ARCHIVED—Kym Francis, Scott Markine, Kristi Specht
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Year: 2009 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Edmonton AB T6A 2M3
Subjects and Grades Taught: Technology team for grades 7 to 9
Kym Francis, Scott Markine and Kristi Specht make it possible for students to use technology as a means of demonstrating ability. Students make choices and think critically about presenting their understanding in a way that proves they have learned what they are supposed to have learned. Students create videos, slide shows, posters, newspapers, podcasts, photo collages and classroom blogs to fulfill class requirements while reflecting their own learning styles.
The members of this teaching team believe that teacher learning drives student learning. They know that when teachers work collaboratively rather than in isolation, it makes them stronger and more capable of making quality educational decisions for their students. In particular, they use technology to accommodate differences in content recognition, expression and motivation, among students.
- These three teachers played an integral role in the Alberta Emerge One-to-One Laptop Initiative. The teachers sought and received a grant from Alberta Learning to support their work collecting data on the impact of students' having one-to-one access to computers in class. In addition to implementing the program within the school, the three teachers provided leadership across the school district and across the province.
- The increased and integrated use of technology at the school has led to improved student achievement. For example, there has been a steady increase in the number of Grade 9 students reaching the acceptable standard on provincial exams in science, social studies and language arts, with the most significant increases occurring in the number of students achieving the standard of excellence.
- The team brought the SMART response system to the school, and trained staff on how to use the system's handheld transmitters (clickers), which send wireless signals to a central receiver and computer, for assessment and how to harness the data the system contains to tailor lessons to differing abilities and learning outcomes. The team has been so instrumental in employing this technology that the members have been asked to facilitate the development and testing of future versions of the system.
"My daughter has used computers in the past to aid with reading and writing, so she was able to use the technological supports she was accustomed to without being "different."
Kym, Scott and Kristi encourage all students to use a range of creative ways … to demonstrate their learning so that my daughter … enjoys success in projects that suit her abilities and strengths. Parent
"I really didn't know whether the teachers would consider me a regular kid or a special-needs kid. I have some weaknesses but I also have lots of strengths. I wanted them to think of me as a regular kid who just needs extra help with some things. And that's exactly what they do." Student