Planning for September?


EQAO is over, report cards are in, and the year is winding down! I’ve been talking with lots of teachers in AMDSB who are already thinking about their plans for next September.

Digital Portfolios

If you are considering digital portfolios for your students in the fall, I would encourage you to request a Class Blog now (unless you already have one), and connect with the Lead Teacher in your school to help you get set up before you leave for the summer! Student blogs are requested through your TRA in the fall once class lists have been finalized. As always, if you have any questions anytime about integrating blogs as digital portfolios, please contact me!


Are you interested in integrating Twitter into your classroom program next year? Why not join our #AMDSBKidsChat to start?  Everything you need to get started can be found here! The summer is the perfect time to set up your class account, and familiarize yourself with the platform. Check out the hashtags #AMDSBLearns and #AMDSBKidsChat to see what teachers and kids have been talking about this year.

Our final chat of the year is scheduled for Monday June 19th from 10-11AM. Join us as we #Reflect on June 19th from 10AM-11AM. #AMDSBKidsChat is a great place for students to connect with their peers, creatively share ideas, improve literacy skills by communicating and collaborating with others, and develop citizenship and character. Follow the hashtag as an observer, or join in! Answer the questions ahead of time, and connect with us to share your ideas and learn with other K-12 students throughout #AMDSBLearns!

Digital Citizenship

Lisa Bruce and I have been writing the Digital Citizenship Guidebook for AMDSB this year. The Guidebook includes information about privacy and safety, social media in the classroom, guidelines for teaching with technology, learning management systems, digital portfolios, copyright and attribution…, as well as a framework for integrating digital citizenship teaching and learning into your classroom program. Our goal is to share this resource with schools beginning in the fall supported by in-school PD. Stay tuned!

Computational Thinking/ Coding/ Robotics

This year I have had the privilege of working with 9 teachers in AMDSB to develop a resource to support the integration of computational thinking skills through coding. Once approved, our goal is to share this resource with schools in the fall supported by PD.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a place to start this summer, our team recommends visiting and working through their free courses (Note: These are the same courses your students would complete). If you register, you can track your progress. There are entry points for all levels of learners and the activities are really engaging. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me! Watch for more information coming in the fall…

New Technologies available in AMDSB… Coming Soon!

AMDSB has purchased a number of new technologies that will be available on loan through the Media Centre in the fall. Once everything has been catalogued, I will post information on the AMDSB EdTech blog detailing what you are able to borrow for your students!

A few things get excited about for K-12 include: virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics (yes, we even have robots for kids in Kindergarten!), drones, circuits, and more!

As always, please leave a comment below with your questions, comments and ideas! I’d love to hear from you…


If we don’t connect before you leave for summer holidays, have a wonderful (and well-deserved) break!

Leigh Cassell

Carpool Karaoke EDU Edition Challenge

Earlier this year Brian Aspinall started posting his reflections in video format –karaoke style– to share his thinking and inspire conversations about computational thinking and coding in education. More recently he challenged other educators to start sharing their thinking in a similar way… and we accepted that challenge.

Following our #EveryoneCanCode PLC last week, some brave members from our team piled into Kaufman’s new car and hit the road in conversation about how to further the integration of computational thinking skills and strategies into our classroom programs in #AMDSBLearns.

So now we extend the challenge to you and your colleagues to try something new! Whatever you are discussing with your colleagues in that soon to be hot, stuffy, and often curious smelling J/I classroom, could be moved into a cool, breezy, (and maybe curious smelling) car, with an added element of music to inspire a more light-hearted and uplifting conversation about how to move learning forward. Who’s in…???

Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Leave a comment below!