21st Century Competency – Learning to Learn

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Learning to learn or Metacognition may be one of the greatest skill identified in the 21st Century Competency document.

Metacognitive strategies refers to methods used to help students understand the way they learn; in other words, it means processes designed for students to ‘think’ about their ‘thinking’.

As an adult learner I have found this difficult to do myself but I also know that it is crucial to being successful in school and in life. I have come to realize that I learn best when I can hear it, see it and feel it.  Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning is what I do best.  This served me well in school and I am fortunate to be able to have three modalities of learning that tap into the main ones that teachers in schools learn to teach.

Technology can really help students tap into ways of thinking and compensate for areas that they may need help in.  The ability to play with media or various forms through technology actually play very well into this.

Most recently we have been promoting like other boards coding and robotics. These sort of tools allow student to become divergent thinkers, problem solvers and tap into learning modes beyond the visual and auditory types found in many classrooms.  Many teachers are fearful of bringing this into their classes for a few reasons.  One they did not learn this way in the past.  Second it is messy with often more than one answer to solve a problem. And third it places the control of learning in the students hands.  All three of these can require patience and teachers who have started to teacher coding and robotics need patience as both they and student struggle to learn this often very hands on type of learning.

I am certain in future blogs I will talk more about learning to learn but thought I would get the conversation rolling and invite teachers and others to talk about how we can promote this really important skill development.

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School Visits in Haldimand Elementary Schools Highlights

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Today I was in the southeastern region of our board visiting schools to see how our Education Technology Initiative is being implemented.  What an awesome day as I saw teachers not just using infused computers, whiteboards and projectors but also some interesting and innovative ways to engage and teach their students.

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In this Grade 1 class students are working with an interactive whiteboard that projects on the ground.  Teachers were also using document cameras to edit and take up work.

One teacher shared with my a cool way to make BYOD come alive in class. Smoothairboard is reaching out and engaging her students.  She shared this youtube clip with me in an email later in the day to demonstrate the capabilities

“My students have loved sharing their answers and working collaboratively from multiple devices.  Building a
joint mind map on Smart Ideas using this program is a neat application.”

Additionally this teacher is introducing her students to the world of coding recommending.

Learn.code.org and scratch.mit.edu  for computer coding.  I have used both of these applications to teach the basics of computer program, while developing problem solving and creativity.


Awesome day and thank you Students, Teachers and Principal’s at Rainham PS, JL Michener, and Thompson Creek in the Grand Erie District School Board.