The Ken Spencer Award
FIRST PLACE – $7,000
Students develop a tourism app for the town of Dundas
Dundas Central Elementary
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
While designing an app under the mentorship of web programmers from Australia and Finland, and a digital media artist from New York City, students quickly realized that this was real work and that Apple was a real audience. Fueled by this intrinsic motivation, students’ honed a professional work ethic, engaged in difficult decision making, and took ownership of the project that demanded continuous problem-solving, including learning from failures.
SECOND PLACE – $3,000
Oasis Skateboard Factory
The skateboard becomes the learning catalyst for hard-to-engage youth
Oasis Skateboard Factory
Toronto District School Board
The classroom is transformed into a skateboard design studio where students – who have not previously experienced a high level of success in school – run a skateboard-building and graphic design cooperative business. The program strives for a very high course completion rate for previously non-attending, non-achieving, disengaged youth, who earn credits by learning hands-on to build skateboards, design original custom graphics, work with local artists and community partners, and market and display their work.
HONOURABLE MENTION – $1,000 Each
The iDEC Program
A whole school approach to engaging learners
Caulfeild Elementary iDEC program
West Vancouver, B.C.
West Vancouver School District
iDEC provides a digital environment that supports any technological device and platform. From Kindergarten to Grade 3, teachers are embedding student ownership into their digital learning every day with the help of Smartboards and iPads. By Grade 4, students can bring their own electronic device into the classroom, and student webpages serve as a central area for their learning and participation, where they solve problems, are creative, and participate positively in the school community.
Centre éducatif Saint-Aubin (Saint-Aubin Education Centre)
Giving special needs students opportunities for success
Centre éducatif Saint-Aubin / Adaptation scolaire
Commission scolaire de Charlevoix
This goal of this program is to increase the motivation of high school students experiencing learning difficulties, while reducing their behavioural issues through the delivery of robotics and multimedia projects that integrate information and communication technologies (ICTs). Teachers develop innovative practice while students develop academic and social competencies that lead to increased academic achievement.
Grade 3s and 10s pair up to develop educational Iphone games
Mother Teresa Catholic High School
Ottawa Catholic School Board
High school students partner with Grade 3 students and in the process, create learning that is collaborative, project-based, and focused on real-world outcomes. The Grade 3 students become a vital part of the team for the development of Iphone games because they are the clients, and therefore the subject matter experts. The Grade 10 students do all the programming. Although technology was used at every step of the process, it didn’t become the focus and was leveraged as a tool to enhance learning.
OKM Flipped Classroom
Where the lesson is the homework, and the homework is the learning
OKM (Okanagan Mission Secondary School)
Central Okanagan School District 23
Senior Math and Biology teachers ‘flip’ classes by videotaping their course lectures on to YouTube. Students’ homework is to watch these videos, which allows them to control the pace of the lesson and avoid the frustration of completing homework they don’t understand. What was traditionally considered homework is now done in class, and the teacher is readily available to revisit challenging concepts one-on-one. Students who do understand are free to move on and are not bored by revisiting a topic they have already mastered.
Community Studies Program
Reconnecting students to their aboriginal history, traditions, and community
Omiishosh Memorial School
The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC)
This program was designed, developed, and implemented to meet the needs of aboriginal learners using mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual components from the Medicine Wheel philosophy. Students develop their self-concept, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-determination by learning about the historical aspects of First Nations culture, including treaties, the residential school experience, and local issues such as lack of clean water, in the context of the aboriginal world view and value system.
Click here for a booklet showcasing the work of all 7 Ken Spencer Award winners.