The Ken Spencer Award

2012 Winners

FIRST PLACE – $7,000

Dundas Central
Students develop a tourism app for the town of Dundas

Dundas Central Elementary
Dundas, Ont.
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.


Oasis Skateboard Factory
The skateboard becomes the learning catalyst for hard-to-engage youth

Oasis Skateboard Factory
Toronto District School Board
Toronto, Ont.

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.


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
Baie-Saint-Paul, Que.
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, Ont.
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)
Kelowna, B.C.
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
Pauingassi, Man.
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.