EDCI-565#3: The Efficacy of Collaboration in the 21st Century Learning Environment.

Cyclists working together to draft

Photo by James Thomas on Unsplash


Gary Soles, Deirdre Houghton, & Andrew Vogelsang

Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Educational Technology,

University of Victoria

EDCI 565: Curriculum Studies

Dr. Valerie Irvine

28 July 2020

Introduction & Learning Outcomes

Collaboration between all education partners, at this time, is more important than ever for a fluid understanding of what is being taught, how to teach it, and what is expected from the students, as education is predominantly conducted outside of the building. Brown, Dennis, and Venkatesh (2014) state, it is vital “to work with both the technology and a set of familiar communication partners in order to positively influence perceptions of effort expectancy” (p. 46). Education is becoming more digitized due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Though we have seen this trend moving forward pre-pandemic, this has caused an almost full conversion to teach at distance, right now. This has created some opportunities for steps forward in education, in terms of both digital citizenship, and digital literacy. However, it has also shined a light on the inequities in our education system when the physical building is not open, for whatever reason. Therefore, collaborative technology for communication between all involved in education, be it educators, parents/guardians, or learners, is essential to having a functional and equitable system. Thus, we propose, to address this need, schools and perhaps districts should adopt the following as curricular outcomes to establish digital collaborative practices, as education moves to the realm of synchronous and asynchronous environments:

1). Delineate and utilize educational technologies to be used as a collaborative platform between individuals and groups in education

2). Establish a scheduled meeting time to collaborate on instructional issues.  

3). Formalize technology students, parents, and teachers can use to collaborate with each other.

Supporting Resources

Beldarrain (2007) states, “[t]he versatility of social software and other collaboration tools available today support constructivist environments that seek to motivate, cultivate, and meet the needs of the 21st‐century learner” (p. 140). Amid the new reality of COVID-19, teachers and learners can employ various methods of collaboration to support learning in both synchronous and asynchronous environments, including, but not limited to Microsoft Office and Google Classroom. The efficacy of utilizing technology to support learner collaboration is exemplified by Ohlund et al. (2000) as they write, “it is encouraging that use of Internet-based communication increases the likelihood of completing the course activities” (p. 418). Furthermore, it provides individuals with the opportunity to “engage in individual thinking, share opinions and beliefs and provide one another with feedback” (p. 417). 

The incorporation of digital programs, including Microsoft Teams, Sway and Google Slides, for example, supports collaboration amongst educators, learners and parents/guardians, as they provide a connection through the scheduling of meetings, use of video, audio, and digital messaging, in real-time. The chosen modes of communication are essential in establishing collaboration as they provide information, feedback, engagement, as well as a continuous path of connection, at a fairly rapid pace. This maintains the interest of the parties involved. Furthermore, the ease and swiftness of collaboration tools are essential to the success of individuals in understanding and completing specific tasks. This is supported by Dennis and Venkatesh (2014), who state, “…immediacy is an important antecedent to performance expectancy, regardless of task” (p.45). Ergo, it is essential the chosen modes of technology for collaboration are made known, available, and easy to use, to establish and maintain collaboration and communication amongst parties involved.

Though the efficacies of the platforms above cannot be overstated, one must be cognizant of the fact that Microsoft and Google are large corporations with their own agenda. There is no altruism in their business model, so it is imperative that you know who you are working with. Districts make the decision as to the platforms used. Those decisions are based on policy at the district level. This control usually opens the door for the more “established” brands to take the forefront. However, is there an educational monopoly on digital tools? Or oligarchy at best?

 Microsoft has a checkered past when it comes to monopolies. In a document titled, Microsoft Monopoly Caused Consumer Harm by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Mark Cooper says, “[o]ne of the most important lessons to be learned from the Judge’s findings is that consumers always lose in a monopoly” (n.d., p. 2). There are also issues with start-up companies being devoured by big companies. Google is famous for this practice. So are we taking the path of least resistance for the ease of use? We would say yes, and furthermore, we would also say it is not a bad idea at this time of unprecedented change during this pandemic. 

Summary of Evidence

As our learning outcomes all pertain to the successful use of digital tools to support collaboration, it is undeniable that collaboration is an integral part of student learning. This is further exemplified when utilized with other learning methodologies, such as project-based or inquiry learning (Lee, Huh, & Reigeluth, 2015). Although the value in digital tools has been made clear, especially when considering human safety and the Covid-19 pandemic, it does not come without challenges. Capurro (2017) writes, “[t]he reality of social media and online platforms is complex not only with regard to the uses and misuses of personal data but also because of different moral and legal norms and their cultural frameworks” (p. 278).

With these challenges in mind, it is important, according to Gregory and Bannister-Tyrrell, to ensure the technologies utilized are done so with the students in mind, as some may respond more positively or negatively to certain platforms (2017). Once the appropriate platform is chosen, or dictated, to teachers, (as is the case with many school districts) “instructional designers and educators have unique opportunities to foster interaction and collaboration among learners, thus creating a true learning community” (Beldarrain, 2016, p. 140). Ultimately, it is up to us, as educators, to ensure our learners are being trained in the platforms that will be required of them in the future. In this case, the cultivation and utilization of finding digital collaboration tools that will not only keep us safe but enable us to keep moving forward. 


Beldarrain, Y., (2006) Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration, Distance Education, 27:2, 139-153, DOI: 10.1080/01587910600789498

Brown, S., Dennis, A., & Venkatesh, V. (2010) Predicting Collaboration Technology Use: Integrating Technology Adoption and Collaboration Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, 27:2, 9-54, DOI: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222270201

Capurro, R. Digitization as an ethical challenge. AI & Soc 32, 277–283 (2017). https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1007/s00146-016-0686-z

Consumer Federation of America. (n.d.). Microsoft monopoly caused consumer harm. https://consumerfed.org/pdfs/antitrustpr.pdf

Gregory, S., Bannister-Tyrrell, M. Digital learner presence and online teaching tools: higher cognitive requirements of online learners for effective learning. RPTEL 12, 18 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41039-017-0059-3

Lee, D., Huh, Y. & Reigeluth, C.M. Collaboration, intragroup conflict, and social skills in project-based learning. Instr Sci 43, 561–590 (2015). https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1007/s11251-015-9348-7

Ohlund, B., Yu, C. H., Jannasch-Pennell, A., & Digangi, S. A. (2000). Impact of asynchronous and synchronous internet-based communication on collaboration and performance among K-12 teachers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 23(4), 405-420. https://doi.org/10.2190/u40f-m2lk-vkvw-883l


Personalized Learning as a Curricular Design

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The premise behind individualized/personalized learning has been a driving force in my teaching for many years. I am a small rural school’s computer science teacher, and that leaves everything related to a computer under my purview. My class ranges from programming to computer design and from digital music to movie creation, all at the same time, in the same room. Therefore, stand and deliver is not an option and I am required to look at the best way to engage all. Though my classes and learning is going well, I know I can enhance my teaching practice. I am constantly reflecting upon this process to make sure all student’s needs are being met. This refinement is based on the ideas that each student has a say in their learning. This collaborative, yet personalized process, is a messy minefield that I question daily. I look at the students and can’t help but think the non-defined conclusion of personalized learning is antithetical to the way I was taught.

I am anchoring myself, every time I reflect, on the notion that what the students are learning is based on their goals and interests. To be honest, when I first tried this method, I had to fight my predetermined idea of what education was, based on my experience. If all students in my class of 30 are doing something different, is there any proof that the daily output is meeting this mythical standard I had in my mind; a standard that was cultivated when I was in school and was achieved by handing in a completed worksheet, or finishing the assigned questions? The more I research and the more I look at student engagement and finished product; I realize that none of these learning evidence pieces would exist if they were doing only what I prescribed. The question is, why is it so hard for me to practice what I truly believe will work for all, over what I know works for only some? Is my need for control worth more than their learning and expression?

Dumont, Istance, and Benavides (2010) discussed a socio-constructivist curricular paradigm looking at the role of personalized learning as integral to create adaptive minds that are flexible and creative. That is to say, the situation drives the answer, not the other way around. These authors state, “In order to support the progressive acquisition of adaptive expertise… [t]he teacher should leave open opportunities for ‘expressive outcomes’ – unanticipated results from the learning that takes place” (Dumont et.al, 2010, p. 4). The idea of pre-determined, form-fitting education as lacking real-world validity is echoed by other scholars.

Paul France (2020) was not shy at discussing the failings of standardized, impersonal curriculum. France states, “it’s clear that one-size-fits-all curriculum isn’t quite making the cut. As a result, the standardization movement has been met with a new movement: one that values differentiation, individualization, and personalization” (2020, p. 8). The premise of prescription over exploration creates a funnel that only allows for a predetermined set of outcomes to come to pass. France (2020), like Dumont et al. (2010), points out that executive function and flexibility is core to the goals of the curriculum when he states,

To create classrooms and schools that are fair, impartial, and equitable, we must remember that students need much more than appropriate academic content to reach their full potential. They need explicit instruction in executive functioning skills; they need to cultivate self-awareness, agency, and autonomy; and above all else, students need access and inclusion. (France, 2020, p.18)

These tenets are core in our curriculum documents in BC. Examples of these curricular tenets are, “[p]ersonal design choices require self-exploration and refinement of skills”, and “[t]ake creative risks in generating ideas and add to others’ ideas in ways that enhance them” (“Media design 10 | Building student success,” n.d.). With the latitude we are afforded as educators, we should endeavour to educate the whole student.

In conclusion, the more I read on the topic, and the more I practice personalized learning, leads me to feel validated in the efficacy of the curricular idea, but also feeling challenged to make sure that all learners are being reached and able to express their learning. I know there are areas I can, and must, improve in terms of both learner conferencing and goal creation, to name a few. I am actively trying new techniques, and adapting them to my whole classroom situation and the learners individually.          Furthermore, it is hard to break the lessons of our past. The way I learned was successful for me, therefore that is how a class should look in my eyes. However, acknowledging that the way I learned as a youth is not functional to all, thus creating an equity gap in my class, is the unintended result if I am not willing to adapt. I have been using the personalized/individual approach for years, and the few failures I have seen thus far are more on my lack of conviction in the process, leading to only limited implementation. Once there is a solid scaffold, I have found the less the reigns are controlling the learner, the possibilities for the creation of the executive functions, needed in all life settings, are realized.



Dumont, H., D. Istance and F. Benavides (eds.) (2010), The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice, Educational Research and Innovation, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1787/9789264086487-en.

France, P. (2020). Reclaiming personalized learning Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin doi: 10.4135/9781544360652

Media design 10 | Building student success. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst/10/media-design


Accessibility: Barriers We Create.

Picture of a blocked road.
This image is expressing barriers to progress.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Accessibility is a word that has so many contexts depending on the area you are applying it to. Accommodations are the way that we, as a society or business, adapt to make sure that people of all abilities have the same opportunities. This week in class, led by Kim Ashbourne, we were discussing accessibility and there was a clear common thread from our cohort, “we don’t know, what we don’t know”. That statement is very true.

We, as educators, are used to adaptations to meet the unique needs of our students. However, do we adapt for the good of all without the drive to meet a certain student’s needs? After the class where we talked about adaptations, I started to see accessibility everywhere. I was watching a discourse between Dr. Fauci and Georgetown University and I could see the accessible nature of closed captioning (which I never noticed because I didn’t need it), Zoom instead of in person etc. I never thought of those things as I have never had to. 

However, I had adaptations made for me by my school district after I had emergency hand surgery so I could continue to work teaching computers. I had lost the use of my left hand for more than 5 months. The big adaptation was a voice to text program called  Dragon Speak. I had never heard of this program before, and may never have heard of it if I didn’t need an adaption or had a future student who would need it. 

My master’s group is creating a website that has video we produced and other mediums of expressing the purpose and execution of our project. We are getting better with adding CC and Creative Commons licences, however, there are areas in which we can continue to improve to make sure it is accessible to all.

I am moving to the question, how can I make my classes more accessible? How can I adapt my teaching to reach more students not because an IEP says I need to, but because learning needs me to?

The Seesaw of Curriculum

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

It is my opinion that curriculum is a Seesaw. This is based on the premise that for one to be up, the other must be down. I am not implying this to be true in all cases, I am basing this off the interactions I have had with colleagues that seems to sum up the dichotic nature we are in as a society.

Seesaws are a simple construct. One side goes up, and the other goes down as force is applied by pushing on the ground. This is true of the educational practices that we see changing all the time. But why? Is all that is old, bad? No. Does what is proven to be useful become pointless because there is something new and shiny? That seems to be the way some districts and schools think. If one side of the seesaw is on the top, then falls because the applied upwards force (support of people) has diminished, should it be cast out and replaced? Here is an example to illustrate my point. I was a Whole-Language product in school, which meant phonics was bad and that Whole-Language was the best way for me to explore language. That may work with some, but was an epic failure for me. I still struggle with some basics, and my spelling is brutal (thank you spell-check). Would phonics have increased my abilities? Maybe. However, the issue was, we were using Whole-Language only. This is the core issue that pervades the educational system of thought. For me, the best place to be on a seesaw is the middle. If you apply enough stabilizing force to the middle, you will hold up both sides; that way the learning can be student-centred, based on their needs and not the prevailing wind of pedagogy. We must break the idea that for one to be true, the other needs to be false. Sometimes, both are true when interpreted through the needs of the learners in front of you.

I teach at Fort St. James Secondary School in Computer Science and Senior Humanities. In a school as small as ours, Computer Science means everything in one class, from making movies and digital music to coding and game creation, and everything in between, in one room at one time. This affords collaboration with each learner as to what they are learning, why they want to learn that, and how they will display that learning. In the Senior Humanities, the content is more structured but demands individual engagement. I do not allow for much sheer regurgitation. Context is everything.

In response to Egan and Blades articles, I would say I was left more confused than when I came in, in terms of what curriculum is. I found Egan’s (2003) historical perspective to be well laid out, but his conclusion that content is more important than the process is to me, simplistic, as either one is hindered by the weakness in the other. 

Blades’ (1997) article was more of a deconstruction of what we find comfortable, compared to what is possible. He states, “I realized then for change to be possible, it would not be enough to determine how enframing works; the task ahead involves a constant effort to remove the frame whenever and wherever it appeared” (p.150). I find myself agreeing with Blade. If we only do what is, or has been done, we miss all that is possible. 

It is most important to look at curriculum through the lens of teacher autonomy. Furthermore, due to the recent, open but scaffolded, changes in the BC Curriculum, this autonomy allows us to shape the content we teach and certain freedom as to how we design its process. This ability gives us, as individual educators, the freedom to balance the seesaw by using the pedagogy that fits for the class, both as a whole and the individual learners in the class. 



Blades, D. (1997) Procedures of Power in a Curriculum Discourse: Conversations from Home.      JCT, 11(4), 125-155.

Egan, K. (2003) What is Curriculum? JCACS, 1(1), 9-16.

Embracing the Pivot.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In class this week, we were discussing the pivot to the new model of teaching that will be affecting us when we return to class amid Covid-19. Through discussions as a whole class, and in break-out rooms, it is clear that there is anxiety, excitement, and good ideas for the future during this time. That being said, our jobs have changed. We have been used to adapting to different classes, learner abilities, and subject areas; none of that was new. However, the students were in the class and we could read where they were on a daily basis and adapt accordingly. Now, the students are away, we have to track them down, if they want to be found, and try to get them to work, without the classroom a good portion needs and want. Is this doable? Yes. But it will take a major pivot to how we teach, assess, and engage.

As I have stated before, as the tech teacher, I have dropped the ball in terms of getting our students ready for accessing the needed programs to be functional in this environment. I accept that. However, I didn’t foresee that students would not be allowed in the school, thus not having access to the school resources,  as something that would ever happen. Therefore, could I prepare for what I never conceived as a possibility. So the question is, how do we move forward? We just do.

I feel it is incumbent on all of us as educators to concentrate on the needs of our students, over the rigour of our courses. Rigour is a false construct in my mind. We know the content, we know our students, and we will learn to increase our parental engagement. Therefore, we will adapt in the way that seems best for us as educators, the learners, and their families. It takes a village, not only to educate but to thrive in these unprecedented times.

What Vs. How? Why.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

When looking at the idea of What vs How; I ask Why (I dislike dichotomies)? Why represents the purpose of action beyond how and what. What is the base of the content you are teaching, and how is the delivery. Both important and I would argue, out the two choices, I would side with how. Is what is being learned, for a purpose for life experience, beyond a grade? If true, it is essential that we teach students to think critically and have a logical purpose in solving issues. That is essential. If we are selecting what we teach, meeting the broad BC Curriculum, based on the process more than the end goal, that greatly improves the options of how we teach that material, what material we decide to teach, and how the students explore for the answers. 

As it pertains to the question at hand, Egan states that what is more important than how. However, what is directly entwined with how. If what is being taught is flawed, senseless, futile, or baseless then how we teach it is pointless. Conversely, if what is being taught is useful, but how it is taught is feckless and poorly delivered, then the what becomes less important.

I am a technology teacher and I find the importance of how I teach, directly affects what is being taught. Most students are afraid of being out of their comfort zone, and if their experience with particular software, no matter its true future value, is poor or too ridged, they will be less likely to use that software. Therefore, how I taught the software directly affected what was being taught; the efficacy of the software.

I will sum up by saying that life is ambiguous. If we are looking for a linear direction in every instance that life provides then we are going to stop moving. Ambiguity means choice. Furthermore, choice means options, and options mean problem-solving. Therefore, let’s arm the future with the skills that will allow them to navigate or society.

P.S. as for the clarity of this article, it would have been more clear if the author had a 500-word count, just saying. The metaphor really took on more than it needed to.

Andrew Vogelsang


EDCI 572- Revealing the Story: Editing for Communication


Photo by Wahid Khene on Unsplash

To reflect on the past weeks would be a huge task. I miss the students and I love the team I work with. FSJSS has come together to help each other and support the learning of the students and each other. I have been helping a lot with the tech aspects of the new paradigm we are in and have also spent a great deal of time editing. I decided that this week’s blog would be on 2 editing software choices and when/why I use each. They are Adobe Premiere and Movie Maker.

The BC Digital Literacies and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) digital literacies are well represented in both types of software.

EDCI 572- Equity of Access.

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

It is hard to find the drive to write a post this week. I am on spring break and I should be relaxing, but I can’t get this out of my head. I was going to make a post on the basics of Adobe Premiere, but I have no access to this software at my house and therefore cannot screen capture the video. That got me thinking, how will I teach computers from home? Furthermore, how do I teach computers to learners who don’t have internet, or computers, at their house? I have realized that it is easy to take for granted the things we have, and it is only at a time like this do we see the issues many face around us.

The software adaptations are easy and the lessons would be based on the software the students would have access to, using their Microsoft school district accounts. I would have to retool what is taught to be based around that software only and not the Adobe suite that I, and my students, are used to learning. Overall, this adaptation is not hard. However, that does not solve the problem of accessibility to all learners. There is equity to think about. Though I don’t know how I am going to combat this issue, I am comforted to know that with our late spring break, this affords other districts to tackle that issue and come to some solutions that I can adapt to my own practice. 

Though my class, while in the school, is based on individualized, self-paced, open learning, I would have to adapt and so will they. This will allow me to renew my understanding of certain, attainable software and expand my arsenal of learning for the students. 

As for the school, I am thinking, with administration consent, I will start a school youtube channel where teachers can have their own playlist. That way they can screen record their lessons and load them onto the channel for the students to use and learn from. This will afford them to have access to their teachers and learn from them. Though this again does not answer the equity of access issue.

So here I am, sitting at this laptop, thinking of ways to close that chasm. I find it hard to visualize what form my content and teaching will take, but that is part of the challenge. Maybe, this will add new ways for me to reach learners. Maybe, this will force me to redefine my pedagogy. Maybe, I will just be spinning my wheels. I am unsure as to what the next few months will mean for the education system and how we teach at this time. However, until we answer this in a way in which I can reach all my learners, not just the privileged, there is little light at the end of the tunnel.


EDCI 572- Transforming the Conveyance of Learning.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The medium of my day was written. The way that we showed we understood/learned, was by completing a test or write a paper. That was it. It was less about empowerment and more about being an automaton.  In the rare class, we would do an oral presentation. Those times have changed. 

In class this week, we heard from Tim Winkelmans. He discussed the creation, and importance, of the BC Digital Literacy Framework within the education system of BC. I can’t agree more with the creation of this framework, though as my job is teaching technology, I may be biased. Having heard about the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), during the meeting,  I dug deeper into the ideals of this society. I feel it is nothing but a validation of how myself, and my fellow teachers at my school, are trying to increase our digital literacy to better empower our students. Though we are yet to meet all these standards, we are working to improve our abilities to incorporate more in our practice and, in turn, create more independent, adaptable, resilient, and multi-faceted students. In this blog, I want to concentrate on the empowered learner from both the BC Digital Literacy Framework and the ISTE Framework. Though the two are similar, it is interesting to see where the ISTE framework is more rigorous in terms of a student growth mindset. 

The ISTE site describes the empowered learner as:

1a- Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

1b- Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

1c-  Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practise and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

1d- Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies. (“ISTE Standards for Students,” n.d.)

See Chart created by Deirdre Houghton, Gary Soles, and I, displaying the BC digital Literacy outcomes the students will be meeting, below:


BC Digital Literacy Framework Learning Outcome Student Activity
Research and Information Literacy
  • Locates, organizes, analyzes, evaluates, synthesizes and ethically uses information from a variety of sources and media. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Integrates, compares and puts together different types of information related to multimodal content. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Understands the different purposes and contexts of digital image editing. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Integrates, compares and puts together different types of information related to multimodal content. (Gr. 10-12) 
  • Structures, classifies, and organizes digital information/content according to a certain classification schemes or genres. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners complete an Inquiry Project on Truth and Reconciliation using various research sources (website/articles). 
  • Upon completion of Inquiry, learners create a hand-drawn motif on paper (via knowledge from inquiry project), then transfer their design to Adobe Software then finally to Aspire
  • Learners will then transfer their files via memory stick to the carpentry shop to upload the G-Code to the computer numerically controlled router (CNC machine). 
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Creates complex models and simulations of the real world using digital information. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Can program ranging from using block building code tools to a high-level programming language. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners will have a defined workspace in which to print their reflective motif. They will have to measure and design their section of the feather in both the carpentry shop and in the Aspire software.
Creativity and Innovation
  • Remixes different existing digital content into something new. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Understands how meaning is produced through multimedia (text, images, audio, video) and how culture is produced through the Internet and social media in particular. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners will have to respect and attain permission to use any Indigenous symbology. 
  • Learners will have to design around the artifact, if used, to make sure that the representations of the symbol are used correctly.
Digital Citizenship
  • Understands the legal and ethical dimensions of respecting creative work. (Gr. 10-12) 
  • Distinguishes between taking inspiration from the creative work of others and appropriating that work without permission. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners using digital images will have to either design the images themselves or use creative commons licenced images. 
Communication and Collaboration 
  • Uses digital media to be part of a community. (Gr. 10-12) 
  • Makes valuable contributions to the public knowledge domain (e.g. wikis, public forums, reviews). (Gr. 10-12)
  • Is familiar with the meaning of terms commonly used in user manuals for the operation of hardware and the installation and configuration of software. (Gr. 10-12) 
  • Troubleshoots systems and applications. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Has a reasonable knowledge of available technologies, their strengths and weaknesses, and is able to make informed decisions about whether and how to use technologies to pursue personal goals. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners will be using digital media to create a permanent community project, that will represent the growth of our knowledge of Truth and Reconciliation as a community.
  • Learners will have to troubleshoot both digital and technical issues that arise throughout the project.  
  • Learners will have to evaluate the proper tools, both digital and physical, to create their vision.
Technology Operations and Concepts
  • Solves a theoretical or practical problem, of individual or collective interest, through or with the support of digital tools. (Gr. 10-12) 
  • Solves technical problems and knows what to do when technology does not function. (Gr. 10-12)  
  • Transfers current knowledge to learning new technologies. (Gr. 10-12)
  • Learners will have to collaborate collectively and work in a unified manner using the tools prescribed. 


  • Learners can work around malfunctioning software and adapt by using similar yet different software.  
  • Learners will be required to use the base functions of computer literacy from one program to another.


In the master’s project that Deirdre, Gary, and I are aiming to create, we will be looking at cross-curricular inquiry, incorporating both theoretical and experiential outcomes. The students will have access to many technologies and classrooms to complete this project. The finished project is pre-designed as an outline, but the portion that the students are creating will be individual and representative of both their learning and the area that resonated with them. This, we hope, creates ownership and empowerment.

These standards mentioned above (both the BC Digital Literacy, and the ISTE framework), are the impetus for the expression of students learning. If a student is able to display their learning using the digital tools available to them, they tend to dig deeper into the process of learning, and not just make the pre-defined product that concentrates more on the result, than on the journey. In our school, the teachers who do inquiry, send learners to my lab to create different representations of their essential questions. The use of slideshows, movies, photography with voice over, photoshop representations, and others, affords the learners to not only realize they have an interest in technology but that the technology can help them realize their voice.  Most importantly, they have to visualize what they want their presentation to look like and then learn how to make that a reality. This creates perseverance and troubleshooting skills that are essential to future life experiences. 

Attached is a video series explaining the digital literacy we have created using OBS to showcase what the Aspire Software looks like:


Digital Literacy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/teaching-tools/digital-literacy

ISTE Standards for Students. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students


Andrew Vogelsang