2 December 2014

Interactive Whiteboard learning communities - using IWB software tools to support Visual Literacy

A number of our special education interactive whiteboard (IWB) learning communities (LC) had their second session at Terraview Learning Centre and Burnhampthorpe Adult Learning Centre this past week. Teachers explored the Investigating Images package from the Critical Learning Consortium (TC2) as a springboard to have students develop critical thinking and visual literacy skills through the use of images in the Home School Program, Mild Intellectual Disability, and Behaviour classrooms.

At the start of the session, teachers check-in by sharing and comparing their Promethean IWB journey. Here are a few comments grabbed from an ActivExpression text question:


  • it is great. one of my previously disengaged kids is now one of my top math students! 
  • FAIRLY WELL; THE KIDS AND I ARE DISCOVERING NEW THINGS EVERYDAY
  • i love my promethean the kids are very engaged
    it is so easy to use
  • i have been trying to use one tool a day
The groups then began exploring the use of assistive technology tools as a means to support student understanding and learning in the area of visual literacy using tools such as the Magic Ink. Magic Ink allows teachers to selectively reveal portions of a visual. Also during the LC session, teachers had a chance to use an ActivSlate for the first time. The slate provides another ways for the students and/or teacher to access the IWB.



Ms. Milne (left) from Alexmuir P.S. uses her slate to create a visual literacy activity. H.A. Halbert P.S.'s Ms.Valentini uses a magic reveal with her visual literacy activity.





An LC is a great place to collaborate and learn together. (left-to-right) Ms. Butters, Ms Melchiorre and Ms. Carey - teachers from the HSP Primary Junior LC. (right photo) Behaviour ISP LC's Mr. Stewart and Mr. Ivanov discussing the creation of a visual literacy activity using Magic Ink.




(left photo) Ms Maharaj from Dr. Marion Hilliard PS, (right photo left to right) General Brock P.S.'s Ms Angelevski and Ms. Higgins from Robert Service P.S.


The next LC sessions start after the Winter Break.

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