Etobicoke – CDW Canada has announced the 13 winners of its second annual Teaching With Technology™ Story and Sweepstakes Contest, which saw the number of entries doubled over last year’s competition, with winning submissions from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Six winners were chosen by a panel of judges to receive the grand prize packages in the Story Contest, along with five Sweepstakes winners, as picked by a random draw. New this year, two winners were selected from the Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest, which challenged educators to tweet about their submissions in no more than 140 characters.
“We are thrilled with the quantity and quality of this year’s submissions,” said Mary Ann Yule, General Manager, CDW Canada. “These teachers’ poignant stories contain some priceless kernels of wisdom around the use of technology to inspire and motivate students. It’s moving to read how students are truly thriving from different ways of learning. It’s even more invigorating to see how educators are tirelessly exploring new ways to engage students through the use of technology and customizing them to improve the learning process of each and every student.”
CDW Canada’s panel of IT experts picked six grand prize winners who described in 200-500 words how technology has improved or can enhance the learning experience in their classroom or school. Each prize bundle – ranging in value from approximately $2,300 to $3,600 – contains technology products that are useful in today’s classrooms, such as printers, projectors, personal computers, monitors, whiteboards, digital cameras, networking equipment and software.
Winner #1: Crystal Park School in Grande Prairie, Alta. – Gail Grant, teacher
Gail submitted a story about how she uses computers, digital cameras and printers to create images that replace the spoken word, empowering and helping her special education preschool students to communicate in a world full of complicated languages.
In Gail’s words, “Imagine a world where technology opens the world to those previously not able to participate in it. Imagine a world where a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Imagine a world where a boy with autism or Down Syndrome, a girl with cerebral palsy or Prader-Willi Syndrome, children with global developmental delays and those who love them can communicate. I do. I see it every day. That is why I embrace technology as part of my tool kit as a teacher.”
Although Grace teaches in a portable classroom with very little access to technology, she explained how she incorporates the limited technology she has into her lesson plans by having students use iPods, digital cameras and home Internet access to create unique and interesting class projects.
Grace wrote, “For a long time, I felt like my hands were tied since I had no classroom computer … no projector … Then I realized that the classroom was bigger than the four walls of my portable. It included my home, my students’ homes and the whole virtual world. I love teaching with technology even when the technology is not in the classroom. Now imagine what we would be capable of if it were.”
Winner #3: Richmond Rose Public School in Richmond Hill, Ont. – Farhana Panju, teacher
Farhana’s entry told the story of how her students used technology to help their peers develop a sense of empathy for the people who were severely affected by the earthquake in Haiti. As a class, they used the Internet, Google Earth, a video camera and iMovie to create Public Service Announcements to raise awareness within the school.
“My class and I are extremely excited to receive the technology prize pack. The new equipment will provide greater opportunities for students to gather, analyze and share information in engaging and meaningful ways,” said Farhana. “With the increased accessibility of online resources, students will further be able to participate in authentic learning tasks which transcend the walls of the classroom and build awareness of the world around them. I look forward to continuing to explore new and creative ways of integrating technology to enhance the learning experience of my students.”
Winner #4: Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey, B.C. – Lee Ferrier, teacher
Lee told the story of John, a student in the Grade 12 remedial English class who had very little interest in learning or attending class. Through his exposure to his post-bachelor training, TLITE (Teaching and Learning in an IT Environment), Lee experimented with various technology tools to engage students. After several failed attempts, Lee used a wiki to transform John from a ‘sleeping guy at the back of the room’ to an active participant. John even assumed a peer-teacher role, showing other students how to create their own web pages. Lee wrote, “I was truly startled by the zeal John had when given the opportunity to learn through a medium with which he was comfortable.”
Winner #5: Maywood Community School in Burnaby, B.C. – David Kelsey, teacher
David’s entry described how he piqued the interest of one of his students using a program that created computer-based comic strips. With David’s encouragement, his student, who struggled with reading and writing, created his own graphic novel using photos he had taken of his friends and family.
“I needed to change the direction of my teaching style to build some momentum with my student’s newfound interest,” wrote David. “His confidence allowed him to direct others in a step-by-step demonstration on how to create a graphic novel using digital cameras and computer … He has created three graphic novels and is in the process of converting his original into a text-based book. Technology has supported his change from literature avoider to author.”
Winner #6: John Wanless Junior Public School in Toronto, Ont. – Julie Millan, teacher-librarian
In her “Starting Young” essay, Julie debunks the myth that students in kindergarten and grade one are too young to use computers. She believes young students are more than capable of not only using technology, but using it in sophisticated ways. As a result of encouraging kindergarten teachers to introduce technology to their classes, quiet students blossomed on the computers and students who couldn’t write the alphabet learned to type their names on a keyboard. One teacher even decided to use an interactive whiteboard as part of her traditional “show and tell” routine.
“While at first this may appear to be a story about convincing teachers to allow kindergarten students to start using computers; in reality this small shift in perception around children’s technological capabilities fundamentally changed how technology is used and addressed in our entire school. Once our young students showed us what they were capable of, it challenged the teachers of the older grades to not just use the computers, but also to develop interesting and challenging technology projects,” concluded Julie.
Tweet UR Tech Tale Winners
Winners described in a single tweet how technology has been or can be used to enhance the learning experience in their classroom or school.
* Chris Hale, Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, Ont.: “Podcasts from students who fear to present in front of class; NING and wikis to inform students, parents, staff.”
* Rodd Lucier, Regina Mundi Catholic College in London, Ont.: “We use a lab of notebook computers to support at-risk students in catching up on their work.”
“Teachers’ active participation in the social networks we’ve created on Twitter and Facebook this year, along with the positive response to our new Twitter contest, have demonstrated that Canadian educators can be both resourceful and tech savvy. Educators have shown a clear commitment to integrating technology into their lesson plans and to making learning a fun and a wondrous experience. We are pleased to have created new platforms that have allowed teachers to share stories and ideas that push the envelope when it comes to technology in education,” added Yule.
Sweepstakes Winners – five winners received prizes with a total retail value over $1,800:
* Charles Chan, Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Ont.
* Karim Ait Menguellet, Rosethorn Junior School in Etobicoke, Ont.
* Rob Hanna, Cartwright High School in Blackstock, Ont.
* Nicole DeLory, St. Stephen’s School in Halifax, N.S.
* Chrys Skikos, Sir George Ross Secondary School in London, Ont.
With up to $19,000 in total prizes, the second annual contest has received generous support from many of CDW Canada’s technology partners including premier sponsors Hewlett Packard (HP) and Microsoft, along with APC, Atdec, Cisco, D-link, Lenovo, McAfee, Oki, Polyvision, Sony, Trend Micro, TrippLite and Xerox.
Vancouver – New from Comfort Software, Hot CopyPaste allows users to cut, copy and paste multiple pieces of information at once. It keeps everything that’s been copied or pasted even after the PC has been rebooted, and enables users to group, filter, and search through multiple snippets. The new clipboard tool enables paste operation in those programs that don’t support Windows Clipboard by feeding these applications series of keystrokes.
Hot CopyPaste removes many annoying limitations imposing by Windows Clipboard, extending it with multiple snippets with full-text search, secure storage, and hot-key access to frequently used snippets. Supporting every program that works with Windows Clipboard, Hot CopyPaste makes Clipboard operations faster and easier. Supporting all types of information recognized by Windows Clipboard, Hot CopyPaste allows copying and pasting plain and formatted text, HTML code, graphics, tables, audio clips, and other embeddable objects.
The new clipboard manager stores everything that is cut, copied, and pasted, allowing users to copy and paste multiple pieces of information at once and protecting information from being overwritten by duplicate copy operations. Hot CopyPaste keeps snippets accessible even after the PC has been rebooted. The clipboard tool encrypts all snippets with industry-standard Blowfish algorithm with a strong 448-bit key, ensuring maximum privacy.
Managing thousands of snippets could not be made easier. Hot CopyPaste conveniently organizes the snippets in groups, and supports filtering and searching information. Frequently used snippets can be added to Favorites which in turn can also be grouped. Single-key paste is available for favorite snippets with hot keys assigned.
Hot CopyPaste, which supports Windows XP/Vista/7 and has a free evaluation version, enables paste operation in applications that don’t support windows clipboard at all by sending series of keystrokes, which makes it easy to fill forms in many Flash and Java applets that don’t support clipboard operations or have them disabled.
Thorough analysis of research conducted by Henry Mintzberg from McGill University, Jeanne Liedtka from the Darden School, and Philip Kotler from the Kellogg School of Management, The Beacon Group has identified the need for organizations to develop a stronger focus on Strategic Thinking, as opposed to Strategic Planning in order to successfully navigate the post-economic downturn business world.
“The real drive to conduct this analysis came from a report conducted by the Corporate Executive Board, called the Stall Points Initiative, wherein they determined that 83% of all organizational stalls in growth could be attributed to preventable reasons,” says Doug Williamson, President and CEO of The Beacon Group. “We determined that while strategic planning was indeed necessary, there was far too little focus on the even more important organizational capabilities around Strategic Thinking, and Scenario Planning.”
In the latest issue of their quarterly publication Navigate the Future, The Beacon Group proposes that business strategy success is dependent on strategic thinking. The report goes on to say that among the steps to take, organizations must assemble what they call a Thinking Team, to help ensure that a variety of future scenarios are considered.
“We have all seen firsthand how the discontinuity of the market has wreaked havoc on many highly regarded companies and their ‘set in stone’ strategic plans.” adds Williamson “by embracing strategic thinking, organizations can better prepare for the next recession, or just about anything else that comes their way.”
Toronto – CareerBuilder Canada is launching a new free “Jobs” iPhone application that enables job seekers to search and apply for jobs from virtually anywhere. Using the iPhone’s built-in geolocation technology, the CareerBuilder Canada application “Jobs by CB” automatically determines the location of the job seeker and then allows them to find a job using a simple keyword search. iPhone users can even apply for positions directly through the CareerBuilder application.
“CareerBuilder Canada is continuously looking for new ways to engage with the largest possible audience – one way we are doing that is through smart technology,” said Chris Skerrett, Director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Giving iPhone and iPod Touch users the ability to search for jobs from virtually any location adds a whole new level of convenience and accessibility to job hunting.”
CareerBuilder Canada’s new app will allow job searchers to find jobs by company name, search radius and employment type – full or part-time, contractor, intern, etc. The search radius option makes it easier to find available jobs within a specified area.
With CareerBuilder Canada’s new iPhone app, job seekers have the ability to:
— Create a user account from the application
— Upload a resume – or create a new one
— Job search by keyword, location or company
— Search results directly on a map relative to their current location
— E-mail jobs to themselves or others
— Mark jobs they like as “favorites” for easy reference
— Apply directly to jobs from the iPhone application
— Browse recommended jobs and see application history
— Sync existing account and resumes from CareerBuilder
Cape Breton – Just a few days left to register for Cape Breton’s first Social Media Conference on Thursday, April 22, at MacAulay Conference Centre, Inverary Resort, Baddeck. There is a special conference room rate of $99.00 at Inverary Resort. Please call 1-800-565-5660 for reservations.
The conference is attracting delegates throughout Nova Scotia from tourism & culture sectors, non-profit organizations, businesses as well economic development groups. Registration for the conference is $65.00 and includes all sessions, breaks, lunch and a registration kit. You can register and pay online. Read Questions and answers section on registration first. Online registration & payment ends April 21st at 11:30 pm. Registration will be available at the door on April 22th and paid by cheque.
There will be three keynote speakers in this one day conference. The first is Ms. Terry McCulloch, Manager, Bay of Fundy Tourism who will present on “Best Practices of Social Media.” She is well known in the field for her quote “Strategy before technology,” and thru social media has made Bay of Fundy one of the 28 finalist in 7th Wonders of the World Contest. Bay of Fundy is Canada’s only representative in this contest.
The second keynote speaker after lunch is Mr. William Bakker, Director of E-Business, Tourism British Columbia who will present on “Social Media, Olympics Games and Tourism BC.” A popular speaker at internationation tourism online marketing conferences, Mr. Bakker will present on how social media fits into the online marketing strategy of Tourism British Columbia to maximize the Olympic Games opportunity.
The final speaker of the day will be Mr. Savior Joseph, Director of Digital Marketing, Colour. Mr. Joseph’s presentation is “Tracking and Measuring Results of Social Media.” Measuring the effects of your social media efforts enables you to make decisions on what is working as well understand future resource needs. This session will provide you with a number of free and paid tools that can help you track and measure your social media efforts.
The conference program will also feature other great sessions throughout the day including – Blogging – Telling your Stories, Top of the Island Social Media Results & Victoria County Social Media Project, What’s going on ?, Celtic Colours International Festival & Social Media, DMO’s & Twitter, ECMA & Importance of Video, Use of Facebook in Communicating with Listeners, Twitter & Three Business Case Studies, and NS Tourism & Social Media.
Ottawa – Huawei, a leader in providing next-generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, today celebrated the official opening of its Ottawa R&D Centre with employees, customers and dignitaries. As the first Canadian R&D Centre for Huawei, the facility is designed to provide operators and partners with local access to Huawei’s industry leading solutions as well as to leverage local talent while driving technology innovation and the growth of Canada’s telecommunication industry.
“The opening of this facility represents another major step in Huawei’s growth in North America,” said Carl Liu, President of Canada, Huawei. “Our ability to innovate and develop solutions for customers depends on adding the right people, and Ottawa has long been a nurturing ground for some of the world’s brightest minds in telecommunications.”
Located in Kanata, the region offers a world-class information technology community with access to renowned academic and national research institutions as well as a wealth of highly experienced technology professionals. The Ottawa R&D Centre is working on multiple, strategic product initiatives in the Wireline, Wireless, Optical, and IP networking areas. To date, the R&D Centre has more than 70 company employees.
“We are thrilled that Ottawa has been recognized by Huawei as the ideal place to focus its Canadian R&D efforts,” said Larry O’Brien, Mayor of the City of Ottawa. “It was my pleasure to meet with executives last week at Huawei’s very impressive world-wide headquarters in Shenzhen, where we spoke in detail about plans for the Kanata facility. Huawei is a remarkable telecommunications success story that will be able to leverage Ottawa’s R&D talent globally. Huawei is a welcomed new member of Ottawa’s knowledge-based economy.”
Montreal – Ubisoft has announced an environmental initiative to eliminate paper game manuals, replacing them with an in-game digital manual for all titles on PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The program, the first initiative of its kind in the video game industry, launches worldwide with the Canadian-developed Shaun White Skateboarding this autumn 2010.
“Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it’s a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America. “Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft’s ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company.”
Ubisoft’s digital game manuals will provide multiple benefits for the player and the environment. Including the game manual directly in the game will offer the player easier and more intuitive access to game information, as well as allow Ubisoft to provide gamers with a more robust manual. Ubisoft internal data shows that producing one ton of paper used in Ubisoft’s game manuals consumes an average of two tons of wood from 13 trees, with a net energy of 28 million BTU’s (equivalent to average heating and energy for one home/year), greenhouse gases equivalent of over 6,000 lbs of CO2, and wastewater of almost 15,000 gallons.
“It’s pretty cool that Ubisoft is making a conscious effort to go green with its new video game packaging,” commented Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White. “I’m excited for my new skateboarding game to come out and stoked that it will be the very first Ubisoft game to be part of their green packaging initiatives.”
In addition to Ubisoft’s efforts to decrease paper usage in its game packaging, Ubisoft has partnered with Technimark, Inc. to release the entertainment industry’s most environmentally-responsible DVD case for all of its future PC titles in North America. The 100 percent-recycled polypropylene “ecoTech” DVD case will make its debut with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction PC video game on April 30, 2010. Ubisoft has featured digital game manuals in its PC titles distributed in North America since March 2010.