682
email: school@edcentre.ca
Website: edcentre.ca

Stop by for a coffee and a visit!








Thursday, June 19, 2008

Connecting

Last week we had an interesting time connecting with people in Northwestern Saskatchewan. The edcentre team was hosted by Dene High School in La Loche on Thursday, June 12. We spoke with high school students, teachers and community members about the e-learning experience. In order to demonstrate how we are able communicate with one another we used a web conference tool to interact between locations. Two students were available from different communities to talk about their personal experience in the online learning community, two teachers connected from La Ronge, while the computer screen was projected on a big screen in the gym at the school in La Loche.
A recording of the first half hour of the session is available through the following link: Connecting in La Loche, Saskatchewan

Celebration of Personal Achievement

Yesterday we celebrated the personal achievements of learners in the edcentre.ca online learning community through a live webconference. If you were unable to attend or participate in the web conference, you can view the event by clicking on the link below:
Graduation and Awards Celebration




(This is a 30 minute session. Make sure you have your speakers turned on or your headset plugged in.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Learning needs in Northern Saskatchewan

According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, 43% of the Northern Saskatchewan population is under age 20. The Northern Region population is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the province. More Northern students appear to be staying in school longer and more are completing high school. While this is encouraging, the demands of the labour market are here now and as management positions become available who will be there to fill these positions? Higher education and training are essential for well over two thirds of the expected job openings in Northern Saskatchewan.
49% of Northern Saskatchewan people 25-34 years old have not completed high school. In the 15-24 age group, only 18% have completed high school.
The key to participation in the future of the north is education and engagement with work experience opportunities.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Biodiversity


This short video presentation was prepared by Martina for her online Science 10 class. The video illustrates biodiversity in the Sasakatchewan River delta area.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Information Sessions


Debbie Mielke and Kona Bryson are travelling to Buffalo Narrows and Ile a La Crosse this afternoon. An information session will be offered in both communities at 7:00 pm via web conference. We have invited community members to attend in each community to find out more about distance learning and how high school may be completed any time, anywhere, any pace.

Kelly Haydukewich and Ted Green will participate in the presentation and question/answer session from the office in La Ronge. We will provide background information about edcentre.ca and illustrate the communication tools that make this form of distance learning possible.
Thursday afternoon we will offer a live information session to the high school students at Dene High in La Loche followed by a professional development session with teachers. Students from the online school will be available within a live web conference room to speak about their experiences as online learners.

If you live in a Northern Saskatchewan community and would like to host an information session in your community, please call us at the edcentre.ca office. 1-888-299-5680.

If you would like to participate in the live information session as a student, please go to Kelly's online room at 7:00 PM, Wednesday June 18, and at 1:00PM on Thursday, June 19.
Please call the school for the link to the sessions.

Apology

This afternoon the Prime Minister is offering an aplogy to former students of residential schools. The aplogy will likely be found on many sites. Although this webcast is now live, the following link should take you to an archived link.
What this will mean to First Nations people across Canada will only be apparent in the time that follows this apology.

The formal recognition of an assimilation policy carried out by the Canadian government that caused incredible hardship and loss of cultural identity for First Nations people is a now a reality. The road to understanding and acceptance is still before us all.

Thanks to Gary Mirasty for carrying the motion to apologize into the House of Commons.

Truth, reconcilliation and a better future can only be found through sincere acceptance of responsibility.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Moodle: Distance learning tools


Moodlemoot is coming this fall......


If you are a student you are probably thinking........so what? If you are a teacher and have never heard of Moodle you might have a passing interest.

If you use the internet to do things and learn things......... Stephen Downes has a lot of important things to say about the shape of things to come. We are shaping our own destiny by what we do with the tools available to us.
Stephen Downes will be one of the keynote speakers at the moodlemoot conference in August.

Find out about the moodlemoot conference. If you use moodle or some other tool for sharing information, managing online activities, this may be of interest to you.

Stephen has become a leading voice in the vast world of Web 2.0 tools, learning resources, and issues related to to digital content and rights.

Terry Anderson will also be present as a Keynote speaker.
Terry Anderson teaches and advises students at the world's largest Masters of Distance at Athabasca University.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Puppies

Here is the latest puppy video from one of the online learners at edcentre.ca.
A little something to lift your spirits.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wayback Machine


Have you ever heard of the WayBack Machine? It is a site that archives Internet websites on a continuous basis. You can look up a website and see how it looked as far back as 1996. So - what does this mean for you? It means you always need to be sure of what you write online as it may come back to haunt you later!!

Try the WayBack Machine to see how different sites have changed over the years.

Friday, May 16, 2008

voicethread.com

We need the ability to knock down the borders and connect with people/resources around the world. The Internet is your oyster. The resource people and ideas are limitless. Networking and collaborating is the key.
Here is a link to one of many tools that allow for connection..........why have arms when you can have wings? voicethread.com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Custom Search

In google, there is a tool called custom search. It can't be found using google.ca, so you have to use google.com.
You can create a search engine that is your own.
When was the last time you used Alta Vista? How do search engines work?
How critical are we about the information and pages that we are directed to?

The Jing Project

The Jing Project.....find this and download it. It is free. It is fantastic.
Use Google, use Alta Vista.....find it.

Teaching and Learning in a digital age

Three of the teachers from the edcentre.ca team are in Saskatoon this morning at a conference about learning in a digital world. We hope to bring new ideas and inspiration to the edcentre.ca learning community through attending this conference. The great thing is that as teachers we are still able to access responses to learning activities at the edcentre. Although we may not be available by telephone, we can be reached through the classroom area.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Buffalo Narrows

Here is a short presentation from Brenden Chartier. Brenden is working on a Communication Production Technology course through edcentre.ca. Thanks for the presentation Brenden. There are a lot of interesting facts presented here that are not common knowledge about Buffalo Narrows.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sure Signs of Spring


In La Ronge it's a sure sign of spring when you see an airplane being towed down the highway to be launched in the bay, when you see the eagles in the trees by the river, when the pelicans start dancing in the water above the bridge, and when the trappers come to town to sell their furs.

Oh yes, and did I mention when the Harleys come out of the garages? This is something that isn't often associated with a "northern town", but it happens here every year.

One of the edcentre.ca online students was in La Ronge with her dad to sell furs last weekend and she got to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle while she was here. Very Cool indeed!! Thanks for the picture Martina.

Parking at edcentre.ca

Normally it's easy to find a good parking spot anywhere in the north. Unfortunately spring has a way of teaching us about surface runoff and the properties of .......mud. This little dip in our winter parking area provided the edcentre.ca team with a few good laughs and an opportunity to do some problem solving.

Parking in the mud means you have to be prepared to get dirty sometimes.

We are so happy that both boys and girls alike aren't afraid to play in the mud puddles at edcentre.ca. We don't mind getting our "nice shoes" a little crusted with good old Mother Earth every once in a while.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Word to your HERD


Scholarships and business capital funding is available through the Rotary clubs of Saskatchewan.

GET MONEY for school and starting a business.


Go to the My Future is Here web site to find out what is available and how to apply.

www.myfutureishere.ca

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is the snow really going away?

It's hard to believe the snowfall in Northern Saskatchewan over the past week. People are still digging out on the west side, and they are opening the control gates for the Churchill River to let some of the extra water go. Buffalo Narrows received 59 cm over four days.
Today has to be the beginning of the end for winter now and spring will be here for real!


Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to the April Online Assembly.
The theme was....."I'll be done in June, how about you?"

Learners shared strategies they are using to get things done by the end of June. Everyone had an opportunity to chat, respond to polls, figure out mystery images and locations.


Check it out if you want to see what was going on. (The recording is 24 minutes long.) I'll be done

Congratulations to the door prize winners:

Evelyn Ross
Susan Ross
Jessica Dionne
Patricia St. Pierre
William Charles

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'll be done in June, how about you?

It's hard to believe that spring is here with the blizzard conditions this weekend and the extra snow we are expecting. Maybe this is some sort of "gift" for those of us who really need to get things done. This could be the time to really "lock on" and clean things up before the next big meltdown and warm weather.

Thursday......Live Online Event!!!
2:00 pm


Theme: I'll be done in June, how about you?

Big Big prizes for participating.
Come and join us!!

breeze.edcentre.ca/assembly

We want to say nice things about you, we want to hear about your plans for the summer, and we want to tell you about the school awards that will be presented in June. Your name could end up on one of these awards.

If you are part of the edcentre.ca online learning community, expect an email
this week.

Online dog musher

I keep forgetting to post this video from , Martina Carriere, an online learner at edcentre.ca.


Here's a short introduction from Martina:
" I am sixteen years old and I live on my trap line. I am taking this course because it suits my life the best. I can take my school wherever I want to be. I find this course to be very flexible. The only problem I have is not getting near a computer enough. So I go back and fourth with my mom who is working in the Pas, and my dad who is keeping the trap line. I could stay out at my trap line all the time, but I have to be near a computer for school.
My trap line is beautiful. In the winter I drive my twenty sled dogs and in the summer I can go swimming out in my front yard, which is the Saskatchewan River. Also in the summers I keep active by canoe racing. It’s how I make money for the year. Anyways that’s a little about my life for now. "


Martina completed the 2008 Challenge Sled dog race from Prince Albert to La Ronge and area this year. (I don't think they were the pups in the video.)
Thanks Martina!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blogging to learn, learning to blog......to blog, or not to blog...

The sort of teachers we are is defined by what we do......how we select resources, how we design learning activities, how we interact with learners. Blogging is one of the tools available that provides an instant opportunity to publish, share ideas and interact with others about those ideas.

blogmeister.com Go to this site and look at the number of bloggers at the top right of the page.
I came across this link while reviewing keynote speakers at the LeanNow BC Distance Learning conference. The creator of this service, David Warlick will be talking about re-thinking what it means to be a student and a teacher.

"There is much that is new about our world and our information environment — and for much of it, we have responded by attempting to hold it back — to block it. This presentation, by 30+ year educator, author, and technologist, David Warlick, will explore some of these changes and challenges and arrange them as a set of converging conditions that might actually hold the clues for redefining and retooling 21st century education. "

Do we need to hold back? To block change? How do we participate in retooling 21st century education?

Progress Reports: Monday is here again....

It seems like Monday has arrived earlier than other Mondays if that is possible. Could it be that spring, changes in temperature, longer days, melting snow, mud, rain, and other elements shift our perspective? Is time an illusion? Can we compress or expand time? Physicists and philosophers contemplate these questions along with the rest of us.

One of the realities of spring in schools across the north is the need to provide progress reports for learners. Sometimes this involves some form of comprehensive assessment instrument,along with a summary of activity over the past two and a half months.

For learners in most online learning environments, progress reports and summaries of activity are always a click away. Bar graphs or line graphs of daily activity in the online classroom, grade summaries and teacher comments for each activity are available within the online edcentre environment. Learners can choose a variety of different ways to view their record of activity and progress.

One of the advantages of the instant reporting for online learners is that they have the opportunity to get feedback quickly, make changes in drafts, identify problems, get live interactive help, or proceed with confidence knowing that they are on the right track.

For schools and parents, the edcentre team provide a more conventional progress report that is sent via-e-mail to student support staff in each school.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Math Games

Like many people, I like to play games online. I found a site called Arcademic Skill Builders.
The multi-player games enable students to play each other from different computers. Single player games are also available. Grab some friends and play!
Games include multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Everyone of us could use reinforcement of these important math skills.
Give me a call if you would like to challenge me to a game.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Winter Losing Grip


Spring is just around the corner.
The rivers will soon open and we will be outside soaking up Mr. Sun. We are all back in the office ready for the final push to mid-June.
Got any suggestions for avoiding the crunch?
Post a comment!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Break

This is the last day of school before the Easter Break for learners who are enrolled in high schools throughout the north. For folks who are working on their courses from home this likely won't make much difference. It will probably turn out to be another week in the life of the online learning community.

For some, the break could turn out to be a great opportunity to get caught up. Sometimes those objectives we set earlier get shifted around due to other committments. Having some extra time may help to get things done.

Teachers will still be checking assignment and activity responses over the next week. If you are sending faxes, just send an email message to let us know.

Here are some Easter questions and answers:

Q. What do Easter Bunny helpers get for making a basket?
A. Two points, just like anyone else.

Q. What's invisible and smells like carrots?
A. The Ether Bunny

Q. Why did the Easter Bunny hide his eggs?
A. He doesn't want the other bunnies to know that he was fooling around with the chickens.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fun in the sun


The weather today is awesome!
It can only get warmer..........
Time to get those assignments coming in.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stormy Weather


Now is the time of year that we start getting that inbetween winter/spring weather. Like the other day - warm weather, rain, cools, rain turns to snow - roads turn to slush and ice. The power was out - apparently from heavy ice on the lines.

So that gets me thinking about how prepared we are for survival. We are very used to having great service provided by Sask Power and Sask Highways. In fact we expect to have these services and many get upset if things aren't made right asap. But what if these services couldn't get fixed, for say, a couple of weeks or a month - could you survive?? (Ice Storm)

Yesterday when the power was off I thought about how unprepared we actually are if something major ever occurred. I have a few things, like a small propane stove, a cole oil lamp, candles but the reality is we are very dependent electricity for almost everything. Think about it - stores are closed so maybe no food, no power no heat, no gas, no phones (except cel), no tv. This site might help you think about these things - Emergency Preparedness and Response

Put down your comments one some of the things we should do now in order to survive should something serious happen. Every community has an emergency preparedness plan - do you know what to do, where to go, in your community? Share your survival tips.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In the dark!

Did you try to call the office today?

We weren't there!

La Ronge and area had a power outage from 6:30 am until 3:15 pm. SaskPower tells us that all is well now. So we expect to hear from you Tomorrrow!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kona Visits Creighton

Live, in person!

Partnership



Many people we speak to are often confused about who is responsible for the edcentre.ca online school.
We are very fortunate to be able to combine resources through a partnership bewteen Northlands College and Northern Lights School Division. If you are 18 or older when you enroll in courses at the online school you are actually enrolled through both organizations. It's like having dual citizenship. One of the interesting aspects of the partnership is that learners are able to access teachers working for both NLSD and Northlands college. In cases where certain courses are not available through the edcentre, we will contact other school divisions to access courses that will meet individual needs.
Being able to share and work with more than one organization greatly enhances what can be offered to learners.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Aboriginal Youth Lyric Writing Contest


www.wrapcontest.ca

Check it out!!

You could be the next rap idol...

Spring Distractions

How do YOU deal with spring distractions?

How do you stay on track with spring fever in the air?
There are so many distractions in our lives it is often difficult to focus on longer term goals. When there are no bells ringing and structures in place that ensure that you are moving ahead with your studies, it is easy to procrastinate. It is easy to put off working on course activities until later. Unfortunately, when "later" comes along there are other distractions. Self discipline is a part of success in almost everything you do. Sometimes you have to be absolutely ruthless with yourself to get things done. Working hard to earn the rewards you give yourself can be part of a strategy for moving ahead.

We want to hear what you do to avoid spring distractions.
Send us your comments!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Math Riddle



If it takes three men three days to dig three holes, how long does it take one man to dig half a hole?


Post your answer as a comment........

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Server problems

Last week we hade some server problems on Wednesday morning. We hope that this didn't cause too many problems for learners trying to access the classroom area. Our main school web site has been moved to a more stable server. This should eliminate problems with accessing the login link.
Something to remember is that you can always get to your class login page if you type: http://video.edcentre.ca/ in your browser window.

We have uploaded some new templates for the school web site and you should see some changes on the main school page within the next few weeks.
When this happens, we will make sure the log in link for your classroom is easy to find.

We are open to suggestions for what we should include on the main school web page. Let us know what you think should be there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do you know these people?


Meet the online learning team!
From left to right: Debbie Mielke, Erin Roy, Kelly Haydukewich, Kona Bryson, Ted Green.

We celebrate every day, every time another person completes a course. This year we expect more than one hundred learners to complete courses through the online school at edcentre.ca.
In almost every case these are opportunities that would not be possible without a flexible approach to accomodating individual circumstances and schedules.

Completing high school means moving on to new opportunites. We are proud to be a part of the process and we are constantly discovering new possibilities through Internet based communication tools.

At our staff meeting yesterday we talked about getting out to communities to provide information and demonstrate how online learning environments and resources work. Stay tuned this spring for local news about sessions in regional centres across Northern Saskatchewan. If you are interested in hosting a demonstration in your community, please give us a call at: 1-888-299-5680.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Got something to say?

Canada wants to listen


Produce a short on-line video on what you think is the most important global issue affecting the real world.



HAVE YOUR SAY


visit http://www.videochallenge.ca/ for contest guidelines, video and other resources.

Monday, February 25, 2008

can you raed tihs?


Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where's Kelly?


Northern Saskatchewan has some of the best ski trails in Western Canada. This is one of the reasons why the Western Canadian Ski Championships are being held at the Don Allen Trails near La Ronge this week.

Kelly has attended countless meetings and put in many volunteer days leading up to this event. He is at the races wearing his edcentre.ca hat this week. We hope senior math and physics students are able to function without his assistance for a few days.
If you would like to see what is going on, follow the link to the Western Championships website: Where is Kelly?

Math students working on problems related to slope can easily find some direct application on the ski trails at the Championships. Ask Kelly for a fresh interpretation when he is back on Monday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Air Search

Sometimes we get called away from what we are doing.
This happened to me yesterday while I was busy checking online activity responses. I was called away to arrange an air search for an overdue plane.
Every search is a new adventure with a different outcome. Yesterday was no exception. We were able to fly in a plane with skis and land in 3 different locations. The adventure had a happy ending as we were able to locate the plane and the pilot both in good condition.
Hopefully no one missed me. I see that the activity responses continued in spite of my absence. I was able to open responses this morning that had been composed yesterday afternoon while I was up in a plane. What fun!!!!
If you are interested in Air Search and Rescue, call me at the school. We are always looking for new people to help with searches.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February Break


For northern high school students this is the February break. Teachers working for Northern Lights School Divison are in Saskatoon attending workshops and presentations.
This is a perfect opportunity for high school students to get caught up or get ahead with online course activities.
For adult learners, not much will change this week except for parents who must turn their attention to children at home during the break.
Give us a call at the school if you have questions or need help with online activities.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Family Day......
Image source:Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

It is Family Day in Northern Saskatchewan and all the stores are closed. Last year was the first official Family Day in Saskatchewan. This is a time for family togetherness and quality time. Get out and play some street hockey, make a snow fort, have a winter picnic around a nice warm fire, go ice fishing.........call family members who live in other locations. Appreciate the fabric of family.