Martine Paquet Blog

Highlights at LearnEast 2015, Fredericton, NB

Good morning everyone. I’m writing this blog at Starbuck’s because the weather is too hot at home and I can still drink hot coffee while I benefit from cool air conditioning.  If you don’t know me personally or professionally, you don’t know that I like to talk a lot and to write, and tell jokes. This is why for me, teaching is fun! (laughing)

August has turned out to be really hot and teachers have started to think about what they are going to teach their students in September. This is how engaged teachers think. On August 17th, over one hundred of them have took the time to come to Learn East 2015 during their summer vacation in 33 degree weather! As one of them I’d like to tell you my highlights of that day. Unfortunately I could not attend all the presentations since I was also presenting. There were some very interesting sessions that I couldn’t attend and if you’re interested go on the site:  https://learneast.wordpress.com/  Let me tell you about four great sessions I attended and maybe that will motivate you to attend next year’s LearnEast…

1) A teacher that inspires other teachers: Armand Doucet did a lot of things in his life. He is a businessman as well as a teacher.  He doesn’t know this, but he is an inspiration for me (I’m one of his fans), because he does what I would like to do as a thought leader and an inspiring speaker. I want to develop the business-woman inside of me more and more and at the same time continue spreading my passion for teaching.  Armand was a keynote speaker during the lunch session telling us a few things about how to get out of our comfort zone as a teacher. He was talking about collaboration, creativity, innovation and publishing with students.  He told us: “ Don’t wait until it is perfect before you share with others.” He told us about the importance of teaching collaboration purposefully. We need to teach our students on how to “cooperate” together. He likes to think big and how to make “bold requests”.  He is well known for his strong leadership and motivational abilities. Visit his website at:  www.armanddoucet.com

2) Raspberry Pi and Vizwik:  Everybody knows that I’m a big fan of Vizwik - the visual coding system for making mobile Apps. As an Ambassador of Vizwik, I like to create my own apps and use Vizwik in the classroom with my students. And now Vizwik is adding some new very interesting features, that Co-Founder Simon Gauvin and developer Norman Breau of Vizwik provided during a talk to give us a “sneak peek” on how to use Vizwik to program the Raspberry Pi and the kinds of projects students can do.  They showed how much easier it was to code the Pi by comparing the same program in Vizwik and a textual language. I could very easily see my students being engaged in coding with these kinds of projects that integrate software with hardware.  Simon and I also did a presentation on “How to bring coding to non-technical subjects” showing how Vizwik was not just for coding, but could be integrated by teachers in non-tech subjects such as History, Language, and Geography using KITs to make Apps.

3) The Maker Session:  Whether students enjoy getting their hands virtually or physically dirty, the Maker Movement has something for them. I had the opportunity to attend the Maker Session and learn how to play with both software and hardware in the different stations using:

  • 3D Printing with MakerBot Printers

  • Vinyl Cutting

  • Green Screen Technology

  • Prototyping with littleBits

  • iPad video Creation via KeyRig

  • Simple robot creation with HummingBird

  • Automated painting with the WaterColor-Bot: www.watercolorbot.com

  • Sample Arduino Projects Ex: Adafruit Arduino

  • Soft Circuits and Wearable Projects

  • Large Scale Makey Makey installations

  • Wood Engraving with CNC Routers

  • Oculus Rift: www.oculus.com

Then, I was so excited when I received a “Makey Makey” - a sensor you can connect to any object and use it as input to your computer!  During this session, we polished skills such as sewing, circuit prototyping and creating wearable awareness. I used my “Makey Makey” for the first time when we did “sewing” and connect objects together to create a circuit to open a light.

4) Inspiring sessions: There were far too many sessions (click here to have more information) for me to present in one blog, but here are some that stood out for me: @ShelfieTalk, Formative Assessment with Plickers, GradeBook and PowerSchool, Minecraft, Adobe Voice and Adobe Slate, Microsoft One Note, and Wedo Lego Robotics. As well, here are some subjects that captivated my interest: Technology in the French Immersion Classroom, Setting up a School Maker Space, What’s new with Smart?, Tips and Tricks with iPads, Literacy Maker Space, QR Codes in the Classroom, and Learning in 4D.  I wish I could have attended all of them!  Sally Ng was also the Keynote Speaker and talked about her experience as a licensed pilot and travelling the world.  She is passionate about elevating access to resources and knowledge in order for companies to grow in the region.

Dear Teachers, I call on you to look into what you can do differently with your students this year. I’m always open to hear what you have to say about the subject of technology in the classroom and to learn about your interests.  I know that teaching is very demanding and we never have enough time. This is why if you need assistance in technology let me know and I would be happy to present in your class. You can reach me at martine@martinepaquet.com or martine.paquet@nbed.nb.ca. Don’t forget to visit my website to find valuable resources for teachers at www.martinepaquet.com.

Furthermore, I urge you to attend the APTICA 2015 (http://www.aptica.ca), which this year is titled: "Technopedagogie in action, be the change!" It consists of a variety of entertaining workshops that will be offered from October 29th to 31th. It begins with a socializing event on Thursday, October 29th. I will be presenting two workshops: “How to bring coding to non-technical subjects” and “How to Maximize Google in the Classroom.” Here are examples of some other workshops that will be offered: (It is not too late to give a workshop as well)

  • Apple TV an alternative to Smartboards

  • Hybrid ATE online

  • BYOD: Bring Your Own Device

  • ICT tools to solve problems

  • Teach Math differently

  • Gamification in Education

  • The flipped classroom

  • MinecraftEdu

  • QR codes, etc.

Have a great year!

Martine Paquet, Teacher 24 hours a day