Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Promises and Pitfalls Documentary

For information on how to use this documentary, please visit the Promises and Pitfalls Blog at

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Using blogs for educational collaboration

While the introduction of ICTs in the classroom and the educational process may seem to some teachers as an additional demand on an already demanding workload, there are fun and innovative ways for inclined teachers to engage their students with the technology. Now, what do I mean by "inclined towards the technology"?

If you've come to this blog as a result of the recent issue of "Teacher," where the link was published in an article about the Equity and Technology Workshop, then you are inclined towards the technology. You have either heard about "blogging" before, and have come here to see what the fuss is about, or you are a blogger yourself, and wanted to scope out what we're up to.

So the hard part is over :)

People all over the world, in many different industries are using the Internet as a site of learning and collaboration. Blogs are one of the ways they are doing this.

At the time the Equity and Technology survey was administered (2004-2006), 22% of all Nova Scotia students indicated that they had their own blog. Given that the amount of new blogs coming online increases everyday (at last count, there were about 83.5 million blogs), and the increase in popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, that percentage is likely higher today.

Though we didn't ask teachers about their use of blogs, I imagine there are a fair number of you out there who also engage in this new hobby.

The educational use of blogs is an emergent practice, but it is one that has warranted the creation of edublogs, a free blog server created by teachers, for teachers. Many teachers have implemented the use of blogs as a "best practice" for teaching, and here are some links if your interested: (Best Practices with edublogs) (Edublogs Tutuorial Blog) (eLearning Resources) (Edublog portal)

The best thing about teachers collaborating through blogs is that most of the writing is informal, and entertaining, mixing real-life classroom scenarios with best practices... and let's face it, the best best practices are going to be those that work in a practical sense, not just a theoretical one.

The workshop is now over, and we would like this blog to continue as an online resource for teachers to take advantage of. Please post links in the comments section of this blog for the educational blogs that you use, and perhaps even your own educational blogs.

We will be updating the sidebar links as they come in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is ICT Literacy?

New discussion question to ponder...

The term ICT Literacy is thrown around a lot, but it is a term that could mean a variety of different things. So we would like to know... what does ICT Literacy mean? What is it? Is it something that can be taught in an educational setting? And if so, how do we measure it in terms of it being an educational outcome?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dealing with Plagiarism...

According to the data from the Equity and Technology Project, 70% of teachers indicated that the issue of plagiarism was "definitely a concern" for them to have to contend with when students use the web for school related purposes.

Based on your experience, how can teachers effectively deal with the issue of plagiarism when students have access to the web outside of school?

Opening up the discussion...

So overall, I think that we could call the workshop successful. A fantastic dialogue was opened between researchers, policy makers and administrators of the education system in Nova Scotia. The blog brought in a few more voices from parents, teachers and other academics interested in what we were doing. In one week, this blog has had over one hundred visits from across the US and Canada.

Now it's time to open the dialogue up even more... encourage teachers, students and parents to visit this blog and share their experiences and ideas around effective use of computers in the classroom. The more voices we listen too, the better we can understand what is needed, and perhaps even more importantly, what is not needed.

So what we're going to do now is every week post a question or talking point around the use of technology in education. Many of these will be pulled out of the Equity and Technology research, but we encourage people to also suggest topics and questions for discussion.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

What are the questions you want asked?

Please let us know... what are the questions you would like to see researched surrounding the educational use of technology?

The first question comes from a participant...

A set of questions and answers about when ICT is necessary and when it isn't important to use in the classroom. For example, PowerPoints and handouts.


  • don't assume equal access to resources
  • provide resources
  • non-technological options are important for teachers and students
  • open and encourage a dialogue of effective use
  • get teachers and students involved in the dialogue of equity and technology, often both are taught separately, but help bridge the knowledge gap between the two
  • Schools of education play an important role; new teachers are not neccesarily ready for computers in the classroom; new teachers are more likely to assume universal access; make the connection between equity and technology within B.Ed. programs, same issues here... the two are often taught separately.
  • talk about how access to technology can be a disadvantage; add a critical voice to the discussion.