With the conversion of libraries to learning commons, increasing broadband, universal WiFi availability and equitable Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, the OCSB has created a ‘digital ecosystem’ focusing on collaboration, creativity and critical thinking among all of its 83 schools.
“Our selection jury of Canadian innovation leaders was most impressed with how the OCSB leads with a focus on learning and teacher support first, followed by the technology,” says CEA President and CEO Ron Canuel.
This school board has been implementing their innovative strategy over a number of years, incorporated all partners – including teacher unions and support staff – and built a budget in support of this collective vision, with ongoing parent and student voice that continue to inform these changes.
The OCSB’s comprehensive BluePrint for Change – Towards 2020 provides a laptop to every teacher and principal. This 1:1 technology investment is complemented by a major professional learning focus that represents an important cultural shift across the board to enable teachers to shift their practice to differentiated instruction, which has resulted in increased student achievement. Restrictive policies were removed to allow teachers to model digital citizenship by actively participating in social media. Every student in the Board receives yearly instruction on digital citizenship, integrated into the curriculum.
“At the OCSB, we are very proud of our staff and how they have embraced technology to support student learning. They use social media and a variety of apps to share effective practice professionally. We are connecting learning to students’ real lives, ensuring relevance to their interests and needs,” says OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre.
The OCSB will receive a $10,000 contribution courtesy of initiative sponsors State Farm Canada to grow its innovative programs and practice. Board representatives will share “lessons learned” with CEA researchers about the conditions and processes that led to the beginning of this expandable innovation throughout their classrooms and schools. A case study report will be produced to provide concrete guidance and support to other school district leaders faced with the challenge of determining how they can get their own ‘innovations to stick’ and achieve their goals.
For more details about this program, please visit:
SOURCE Canadian Education Association
For further information: Max Cooke, CEA Director of Communications (bilingual), 416-427-6454, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @max_cooke; Mardi de Kemp, OCSB Manager of Communications, Phone: 613-224-4455 ext. 2326, Mobile: 613-294-3946, Mardi.deKemp@ocsb.ca