January 15, 2012 

- by Chris Kennedy - Author of cultureofyes blog

 

I have used the above slide in a number of presentations to make the point that British Columbia is leading Canada (perhaps even the world) in the professional use of social media in K-12 education. I freely admit I don’t have the statistics to back up the claim – there are simply more teachers, administrators, parents, trustees, and others here, who are logging into their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts in the name of professional learning, than any other jurisdiction.

In the past year we have moved from several dozen blogs around K-12 education, to numbers in the hundreds, with representation in every area of the education system.  The #bced tag on Twitter is one of the most engaged with conversations about the ever-changing education profession, and there are many other social sites having these conversations as well.

The conversations around the profession itself are very interesting.  In social media, ‘role’ becomes less important; there is a flattening of society and it is ‘ideas’ that have increased value.  There are also incredible opportunities  to reflect, share, and learn without the limitations of geography. I could go on, and there have been many others who have covered the ground about the value of social media for educators, and how Twitter and blogging can be extremely powerful in professional development.  This is true for those interested in education in BC, but it is also true of other professionals around the world.

So why has BC moved so quickly and taken such leadership in this area? As mentioned, I have no statistical proof, but a series of ideas as to why BC is the leading jurisdiction using social media to engage in the profession of education.

Read full article here.

A new initiative by the Canadian International Learning Foundation has set out to overcome what Canadians say is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer: lack of time.

“Change the world in five hours a week” is the mantra of the Educator Volunteer Network, which matches up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world, letting them donate their time without ever leaving their desks.

Educatorvolunteer.net is the brainchild of Ryan Aldred, president of the CanILF, a registered charity devoted to improving educational opportunities for children in destitute and war-torn regions. Through the agency’s work in Afghanistan, Aldred said, he saw that online volunteers could make a massive difference to schools.

“Two things we were struck by was how interested Canadians were in getting involved and how many schools were out there looking for assistance. We kept thinking, ‘What can we do to help these schools?’

“So we came up with the notion of an online community where we could connect the two groups and help them work together. The network launched in September and the response has been amazing.”

So far more than 50 volunteers have signed up to provide one-on-one online assistance with new technologies, research requests, curriculum enhancement, development of resources, writing content for websites and putting together budgets and business plans.

To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net

Read full article here.

By Gillian Burnett, Vancouver Sun December 8, 2011

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Innovative Media for the Classroom and Communities

Use diverse educational tools to enhance learning: Our trusted, high-calibre content includes exciting web-based learning platforms and teaching guides probing topics such as environmental studies, citizen media and Aboriginal culture.

Teaching Guides

A good study guide can bring a film to life within a classroom setting. Guides are available for thousands of NFB productions, helping teachers to choose the right film for their curriculum and get the best out of NFB resources.

Included are detailed curriculum notes and lesson plans, along with hands-on classroom activities and discussion starters.

In addition to our study guides, NFB Education provides short Education Descriptors—brief curriculum notes and grade level suggestions—for more than 2,000 online titles.

Education Playlists

Looking for animated shorts to show in your art class, or films that explore the complex issue of racism? Or are you seeking a good way to mark World Earth Day or another cultural event?

The NFB provides a growing collection of thematic playlists selected by experts to illustrate specific subjects or themes.

Educational Websites

A compelling and well-researched website can be a powerful learning tool, illuminating multiple aspects of an issue and engaging students in exciting creative dialogue.

The NFB has created its own cutting-edge interactive productions and has supported other web-based initiatives. These productions can provide a fresh approach to topics like Canadian history or Aboriginal culture and help clarify complex issues such as international development or environmentalism, or they can introduce kids to film animation in a playful and appealing manner.

~from the National Film Board Website – Education

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2011

Imagine a world where anyone can instantly access all of the world’s scholarly knowledge – as profound a change as the invention of the printing press. Technically, this is within reach. All that is needed is a little imagination, to reconsider the economics of scholarly communications from a poetic viewpoint.

Highlights

There are over 7,000 peer-reviewed fully open access journals as listed in the DOAJ, still growing by 4 titles per day and over 6,000 of these are in English, as listed by Open J-Gate. Electronic Journals Library keeps track of more than 32,000 free journals. There are over 2,000 repositories, linking to more than 30 million items, growing at the rate of 21 thousand items per day, which can be searched through the snazzy new Bielefeld Academic Search Engine search options. PLoS ONE, having become the world’s largest journal last year, outdid themselves by doubling the number of articles published this year. PubMedCentral, arXiv, RePEC, and E-LIS growth was in the 10-15% range for the year. This issue of Dramatic Growth adds a new feature, a first attempt at comparing compliance rates with a few medical funders’ open access policies – so far, Wellcome Trust is looking good!

Read full article here.

By Heather Morrison

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Celebrate Science held at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum was a great success.  Teachers, librarians, parents and teacher candidates attended this event to learn about science books and the joys of learning science.  Keynote speaker Dr. Jeannette Whitton is a UBC botanist and she shared information about her passion looking at plant species.  Her research involves looking at populations of plant species that occur hundreds or thousands of kilometers apart but somehow maintain their genetic and evolutionary integrity. She considers how changes in chromosome numbers and breeding system influence the ecological and genetic interactions of populations. Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone offered ways of focusing on science just by looking out your window. 

Celebrate Science is a festival of B.C science writers for children and teens. This is a reminder that the event will be taking place on Saturday, 24 September 2011, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at the University of British Columbia’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

This science extravaganza will appeal to teachers, teacher-librarians, student teachers, public librarians, child care workers and parents.  The half-day program will feature talented Canadian writers and illustrators whose books and passion for science spans all ages. They’ll explore scientific topics with the audience and highlight a wide range of books available for youth. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jeanette Whitton, Environmental biologist and Co-Director, Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Featured scientists include Dr. Wayne Maddison, the spider guy;  Dr. Amanda Vincent, Project Seahorse researcher and Dr. Eric Taylor, UBC Fish Collection.

Science writers from the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) will be presenting their books:

Fiona Bayrock,  author of Bubble Homes and Fish Farts

Tanya Kyi, 50 Questions series

Shar Levine & Leslie Johnstone, authors of over 70 hands-on science books such as Kitchen Science and their latest Snowy Science.

Cynthia Nicolson, Totally Human: Why We Look and Act the Way We Do;

Barry Shell, author of Sensational Scientists

Jim Wiese, Surrey High school teacher and author of over 40 books including Spy Science, Rocket Science and Cosmic Science.

There will be a science book fair and sales with a 10% discount for attendees.

To register online go to http://www.bookcentre.ca/store/products/celebrate_science_a_festival_bc_science_writers_kids_teens.

We hope to see you there!

Celebrate Science is a festival of B.C science writers for children and teens. The event will be taking place on Saturday, 24 September 2011, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia.

This science extravaganza will appeal to teachers, teacher-librarians, student teachers, public librarians, child care workers and parents.  The half-day program will feature talented Canadian writers and illustrators whose books and passion for science spans all ages. They’ll explore scientific topics with the audience and highlight a wide range of books available for youth. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jeanette Whitton, Environmental biologist and Co-Director, Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Featured scientists include Dr. Wayne Maddison, the spider guy;  Dr. Amanda Vincent, Project Seahorse researcher and Dr. Eric Taylor, UBC Fish Collection.

Science writers from the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) will be presenting their books:

Fiona Bayrock,  author of Bubble Homes and Fish Farts

Tanya Kyi, 50 Questions series

Shar Levine & Leslie Johnstone, authors of over 70 hands-on science books such as Kitchen Science and their latest Snowy Science.

Cynthia Nicolson, Totally Human: Why We Look and Act the Way We Do;

Barry Shell, author of Sensational Scientists

Jim Wiese, Surrey High school teacher and author of over 40 books including Spy Science, Rocket Science and Cosmic Science.

There will be a science book fair and sales with a 10% discount for attendees.

To register online go to http://www.bookcentre.ca/store/products/celebrate_science_a_festival_bc_science_writers_kids_teens.

We hope to see you there!

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