Conference and Housewarming Updates

Chris will be at the CEC Conference this weekend. It is a perfect opportunity to see Bridges and YOUDLE products in-person!

November 6 – 7
Ontario CEC Conference, Oakville – Holiday Inn Select
cecheader

Come on out to try and buy our products! We look forward to seeing you there.

Also, our housewarming is just over a week away. Click here to see more information.

Bridges YOUDLE housewarming image

Date: Wednesday, November 11
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 (p.m.)
Location: 2550 Argentia Road, Suite 121 (Mississauga)

We’ll have lots of high-tech and easy-tech products on display for you to try, snacks and drinks, freebies, and big prizes for some lucky winners who drop by!

Try out the latest:
• Co:Writer
• Write:OutLoud
• YOUDLE School Kits
• Classroom manipulatives
…and much more!

15% off of all YOUDLE products on November 11!* (*must be purchased onsite)

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November 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Bridges and YOUDLE Housewarming

Housewarming

October 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Upcoming conferences

Happy fall, everyone! Remember to set your clocks back an hour this upcoming Sunday.

We will be attending several upcoming conferences:

October 31 – November 1
Autism One Conference, Toronto – University of Toronto Medical Building
Autism One

November 6 – 7
Ontario CEC Conference, Oakville – Holiday Inn Select
cecheader

Come on out to buy and try our products!

October 29, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Bridges to Learning 2010

Taking place May 13-15, 2010 at the University of Toronto in Mississauga.
Main conference page (including pricing and details).
PDF available here.

BTL2010 Front

BTL2010 Back

October 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm Leave a comment

Web 2.0

Larry Ferlazzo has put together a great (amazing, incredible, fantastic) list of Web 2.0 applications for education.

In order to make Larry’s list, a site had to be:
* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.
* free-of-charge.
* appropriate for classroom use.
* completely browser-based with no download required.

Some of our favourites:
http://www.bookrix.com/ Create a virtual book.
http://www.ediscio.com/ Create flashcards, complete with pictures and videos from across the web.
http://www.screentoaster.com/ Online screen capturing — perfect for informative videos!

Complete list available here.

And remember to follow us on Twitter!

October 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

No more pencils, lots more fun

From Parent Central.
Kristin Rushowy, Education Reporter

No more pencils

No rows of desks in this classroom, and no teacher lecturing at the front.

In fact, that’s something Barrie teacher Liz Collett rarely does. Instead, she’s on the move, talking to students about their work, from the small group sitting on the floor playing Monopoly to others nearby figuring out a math problem.

The children in this Grade 2/3 class do not take a spelling test all year – in fact, the school avoids all pencil-and-paper tests – nor do they get assigned homework. Instead, their teacher gives them immediate feedback on their work throughout the day; they rarely hand in something for a final grade that she hasn’t gone through with them and handed back with tips for improvement.

Welcome to the school of the 21st century, a place where teachers and students collaborate and cooperate. Such cutting-edge classrooms, gaining ground across Ontario, are trying things some might consider coddling kids or even lowering the bar – using graphic novels instead of covering the classics, letting students submit a voice-recorded essay instead of a written one or even allowing teens to design their own courses.

Without it, educators say schools risk tuning out – or worse, turning off – today’s learners. And though critics accuse schools of dumbing things down – universities continue to complain about high school graduates’ poor math skills – others will say such changes are actually based on the newest research on how to appeal to today’s youth and boost not only their interest, but their achievement.

And a new report suggests these schools are on the right track. It found that many of today’s schools are not holding kids’ interest. And if they’re not interested, they’re not learning – and isn’t that the point?

The Canadian Education Association found that only about one-third of 32,000 students across the country, from Grades 5 to 12, are interested in class. Students today say they want their education to be relevant, and don’t want to be simply regurgitating the facts.

“That’s the kind of learning that requires you to think, and think deeply, and it may not be happening for many kids,” says Penny Milton, the association’s chief executive officer. “What we could argue is that to become good learners, they need to become thinkers.”

Principal Jan Olson at Prince of Wales elementary school in Barrie – where Collett teaches – says schools have basically been operating the same way since the Industrial Revolution. But the digital age is bringing an education revolution all its own. While using technology is a part of it, what’s important for students “is being able to use information and understand it, versus just remembering it.” Students know more about technology than their teachers; and they’re being educated for jobs that haven’t yet been created, he adds, so what they really need are transferable skills.

A few years ago, the school banned homework, arguing there was little evidence it helped boost student achievement and that it wasn’t fair to assign such work to students with challenging home lives when others had two parents at home able to help them. After the first year, grades went up slightly and parents raved about all the family time available.

Jim Greenlaw, dean of the faculty of education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, says education is moving away from the “transmissional” – where teachers simply impart information – to transactional, or working together, and even to transformational, where it changes students’ lives. “And if you are a fair teacher who gives students something interesting to do, then you can be more demanding because they are more interested,” he says.

For Mary Jean Dickie, a kindergarten/Grade 1 teacher in Barrie, it means having her young charges explain, face-to-face, what they know, or have them write something down, or maybe both.

The cutting-edge practices at her school are part of an overall push by the Simcoe County District School Board to focus on 21st century learning and teaching.

Today’s learner needs fewer traditional tests and more “formative” feedback, ongoing discussion with a teacher, which studies have found is the number one factor in boosting achievement, says Olson.

“Some see this as redoing an assignment to improve their mark but it is about learning and improving and not about marks,” he adds.

October 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Discounts: YOUDLE your classroom and YOUDLE your school!

Find the Student Desktop Number Line in the Early Numbers YOUDLE Box (YB-20015).
Regular Price: $241.00
For October Only, implement Universal Design for Learning in your class for only: $204.85 (Save 15%)
YOUDLE Early Numbers Kit

Find the Student Desktop Alphabet Line in the Learning About Letters YOUDLE Box (YB-10015).
Regular Price: $244.00
For October Only, implement Universal Design for Learning in your class for only: $207.40 (Save 15%)
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Also find the Student Desktop Alphabet Line in our new All About the Alphabet YOUDLE School Box (YB-20030 )! Bring Universal Design for Learning into your entire school!
With the entire school in mind, we have combined two of our best-selling YOUDLE Boxes to create All About the Alphabet. The best tools from Learning About Letters (YB-10015) and Letter Formation (YB-20010) are included in this comprehensive kit, which includes products that can be used in multiple subject areas.
Plus find lesson plans created by experts and helpful advice for using these great learning tools right out of the box!
Regular Price: $849.00
For October Only, implement Universal Design for Learning in your school for only: $679.20 (Save 20%)
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October 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

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