Category Archives: ECOO News

Feature: “The High Tech Class” in OCT Professionally Speaking

"High-Tech Class" collage
OCT photographs by Kevin Hewitt from Professionally Speaking, March 2012

Several members of ECOO were recently featured in the Ontario College of Teachers journal, Professionally Speaking. Clockwise from top left, Charles Corradini , Danika Barker, Kent Manning, and Mali Bickley share how their students are learning using technology.

Congratulations to these exemplary educators on their continuing leadership!

An excerpt from the article: “Where did we start looking? At ECOO 2011, the annual conference of the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, which brought together more than 600 professionals to share best practices and new ideas around using technology in the classroom.

One conference highlight, Minds on Media, featured 12 Ontario teachers demonstrating and coaching others on the exciting ways they use technology. They are exactly the kind of teachers we plan to spotlight in a new Professionally Speaking column on technology in the classroom, launching next issue.” (emphasis added, ECOO)

Read the full article in your copy of Professionally Speaking, or online at the OCT website.

Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III

Media Awareness Network releases report

The Ottawa-based Media-Awareness Network  has recently released a new research publication, Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III: Teacher Perspectives, the most recent in a series of studies that looks at the “behaviours, attitudes, and opinions” of Internet use in Canadian children and youth. Following on two previous studies (2001 and 2006), the new study (released February, 2012) shares the voices of educators from various regions of Canada.

View(PDF) Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III: Teacher Perspectives.

In addition to the new document, educators will find other valuable resources in the Media and Internet Education Resources: For Teachers section, including a by-topic and grade searchable database of media-awareness lessons.

Heartfelt Thanks to the ECOO 2011 Community!

To ECOO Volunteers, Participants, Presenters and Exhibitors – THANK YOU!

Wow! What a great few days of learning we’ve just had in Ontario at the ECOO Conference!

On behalf of the ECOO Conference Committee I’d like to thank you for your support of our recent conference, ECOO 2011: Inspire, Connect, Learn to Play – Play to Learn! In planning and organizing a conference such as this, it really is a team effort from a learning community that makes it happen!

Collaborating by aforgrave, on Flickr

To the conference attendees, your participation, both in person and virtually, made this conference a great success! We really appreciated your patience when needed and your jumping in to have fun when we had hoped you would. Ontario teachers know how to have a good time!

To our keynote speakers, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson, we thank you for modeling such great 21st Century practice, providing an interactive keynote, and getting us connected to share our learning. We love the fun you provided to get us connected and learning about and through social media, all the while having fun playing an alternative reality game to save Periwinkle the PLP Penguin.

Dance by Digitalnative, on Flickr

To the presenters who spent countless hours preparing for the one-hour sessions or the full-day Minds on Media facilitation, we are so grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Many of you provided links to resources and contact information that can be found here on the online planner or here on the Minds On Media Wiki so that your impact is on-going – we appreciate your generosity as we learn from you.

To our exhibitors, it’s because of your sponsorship that we are able to remain at such a nice venue. Thank you for designing interesting exhibits and prize draws that kept us engaged and chatting about new hardware and software.

Finally, to the wonderful members of the ECOO conference committee, thank you for 3 amazing years of learning and laughter! You provided me such awesome support as a newbie conference chair as we all tried to realize our vision of celebrating Ontario teachers, focusing on learning first and technology later, and growing a connected and networked group of Ontario educators! I know I speak for the ECOO Board of Directors when I express my gratitude to all of you for the time and energy you’ve put into these events!

Learn to Play; Play to Learn (Minds on Media)
Learn to Play; Play to Learn (Minds on Media) by aforgrave, on Flickr

Alison Slack, the upcoming conference chair, is in for a treat as she meets many of the Ontario teachers that will help to make ECOO 2012 even better! Please stay connected to the ECOO community to continue learning and I’ll look forward to meeting again next year!

Brenda Sherry

ECOO Encourages Responsible Use of Social Media

For immediate release

18/04/2011 (Toronto) – The Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) is encouraging teachers to continue using social media such as Facebook and Twitter in the wake of a professional advisory issued by the Ontario College of Teachers .

“The OCT advisory is a timely and valuable resource for educators,” says ECOO President Bill MacKenzie, “but it shouldn’t dissuade teachers from using technology and social media and teaching its appropriate use.”

“Since the release of the advisory, our organization has heard from teachers across the province who are very concerned that they should not be using social media tools with their students. We believe this is not the case.”

The Ontario College of Teachers issued a Professional Advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media to its 230,000 members on April 11, 2011. The advisory provides important guidelines for teachers and administrators on how best to use social networking tools with students.

“While the Ontario College of Teachers is correct to remind its membership to be careful when using new powerful communication tools,” says MacKenzie, “the advisory clearly supports teachers’ responsible use of electronic communication and social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter.”

For over 30 years, ECOO has supported and celebrated the effective use of technology in Ontario classrooms through conferences, competitions, newsletters, special interest groups, and affiliation with the International Society for Technology in Education .

ECOO believes that students need help learning how to navigate, evaluate, and effectively use technologies safely and appropriately. “Not all students are ‘digital natives’ with the innate ability to navigate these new technologies effortlessly,” says MacKenzie. “Our teachers have a responsibility to lead by example, demonstrating and teaching the appropriate use of technology and social media.”

ECOO applauds the College’s recognition of the importance of technology to communicate with and to engage students in today’s world. ECOO believes that the professional advisory is a helpful first step towards encouraging effective and appropriate use of new technologies by teachers.

“We welcome the opportunity to engage with the College and teachers in a dialogue on this important issue,” says MacKenzie. “We invite the OCT to work with us to develop helpful resource materials to support use of these powerful tools by Ontario’s teacher to engage our students.”

The Educational Computing Organization of Ontario exists to share and disseminate information and to advocate and promote the effective use of computers and associated technologies in the education process.

For more information:
Bill MacKenzie,
President, ECOO
(416) 538-1650

View the ECOO Press Release (PDF)  View the  OCT Document (PDF)

From the Ontario College of Teachers:
Professional Advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media

View the OCT Video: