December 1 / 2017

Message from Justin Medved, Director of Learning, Innovation & Technology

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 Justin Medved, Director of Learning, Innovation & Technology

Justin Medved, Director of Learning, Innovation & Technology

Our Twitter page banner image reads “Innovation is our tradition”. As I reflect on my fourteen years with The York School, I can say with confidence and pride that the statement is one we live by. In my role as Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology I have the opportunity to support staff and students with their teaching and learning goals. A few years ago, I invited our staff and students to share these moments using the #YorkLearns hashtag. Click and you will see real-time examples of how our teachers are creating rich and engaging learning experiences. As we close the fall term, I have put together a highlight reel of moments from across the K-12 curriculum – so please grab a coffee and explore the links! I hope you come away with the same thought as I did... “Wow, I wish school was like this when I was a student!”

Over the past several years, our Junior School teachers have been in search of a digital portfolio tool to capture and organize student learning. We landed on SeeSaw and have begun piloting it in JK/SK, Grade 2 and Grade 4. Our students have fully embraced this new way to demonstrate and reflect on their learning. The Junior School campus has been buzzing with activity this week as our students adopted the mindsets of engineers, artists, authors, reporters, programmers, and even ship captains as they engage with their units of inquiry.

At the Middle School, our MYP Design Programme has been running full throttle with the culmination of two major projects. The Grade 6 Rocket Design Challenge saw our Grade 6s descend on the Rosehill Reservoir to launch their rocket prototypes. The parts (nose cones and wings) were designed using 3D CAD software and printed on our fleet of 3D printers. Our 7th Annual Grade 7 Pinewood Derby took place this week – and is one of the most exciting days of the Grade 7 calendar! Students design, build and test pinewood cars and race them among their peers in an afternoon-long showcase. Check out some of these great designs. The Grade 8’s are not without their share of design excitement. Next term, they will be building robots and busting bridges in the annual Bridge Busters Challenge.

Senior School teachers use cutting-edge tools like Hapara Teacher Dashboard to view, organize and monitor student learning in ways thought impossible even five years ago. This term we have piloted two new tools that help surface real-time learning and engagement data. Parlay is a new Canadian start-up that helps teachers re-imagine and inspire meaningful, measurable and inclusive class discussions. Pear Deck is an interactive presentation and feedback collection app that delivers instant individualized learning data back to the teacher. Both tools represent a small glimpse into what is available to our staff to enhance the classroom experience. It is an exciting time to be an educator and I am honoured to work at a school that so actively fosters a culture of innovation across the JK-12 continuum.

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At our event on November 23, guests were given 'The Big Thank You' publication with a complete donor listing to acknowledge every member of our community who helped us surpass our $5M goal. Enjoy!

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