Monthly Archives: May 2010

Sustained Integration With Mr. Gillies (Tech Feature – Audacity)

Special education teacher, Jeff Gillies, has demonstrated a sustained level of technology integration.  Along with the classroom support staff, David Crowther, the classroom leaders work collaboratively to provide students with a digitally rich learning environment.

The daily use of the Smartboard began soon after it arrived and has been used to engage the students in literacy and numeracy learning activities ever since.

Through technology Mr. Gillies has added an important feature to his instructional approach.  He has elevated his ability to differentiate instruction, and has also boosted his design for learning that is more engaging and encompassing.  Some of the software that Mr. Gillies and CYW Dave utilize to engage students are Notebook 10, Audacity, and Boardmaker.  Mr. Gillies sets a good example for all of us as we maneuver through our own integration journey.

Featured technology:

Audacity® is a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.  You may download and use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Export files into other programs to enhance movies or slide shows.
  • create Podcasts (click here for a tutorial on podcasting)
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • And more! See the complete list of features


Technology at Maryvale

From “have-nots” to “have-lots”, Maryvale is progressively being transformed into a more technologically rich school.  Over the last few years, the Section 23 school has witnessed gradual improvements in its technology inventory.  In response, teachers have become increasingly interested in pursuing the integration of this technology to support student engagement and learning.

Thanks to the collaborative culture at Maryvale, between Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services and the Greater Essex County District School Board, teachers are currently embarking on a new chapter of capacity building – integrating digital learning to enhance the learning experiences of students, particularly as it relates to literacy skills.

Improvements in the technology infrastructure, hardware and equipment, as well as educational software, have been significant and exciting:

  • improvements in computer-to-student ratios of desktops and laptops;
  • Internet access in all classrooms;
  • the acquisition of 3 Smartboards;
  • peripherals, such as video and still cameras, scanners, microphones, a school projector;
  • a range of high quality Ministry licenced educational software, as well as school purchased software – see the OSAPAC repository for a list of Ministry licenced software.

As the school pedagogical climate continues to evolve, it will be with increased enthusiasm and confidence for integrating technology.  Teachers will have a wider range of opportunities to differentiate instruction and augment their instructional approaches.  Students will also have new opportunities and new avenues for learning and new possibilities for demonstrating their learning.

At Maryvale we are poised to transform the learning environment into a more engaging and technologically rich one.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Random Thoughts


Teaching and Learning With Technology

As educators, we want to make a positive difference in the lives of students.  Our mission at Maryvale is to provide a safe, rich, and stimulating learning environment where students feel empowered, connected, and valued.

We devote ourselves to learning so that we can teach in ways that support and nurture each and every student’s social, emotional and intellectual development.  Ultimately, we want our students to become confident, adaptable and skilled learners so that they will be able to face the challenges they will encounter as they move through various stages in their lives.  As we promote the natural curiosity in our young students, we aim to nurture their love of learning into adulthood.

This blog is dedicated to learning and teaching with technology.  It recognizes the ubiquitous nature of technology in our society, and the importance of bringing learning through technology into the classroom.  At Maryvale we recognize the extraordinary opportunities technology can offer in promoting the concepts of universal design and differentiated instruction to support all learners. Finally, we recognize the growing significance of information technology and the importance of providing ongoing opportunities for critical thinking in an expanding digital world.

This blog also lives because of a conviction that sharing plays a critical role in transforming learning environments into collaborative learning centres.  Its aim is to inspire and support.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 16, 2010 in Random Thoughts