Category Archives: Digital Age Learning Culture

School Libraries and The Digital Backpack

School librarians are uniquely positioned to collaborate with teachers to infuse technology to support learning, assessment and curriculum within a collaborative learning environment. Teacher-librarians are connected to current research and can assist with best-practice in effective technology implementation.

The Saskatoon Public Schools’ Elementary LibGuide provides an “Insight” into aligning the role of the teacher-librarian with the needs of today’s student. Each Insight is based on ISTE’s NETS for Students (NETS•S); the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

Research and Information Fluency
Communication and Collaboration
Critical Thinking
Creativity and Innovation

Recordium – App Review

Recordium is a new iPad and iPhone app for creating audio recordings. Like other audio recording apps, Recordium can be used to quickly create a spoken note or to record a student’s reading. It also features editing tools that many other apps share, including:

    • Trim/cut any unnecessary parts of the recording
    • Snip any part of a track and create a new file
    • Delete any part, even from the middle of a track

Its Recordium’s ability to let the user highlight important parts of the track while recording or during playback that makes this app particularly useful to the learning evironment.

The user can annotate recordings to leave tracks of their thinking. The user can add multiple notes to various parts of the track, tag different parts of the recording, and add pictures to any part of the track from the camera or device gallery. Annotation can be previewed through a single tap, or easily moved, edited or deleted. The ability to annotate a lengthy recording facilitate quick searching to important and highlighted parts of tracks.

Students can provide their reflections, questions, and synthesis of a provided recording. Recordium can also be used as formative feedback of students’ work. The feedback can be conducted by the teacher, peers, or invited experts. The comments provide valuable fodder for students to edit, revise and improve their work.

Recordium’s intuitive user interface, smooth playback, and multiple options for annotating are among the features that make this app a valuable tool for students.


Dr. Danah Boyd – Networked Publics

Dr. Boyd’s lecture focuses on how the social media environment is changing the concept of privacy. Over the 40-minute lecture, Dr boyd presented her theories on how young people use social media to define themselves, their friendship circles, the idea of privacy and how the online environment and the technologies used to access it can be better utilised for communicating.

According to Dr. Boyd, young social media user’s concept of privacy revolves around the idea of sharing with those they trust. When private information is shared in a public forum, the theme of the new privacy comes through with the idea “Just because something is publicly accessible public, it doesn’t mean it was meant for you”. Dr. Boyd presents the idea that young people “navigate their private feelings in plain sight” using “social steganography” to communicate private ideas and feelings in a public forum to a select audience of friends.

Technology: The 21st Century #2 Pencil

Douglas B. Reeves, Ph.D. encourages educators to think of technology as analogous of the #2 pencil. Instead of thinking of technology in quantitative terms (number of computers, etc.), we need to rethink technology as direct support for instruction.

For many schools, technology remains in the operation side. It is used for managerial tasks such as submitting administrative required paperwork or processing payroll. Technology must be subordinate to, rather than master of, learning. Reeves outlines ways to interweave technology and instruction effectively:

  • Technology must be subordinate to human relationships. As technology has the potential to be socially isolating, educators must take steps to nurture appropriate social interactions and foster relationships.
  • Technology use must encourage critical thinking.  Students must be explicitly taught to be selective of information to determine its relevance, reliability, and currency. Information must be triangulated – all claims, beliefs, and arguments must be supported by several sources.
  • Technology use must involve explicit teaching of how to synthesize and evaluate information. In order to be respectful producers of information, students must be knowledgeable of digital citizenship and be asked to create new, rather than appropriated, knowledge.

Tweeting for Teachers: how can social media support teacher professional development?

The Pearson Centre for Policy and Learning has spent the past few months considering the question, Tweeting for Teachers: how can social media support teacher professional development?, working with teachers, social media experts and others to try to understand this issue, and how teachers can harness a valuable resource to develop their skills.

The New E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, & Enabled

The use of e-textbooks and other digitally rich content engages students by providing a real-world context for the learning process and allowing learning to extend beyond the classroom walls. — The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged and Empowered – How Today’s Students Are Leveraging Emerging Technologies for Learning from Speak Up 2010 National Research Project (Project Tomorrow, April 2011).

Networked Privacy

Danah Boyd discusses how we are connected – through communications, data, and interactions. How can we share, but maintain a level of privacy in today’s networked environment?

Sharing: The Moral Imperative

Dean Shareski looks at the new obligation of sharing for educators. With stories from the a variety of sources, the fact that we now have the ability to teach and share beyond our classrooms is moving from “nice to do” to “necessary to do”.

Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge

Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches students life’s most valuable lesson: “I can.” Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.


Bring on the Learning Revolution!

In this poignant talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.