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Erin Williams

  • I can’t believe my Coetail adventure has come to an end.  I have learned so much over the past year and a half and the course has really challenged my thinking as an educator.  I was exposed to some many new ide […]

  • Thanks Valerie for your comment. It was a cool experience, I think I was way more excited…
    I connected with your friend, Kerry, on Twitter- thanks for that!

    I am looking forward to participating in […]

  • I have always been interested in Design Thinking since it took over the educational sphere several years ago.  During that time when it was latest buzz, I remembering thinking I wish I had my own classroom […]

  • The Power of Twitter…

    I truly forgot how challenging, overwhelming, and exciting it is to be a classroom teacher for 24 Kindergarteners. I’m exhausted yet always thinking of new and innovate ways to get my c […]

  • My final project idea from the end of  Course 4  needed to be completely overhauled due to circumstances beyond my control- ah, the joys of working at a school.  Last school year I was in limbo with my role as te […]

  • Thank you Cary, but I am now back in the Kindergarten classroom with no technology except the C-Touch and an iPad so I seriously need to get creative. I will definitely pass your advise on down the road if we get […]

  • Hi Brandon,
    You are absolutely right. The Finch robots are way too sophisticated for my newest little learners. I am now the proud owner of a class with 23 mixed ability ages ranging from 4-6 year olds. It is […]

  • Valerie- thank you for your post. I have been to Iceland and have photos somewhere to prove it. It was definitely a cool experience and yes hardly any access to technology. I thought I was on another planet. You […]

  • Erin Williams‘s profile was updated 1 year, 6 months ago

  • Erin Williams posted a new activity comment 1 year, 10 months ago

    Hi Jennifer,
    I think it’s fantastic that you are using Google Classroom and Khan Academy with your students. I so wish Khan Academy existed in my day- I was terrible at math!

    I like how you listed the reasons for the use of technology with your students and how to present it to the parents. Your challenges will eventually become positives…[Read more]

  • My school has decided to embrace robotics and coding for the primary and elementary schools for the next academic year. I am very excited because I have been pushing for classroom teachers to become more familiar […]

    • Erin,
      This are both great sounding plans! I have trialled Seesaw in G2 this year and fully adopted it in K and G3. I think the thing that I would do when I move it into other classrooms is to make sure that the teachers understand that they won’t be able to do everything at once.

      I would have the teachers set up realistic checkpoints in the year. For example by the October break students will have added two different types of posts with comments or audio. (We are using it as a portfolio mainly) By Christmas the students will have responded to comments made on their posts and make comments on other student’s posts. I would continue this out for the year.

      Good luck with your projects.

    • Erin, it looks like you’re well on your way to developing a solid Course 5 plan. I think both ideas are feasible and offer opportunities for growth not only as a school but for you as the one helping to bring them to the school.

      For the Finch Robot project, you raised a great point here, “My concerns are getting classroom teachers on board because most are not familiar with coding or robotics at this level. I am concerned that some teachers might find it a waste of time or a “gimmick”.” – this will be especially true if the school is new to robotics. You’ll likely face some resistance initially but the best way to deal with that is to help integrate others into it – invite them in, hold competitions, seek out alternative ways of showcasing student work, etc.

      With Seesaw, this is quite ambitious, but a great goal. I think you need to have the admin fully behind this initiative so teachers will all be on the same page and it can become an expectation of everyone. Training will certainly help, and buddying up those who can act as mentors with those who are just starting.

    • Hi Erin,
      Last year I started using SeeSaw in the elementary school. The students would choose their best work and then we created a folder that was labeled “Student Led Conferece” Students were then able to use this folder for PTC nights. This year, we are going to expand our use beyond the classroom. I would like to share the class feed with schools outside of China and see how other students are using Seesaw as a collaboration tool among classrooms. I think that having the ES principal behind me for using Seesaw was essential. You can start with small and when parents and teachers see the power behind it, I’m sure the rest of the ES will pick up. Good Luck and let me know if you want to collaborate!

  • Erin Williams posted a new activity comment 1 year, 10 months ago

    Hi Ken,
    I agree that we as educators have to implement the current theories of learning such as play, game, and project based to not only keep our students engaged but also exposed to 21st century skills. As a technology teacher I have few behavioral problems because my class revolves around technology and age-appropriate digital skills. My…[Read more]

    • Hi Erin,
      Plenty of potential and perhaps the tip of the iceberg! When students have a voice and choice, they are so empowered in their own learning. We focus a lot of presentation using Google Slides as well. Ranging from Grade 3 sharing their service learning projects to Kindergarteners doing book reviews. It’s incredible to see!
      Thanks to the…[Read more]

  •  As a technology teacher my classroom is a technology enriched classroom by default.  But my classroom/IT lab is very traditional in the sense that students come to me once a week and for the most part we do i […]

  • Erin Williams posted a new activity comment 1 year, 10 months ago

    Hi Dan,
    I totally agree with a more balanced approach to the classroom environment. I believe all current approaches can be integrated and not one approach should dominate. I would love to teach in a classroom that allows that and our roles are more of a “facilitator” or a “lead learner”.
    I hope we can eventually move away from the rote…[Read more]

  • I wanted to devote this week’s blog to my experience with MOOCs.  I definitely see the future of PD evolving towards a MOOC based platform.  It allows busy teachers the flexibility and access to many current edu […]

  • I  have always been fascinated with the gamification and game based learning movements in education.  “We are gamers, Ms. Erin!” is what one of my Grade 2 classes exclaimed in excitement during our intro […]

    • Hi Erin, our students do live in a gaming world and we are trying to play catch. Have you thought of having your kids create games which they share with each other do demonstrate their understanding of connects. Scratch Jr is a great coding app for Grade 2 where they can create math or language games to share with their classmates. It is also a great work place for students who struggle with language or math concepts because it develops logical and sequential thinking with minimal text.

  • Project, problem, and challenge based learning are terms that I have heard teachers and admin toss around when discussing current topics in education.  I’ve never really known the significant difference between th […]

  • Erin Williams posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    Hi Stephane,
    I found your post very informative. My head gets very sore trying to differentiate between the 3 innovative learning frameworks. You did a great job explaining the differences and adding your own PBL’s projects which is very helpful to see what the possibilities are from start to finish.
    I am interested in using project based…[Read more]

  • Several years ago I was introduced to the SAMR model.  I think it is a great framework to use especially for those who are beginning their tech integration journey.  As a technology teacher my main focus is how t […]

    • Hi Erin,
      Been enjoying your blog posts to my email. Thanks. So like you I have to find a way, and I think it’s great that you had the students choose what outlet they wanted to communicate the project. Not only is it another way to communicate, but once uploaded to Seesaw, for this particular project, perhaps parents can be reassured that the students have absorbed the concept of a good digital citizen. Coming from a small school myself, I totally agree with what you said that SAMR is a great framework for technology integration. I have introduced this to staff to create awareness of where they stand in their classrooms and where we could be. Cheers! Pim

    • Hey Erin

      Thanks for a great post.

      Straight off the bat – I completely agree with your opening sentence. I think that the SAMR model is a brilliant tool for any educators who are beginning to increase their tech usage. It’s also a really useful tool for anyone who wants a way to evaluate how effectively they are using IT in their schools – even if they feel that they are experienced in this regard.

      I really like the way that your students have used Draw and Tell to talk about Internet safety. I completely agree that it comes under redefinition. Although, at face value it appears similar to the original pen and paper task, the children are using so many different skills and what a great feeling for them to be able to animate, add their voices and also upload it to the web.

      We do a similar activity in my own class. Here is a video that my students made on staying safe:

      We used Explain Everything.

      Thanks again for a great post!


  • Erin Williams posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Hi Jackie,

    Adobe Spark really is a great tool to start with digital storytelling because it is so user friendly that allows students to add their own images, audio and now video!

    I’m always looking to smash up apps so students have the opportunity to push the creativity envelope. Google Slides can be used for digital storytelling by…[Read more]

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