Team Members

Richard Farmer - Head of English, St. Marys District Collegiate & Vocational Institute - St. Marys, Ontario

Conrad Kuiper - Head of English, Central Huron Secondary School - Clinton, Ontario

Jamie Weir - English teacher - Listowel District Secondary School - Listowel, Ontario

Kim McGill - Secondary Curriculum Coordinator - AMDSB Education Centre - Seaforth, Ontario

Our Project

The problem or question.

1. How do we build teacher confidence/trust/capacity to teach and learn:

A) collaboration skills (teacher & teacher/student & student/teacher & student)
B) inquiry/problem solving
C) reflection/meta-cognition

We will create a model for a course that incorporates 21st Century Skills (specifically collaboration, inquiry and reflection).

2. How do we help reluctant teachers? How do we support teachers who are uncomfortable using technology?

3. How do we create an atmosphere where teachers are comfortable learning with students?

Objectives and Assessment


Students will be able to meet the overall expectations of the GPP3O course using 21st Century Skills as the context for developing Leadership and Peer Support. The curriculum strands and expectations connect to the following 21st Century Skills.


21st Century Skill

Personal Knowledge and Management—Reflection/Meta-cognition

Interpersonal Knowledge and Skills—Collaboration

Exploration of Opportunities—Inquiry and Problem Solving

The Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum documents contain achievement charts, expectations and guidelines for assessment and evaluation practices that teachers must follow. The design of the assessments and evaluations will be authentic tasks that reflect 21st Century skills. For example, collaborative activities, self-reflection, the creation of multimedia texts.

Ideas for Specific Assessments

-the creation of how-to videos or screencasts to aid teachers in their use of technology;

-participation in a Ning network for all school offering GPP3O;

-the creation of a resource list for teachers;

-plan, research skills, presentations


Adults will learn to use Web 2.0 tools.

Teachers will complete an online survey at the beginning and end of the GPP3O course to assess their level or use and comfort with Web 2.0 tools.

Teachers will complete a survey that measures their comfort level when learning with students.

Networked Design

Participating high schools will offer a section of Leadership and Peer Support (GPP3O) that connects to 21st century learning. Students will create a plan based on the data from surveys regarding the level of Web 2.0 technologies being used in their schools. This plan will focus on creating strategies to assist students and teachers in restructuring their classroom experience to incorporate 21st century skills. These skills will be facilitated with the use of tools such as Google Apps, wikis, blogs, and online presentation tools. The students will work collaboratively within and between schools using a NING as a primary means of communication.

Set the Context

1. Leadership and Peer Support (GPP3O) is a course designed to be applied to various learning contexts. The curriculum document explicitly states that the course can have out of class learning opportunities, so the students are not bound to a classroom. This course has been used for peer mentors, students' council, etc.

2. While some teachers in the Avon Maitland District School Board have created classes that model 21st Century teaching and learning, these classes and course materials have not been created collaboratively (a true reflection of 21st Century teaching and learning).

3. Professional development around the use of Web 2.0 tools has occurred on PA days, staff meetings, in departments, in small groups and in a few cases, in the classroom setting.

4. Professional development around the use of Web 2.0 tools has been led by IT trainers or teachers with a high level of skill in this area.

5. Professional development around the use of Web 2.0 tools has not been job embedded with the exception of the PLP projects.


Our plan is to have a course that is dedicated to showcasing various 21st century skills that will be promoted throughout the school community by the students who choose to take this course. The students will be the proponents of the various technologies and will aid in helping reluctant teachers gain confidence in themselves and their own personal use of technology. The important aspect of this proposal is that our students will work in a collaborative fashion with other students as well as teachers in the school and across the board.

By allowing the students to receive a credit for their actions, we are fostering the the skills of collaboration, inquiry and reflection in a manner that is different from previous attempts to incorporate 21st century skills into the classroom. We feel that our approach will be more successful with our faculty as in previous professional development sessions since it is legitimized by a curriculum based course.


Before we have students go out to classrooms to mentor teachers and students, the teachers involved will complete a pre-assessment to set a baseline for where they are in terms of Web 2.0 usage. At the end of the semester we will create a post-course survey to see where teachers are in terms of Web 2.0 usage. The students involved in the course will be evaluated based on the curriculum expectations.


The project is set up as a secondary school course so the bulk of the project will be implemented in the 2010-2011 school year and beyond. A proposal for the course needs to go out to the secondary school principals before the end of March, but initial conversations with secondary principals have already begun and there is a high level of interest. The proposal needs to tie the course objectives to the curriculum document. Our group will create a package of teaching and learning examples for the classroom teachers of the course before the end of the school year. We will also create a pre-assessment survey to establish a baseline for where teachers are in terms of Web 2.0 usage. This survey will be created before the end of this school year and administered at the start of each semester. First semester teachers of the course will be brought in as a group at the beginning of September 2010. Second semester teachers will be brought in at the end of January or beginning of February 2011. An end of the course survey will be created by the end of October 2010 for teachers to complete at the end of each semester.


Our progress will be documented through a common Google Doc that we have already created. We will also be posting our progress in the team group room on the Ning.

Data will be collected and organized at the school level and at the board level.

Records of practice (lesson plans, student work, etc).

Links - Student created video showing what can happen if the GPP3O course runs - Morphing from 20th Century to the 21st Century