Feature

Innoteach: Using Technology for Professional Learning

Janet Millar Grant, Anne Rodrigue
Tags: 

Innoteach, as the name suggests, is about technological innovation – in the classroom and in how ETFO offers professional learning programs. We developed the  Innoteach project to capitalize on the ability of new technologies to span distance and time. The project brought together a group of teachers who created multimedia learning objects that incorporate innovative uses of technology to enhance student learning and illustrate new ways of thinking about teaching and learning.

Central to  Innoteach is an online community of practice housed on a web portal that allows the sharing of documents and ideas. This virtual community lets teachers interested in innovation connect with colleagues, develop new approaches, share successes and challenges, and “push the envelope” of current educational practice.

Using a process known as a critical friends group, which is a social collaborative model,  Innoteach engages participants in sharing one or more learning objects (lesson plan, multimedia resource) that they have created, critiquing and refining each other’s work, making revisions based on peer critiques, and participating in a face-to-face and online learning community. Participants examine their learning objects critically to ensure that each one includes components on differentiated learning, and instructional and assessment strategies. They frame their learning objects from a research and best practices perspective. They document their learning using a Wiki, a web portal that allows all participants to access each other’s work.

Innoteach Projects

Innoteach participants created a variety of learning objects for use in the classroom. Each of these includes a reflective component for teachers and techniques for creating inclusive classrooms. Each learning object helps to address a specific issue or challenge faced by Ontario teachers.

  • Classroom podcasts: Students communicate their knowledge and understanding of a variety of writing forms by creating a radio show. Students conduct research, develop and publish content, and prepare transitions and audio effects to create one full-length radio show.
  • Nonfiction digital storytelling: Students create a 60-second public service announcement video about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This learning object combines grade 5 Ontario curriculum expectation requirements from health, language arts, and art. Adjustments can be made to accommodate other grade-level curriculum expectations.
  • Bringing language to the big screen:  Students use and expand their French speaking skills and perfect their written French as they bring their imagined movie to life on the big screen through the use of movie editing software. A final DVD cover adds a professional touch.
  • N’attendez pas, téléphonez aujourd’hui! : Students in grade 7 core French create commercials using imperative verbs They learn how to use imperative verbs to give instructions or convey a sense of urgency, and about the creative process, by participating in the stages of preproduction, production, postproduction, and celebration. Students apply their learning as they write and orally present their commercials to class.
  • Graphic tales of crime in medieval times: 

RELATED STORIES

graphic of teachers and students within comic book frames with text that reads "a comic life..."

As a storytelling medium, comics have come of age in the last few decades.

Teacher working with student using a laptop

This program opened the door to creative thinking about literacy and technology that invigorated my passion for teaching and my students’ passion for learning.