Favourite Language Arts Links

Sunday, March 22, 2015

whats Love got to do with IT?

This past month we have been exploring the Love of Jesus Christ at church (Peace Portal Alliance in South Surrey).  I was struck this week with our pastor Scott Dickie's passion for the demonstration of LOVE in our community.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 Int.  

If we truly believe that Jesus died for us and his love and mercy endures forever why do we become so stagnant in our personal lives.  Why do we hold onto our idols and fail to turn to Him when we need Him MOST?  I think we hold on to the lie that we cannot do more than what we are doing because we are too busy, too tired, have too many of our own problems, or we are just one person and cannot initiate change. We leave the missionaries to do the job of helping others.  Yet our own community is failing to see the need for church and Jesus in their life.  Is it because we have left this to others to serve in our own community.  How can we hack our own community to see what needs matter most?

 I know that the message this morning at church impacted my own sin of holding onto my future financial plans instead of TRUSTING how God could use me to further HIS goals.  I always find at this time of year with taxes, and financial planning it is so easy to put one's owns needs ahead of God's plans.  God is gracious to clean my slate as soon as I run to HIM.

God has called us to serve one another in LOVE and disciple our next generation.  We are called to work things out for His Glory.

Our school's vision is to raise disciples and spread the Gospel into the homes and lives of our young people.  Are we working towards that end in our learning commons?

 How do walk alongside broken people in our work, in our community centres, in our 'makered' workshops, book clubs etc.  Are we serving a LIVING GOD, one who can produce CHANGE?  I think it is only when God changes our hearts that we can truly repent of our sin, give glory to HIM and start afresh in our community sharing our stories.

I know God wants my whole heart.   Going to give that extra piece I was holding back to Him!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Inspired to Lean in and Learn #FETC!

This past week I was privileged to enjoy some professional development at #FETC in Florida with thousands of other amazing #edtech leaders and our HCOS curriculum consultant Natalie Sing!

Here are some of my take-aways!
1.  Gamification of learning is a popular educational route and as IMT is big at HCOS it was interesting to hear Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research, Institute of the Future share emerging technologies in this regard.   Do games make us better?  Here is a short video on her reasons for gaming!

2.  Augmented reality is here to stay!  Lesley Fischer presented on this topic with excellence.  Top apps that caught my attention:
3.  Other notable apps shared by different leaders!
4.  Maker Movement!  I was thrilled to listen to Sylvia Martinez author of Invent to Learn.  All I have to say is READ her book, and see how she is inspiring younger makers with the Superawesome Sylvia shows!  This young entrepreneur takes making to a new level.  Martinez has so many amazing things to share including the process, the plans, some ideas for establishing a #makerspace, and the encouragement to take risks and make mistakes!  We are very blessed to have our own makerspace this year in the learning commons, and are eager to learn from maker teachers/library staff in our schools who are running Lego-Mindstorm camps, Makey Makey camps and other 3D printing learning.  Here is Sylvia sharing on makered in your school.

5.  Innovation- Inspiring learning from David Sengeh, Innovator from IMT Lab and his inventions for comfortable prostheses.  His advice for innovation in education was to encourage the why questions, motivated from empathy, compassion and a desire to help others in community.  I loved his message of Hack your own community to discover how to help others!  Here is his TED Talk.

6.  Change- Preparing for change requires listening skills, surveying your patrons, a planning process, patience and remembering who you are serving.  Important tips to remember before implementing change from Google guru Rushton Hurley.

7.  3D printing is happening in your neck of the woods.  Watch for all kinds of applications as students connect real life applications, and become engineers and designers.  Makerbot is the printer we purchased for our learning commons and I was pleased to glean more about these machines from the keynote CEO of Makerbot. Making 3d in your classroom has never been more fun!  Our learning commons team is learning the ropes via your students as they make. :)

8.  Global collaboration and open access!  Stuff of which our learning commons thrives on!  I loved sharing on Twitter and met some other amazing educators in the process.  I also met the CEO of AT&T while flying to Florida and gleaned some wonderful tips re innovation! Professional development is a wonderful process to be appreciated and shared! #longlivelearning


Monday, December 1, 2014

Reading for the Holidays!


Our learning commons has some amazing teacher/student professional development/non fiction in HCS Overdrive E library.  Just grab your passwords and come and enjoy some great thinking material.

Some of my favourite reads include:

The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler
Humilitas by John Dickson
Spiritual Leadership by Richard Blackaby
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James
Good to Great  by Jim Collins
A Whole New Mind: Dan Pink
The Element : Ken Robinson
Daring Greatly Brene Brown
The Greatest Gift Ann Voskamp

For our teens:
Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo
The Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Stephen Covey
365 Days of Wonder J Palacio
No Compromise:  The Life Story of Keith Green
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Christmas materials ; from devotions, Advent books,  to fiction classics, something to read by candlelight!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Makered in the Learning Commons

Themes come and go and this year is no different in the learning commons at Heritage Blended Commons.  Stepping into maker spaces and all things #makered has been another pivotal moment for  advocacy in the learning commons, and completes part of our vision statement for the year 2014/15.

The learning commons has purchased Makey Makey kits, a Lego Mindstorm classroom set ( for 24 students), and Knex Kits along with a 3 d printer with the Mini Makerbot as the front runner!  Our campus learning commons champion Jessie starts our first Makered club this week, and 20 excited campus students will work with Makey Makey, and Knex kits to discover Motion and Aeronautics outcomes.  They will also learn how to make a video based on their innovative findings!  As a virtual media specialist I so want to be a fly on the wall!!

So why makered and why learning commons?  The whole vision behind a learning commons is the creation of a welcoming space which encourages all literacies, and fosters relationship.  Makered allows for digital, science, and computer literacy, not to mention hands on learning in the learning commons.  Students will work in teams building collaborative working relationships.  During the process we hope they will take risks, and learn to become inventors, as they coach each other in the learning process.  Every teacher wants to empower their students and we hope this will bring new passions, leadership, discipleship and excitement around science and technology.

During the last two years we have fostered the creation of a virtual commons, using Ning as a playground for building, and in doing so created a philosophy behind the experiential building centre. We host competitions and share our students artistic, writing, and musical gifts.  Now we hope to further this into the physical realm with hands on learning.

The learning commons vision has never looked more exciting!

If you have not discovered the upside of all things #makered you might want to read the following articles:

What's the Maker Movement?

The Makey Makey Might Change the Game.

Seven Hands on Projects That use 3D Printers.

Or watch this intriguing video!

We are thankful for a new invitation to bring students into relationship via multiple literacies in the learning commons!  Now more than ever a learning commons is a place to play, read and build!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Graduation and Beyond

Today I sat down and reconfigured my blog.  Now that I have a work blog I find it hard to get back and just blog for the sake of blogging, personal blogging, sharing my vulnerabilities.  But my life has changed and my children are graduated and moving ahead with their lives.   I am feeling nostalgic and want to move ahead with them...to reach out and study something new, exciting and invigorating, to follow, and perhaps not to lead. Oh to be a student again, to listen, inspire and create!  Having adopted a learning commons vision over the past three years in our district library,  it was good to learn, inspire and lead.

Creating vision takes time, as does encouraging your team to stay inspired, motivated and working towards that vision.  At times I remember feeling that roadblocks were an important part of the process; sometimes painful, but mostly gratifying at the end.  Staying committed to the culture of building a learning commons, has required faithfulness and resilience.  Ideation is second nature to me, and so dreaming BIG for my team was, and still is, really important.  But there is that still small part of me where I long to let go, and just be a follower and not a leader.  Grace and surrender are an essential part of learning.  And then there is time to just rest, read and dream.

Sometimes I think I am an adrenaline junkie,  or maybe simply attention deficit?  I do know that staying the path is important, as is listening to the inner child.  I am trusting that one design leads to another in our learning commons, that change will keep happening for the right reasons and not because I need change for change sake.  I am excited about the next step, about learning whatever it takes to keep building, following, and leading in the learning commons!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Today I am encouraged!
Ten years ago I started working at HCS schools.
I initiated relationships and learned how to be a follower and a leader.
I discovered the joys of learning and working from home.
I homeschooled my son for 7 years and watched him grow, struggle and lean on the Lord.
I saw families united, and I watched families struggle with divisiveness.
I saw children fail, and I saw children thrive and blossom.
I saw grief, and I heard laughter, singing and joy.
I learned the value of praying as an individual, family and as an institution.
I learned the value of community.
I learned how to listen.
I am still learning how to evaluate, assess and encourage.
I still make mistakes.
I am still growing in the wisdom of the Lord.
I am still on the path towards maturity in Christ.
But I am encouraged.
I find joy, peace, love and inspiration in my daily walk with God.
I am blessed!