Technology & Learning Innovation Blog

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Packing Up Your Digital Suitcase

As we get ready to say ‘Goodbye’ to another great school year at FDR, many of us are spending our free time packing. Maybe we are selling our old guitars and surfboards on Facebook or maybe we are buying new luggage for a big trip to our new home. But for many of us there is another type of packing many of us are doing; the packing up our digital lives.

Being a Google school, most students and teachers have created a wealth of content in Google Drive. This cloud-based storage option allows you to create unlimited documents, sheets, presentations and drawings. But you can also store movies, music and photos as well. For some of our seniors who have left, this one place has literally every assignment they have done since Grade 6! An incredible archive of learning! For FDR teachers, it is a living, vast portfolio of their time at our school; filterable by file type, date and name.  An immense professional resource to take with them in their careers. 

When the time has come to pack up these documents, there are two possible solutions. The first is “Download”, which converts your Google Drive into hard copies and sends them to your email. This is best for people who do not want to continue working with Google Drive and want to create an archive they can recall at a later date. The second solution is “Transfer”, where copies of everything you have ever made at FDR are re-created in a new account. This means you can continue to use all of your materials created at FDR for as long as you would like! There are two limitations to this though; you must transfer your files to another Google account, and it will only transfer docs, slides and sheets; photos, music and videos will stay behind.

Whatever option you choose, it is nice to know that wherever you go, the beautiful learning you created at FDR can travel with you and serve as a permanent reminder of your time at our school.

  • collaboration
  • professional learning
Getting Geeky at the LATAM Google Summit!

This past weekend saw an incredible learning event take place on our campus; the first ever Apps Events’ Latin America Google Summit! This awesome professional development event brought teachers, administrators and parents together under one roof and focused on using tools in the Google for Education Suite to make learning engaging, effective, faster and better. Oh, and we had a ton of fun along the way!


The event opened with a wonderful message from our own Dr. Jacobson about never forgetting the mission of using technology in education; the learning impact on the child and ultimately, to make the world a better place. Keynote speaker Anita Moose then discussed practical ways that schools can build a culture of innovation and wonder amongst their teachers. From there, we broke out into the workshops scattered through the commons where we examined the modern tools of learning and all things Google! Highlights included Carla Puppo’s session on building a Makerspace, Stacie Willey’s ‘The Game of Life - Googlefied’ (ask a 6th grader…) and event organizer Dan Taylor’s ‘Building Young Entrepreneurs in Schools’ workshop. All around the commons you could hear engaging conversations about learning, gasps of amazement and a lot of laughter!


You would have never known that people had given up a weekend to come into work. The air was light and the vibe was upbeat as these teachers dug into the content and tools being discussed. Opportunities for teacher growth like this are special because they remind teachers what it like to be an excited, engaged learner! And that is perhaps the biggest take away of all from what was an incredible weekend.


See all of the good times by searching #GooglePD on Twitter!



  • collaboration
  • professional learning
Come Along on Classroom Without Walls 2018

An incredible new tool was just released publicly in time for our annual Classroom Without Walls trip in high school. The tool is called Google Tour Creator and allows you to easily piece together immersive, 360-degree tours of anywhere on planet earth using footage gathered in Google Street View. If you have a 360 camera, like the Ricoh Theta, you can build you own custom tour, which is what we did on the Grade 9 trip to Cajamarca.


In this tour, you can travel around Cajamarca with the Grade 9 students and visit the historic lookouts, pools and plazas that make the city famous. You can also see where we spent our 2 days working on community and service; in the beautiful village of Lluscapampa. Creating this product was quick and easy, and netted really great results! This ease-of-use has a huge potential in education. It shifts students’ time and energy towards telling a story and sharing knowledge as opposed to fighting with the technical aspects of the program.


This is what we consider ‘transformational’ technology in learning. That is, technology that will allow us to share new knowledge that was previously inaccessible. Look around the school we were at in Lluscapampa. Stare into the eyes of the children we were serving. Look at the smiling faces of our own students as they engage in this important work. Do you think you would have gotten the same understanding of the purpose of our CWW trip from a 3 paragraph reflection?

  • innovation
  • Learning outdoors
  • vr
Speaking in The Modern Tongue

How many 5-paragraph essays have you read today? Ten? Fifteen? For most of the non-teaching population of the world, the answer is most likely the same most days; zero.

Now let me ask you a different question. How many videos have you watched today? Ten? Fifteen? For many of us, the answer could easily be more than this.

The truth is that visual communication through video, photos and animation has become the dominant format of our time. Yes, reading is important and awesome, but if we want to prepare our kids for the real world, they need to be deeply skilled in visual communication just like they are in written communication!

These crucial skills were hit hard in Food Design 10 this semester as Mr. Josh Knudson’s students made Tasty videos of their custom dish design summative. You know Tasty videos; the short, highly-edited clips which make it seem like baking a five-layer spice cake takes no time, skill or work. Another attribute of this genre is that is undoubtedly leaves you CRAVING something to eat; if it doesn’t then it didn't do its job. This snappy genre has taken over our newsfeeds and totally revamped our expectations of what the ‘instructional video’ should look like; hip, engaging, fast and efficient.

Take a few minutes to enjoy some of these standout submissions from Mr. Knudson’s class. Think about the learning and more importantly, the modern communication that is on display on here. No, it is not a 5-paragraph essay. It just might be something much more important!

  • communication
  • creativity
Augmented Student-led Conferences

How has the Earth changed physically over time? Why does it continue to change? What happens inside the Earth that causes changes in the crust? How the layers inside the Earth are interrelated

These are just some of the questions students in grade 4 explored during their last unit of study on Geology. As part of that exploration, they used AR and the Quiver app to learn about volcanoes. Is there a better way to share their new learning with their parents than having an erupting volcano on their tabletops?

What happens when you mix kids, parents, an iPad, and the Quivervision app?  Answer: an explosion of learning! That is what these 4th Graders in Ms. Kelly's class did during student-led conferences last week.

Ms. Kelly Porcari


  • ar
  • ipad
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