Student Voices: Episode 5 Ben and Mark

In this final episode of Student Voices for the 2007-2008 school year, two students, one grade 12 (17 years old) one grade 11 (16 years old), discuss how they evolved their innovative study practices that lead to them doing better on their final provincial standards test than they had done in their class work during the winter semester of 2008. They used a mash up of various online tools and reveal how they unwittingly became mentors for the rest of their class.

I had no idea they were doing this all semester. You'll hear the surprise in my voice. The best part of it comes at the end where the boys, one graduating one taking AP Calculus with me in September, talk about how they will mentor my future classes using the style they developed. What a great way to end the school year!

Let us know what you thought about the the ideas in podcast by leaving a comment.

(Download File 7.9Mb, 16 min. 30 sec.)

Show Notes

    » Pre-Cal 40S (Winter 2008) class blog

    » LaTeX Equation Editor
(I just found this! We'll be using it in class next year.)

    » Manitoba Provincial Exams Archive

    » Math

Photo Credit: Shadow singer by flickr user EugeniusD80

Student Voices Episode 4: Justice, Lawrence, and Richard

First an update on this podcast: While we have received few comments on this or any of our class blogs the number of times the audio files have been downloaded is remarkable ...

Episode 1: Jessie 2440 downloads

Episode 2: Tim_MATH_y 1766 downloads

Episode 3: Chris, Craig, Graeme 1367 downloads

Thanks to all our listeners. We might get one more published during this school year but this may be the last until September. In any case feel free to let me or my students know your thoughts about what they had to say; every comment is appreciated. As their teacher, I'm awfully proud of them. I can only imagine how their parents must feel.

In this episode of Student Voices three Pre-Calculus students talk about how they put together their Developing Expert Voices project and what they learned in the process: how they they best learn math, how it can best be taught, and many other incidental things like team work and organizational skills.

All three of these students are in Grade 11 (about 16 years old). They are taking their grade 12 math course this year so that they can take AP Calculus next year.

They have titled their project with one of my favourite reminders to all my students: Mathematics is the Science of Patterns. If you watch any of the video content they created you'll hear several "in jokes". I'll let you "in" on a few of them:

• I eat a lot of yogourt. Between 1/2 and 3/4 of a litre most days.

• I HATE when students come late to class.

• I tell lots of stories in class; always with a mathematical slant or moral.

• To encourage students to move quickly I often say: "Hupsha, hupsha, quick like a bunny!"

• When students ask permission to miss my class to attend other school related events I almost always ask: "What?!? You want to miss my honey dripping words of wisdom?"

• You can see some more of my "famous expressions" here.

Let Justice, Lawrence, and Richard know what you thought about the podcast by leaving a comment here on this post or on the mirror of this post on their class blog.

Without any further ado, here is the podcast. A copy of the poster they made for their work is below.

(Download File 12.2Mb, 25 min. 30 sec.)

Photo Credit: Shadow singer by flickr user EugeniusD80

Les Foltos: Brainstorm and Wrap Up

This is the closing keynote presentation given by Les Foltos, Director of the Puget Sound Center for Teacher Learning and Technology, at the Microsoft Innovative Educators Conference held in Winnipeg on May 29, 2008. (The site appears to be down, or broken, now. I thought it was supposed to serve as a commons around which a growing network of teachers was going to built. I wonder what happened?)

This is the last podcast from the from the conference I recorded. It's a little noisy to listen to. We were all talking in small groups trying to crystallize what we had learned over the previous two days. The good news is we talked about many of the same things that we had discussed in the previous day's Ustream. The voices you hear talking in our little group are me, Clarence Fisher, Chris Harbeck, John Evans, Andy McKiel, Kathy Cassidy, and another lady whose name, unfortunately, I've forgotten. She was sitting in a neighbouring group and kept looking over at us, interested in what we were talking about. So, I invited her over and I'm glad she joined us. I think we all got a lot out of this conversation. Give it a listen and add your own two cents in the comments below.

(Download File 30.0Mb, 62 min. 30 sec.)


Great news! Chris found the Ustream recording!! Good on ya Chris. ;-)

Watcher beware: a surprising amount of time is devoted to discussing Dean Shareski's eating habits and his coffee mug — we had a lot of laughs. ;-)

Time: 36 min. 13 sec.

Live Videos provided by Ustream.TV

Richard Van Eck: Games Based Learning Breakout Session

This is the audio from Richard Van Eck's breakout session at the Microsoft Innovative Educators Conference. It's full of very practical ideas for how to incorporate using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games in teaching a variety of subjects in the K-12 curriculum. Rick's presentations are very grounded with very little flash in his slides but lots of good concrete ideas to take back to the classroom. The night before this session Rick gave a keynote presentation on games based learning. He was asked if the kind of learning kids do in games based learning transfers well to the content areas. He looked the questioner straight in the eye and said, loudly and clearly: No. Then he fleshed out that answer. I still might be able to track down the audio from the keynote. If I can get it I'll publish it here. In the mean time this is a very practical talk about how to begin using COTS games in your classroom.

At about 19 minutes in Rick tried to get online but was locked out. Thankfully, Chris Harbeck was there and had the password. ;-)

(Download File 14.6Mb, 30 min. 30 sec.)

Photo Credit: Richard Van Eck by flickr user cogdog


I've come close a couple of times but this is the first award I've ever received. I was nominated by Andy McKiel. Andy was unanimously voted in as the new President of ManACE tonight. They also honoured Cheryl Prokopanko (provincial coordinator for Literacy with ICT for the Ministry of Education) with a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. Cheryl is a passionate educator committed to helping other teachers learn how to weave technology into their teaching practice and create more opportunities for students to become successful, ethical, lifelong learners. Last year John Evans was the recipient of Educator of the Year Award; I'm in some pretty august company.

This was also the ManACE Annual General Meeting. I got to observe some of the inner workings of the organization. I mentioned to John, as we were leaving, how I was struck by the dedication of this group of educators. Brian Metcalfe, who retired last year as the technology consultant for my school division, was also there. It was wonderful to see him again. His presence really underscored the commitment folks have to ManACE; retirement is no obstacle to the work they do together. In my brief acceptance comments I encouraged the membership of ManACE to participate in the upcoming K12 Online 2008 conference.

I'm honoured to receive the Educator of the Year Award and wanted to publicly thank the board of directors and members of MANACE. In particular, I wanted to thank Andy McKiel; for nominating me, for the kind words he shared about me, and his continued efforts in helping make 21st century education accessible to teachers and students across the province. We've already begun talking about Manitoba EduBloggerCon 2008.

Arnold Wasserman: Innovation in Education

This is the Keynote presentation given by Arnold Wasserman on the second morning of the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Conference last week. The venue for the conference was the Red River College downtown campus here in Winnipeg. It was a beautiful place to hold the conference. The architecture is an innovative marriage between old and new.

This keynote was immediately followed by a presentation given by Ken Zorniak of Frantic Films. It was an interesting view inside the work that goes into the computer generated visual effects in the movies but we really needed some time to decompress and talk about the things Arnold had said in this talk. Several of us were struck by the many similarities between what Arnold talked about here and the conversation we Ustreamed the day before. Although we didn't record the Ustream we did capture many of the ideas that came up in that session at the end of the day in the session facilitated by Les Foltos from the Puget Sound Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Here is the podcast recording of Arnold Wasserman's Keynote. Give it a listen. I'd love to hear what you think after you hear Arnold speak.

(Download File 14.8Mb, 61 min. 30 sec.)

Photo Credit: Red River Community College by flickr user camd