The Power to Enrich

Rocky View Schools

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A Hole in The Wall

Posted by admin March - 11 - 2014 2 Comments

Guest Blog: Cameron May, Substitute Teacher – There is a movement in many schools to try to achieve a 1:1 ratio of computers to students, essentially giving each student a personal computer. In the 21st century, technology is going to be vital and learning how to use these tools is paramount. Therefore, the question is not if we should be using computers in schools but how. The notion of having  [ Read More ]

Will You Choose To Care?

Posted by admin February - 4 - 2014 1 Comment

Guest Author: Ashley Lepage, Grade 8 teacher at Ralph McCall School – Last year, the Grade 7 and 8 teachers at Ralph McCall School sought to plan a project that would engage students in meaningful and authentic learning in the last couple of weeks of the school year…not exactly an easy task! The Grade 7 students participated in a project designed around environmental stewardship. In the hopes of having students  [ Read More ]

Opening Up Our Classroom Walls

Posted by admin January - 28 - 2014 4 Comments

Guest Author: Christina Van den Eynden, Teacher, Prairie Waters Elementary School  – Being a teacher in the 21st Century offers many opportunities for students to see the world beyond the classroom walls – many more than when I was a student in the 1980s. Over the last two years, I have noticed a huge change in the technological skills students are bringing to the classroom and have observed an exponential  [ Read More ]

RockyTalks 2014

Posted by admin December - 4 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Rick Gaudio, RVS 21st C Learning Specialist – Our RockyTalks video series is one of the ways that we are “making learning visible” in Rocky View Schools. Our YouTube Channel features RockyTalks playlists on a variety of topics in which students, teachers and leaders share ideas and best practices about teaching and learning. In 2014, we will host four RockyTalks events that will give members of the RVS community opportunities to contribute  [ Read More ]

Making Learning Visible

Posted by admin December - 3 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Josh Hill, RVS 21st Century Learning Specialist – In my role as a Learning Specialist I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to see the amazing learning students engage in across our division. I have come to understand that one of the most valuable things I can bring to support teachers in designing learning is the ability to connect them to the work of one another. In  [ Read More ]

A Culture of Sharing

Posted by admin June - 17 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, RVS Multimedia Specialist: There are amazing things going on in teaching and learning in Rocky View Schools, but sometimes it’s hard to know about them unless we share them with each other. One of the most engaging aspects of my work this year has been to explore ways for us to share knowledge, experience and best practice through multimedia. The result of this exploration is  [ Read More ]

How I Teach a New App to Students

Posted by admin June - 14 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Thea Morris, Teacher, Elbow Valley Elementary – How do I teach a new app to students? I don’t… Well, sort of… Let me explain…. With productivity apps like iMovie, Keynote, Pages, iA Writer, and Show Me, I give the students time to explore and ‘play’ with the app prior to a learning activity that I know is coming up that will be using a particular app. I  [ Read More ]

21st Century Organization

Posted by admin June - 3 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Max, Grade 8 Student – Have you ever forgotten that something is due, because you were not reminded of it or you did not have the USB drive with you when you could work on it? Well, you can’t have those days anymore because of all the different the ways to have everything, everywhere. With iCloud, Google Drive (you can also share easily), Dropbox or even if  [ Read More ]

A 21st Century Approach

Posted by admin May - 23 - 2013 19 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Erin D., Grade 8 Student – “Your job, for this project, is to pick which invention you believe is the most important light-involving technology, and prove why.” As soon as I heard my teacher explain our new project, I immediately knew that I wanted to prove that the camera is the best light-involving invention, through an iMovie. I chose this particular technology and way of presenting it  [ Read More ]

Where are We Going with Digital Resources?

Posted by Angela Spanier May - 3 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – One incredible challenge in being a leader of 21st Century leaning is how to approach the use of digital resources in classrooms. I believe that Alberta Education and many school jurisdictions are also struggling with this issue as well. Do we purchase and license resources? Do we try to collect suitable resources for teachers into repositories? Are online textbooks the  [ Read More ]

Collaboration at its “Tiniest”

Posted by admin April - 15 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Authors: Sarah Lewis, Teacher, and Bryant, Grade 4 student – As a teacher with Rocky View Schools, I am tasked with ensuring that my students are 21st Century learners who exude creativity and who know how to collaborate. To learn more about 21st Century competencies in Rocky View Schools, visit the following link: I often make use of inspiration from my own life or events taking place around  [ Read More ]

Blogging on the Brain

Posted by admin April - 12 - 2013 6 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Sarah McNab, Communications Officer – I’ve got a confession to make. There are days when I don’t exactly love overseeing the Power to Enrich. There are even days when I refer to it as the bane of my existence. There, I admitted it. Isn’t that what blogging is all about – sharing your intimate thoughts with all of cyberspace? Now, before you judge me too harshly, hear  [ Read More ]

RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School –  I make no bones about it. I love being a teacher and decided on this career path in Kindergarten, but I remarked to a colleague recently that had I been exposed to mass media and technology the way youth today are, perhaps I might have chosen a different career path. I did not state this lightly for despite  [ Read More ]

Help! They Want Me to Moodle!

Posted by admin March - 26 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Lucie Pratte, Learning Specialist – So, you are a teacher minding your own business in your classroom with your students when suddenly you are surrounded by an oodle/oogle attack! Google, Moodle, Doodle, and even Poodle (not a dog J) all demanding that you pay attention to them. What is a teacher to do? “Who you gonna call?” Hopefully you will call me, the Learning Specialist at your  [ Read More ]

Teaching and Learning with Show Me

Posted by admin March - 12 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – Some while ago, during the Professional Learning (PL) portion of our Bert Church High School staff meeting, Bobby Mathew, Learning Lead for the science department, gave a short presentation on the app Show Me. I had heard of Show Me and had previously downloaded and looked at some presentations, but hadn’t understood how versatile it could be and  [ Read More ]


Posted by admin March - 6 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – We are very pleased to announce that this fall, Rocky View Schools will host an official TEDx event at the RVS Education Centre.  The goal is to bring together RVS students, teachers, and leaders to create, share, and stimulate dialogue about teaching, learning and education. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of  [ Read More ]

Finding Kindness

Posted by admin March - 1 - 2013 4 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” Plato I recently attended a screening of the documentary “Finding Kind” in which the notion that girls are catty, cruel, gossipy, and unkind to one another is explored. These pejoratives, along with far worse, are unhelpful in assisting girls and women to ‘find kindness’ that is, innately, at the core  [ Read More ]

Are You a Digital Citizen?

Posted by admin February - 14 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Scott Mahan, Learning Specialist – As we continue to navigate our way through the messy business of educational reform in Alberta, I often wonder if we are doing enough to educate our kids in the area of digital citizenship and online safety. If the old saying is true and “Knowledge is Power” then do our educational leaders, teachers, parents, and students have enough knowledge to adapt to  [ Read More ]

21st C Learners are Visual Learners

Posted by admin January - 30 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – I’m a fan of Rick Mercer so I attempted to write in a style akin to his ‘Rant’. Consider this ‘Sweet’s Spiel’. Young people today are growing up in a highly visual culture. Never before, in the history of mankind, has the visual processing of a young person’s brain been so exercised. I mean, think about it: comic  [ Read More ]

RVS Celebration of Learning

Posted by admin January - 29 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – One of the ways that we are building a culture of sharing in Rocky View this year is through four Celebration of Learning events. The goal of these Celebrations is to share the best practices of educators in Rocky View for a live audience and then showcase the videos on the RVS YouTube Channel. Our next RVS Celebration of Learning will  [ Read More ]

Starship Enterprise: Star Date 01/17/2013

Posted by admin January - 17 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: John Murphy, Principal, Nose Creek Elementary – Gene Roddenberry’s fictional Star Trek series has fuelled the imaginations of countless millions who have come to realize that if you can conceive it, you can make it happen. A mantra of the new films “… to boldly go where no one has gone before,” also captures the spirit of the educational team in the district of Rocky View Schools.  [ Read More ]

Guest Author: Dustin S., Grade 12 Student – Hello to everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday break and a fantastic start to the New Year! It is now 2013, and the technological world is becoming exponentially more advanced. Chestermere High School, as well as other schools in the jurisdiction, has made the transfer to 1:1 learning. With everyone in the classroom having his or her own laptop  [ Read More ]

Using Technology for Good, Not for Evil

Posted by admin December - 18 - 2012 4 Comments

Guest Author: Sara Drennan, Teacher, George McDougall High School – “Inappropriate use of technology will not be tolerated in this classroom”. A former colleague of mine would begin all of her classes with this phrase. She would gather all cell phones into shoebox at the beginning of class and students couldn’t touch them until the end of the class. To her, there was no way a cell phone could be used  [ Read More ]

Our Wiki – Information, Inspiration

Posted by admin December - 13 - 2012 8 Comments

Guest Authors: Ava & Mackenzie, Gr. 4 students – In our classroom, we use a website called a wiki. Everyone in our class can access this website easily. Our teacher will put stories, chapters and information for us to use on it. We use the information to help us with our learning. For example, we can access different versions of chapters from books we read in class. We use this  [ Read More ]

Share and Share Alike

Posted by admin November - 15 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Rick Gaudio, RVS Learning Specialist – One of the most powerful Educational Technologies we have in Rocky View is Google Drive. Based in the “cloud”, files stored in a user’s Google Drive can be accessed from anywhere at anytime, but even more valuable is the ability to share interactive files with other users. Here are four examples of useful processes in Google Drive, along with “How To” videos so  [ Read More ]

21st C Learning in a 21st C School

Posted by admin October - 18 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Sean Hartley, Teacher, Sarah Thompson School – This year is my first with Rocky View Schools. What drew me to this board was its commitment to the 21st Century learner. Every day we are encouraging students to be collaborative, technologically literate, self-directed learners who also care about their communities and the world they live in. Here at Sarah Thompson School, we are a very fortunate group. Being a  [ Read More ]

Redefining Reading for the 21st Century

Posted by admin October - 17 - 2012 1 Comment

Guest Author: Andrew Smith, Teacher, Bert Church High School – Recently, my secondary English students have been studying Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. As a large and, in their opinion, “rather dense” text, students have spent a good deal of time silently (and critically) reading. For the past several years, I have had an increasing number of students reading this text via various electronic devices; it is readily available in  [ Read More ]

Education and the New Copyright Law

Posted by admin October - 12 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – In a recent lecture, Dr. Michael Geist described how the new Canadian Copyright Act represents a “seismic” shift for education. Bill C-11 includes a number of measures that will allow educators and students to take advantage of digital technologies. Most significantly, it expands Fair Dealing to recognize education in a structured context as a legitimate purpose. The Government of Canada defines Fair Dealing as: …a  [ Read More ]

Transforming the (Digital) Classroom

Posted by Angela Spanier September - 12 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Andrew Doyle, Teacher at Glenbow School – Transformation of education occurs in many ways, whether at a district level or school level. Perhaps the most important changes that must take place are in the classrooms, between the teacher and students. No longer do we consider the classroom a structured environment in which information is transferred to students and is universally assessed. Classrooms are organized so that they allow  [ Read More ]

Dad, I Need a Computer for School!

Posted by Angela Spanier September - 11 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author:  Todd Kiernan, RVS Parent and Principal of Learning – About three weeks ago my oldest son, who is in Grade 6, asked me what he was going to use as a computer for school. Back in the spring of 2011 his school hosted an open house that brought together parents, students, and educators to discuss the opportunities for students in bringing a personal device.  While the focus may  [ Read More ]

Communicating with Video

Posted by admin September - 8 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – Making videos is an excellent way for teachers and students to construct meaningful content and share it with a broad audience. The tools are easier than ever to use but it can still feel daunting to put yourself out there. My goal in this post is to give you a few tips to make decent quality video and encourage you to use multimedia  [ Read More ]

Twitter: No Longer For the Birds

Posted by Angela Spanier September - 6 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest author: Leslie Collings, Principal, Springbank Community High School – I am a big fan of personal learning networks (PLNs). A personal learning network, to me, is connecting with people and ideas with whom you may or may not know to learn from them/their ideas. With the explosion of information on the Internet, I have to admit that I have become a big user of Twitter. Twitter is the hottest  [ Read More ]

Mobile Madness

Posted by Angela Spanier January - 30 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Nancy Lake
I thought that as the subject of this blog is about mobile technology, I really should write it from a mobile device. I am on a bus trip with our PeeWee hockey team driving back to Airdrie from Regina, and my approximate location is somewhere in Saskatchewan, on the #1 highway between Swift Current and Medicine Hat. But one look at my cell phone, and I can see my exact coordinates on Google Maps. I know how far it is to the next city, and if I’m looking for the nearest Tim Horton’s, I just type it in the search field and I get directions, along with an ETA. I am writing this on a laptop, but I could also choose to write it from my iPad or iPhone…

#SocialMedia #FTW ?

Posted by Angela Spanier May - 20 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author – Andrew Doyle There is lots to be said about social media and its uses, advantages and vices. I myself have recently been added to the addicted to twitter list. I have been on facebook for years with varying levels of interest and I engage in the ‘always connected’ lifestyle without a second thought to it. When talking to colleagues about simple things such as email I hear  [ Read More ]

Beam me up Scotty… Engage Engines!

Posted by Angela Spanier April - 12 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author,  Dan New – In my recent post, “My Teacher is on the Television” there are implications of students interacting with a screen rather than an educator. It is this very conception that I have attempted to address in my classroom this semester. The question all distance educators (not just video conference educators) must ask is, “Are these students a part of my class, or are they simply observers?”  [ Read More ]

Am I Using Technology for Good or Evil?

Posted by Angela Spanier April - 9 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author – Andrew Doyle With the abundance of choices in technology to integrate and utilize in the classroom it is hard to reflect and determine if we are using these technologies effectively for student learning. When I refer to technology in this post, it is all inclusive of things we use in our classrooms (websites, SmartBoard, Cameras, software, internet, etc.). The goal of integrated technology is to not only  [ Read More ]

Educational Gaming. Oxymoron?

Posted by Angela Spanier April - 8 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author: Nancy Lake
My kids came running up the stairs from the basement, shirtless…faces burning. What in the world? “We’re in the world championship for volleyball, Mom! We need a quick drink and then we’re on!”

I’ve never been a gamer. I don’t understand it. Even when Pac-Man and Donkey-Kong were King, I didn’t play. So when my kids wanted their first gaming system, a Game Boy, I wasn’t thrilled. Reluctantly, I granted their wish. Next was a Game Cube (only because it was compatible with Game Boy). Then came the Nintendo-DS, and a hand-me-down PlayStation 2. Wait a minute…this was getting out of hand…

The Mobile Learning Mystery; What is it?

Posted by Angela Spanier April - 3 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Blogger – Derek Keenan – If you don’t spend a great deal of time reading educational technology blogs, (not sure who does, other than me) the term mobile learning might strike you with images of doing algebra on a train, or reciting shakespeare while riding a bike. However, mobile learning is far from a mystery for educational researchers who have been working with small, portable devices in education for some time…

Digital Citizenship – A Matter of Trust or Safety

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 25 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author, Don Thomas – The Board of RVS has already passed the first reading of a policy titled Digital Citizenship.  It has been distributed to School Councils for their input.  This particular issue is one fraught with all the recent stories of abuse, child abduction, and pedophiles.  Yet no one will deny the exponential growth of Facebook and other social media sites. For a typical set of parents, the  [ Read More ]

My Teacher is On the Television

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 21 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author, Dan New ~ Calculus students at W.G. Murdoch High School in Crossfield, come to school every Monday, just as any other student. They wander in from the parking lot, place their belongings into their lockers, and grab their calculus materials. When they cross the threshold of their Calculus class, however, what  they are greeted with is far from what one might define as a “regular” classroom in today’s  [ Read More ]

It Is About the Learning, Not The Gadgets

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 21 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest author, Leslie Collings – Recently, a delegation of SCHS staff members went to San Diego to experience High Tech High firsthand.  If you have ever browsed Edutopia, you will most certainly certainly have encountered this amazing school.  Because SCHS is a one-to-one school, our delegation was interested in how High Tech High integrated technology in a project-based environment.  Perhaps the most important lesson from the trip was that High  [ Read More ]

“Wanna See My Moodle?”

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 13 - 2011 1 Comment

Guest Author: Nancy Lake

Moodle? Mahara? Wiki, Blog…sounds like new swear words from our Pee Wee Hockey team’s dressing room! Actually, these terms all relate to online collaborative environments. The Horizon Report sees these online spaces scheduled to affect education in one year or less…well, we’re ahead of schedule…

Voodoo Economics

Posted by Angela Spanier March - 4 - 2011 1 Comment

Guest author, Simon Pols – I was only 11 years old when I went to the Drive-In Theatre to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I recall laying in the back of the station wagon eating salted popcorn, drinking cream soda and trying to figure out how I could create a manikin, synchronized with the movement of the bedroom door; complete with snorts and snores. I laughed along with others at  [ Read More ]

Guest Author: Lauren Curry – Well what if someone says something mean on the wall? Everyone can see it. People think they can hide behind the screen and say whatever they want. Can you tell who is who? Can you edit comments? If we have something to say, shouldn’t we be able to say it to peoples’ faces? These were some of the many spirited replies with which I was  [ Read More ]

Teachers Heads Are In The Clouds!!!

Posted by Angela Spanier February - 22 - 2011 11 Comments

Guest Author, Nancy Lake – “Mom! Mom! Do you want to see our school project? I’m working on it with Jordan and Avery.” These were the words out of my eleven-year old as he rushed in the door.

“Sure…” He had nothing in his hands, and thankfully, his friends weren’t with him this time as I didn’t have any “good food” (cookies) to offer them today. “Where is it? Is it in your back-pack?”

“No…it’s on the computer,” he replied. I expected him to get his flash drive to show me. “It’s in the cloud Mom, on Google Docs.”


The cloud? Google Docs? What was he talking about? Perhaps you’ve had this conversation with your own child…

Emerging Technologies are they Toys or Tools?

Posted by Angela Spanier February - 4 - 2011 4 Comments

Guest Author: Kevin Wttewaall  Learning Director: Technology   In the last couple of years more and more of our students have personally owned devices (POD’s) such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers.  Many POD’s cost less per year than renting a band instrument.  Most handheld gaming equipment includes an Internet browser.  Should these tools be used in school to provide access to online educational technologies and learning resources? A tremendous  [ Read More ]

Gizmos & Gadgets, My Boys and Their Toys

Posted by Angela Spanier February - 4 - 2011 33 Comments

Guest Author, Nancy Lake – Emerging Technologies…quite a mouthful.  Technology seems to be changing faster than my wardrobe, and honestly, that’s pretty fast.  I share a home with 3 males (husband and 2 boys) and I firmly believe that there is truth to the saying, “boys and their toys” as I find myself navigating the world of the latest and greatest electronics.  In the past year alone, we have seen  [ Read More ]