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News - Did you Know

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ArcGIS at No Charge for Use by ERAC Members

Great news for ERAC members yet again! ArcGIS is now available for use at no charge for educational purposes (only). This is because ERAC has signed a license agreement with Esri Canada for the use of this product. ArcGIS Online provides a way to bring spatial literacy and geographic inquiry into the classroom. Students enjoy visualizing, analyzing and understanding geographic patterns and processes and can create and use maps that develop the higher order thinking skills. To find out more, sign in and review the ArcGIS agreement.

June 28, 2016
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Great News about the BC Digital Classroom!

bc digital classroom image of kids

The 2016 – 2017 BC Digital Classroom suite is ready to be launched – same great bundles, same great value and a couple of new offers to sweeten the pot!  Last year’s BC Digital Classroom subscribers will receive their renewal invoices by July 22, 2016.  If you want to add new resources or change your product selection from last year, please be sure to click on the link to submit your changes (link for School Districts & link for Independents).  Changes should be submitted by Friday, July 8, 2016.

The BC Digital Classroom Core Collection hasn’t changed but there are a couple of new offerings on our a la carte menu that might be of interest to many!

CBC Curio

CBC’s Curio.ca has now been added to the menu of optional resources available for purchase with your BC Digital Classroom Core Collection. Curio.ca offers a streaming platform with over 8,000 series and news reports, in French and English. With a carefully curated collection of CBC / Radio-Canada documentaries, news features, dramas and kids’ programming, Curio.ca brings you high calibre content to explore the world through a Canadian lens.  Subscribers can choose just the Curio.ca base service or add additional channels as needed. Curio.ca is offered on an annual subscription basis. See the Curio agreement here.

Learn 360 Early Subscriber Incentive Offer

Learn 360 streaming service is back again this year as an optional add-on but if you subscribe early you get a wee price advantage!  Until September 9, 2016 Learn 360 is offering a discount for those who subscribe early! Learn360 is a broad-based digital resources streaming service for K–12 schools. This resource includes full educational videos, video clips, audio and audiobooks, newsreel footage, audio and video speeches, music tracks, sound effects, and encyclopedia articles.  See the Learn 360 details here.

Remember: last year’s BC Digital Classroom subscribers will receive their renewal invoices by July 22, 2016.  If you want to add new resources or change your product selection from last year, complete this form for School Districts and complete this form for Independent schools to submit your changes.  Changes should be submitted by Friday, July 8, 2016.

June 22, 2016
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Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and Learning are Now a Click Away

aboriginal icon ERAC members can now enjoy the benefits of a new resource site, dedicated to Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and Learning through ERAC’s new abedsupport site. This site is meant to assist you as you incorporate Aboriginal Knowledge and worldviews into the curriculum. On this site you’ll find examples for cross curricular integration, unit overviews, big idea and competency pieces and even support material through a brochure, poster and bookmark that can be downloaded. So take a moment, check out the new abedsupport site and find out how ERAC can assist you!

June 22, 2016
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Renewed Offer for ERAC Members on Follett Destiny Library Manager

follett Good news for those looking at subscribing to Follett’s Destiny Library Manager!  ERAC’s agreement with Follett School Solutions for Destiny Library Manager has been revised and renewed for one year. The agreement offers discounts for districts that purchase an annual license for specific Destiny products and services. This agreement includes the following components: ·         Destiny Library Manager software and services – including implementation, data conversion,                     initial training and project management ·         Options for self-hosted and vendor-hosted Destiny ·         Discounted renewal prices for Destiny Library Manager and Textbook Manager For full details on the ERAC Follett agreement, click here. ERAC is currently working with Follett on special ERAC-member pricing on a hosted environment for Destiny, allowing for additional integration points between MyEdBC and Destiny.  Hosting will be by Fujitsu; sales and service by Follett. More details coming soon. Keep an eye on your Inbox!  

June 22, 2016
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ERAC Can Help You Build Your Professional Learning Resource Collection!

prof learn Your Guide for Building a Professional Learning Resource Collection is here! ERAC members can now enjoy the extra benefit of using this special guide to inspire them in their practice and in pursuing further professional development. These BCTF appointed teacher reviewed and evaluated resources include picture books to get the discussions started, plus resources for considering new learning environments, transforming thinking and focusing on pedagogy. This rich collection also includes titles that support and embed Aboriginal ways of knowing and principles of learning. Additional Aboriginal resources can be found at www.abedsupport.bcerac.ca. This professional learning resource collection was created to highlight current research, inform teachers and encourage the exploration of promising practices. We hope the guide will be a great tool and resource for our ERAC members. Feel free to contribute to the collection by submitting your professional learning resource requests to ERAC through this evaluation request form.

June 22, 2016
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Good-Bye’s and Hello

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George Ambeault, current Executive Director of ERAC will be retiring on August 1, 2016. During his 49 months with ERAC, George enjoyed connecting with members on a deeper level and working with a team that was focused and diligent in looking for new ways of doing things to ensure the best pricing and resources are available through ERAC. George experienced a lot of great moments with ERAC at the forefront, leading in many areas including; being an early mover to the Office 365 product, early in the adoption of Lync (now Skype for Business which improved telecommunications and lowered costs), moved our web presence to the Canadian Microsoft products, brought the last 2 public school districts into the ERAC fold, added several independent schools and the Yukon territories to membership, and much more. He will be missed by many.

Maureen Ciarniello will be taking over for George in the position of Executive Director of ERAC effective August 1, 2016. Maureen recently served as Associate Superintendent in the Vancouver School District and has been actively involved with ERAC since its inception, including serving 6 years as Chair of the Executive Committee. She has extensive background in strategic planning, curriculum implementation, educational technologies, and learning resource acquisition. She is looking forward to working with ERAC to create opportunities for consortium members to access quality education resources that support student learning. George and Maureen will be working together to facilitate a smooth transition this July.

ERAC is also saying good-bye to our Implementation Coordinator, Brian Kerr and Joan Kloss, our Resource Evaluation Coordinator.

Brian Kerr has worked for the Vancouver School Board for 29 years, teaching in classrooms, creating a Humanities Program, designing and implementing a model Career & Implementation Centre, creating a district’s first Computer Technology Immersion Program, and serving in many roles including the Business Education Department Head and the Principal for Adult Night School Continuing Education. Once working for ERAC as the Implementation Coordinator, Brian was very busy, completing 1,144 documented service emails to 60 districts for various program implementation and deployment technical issues and resolutions for public schools…and that was just for school year 2015/16! Brian was influential in the creation of ERAC’s new PIA site, and was involved in reviewing vendor products and services that require PIA’s like the Math and Coding pilots as well as numerous other ERAC approved applications. We thank Brian for his hard work and service to ERAC members.

Joan Kloss is well known in the Surrey school district, having started with Surrey in January 1970! Joan worked 17 years as a teacher, two years as a Vice Principal and 15 years as Principal and then retired in June of 2004. That retirement didn’t last long as Joan began contract work with SD36, facilitating the review of learning resources in January of 2006. Joan then worked as a sub-contractor with ERAC for similar services including evaluations of both novels and digital resources. Over the years, Joan has been a strong voice at ERAC, in support of teachers, students, schools and more, providing solid direction and support to members. She created the initial novel evaluation process at ERAC which then led to the huge development of ERAC’s online collection and was the primary lead on the LGBTQ project (suggested, designed and identified resources for it while creating a supporting brochure). Joan was also instrumental in identifying print resources in consultation with Surrey AbEd Healing teachers to create the marketing pieces and develop the website for the AbEd project. Joan’s work will continue to benefit members and we hope her retirement sticks this time!

If you happen to see any of these fine people in your travels, be sure to wish them well in their future endeavours!

June 22, 2016
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ERAC Has PIA Templates

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Want to make use of Office 365 Cloud in your Classrooms? One of ERAC’s membership services is the preparation of Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) templates for the various products and services that ERAC has negotiated on your behalf. In conjunction with the Ministry of Education and feedback from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (OIPC), we are providing you with a partially completed copy of the Office 365 Cloud PIA so that you can personalized the document for your district. By conducting this Privacy Impact Assessment, it will help your District ensure compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act when introducing a new program or initiative that involves the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. To access your Privacy Impact Assessments and supporting resources, go to: https://pia.bcerac.ca/.

June 22, 2016
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ERAC Server Migration

microsoft azure ERAC recently made a big move. We migrated our servers to the Canadian Data Centre within Microsoft Azure. ERAC staff worked hard on this transition to ensure the move was efficient and with little to no downtime. The various services have been tested and are all operational. Our WordPress websites have also been done and now we are proud to say that everything is now in Canada!

June 22, 2016
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You Asked Us – 2nd Edition June 2016 – Sound Music Licensing Company

Q&A Q. Our District received an email from Re:Sound Music Licensing Company wanting to discuss the licensing obligations for the use of recorded music and the licensing model they have created for schools across Canada. What should we do about this?

 A. ERAC is working to get a legal opinion for members on this issue. Until we have more clarity on this, we are encouraging ERAC members to direct Re:Sound representatives to contact ERAC to discuss options for this licensing. We will keep you informed as we learn more.

Re:Sound is the organization in Canada that administers the rights of artists and record labels in respect of the public performance and telecommunication of their sound recordings as certified by the Copyright Board of Canada.  Until recently, establishments in Canada were only required to pay royalties to SOCAN for the benefit of composers, authors and music publishers.  In 1997, an amendment to the Copyright Act recognized the rights of artists and record companies to be compensated for the use of their works.  Re:Sound and SOCAN are distinct organizations that represent different groups and rights. As such, licences are required from both organizations.

June 22, 2016
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Deadlines for Summer 2016

 Frontrow – deadline August 31, 2016  Learning A-Z Reading Solution Bundle – deadline August 31, 2016  Tumblebooks – deadline August 31, 2016

June 22, 2016
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What Can Disruptive Innovation in Education Look Like?

What Can Disruptive Innovation in Education Look Like?

A disruptive innovation: an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances. When we look at industries other than education, like the finance, hospitality, and automotive industries, they are constantly being disrupted by more efficient, and arguably more effective, systems built with the innovative technologies of today.

June 22, 2016
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Navigating the Digital Transformation Journey

Navigating the Digital Transformation Journey

You lower your hands to the ground and feel the texture of the rubber track against your fingertips. You slowly inhale the clean smell of fresh-cut grass and feel the wind gently pull the hair away from your face. The referee stands to your left, ready to count down to the beginning of the race.

June 21, 2016
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When I Buy Edtech Products, Our Teachers Don’t Use Them… What Do I Do?

When I Buy Edtech Products, Our Teachers Don't Use Them... What Do I Do? (EdSurge News)

As the school year winds down, some educators have spent numerous hours finding the right online products for the 2016-2017 school year by taking demos from vendors, piloting programs, and soliciting feedback. Others went to a conference, saw something shiny, and bought it for their entire school or

June 20, 2016
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7 Ways for Teachers to Become Programmers

7 Ways for Teachers to Become Programmers

Understanding the logic and structure of the software ubiquitous in our lives is paramount for children growing up in the 21st Century. It is the same way that learning to read and write is such a fundamental part of any basic education.

June 19, 2016
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Ignite Student Passions with Genius Hour

Ignite Student Passions with Genius Hour

Do you remember the days when learning was fun? Memorable? When the final bell rang and you didn't want to leave? In the times of standardization, how do we find balance between what we have to teach and what we want to teach?

June 18, 2016
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The 4 C’s of Education

Control Alt Achieve: The 4 C's of Education

Our students' future will most likely look quite different from our past. If we want them to be successful after graduation it is critical that we help them develop the skills they will need in five, ten, or fifteen years from now.

June 17, 2016
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Celebrating Indigenous Book Club Month

Celebrating Indigenous Book Club Month

June is Indigenous Book Club Month and Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and northern affairs,is encouraging Canadians to share their favourite books and authors on social media using #IndigenousReads. Tomson Highway, Tracey Lindberg, Lee Maracle, Waubgeshig Rice, Marilyn Dumont, and Thomas King are just some of the amazing stories being, read, loved and shared.

June 17, 2016
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Teachers Still Struggling to Use Tech to Transform Instruction, Survey Finds

Teachers Still Struggling to Use Tech to Transform Instruction, Survey Finds

A majority of K-12 educators responding to a new survey see themselves as risk takers or early adopters in using technology. But the exclusive survey, conducted by the Education Week Research Center for this year's edition of Technology Counts, found that teachers, on the whole, still face systemic challenges in adapting their instruction to new technologies in transformative ways.

June 16, 2016
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Blended Learning: A Hot K-12 EdTech Teaching Trend

Blended Learning: A Hot K-12 EdTech Teaching Trend

EdTech & K-12 government contracting opportunities abound. So what's buzzing now in this busy market? Blended Learning. Blended learning is the latest in a list of innovative tech-focused teaching methods in the public sector. Though nothing can ever replace a good teacher, companies that can help schools with successful blended learning plans will help create a powerful learning experience through technology.

June 15, 2016
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Becoming Innovative: 15 New Ideas Every Teacher Should Try

Becoming Innovative: 15 New Ideas Every Teacher Should Try -

Becoming Innovative: 15 New Ideas Every Teacher Should Try by TeachThought Staff What are the latest emerging trends in education? As trends to do, these are changing almost yearly. Consider how quiet iPads in the classroom have been recently, whereas three years ago they were going to replace teachers and were (unsarcastically) compared to magic.

June 14, 2016
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The 21st Century Movement – Revolution or Evolution?

The 21st Century Movement - Revolution or Evolution?

I'm going to come right out and state it. There's no revolution in education at the moment. No, not 21st Century Learning - or whatever you want to term this focus - or in the use of technology, or even in the grand scale of the working out of Constructivism in it's various incarnations.

June 11, 2016
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How to Develop A Critical Thinking Mindset in Elementary Students

How to Develop A Critical Thinking Mindset in Elementary Students

Stephen Norris said back in 1985 that most kids are not equipped to "recognize assumptions, evaluate arguments, and appraise inferences." In 1992, psychologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmoses told us humans are evolved simply to avoid dangers and survive. None of them could have predicted the digital information age.

June 10, 2016
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9 Online Teaching Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier

9 Online Teaching Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier

More teachers than ever are teaching core subjects to students halfway around the world. Global teachers have the unique experience of creating relationships within the "Earth School." Global learners are able to take advantage of the vast stores of knowledge from other cultures.

June 9, 2016
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40 Positive Lessons Teachers Can Share With Their Kids

40 Positive Lessons Teachers Can Share With Their Kids

There were so many positive lessons that I wish I had learned earlier than I did in life. Perhaps many of us feel that way, and that's okay. Isn't that what the journey is all about? Living and learning. We can't learn everything we need to know in school, after all.

June 8, 2016
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Super Early Bird Rate NOW Available for November IT4K12!

ERAC_IT4K12_GRY(Stacked)RGB_NEW We have a great super early bird rate for IT4K12 registration and we’re hoping you’ll take advantage of it! Register now to enjoy great savings before September 8. We are also offering a special group rate and travel subsidy again (sign in first) to make sure you can attend. To take advantage of the subsidy, contact admin@bcerac.ca. This year our event will be taken up a notch with a new larger ballroom able to accommodate more of our attendees and sponsors. The Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel has also provided us a conference savings for your hotel room so be sure to book if you’re from out of town. Check out the rest of the details of the upcoming IT4K12 conference here. Looking forward to seeing all of you come together, collaborate, share and learn from one another!

June 2, 2016
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Math & Coding Projects Integrate Fun

ERAC’s Math & Coding projects are wrapping up and the participant response has been very positive. In one of the math projects, Nate Lott and Emily Barrie from SD 20, Kootenay Columbia had their students rebuild the entire town in MineCraft Education, using exact measurements. A YouTube video was even created. MangaHigh, Dreambox, and Math Help Services have already been evaluated and approved by ERAC and were integrated with this pilot.  Several free websites and Minecraft EDU are currently being evaluated for inclusion with digital math resources in the ERAC Collection.  A full report will be available in September and you can find the full Math project details here.

Finding Promising Practices: Examining and Expanding Coding in BC project brought together 13 BCTF teachers with 8 devices and a goal of developing a learning progression for learning coding as well as evaluating a range of devices to become part of a new ERAC evaluated collection that support coding aspects of the new ADST curriculum.  The project group shared a 2 day working and development meeting in May.  The evaluations will be live in the catalogue before the end of June and the full report will be released in September providing teachers with starting points for integrating the ADST curriculum into teaching and learning. You can find the full Coding project details here.

June 2, 2016
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BCDC Implementation Well Underway

BCDC Certificate of Completion - SD54

Can your students and teachers access your subscribed products in the BC Digital Classroom? To assist you, we have been reaching out to all district contacts and schools to confirm your access. Fifty-five percent of schools across the province have responded and identified the challenges they are having. We are now diligently working through each issue and are happy to be sending out final certifications to those of you who are resolved and fully accessing your products. Congrats to Prince George school who was the first to receive their implementation certification! It has definitely been a worthwhile effort with our supportive vendors and ERAC’s implementation coordinator working directly with members to solve access issues. If you haven’t yet responded to our original request, please contact info@bcerac.ca to find out your next steps.  The image in this story is an example of the certification being issued. Get yours to post in your school!

June 2, 2016
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100 Mile House Benefits from ERAC’s Professional Learning Team

prof dev team Have you booked a session with your Professional Learning Team yet? You might want to..they’re getting popular! Recently they were at 100 Mile House, meeting with elementary and secondary teachers, as well as teacher-librarians. Our Professional Learning Coordinator, Kevin Amboe, explains, “We met with 70 elementary teachers in the gym and gained a better understanding of the extent of the BC Digital Classroom resources available in the district. We walked them through how to set up their ERAC accounts on-line and were also able to identify two pieces in the collection that weren’t working. We then notified the appropriate vendors who quickly resolved those issues.” The session was received with such enthusiasm and excitement; it was hard for Kevin to leave! We were pleased to hear that Monica Berra (part of the Professional Learning Team) had a very similar experience at Williams Lake. Find out what all the fuss is about and contact Kevin to set up your learning session.

June 2, 2016
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Global Issues In Context Updated

gale cengage update We told you in the last newsletter about the Global Issues in Context user interface update, but what you may not know is the deadline of August 5, 2016 for the hard cut-over to the updated version. So when working in the current version of Global Issues in Context, go to the “Try it Now” banner and try out the temporary switch to the new, updated version of the product.

June 2, 2016
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World Book Newsletter Sign Up Promo

World_Book_Encyclopedia_logo Don’t miss out on future updates with World Book by simply signing up for their new newsletter. You can sign up here to learn more about World Book’s special offers.

June 2, 2016
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You Asked Us – June 2016

Q&A Q.  Are Presenters at IT4K12 being offered a reduction on registration again? A.  Yes! We appreciate all the hard work that goes into preparing your presentation for the event and want to recognize this by offering Presenters a discount on registration. Your expertise and insights are always appreciated and you can join us as a presenter by filling out a Presentation Proposal which you can find on our Presenter page of the event site

June 2, 2016
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Deadlines for June 2016

firstclass  

Open Text: FirstClass – expires June 30, 2016

June 2, 2016
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Time to Make a Difference – Present at IT4K12 2016!

20151104_152145 The November 17-18, 2016 IT4K12 truly will be bigger and better in a new larger ballroom with more attendees and vendors able to join in the experience! With educators and IT personnel coming together, we know there will be great insights, fabulous inroads made and new partnerships developed. Best part? YOU can be that catalyst! Join us and help other districts and schools to save time, money and frustration just by sharing your experience and expertise. Plus a special discount on registration is available to ERAC member presenters only! For more details on our two programs, eight tracks and various formats to choose from, just check out the Present tab on our IT4K12 Event site. You can also get a flavor of our last event by checking out this IT4K12 Highlight Video. See you there!

June 2, 2016
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Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2015

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2015

Corrections have been made to this product. The publication has been reloaded on April 1, 2016. The data tables directly under the following charts: A.3.1, D.3.2.1, D.3.2.2, E.1.3, E.1.4 and E.1.6 contained errors which have now been corrected. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

May 31, 2016
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Resources on Mindfulness in Education

Resources on Mindfulness in Education

When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom: Read an article that discusses increasing interest in mindfulness programs across various fields, early exploration of educational applications, and critiques and concerns. (The Atlantic, 2015) Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness: Discover how paying attention to present-moment experience may help students counteract the negative emotions and low self-esteem associated with a culture of standardized testing.

May 30, 2016
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Rediscovering Your Fulfillment as a Teache

Rediscovering Your Fulfillment as a Teacher

Some years ago, my wife, who was a special education coordinator, counseled a very bright young man out of the teaching profession. He was an adequate teacher, but he just didn't enjoy it. His lessons were uninspiring, he was often sarcastic with his students, and he couldn't leave fast enough at the end of the school day.

May 27, 2016
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Bring Joy to the Classroom with Passion Projects

Bring Joy to the Classroom with Passion Projects

Presented by Tamara Letter, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher at Hanover County Public Schools Hosted by Common Sense Education WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING Within 24 hours after the live event, a CE certificate is emailed to live attendees who logged in online with their email address.

May 26, 2016
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Schools form a circus of trust

Slideshow: Schools form a circus of trust

For Portland Public School students in Oregon involved in The Circus Project, tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and conditioning activities help them learn to trust each other and themselves more. "The students pay attention because of the intensity of the experiences and the perceived risk in circus," says Jenn Cohen, The Circus Project's founder and artistic director.

May 23, 2016
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The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

Christopher Reddy The change to improve instruction starts with relevant resources. I write to hold myself accountable for what I learn. Knowledge is a curse. Knowing things isn't bad itself, but it causes unhealthy assumptions -- such as forgetting how hard it was to learn those things in the first place.

May 22, 2016
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8 Travel Grants and Fellowships for Educators

8 Travel Grants and Fellowships for Educators

Summer is the perfect time to research and apply for a teacher travel grant. The key is to look in the right places and write a compelling application. Then, once you win an award, you might find yourself kayaking the length of the Mississippi River while developing a river ecology unit.

May 21, 2016
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REPORT: BULLYING IS A SERIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM

Report: Bullying a serious public health problem

WASHINGTON -- Zero-tolerance policies are ineffective in combating bullying, an independent government advisory group says in urging schools to take a more preventative approach that includes teaching tolerance to address this "serious public health problem." In a report released Tuesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said bullying should no longer be dismissed as merely a matter of kids being kids.

May 20, 2016
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How to Integrate Google Apps with the Rigor Relevance Framework

How to Integrate Google Apps with the Rigor Relevance Framework

Educators like us across the globe are big fans Google Apps in the classroom. Through our work, we have seen Google Apps make learning more rigorous, relevant and engaging for students.

May 19, 2016
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U of C celebrates launch of innovative teaching and learning centre

U of C celebrates launch of innovative teaching and learning centre

A new facility at the University of Calgary was unveiled on Monday that will help instructors develop their teaching, design courses and integrate learning technologies for students. The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is a first in Canada and was built on the old Nickel Arts Museum site.

May 16, 2016
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11 Apps for Starting and Staying Organized

11 of the Best Back-to-School Apps for Teachers

I would add Canary Learning's Teacher and Student apps. Great classroom workflow app for distributing, collecting and grading assignments plus it helps keep kids organized and on schedule with its calendaring feature. Teachers also tell me that they like the ability to share lesson plans with a variety of different colleagues from subs to aides and volunteers to other teachers....and they can dictate who has access to what.

May 15, 2016
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4 Radically Different School Models Upending Education

4 radically different school models upending education

These days, there are few that would disagree that education needs to start looking more like the world students will one day work and live in and less like, well, school. What that might look like in the future is anybody's guess, but it may be safe to assume a lot more will be required of students than simple passive learning.

May 14, 2016
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Cool Math Games for Middle School

Cool Math Games for Middle School

Math can be frustrating at times to all students, regardless of ability. These games provide a universal language of play that promotes problem-solving and logic skills whether students are graphing on coordinate planes or solving multi-variable equations.

May 13, 2016
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Concussions in Youth Sports Virtual Classroom: Featuring Hayley Wickenheiser and Scott Russell

Concussions in Youth Sports Virtual Classroom: Featuring Hayley Wickenheiser and Scott Russell

The NFB, in partnership with Ryerson University, presents a Virtual Classroom about sports, concussions and the pressure to play through head injuries even though mental health issues typically ensue. Mental slowing, depression, substance abuse, mood disorders… they can all show up later, causing devastating long-term effects.

May 13, 2016
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Developing a Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff

Developing a Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff

An idea that is beginning to gain a lot of favour in educational circles at the moment is the notion of fixed versus growth mindsets, and how they might relate to students and learning. Based on the work of Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, the idea of mindset is related to our understanding of where ability comes from.

May 12, 2016
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Visualizing 21st Century Classroom Design

Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design

Mary Wade Teacher passionate about edtech, inquiry, IB PYP, 5th grade, educational blogging, & family time Problem-based learning, makerspaces, flipped learning, student blogging -- these are becoming perceived staples of 21st-century learning. With such ambitious practices taking the spotlight for how people regard modern classrooms, it's not surprising that a murmur of impracticality or skepticism is still a frequent response when they're first introduced.

May 11, 2016
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5 Questions Students Should Ask About Media

5 Questions Students Should Ask About Media

Interested in helping students learn how to spot a stereotype on a TV show? Or how to identify bias in a news article? Are your students obsessed with becoming YouTube celebs? Do they love to take and edit photos for Instagram?

May 10, 2016
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Deadlines for May & June 2016

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Open Text: FirstClass – expires June 30, 2016

May 4, 2016
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Global Issues Database has a New User Interface with Integrated Google Pathway

gale cengage Great news! Gale and Google have partnered to improve learning! Your Global Issues In Context has now been updated to reflect the standard user interface found in all the other Gale In Context products. This makes it much simpler for the user. What you can expect is for Gale products to now:

  • Have Google integration tools like Google sign-in, download to Google Drive, and Google Classroom share capabilities
  • Be mobile device optimized for ease of use on any device
  • Be compliant with AODA legislation and guidelines, the best experience for learners of all abilities
  • Include additional features such as Highlights and Note taking tools, additional language translation options, and an upgraded research toolkit for students
  • Use common tool placement for simple and clean 21C look and navigation capability

Content is regularly reviewed and updated with old content removed and more relevant sections added. Some of the changes you might notice include:

  • Country Topic pages will now include a map of the country as the featured image
  • Featured News will highlight the top 3 most used articles
  • Spotlight Stories will track current events
  • Gale’s named user feature will no longer be available
  • World Map feature will no longer be available

This relationship exemplifies Gale’s effort to be a leading provider of educational technology, instructional tools, and content to help our users be successful in school, work, and life. You can find out more about the Gale User Interface Upgrade here. These on-demand tutorials may help as well for Google Tools and Student Resources in Context.  

May 4, 2016
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Spend Your Marketing Dollars Wisely – Secure Your Sponsorship at IT4K12!

spend marketing wisely - Copy Welcome potential Sponsors, both new and old, to our upcoming November 17-18, 2016 IT4K12 conference! The Sheraton Airport host hotel has recently completed some new construction and we’re excited to be using their brand new, larger ballroom! The new ballroom can accommodate more of our exhibitors and allows us to open up registration to more delegates. This provides you with more exposure overall! So why not use those marketing dollars wisely and secure your sponsorship spot at IT4K12 where Educational and IT Leaders will meet from around the province. It’s as simple as choosing your sponsorship level from these sponsorship opportunities and then confirming your choice at events@bcerac.ca. Don’t wait as we anticipate spots selling out quickly. See you there!

May 4, 2016
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ERAC Members Supporting Members

member support The best part about ERAC members is how much they support each other! Many Districts and individuals have been providing leadership by submitting recommendations of resources for evaluation. These resources, once passed with our ERAC seal, are then available to be shared with all other ERAC members through our online collection. This is truly another point of membership value through the power of the consortium. So please accept a BIG “Thank You” from all of us at ERAC. Your support and focus help us to get the ERAC word out and keep our resource collection growing! Have a resource to submit? Just fill out this Evaluation Request. We also want to provide you additional support through our Professional Learning Team, so don’t forget to contact us!

May 4, 2016
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IT4K12 Planning Coming Together

ERAC_IT4K12_GRY(Horizontal)CMYK_NEW The next IT4K12 event isn’t scheduled until November 17-18, 2016 but we are well underway with the planning! We’ve already secured our two keynote speakers ( Nora Young and Lee Watanabe Crockett – watch for upcoming stories!), picked the theme of “Learn & Work in 3D – Ideate, Innovate and Integrate” and we’re working on creating an interesting, informative and fun program! This year, our host hotel (Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel) has done some expansions and we’ll be enjoying their brand new larger ballroom! This means more attendees for you to mingle with, as well as more sponsors to share their upcoming new ideas and innovations. So make sure to Save the Date and we’ll connect with you as soon as registration opens.

May 4, 2016
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ERAC has a Privacy Impact Assessment Resource Site – So What?

PIA RESOURCE SITE You may have heard us talking about our new Privacy Impact Assessment site in past newsletters or on social media. But why? What does it mean to you? Well this special resource site was designed specifically in mind for ERAC members. For instance, you can find a wealth of resources here as well as media and news, all relating to privacy. Find out more about network security, identity theft or cyber-bullying. Have a question? Post it by joining the Yammer Privacy Working Group. You can also find articles, news links and many templates including the most recent addition of the Apple ID template. So what are you waiting for? Check out this member only site today! If you are unable to access the information, you may need to create an account first and then sign in.

May 4, 2016
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You Asked Us – May 2016

Q&A Q. Do you know when the Call for Presenters for IT4K12 is going out? A. Yes – we are planning on releasing it mid-May and will be announcing it through an email, in our next newsletter and also on Twitter. We are just identifying the different topics for you to speak on as well as various formats to choose from that will best suit your type of presentation. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

May 3, 2016
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Resources for Organizing an Edcamp

Resources for Organizing an Edcamp

Edcamp: Innovation in Professional Development (Getting Smart, 2012)In this interview with Getting Smart, teacher, Edcamper, and learner Kristen Swanson describes how the Edcamp movement began. Why Edcamp? (Edutopia, 2013)Swanson discusses characteristics of Edcamps, what takes place during Edcamp sessions, and the positive, personal outcomes for educators.

April 29, 2016
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Why Edcamp?

Why Edcamp?

During the past six years, hundreds of Edcamp events have popped up worldwide. Teachers from every corner of the globe have been organizing open opportunities for educators to collaborate and solve problems. In spite of this growth and energy, there are still many educators who are either uninformed or skeptical of the Edcamp model for teacher professional development.

April 28, 2016
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#Hack the Classroom

Hack the Classroom | Coding

During the digital conference held January 30th, inspiring educators and thought leaders shared their ideas during the Hack the Classroom digital conference. For more information on how Leah Obach went from not knowing anything about coding, to hacking her grade 1 classroom, view a recording of the digital event here: https://vts.inxpo.com/Launch/Event.htm?ShowKey=27899 Hack your way into a more innovative learning environment for your students!

April 27, 2016
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Infographic: Keeping Pace with the Changing Face of Online Learning

Infographic: Keeping Pace with the Changing Face of Online Learning

Over the past two decades the Internet has made it possible for anyone anywhere to pursue an affordable degree; for adults to continue their education in efforts to remain productive; and for universities to reach a greater number of people who want to learn.

April 26, 2016
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Great Games That Teach Life Skills

Great Games That Teach Life Skills

So much of what students have to navigate in school takes skills that aren't always taught in the classroom. These games and other tech can teach them about their health and wellness and help them develop skills such as conflict resolution, safe social networking, and getting along...

April 25, 2016
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Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment

Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment

Walter Bracken STEAM Academy, a Title I elementary magnet school in urban Las Vegas, Nevada, transformed 32,000 square feet of dry grass into student-centered learning gardens. There are over 30 grade-specific garden beds throughout the school. Each grade has a distinct role: First-grade students plant seeds. Second-grade students get rid of harmful bugs.

April 24, 2016
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4 Tools to Teach About Climate Change

4 Tools to Teach About Climate Change

As part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students need to "ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century." Many teachers have little to no formal training on how to teach about climate change.

April 23, 2016
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Digital Citizenship Webinars

Digital Citizenship

Graphite Collections are where you can share you favorite posts from the site.

April 22, 2016
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What’s New in Arts

What's New in Arts - Graphite

Common Sense Graphite is a site by teachers, for teachers that helps you find the best educational technology resources and learn the best practices for implementing them in your classroom. Brought to you by Common Sense Media: Empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology.

April 21, 2016
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Earth Day: Lesson Plans, Reading Lists, and Classroom Ideas

Earth Day: Lesson Plans, Reading Lists, and Classroom Ideas

Earth Day is right around the corner, and this year, the theme is "Trees for the Earth." Are you planning on incorporating the annual event in your classroom? There are many different learning opportunities on Earth Day, whether your students will be doing science-based investigations, thematic reading, or creative arts projects.

April 20, 2016
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Math Tools that Make Life Easier

Math Tools that Make Life Easier

Graphite Collections are where you can share you favorite posts from the site.

April 19, 2016
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7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools

7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools

Maurice J. Elias Prof. of Psychology, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab (www.secdlab.org), Director, the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service (engage.rutgers.edu) Under-resourced schools face many challenges that are difficult. However, I believe that they can be conquered with sufficient time, dedication, and resources.

April 19, 2016
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5 Ways to Help Students Affected by Generational Poverty

5 Ways to Help Students Affected by Generational Poverty

I work with students who are affected by generational poverty on a daily basis. I see many things. I see students whose shoes are held together by electrical tape. I see students who have perfect attendance because the only meals they receive are through the public school's cafeteria.

April 19, 2016
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Teacher Collaboration: When Belief Systems Collide

Teacher Collaboration: When Belief Systems Collide

Elena Aguilar Transformational Leadership Coach from Oakland, California It's impossible to explore how we can work more effectively together in schools without considering conflict -- an inevitable part of working together. Conflict can be challenging and destructive, or it can lead to a deeper understanding between people, and perhaps higher quality work from a team.

April 19, 2016
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The Canadian Innovators in Education Awards

The Canadian Innovators in Education Awards

Beyond the significant prize money, representatives from the award-winning programs will profiled in a Reader's Digest Canada feature length article, will be honoured at a national CEA/Reader's Digest Canada event and be profiled nationally to the CEA network through its various communications channels to encourage continued learning and sharing am

April 18, 2016
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Best Apps for Kids with Autism

Best Apps for Kids with Autism

More app creators are turning their attention to the particular learning needs of kids on the autism spectrum. The apps on our list can help kids learn to better identify and regulate emotions, communicate and express themselves, manage time and routines, and interact with others.

April 18, 2016
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Leading High-Performing School Districts

Leading High-Performing School Districts | Canadian Education Association (CEA)

School districts are largely invisible and of little interest to the public, except when conflicts among trustees, or between trustees and community groups, generate media attention. School closings, student busing policies and teacher professional development days are examples of issues that predictably attract such attention.

April 18, 2016
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30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, "Thanks for your attention -- let's talk about love poems." I never used that stunt again.

April 15, 2016
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The ‘Indigenous Innovation that Sticks’ School District Case Study Program

The 'Indigenous Innovation that Sticks' School District Case Study Program

For last year's finalists, please click here. What makes your Indigenous learning program successful? What factors contributed to your success? What got your innovation to 'stick'? Investigating and sharing detailed case study research that answers these crucial questions will provide important insights into how educators can address the significant challenge of ensuring that all Indigenous students succeed in school.

April 15, 2016
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Resources for Using iPads in Grades K-2

Resources for Using iPads in Grades K-2

Author & Speaker, ADE , Founder of ClassTechTips.com If you are teaching with one, a few, or a class set of iPads, finding the right apps and project ideas for your students can be a challenging task. We've organized some of the best resources from Edutopia and beyond to help you figure out what tools are best for your early elementary school students.

April 15, 2016
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Popular study app Quizlet creates a game for groups in the classroom, Quizlet Live

Popular study app Quizlet creates a game for groups in the classroom, Quizlet Live

Education tech venture Quizlet has finally created a product specifically for use by teachers in their classrooms, dubbed Quizlet Live. It's an online, question-and-answer matching game for small teams to play face-to-face in the same room. Previously, Quizlet gained popularity as a Web and mobile app that let users input their own study materials, and turn them into games.

April 14, 2016
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5 Apps to Transform Teaching and Personalize Learning

5 Apps to Transform Teaching and Personalize Learning

Transformation requires a journey for teachers toward great educational rewards for students. Knowing how to craft learning experiences that meld technology with the curriculum is key to crafting digital-age lessons. As digital tools are integrated seamlessly with sound pedagogical practice, a new classroom culture emerges.

April 14, 2016
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7 Reading Readiness Apps for Special Needs Students

7 Reading Readiness Apps for Special Needs Students

Jayne Clare Special Education Teacher, Educational App Curator, Consultant What is reading readiness? The dictionary defines it as the point when a child transforms from being a non-reader to being a reader. But this definition leaves out the concept that reading readiness may actually begin in the womb.

April 14, 2016
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ERAC has Your Online Privacy Training

PIA Are you looking for some teacher privacy training that can be used with your students? ERAC may have just what you’re looking for! We have Privacy Youth presentations for Grades 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12 in both English and French from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. These PowerPoint presentations include PDF teacher notes numerically arranged to coincide with the age appropriate lessons. For the teacher there is training on MyEdBC provided by the Ministry of Education and a graphic novel for teens called Social Smarts Privacy, Internet, and You from the federal privacy commissioner’s office. To access this wealth of privacy information, you must first sign in, and then click this Privacy Training Link to take you to the correct page. You can also access the PIA resource site under “SERVICES” on our main webpage.  If you don’t have an account, you can create one as this is a member’s only website and you cannot access private member information unless an account is created. Be sure to scroll through all the training resources to find the most suitable materials for your purpose!

April 5, 2016
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You Asked Us – April 2016

Q&A Q.I heard that the Global Issues in Context portal has changed to a new user interface. Is this true and how will it impact me if I already access this database through the BC Digital Classroom suite? A. Yes, as of May 1st, the new Global Issues in Context portal will be changing to a new standard user interface with Integrated Google pathway, which is presently used in all of their other Gale In Context products. If you presently access your Gale products, just navigate to the top of the Global Issues Database and click on the “Try It Now” button to have a look at the new experience. Ultimately, it shouldn’t have much of an impact at all on users as it is the same style that users see in the Canada and Science in Context resources. Watch for more details on this in our next May newsletter!

April 5, 2016
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Deadlines for April and May

AVG_logo The resource below will be expiring: AVG – expires April 30, 2016

April 5, 2016
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Want to Take the Reins at ERAC? Executive Director Position Posted

ERAC Video Looking for a position where you can have an impact on education? ERAC’s Executive Director position has just been posted, in a part-time role, performing a range of leadership activities at ERAC. This role will be of interest to individuals with experience in educational leadership at the BC school district level, coupled with a broader provincial perspective. Applications must be received no later than April 15, 2016. Read the Executive Director posting here and you can also find more out about ERAC here. Please feel free to pass on this information to colleagues you feel would fit this role.

April 5, 2016
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ERAC Has New Aboriginal Icon Created for Online Collection

aboriginal icon ERAC currently has a project underway, evaluating Aboriginal resources. However, we soon realized we didn’t have proper representation for our Authentic First Peoples resources. This led us to the creation and use of our new icon. With the help of Terri Mack from Strong Nations, we started our journey. Terri created the icon in the image of a turtle. There was a specific reason for this. The turtle itself is a representative of Turtle Island in North America, also known as Turtle Island by Indigenous Peoples. The circle that surrounds the turtle represents the circular knowledge of the medicine wheel. The 13 circles on the turtle’s back represent the 13 moons in the lunar calendar year. This calendar system is still followed by many Indigenous Peoples around the globe. Finally, with the colouring, the large inner green circle represents Mother Earth and acknowledges all that she provides us with, and the top blue part represents Father Sky. We are very proud to have this authentic Aboriginal icon design that was created over two months and is a beautiful addition to the final project piece for our Aboriginal resources and watch for the icon! Feel free to search ERAC’s online collection by using the keyword Aboriginal, or other variations. Happy searching!

April 5, 2016
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ERAC’s 10 Year Anniversary Contests Enjoyed Great Success

logo At the beginning of January 2016, ERAC launched the first of three contests over a 10 week period to celebrate 10 years of being in service to our ERAC members. 1st contest was Tweet 10, 2nd was Show & Tell and 3rd was D.Y.K. With these contests we had 30 prizes of gift cards to Tim Horton’s, Chapters or Starbuck’s along with 3 big prize packs of 10 pizzas and 10 ERAC SWAG bags. Of the three contests, #1 and #3 were played the most with people getting very creative with their Tweet 10 posts! Best part of the contests is that we were able to engage with you more and found out how knowledgeable you were about ERAC.  Thank you to the many new Twitter followers! We had a great cross section of players and a total of 140 entries. Ultimately, your enthusiasm and participation made this a great campaign for us and we want to thank all of your for participating. We had originally noted that we would do a story this month from one of our Show & Tell entries, but unfortunately we didn’t receive enough entries to follow this up. However, if you’d like to see the creative entries for Tweet 10, just go to hashtag #erac10yr. Thanks for playing!  

April 5, 2016
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Your Input is Valuable for Creation of IT4K12

    ERAC_IT4K12_GRY(Horizontal)CMYK_NEW We are in the midst of planning your IT4K12 (Innovative Technology for K-12) conference this November 17-18, 2016 and we’d like your input! We want to build a conference program that best meets your needs and we are looking for suggestions on tracks, session topics, speakers and session types. This year we’ll have a dual program, meeting the needs of two different audiences; the IT professionals, and the K-12 educators who support teachers using digital resources and tools in their classrooms. To help us build a solid foundation for this next conference, we have created a survey for you to complete. We have already reached out to our District Contacts and they may have forwarded you this survey based on your role in education. If you are an IT Manager, Director or staff – your input would be extremely valuable. As well, for our education leaders, we’re looking for feedback from learning resources staff, teacher librarians, ed tech staff, technology helping teachers, District leaders and school administrators. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your completed IT4K12 Program survey. Thanks for helping us to make this event bigger and better every year! For our vendor community – we’re excited to say that Sponsorship has opened! Feel free to contact us to secure your spot! You can find all sponsorship opportunities for IT4K12 here.

April 5, 2016
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Games for Building Decision-Making Skills

Games for Building Decision-Making Skills

Decision-making is at the foundation of social and emotional learning, and is key to success in school and life. These great games place students in a variety of interesting and difficult scenarios that get them thinking through decisions, seeing the consequences, and learning management and...

March 31, 2016
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Kids Can Learn to Code Games Outside the Classroom

Kids Can Learn to Code Games Outside the Classroom

Many children want to make games but don't know how. That's great for teachers who are already running a class on game development. But what do you do for kids whose schools don't offer such classes? Let me tell you about a 9-year-old girl named Kenzie and the first video game she created, Truth & Trolls.

March 25, 2016
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4 ways forward-thinking districts are inspiring more students to code

4 ways forward-thinking districts are inspiring more students to code

Recently, President Barack Obama announced his administration's commitment to provide computer science education for all students. Endorsement by the White House is valuable to those new to introducing computer science (CS) in the classroom, as well as others, like members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, who have championed CS for years.

March 24, 2016
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24 Hour Skype-a-thon

24 Hour Skype-a-thon

PVSkype24 Have you ever wanted to learn about different cultures, global issues, and diverse people from all around the world? Students who participate in this Skypathon will be doing just that. We will be skyping for 24 hours straight to reach and learn from as many students, in as many different countries, as possible.

March 24, 2016
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Five Ways to Create More Teacher Rockstars in Your School

Five Ways to Create More Teacher Rockstars in Your School (EdSurge News)

"Rockstar" is a term that is being thrown around among educators lately. A few teachers and administrators who try new instructional practices-many that inevitably involve tech tools-earn that rockstar praise from their connected colleagues online. But, teachers are driven by the same thing at their core: they want to do what is best for kids.

March 23, 2016
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SHARE Uncategorized Top 5 Tips for Entering the Classroom of the Future Challenge by past winner Sandra

Top 5 Tips for Entering the Classroom of the Future Challenge by past winner Sandra Chow

Deadline for Canada's 8th Annual Classroom of the Future Challenge is coming close, and I sure hope many classrooms are preparing for their submission to this very worthwhile contest. This year's prize winners will win a Makerspace Package that includes a SMART Kapp, Dot & Dash robots, a Dell tablet, a padcaster, and a 3D printer.

March 23, 2016
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Sexting Handbook

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March 22, 2016
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The 4 essentials of a successful Genius Hour

The 4 essentials of a successful Genius Hour

What are you passionate about? What do you want to do more than anything in the world? Well I hope you said what you are doing right now. This is not always the case. Some people hate what they are doing.

March 20, 2016
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We Need YOU! Call Out for Evaluators

evaluation process As ERAC expands its reach within the rich collection of resources available to K-12, we are needing more specifically qualified evaluators. That’s why we have recently released two call-outs for new evaluators. These two latest ERAC postings can be found on the BCTF Opportunities for Members section. This is a great opportunity for educators to help their peers find great resources and know what’s in the hopper! Deadline to apply is March 30th and you can apply directly to the BCTF. Good luck!

March 17, 2016
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4 Innovative Uses for Lego in the Classroom

4 Innovative Uses for LEGO in the Classroom - Instructional Tech Talk

LEGO has proven itself to be a timeless building toy, allowing kids and adults to create amazing things from the directions or from their imagination. LEGO has their own Education line that hits specific lessons and themes, but there are a ton of ways in which you can use the building bricks in the classroom ...

March 16, 2016
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7 Traits of Effective Teachers

7 Traits of Effective Teachers by @TeacherToolkit

What do you believe are the traits of an effective teacher? Working with over 1,000 teachers over the past 20+ years, these are what I believe to be the 7 traits of an effective teacher. Definition of 'trait': a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.

March 15, 2016
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