A Year in Review

Back in December, when I wrote this blog post (at Tokyo International Airport), I decided to hold back on hitting publish, until today; the first day back after Winter Break. But now I am ready to share my year in review.

In a year where I was accepted to the Google Certified Innovator cohort, became a Google Certified Trainer, enrolled into a Masters of Education program and launched a website to connect educators and students through EdTech and Inquiry, in an attempt to build internationally minded individuals. It really has been "one of those years!"

When I look back at my achievements of the past year and the growing list of projects that are lined up for 2018, I am so very excited and grateful.

Thank you all for your continued support - I am delighted to hear your feedback, and appreciate the time you spend in reading and commenting. I would like to extend a shoutout to my Blogging Buddies too.

I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable winter break and are looking forward to the challenges of 2018!

2017: My Top Three

Yet again, "Celebrations Around the World" tops the list. In an attempt to connect schools near and far through EdTech and Inquiry, I launched PYPConnectED. Described as a "simple and easy" way of building classroom connections students and staff are exploring how celebrations and traditions are expressions of shared belief and values. If you haven't already, head over to www.pypconnected.com to learn more and sign up.
Built out of a student comment "Mr Towse, are you on Google?" I remember thinking, who isn't. I believe it's our responsibility to ensure we leave a positive digital legacy. And last May, I wanted to use the time with students for them to reflect on their online presence. Working with Ms. Carnright, our elementary school counsellor, she and I explored with students the notion that our presence, both online and offline, should evoke pride and a positive response from others. How we portray ourselves on social media represents who we are and what we stand for, whether that is our intention or not.
It is a general understanding that more needs to be done when it comes to Girls and Coding. I would like to see educators step out beyond the Hour of Code, and move beyond gender stereotypes in this area. Likewise, we need to move away from event-style teaching when it comes to programming and technology. Introducing coding to your children has never been easier for those who a) aren’t familiar with the term 'code' and b) the various interpretations. The number of blog posts and open source software and guides being produced and published to the web makes the subject of computer coding easy to grasp for learners, young or old. :)

To the two of you reading this blog post - my Nana is surely one of them, I wish every one of you all the very best for 2018. 

As always feel free to reach out here and on Twitter. If you would like to work with me, check out In-Towse PD for further details.

~Mr Towse

Celebrations Around the World!

Celebrations Around the World!

Our annual, Grade One, How We Express Ourselves unit is back!

After the success of previous inquiries, we are once again looking to connect with staff, students, parents, and schools across the world to help build internationally-minded students through meaningful inquiry.

We would like to invite you to share your experiences and understanding of different celebrations and deepen your own (and your students') understanding of how different celebrations and traditions are expressions of shared beliefs and values.

Getting started couldn't be simpler:

  • sign up using the form below
  • create a response on the Padlet
  • pick a school from below and arrange a time to connect through Skype or Google Hangouts.

During your video call you might like to explain something you found interesting in their Padlet post, something you learned or maybe there is something you would like to hear more about - for example; I understand that the art of folding paper, Origami, is a Japanese tradition that is important in many celebrations.

NB: We are based in Tokyo, Japan which can make it difficult connecting with schools in Europe or America, so we use https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html before scheduling.


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