#RCAC13 Final Program

Plan now to join instructional leaders at the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s 2013 Symposium.  This year’s event will be held on Thursday, December 5 at the Lamplighter Inn and Convention Centre in London, Ontario.  Share and follow the discussion using the hashtag #RCAC13.


Most school districts will register in bulk.  Contact your district’s computer technology consultant.
Individual Registrations may be done here.


8:00 Registration Opens

9:00 Welcome to Symposium 2013

9:30 – Keynote Address:  BYOD or not to BYOD: That is the question… Or is it?
Travis Allen –   http://blog.ischoolinitiative.com
Travis is the present and founder of iSchool Initiative, a student-led non-profit organization dedicated to revolutionalizing our education system through innovative technology.

10:30 – Break

10:45 – Morning Breakout Sessions

M1 – Going Paperless
Travis Allen – iSchool Initiative

It was promised decades ago that technology and computers would make us a paperless society but in reality we have more paper waste than ever before. Students, want to use tablets and only our tablet in our classes. We do not own paper, pens, books or printers. In this session, learn how you too can go digital and become completely paperless. Come prepared to ask questions on the struggles you have to go paperless.

M2 – Chromebooks in the Classroom
Mark Carbone, Ron Millar – Waterloo Region District School Board
The Waterloo Region District School Board has purchased a number of Google Chromebooks to investigate classroom potential with this type of device as part of the ongoing work to determine the best type of technologies to support student learning. In this session, we will share our initial learnings regarding: getting started, device management, pros/cons, best potential, support and current classroom experiences.  Participants will also have a hands on experience using the Chromebooks.

M3 – OSAPAC Update
Karen Kasik – OSAPAC Committee
Participants will be able to gain information and mini-demos in this session on software available through OSAPAC that can be used in today’s classrooms.  Questions to answered in the session: What is new? Where is support materials readily available? How can I access the software  as a teacher?  Where can I find more resources to help me learn (tutorials, etc)?  What exciting changes are coming to help educators?

M4 – Blend it Like Beckham
Dan Bodkin – eLearningOntario
Blended learning combines the best of both worlds: face-to-face and electronic learning.  Learn how teachers across Ontario have been using the content and tools of provincial learning management system (LMS) to engage their primary, junior, intermediate, and senior-level students.  Peek at the elementary content packages available to boards, and learn how blended learning can bridge gaps and help boost kids’ achievement

M5 – My Class Page is Up!  Now What?
Eva Thompson – Lambton Kent District School Board
This presentation is intended for those new to using D2L for e-learning and blended learning. Many ideas and best practices for engaging students and drawing them into the course will be shared including the use of pictures, music and audio, video and other web-based tools such as Go Animate and Voki.  Participants will also learn how to embed multimedia content within their D2L course.

M6 – Flipping Out?
Brian Aspinall – Lambton Kent District School Board
“Every kid should code, because it teaches them how to think” – Steve Jobs
Do you have a desire to get your students coding but don’t know where to start? Have them demonstrate a curriculum concept through programmed animations and simulations. We can improve student learning through engagement by having them develop apps to simulate real world concepts like probability or the particle theory using interactive tools on iPads or the web. In this session we will explore student creation in an inquiry based digital “flipped” classroom. Students of all ages can code. Come and see how student engagement can improve the learning process during Genius Hour!

M7 – Student Portal on the LMS
Paul Hatala – Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
The provincial LMS (Desire2Learn) is a great tool for not only providing course content and support, but also for providing a one-stop shop for integrations with a variety of other tools.  Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has been working with third party vendors including ExploreLearning Gizmos, VoiceThread and Homework Help (ILC) to provide single sign-on capabilities from within D2L.  With these integrations in place, we have effectively created a student portal (called The Hub), where everything from course materials, to additional resources and even email are linked into the one login.  During this session, we will demonstrate how to integrate various tools into the provincial LMS and describe the work that is required for you to build your own student portal using D2L.

M8 – Minecraft
Zoe Branigan-Pipe – Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Why are educators and students completely mesmerized by Minecraft? Why should principals, teachers and parents welcome it as a tool for creative expression and collaboration? How can you support your teachers or students using Minecraft in a focused and safe way? How can the Ontario education context (curriculum, assessment) be connected with Minecraft?  This presentation will demonstrate why Minecraft is considered a ‘Sandbox” game and how participants work collaboratively to design and create a variety of structures from micro (detailed rooms, drawing, interior designs, electrical circuits, programming) to Macro (large area concepts, architectural, environment, historical events, dramatizations, problem solving). Participants will leave with an understanding that Minecraft is a ‘Real Time’ design tool that allows students to connect, create and share globally and addresses skills such as communication, listening, synthesizing and problem solving.

12:00 – LUNCH



1:00 – Keynote Address:  The Best Educational Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning
Gary Stager –  http://www.stager.org

Gary Stager is an internationally recognized educator and consultant. He has spent twenty-eight years helping teachers on six continents make sense of their roles in the age of personal computing and schools more constructive places for children.

2:15 – Afternoon Breakout Sessions

A1 – A Conversation with Gary Stager
Gary Stager – stager.org

Continue the conversation with Gary where he will defend or clarify the content of his keynote The Best Educational Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning.  Gary will be happy to answer any questions the audience wishes to throw at him

A2 – You Got Your F2F In My LMS
Derek Stenton – Lambton Kent District School Board
Do your e-Learning students feel more like they are taking a correspondence course than a class with a live teacher?  How can we engage and retain our e-Learning students, and make them feel more like they are part of a real class? The LiveScribe pen and LiveScribe Desktop software will allow you to explain key concepts and discuss curriculum expectations visually and orally just as you would in a face-to-face classroom. This interactive session will take you from the creation stages of developing a Pencast, to embedding your lesson directly into your LMS. LiveScribe converts and skeptical rookies are welcome.

A3 – Parent /Teacher Communication Made Easy
Paul Haggart, Nizar El-Kadri – Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
A Class website is a great way to communicate with parents.  Add a blog to that website and now you have an archived, organized, and fully customizable tool that will grow with your needs.  Learn how to lock down a blog so it acts like a message board that can be as interactive as you like.  The blog can be edited online or updated by email.  The class newsletter could be a thing of the past.  Use your blog message board as a short daily update so parents and students know what is going on!  To round out your communication Twitter and the benefit of an online calendar will be discussed too!  Other communication tools will be review too!

A4 – iPads:  The Magic Window for learning in a grade 3-4 class
Michelle Cordy – Thames Valley District School Board
There is no magic wand, but is there a magic window?  In this session, I will share my view of iPads for learning.  Starting in September 2012, each student in my classroom was provided with an iPad.  I will tell the tale of deploying one-to-one tablets from multiple angles including logistical set up, student safety, using the power of the Operating System, and the always overwhelming yet exciting applications hunt and find.  Whether you plan to use a single iPad in a school or plan to implement one-to-one, you will find some useful information here.  I will also share how the iPads can help us think about teaching and learning differently.  So, whether you plan on getting tablets or not, I hope to suggest some potentially unique perspectives on teaching and learning whether your tool is a pencil or an iPad.

A5 – Literature Circles 2.0
Carey Eldridge – Lambton Kent District School Board
As part of a Teacher Lead Learning Project we took the traditional approach to Literature Circles and deconstructed them to reflect the current technologies and available Web 2.0 tools.  We created a blended learning approach to Literature Circles that students found more engaging and resulted in more authentic novel discussions with an increase in student achievement.  We will share how we re-structured the approach to traditional Literature Circles, the various platforms and OSAPAC software we used to deliver them and the outcome of our project.

A6 –  iPads for SEA
Catherine Montreuil, Theresa Harrietha – Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board
Catherine and Theresa will share Bruce-Grey Catholic DSB’s journey from ThinkPads to iPads as a SEA standard for students with exceptionalities requiring assistive technology. Come, ask questions and see first hand how the use of iPads has facilitated increased achievement for students with Learning Disabilities.

A7 – Digital Human Library
Leigh Cassell – Avon Maitland District School Board

Experience how the Digital Human Library (dHL) is connecting Canadian teachers and students with organizations and experts from around the world. K-12 teachers will learn how to browse the library’s searchable database and engage students with real
experts interested in video conferencing with their classes. The dHL aims to provide students with 21st century learning opportunities that integrate information and communication technology (ICT) into our classroom programs to improve educational
achievement, enrich curriculum experiences, stimulate student interest and curiosity, and increase student engagement and participation. And the best part – it’s free! It’s time to bring the field trip experience into your classroom!

A8 – Increasing Student Interactivity
Our Journey Beyond the Interactive Whiteboard – Chris Knight – Greater Essex County District School Board
Participants will share in the GECDSB journey of interactive technologies. We will share the variety of options available to our schools, and the reasons why each school may chose a different approach. We will look at the GECDSB journey from Smartboards all the way through to Apple TV and beyond, and look at how each configuration can be used to maximise student learning opportunities.