Todd Bombard’s reflection of Learning in the Loft- The greatest PD of all time! (I ain’t kidding)


    • I’d like to give a big shout out to all the tech coaches for the significant amount of time they put in.  From the number of sessions they offered to the choices and scope of content they taught.  The Loft sessions are a great examples of how this school is truly a leader in education.  We are really lucky to have access to such highly knowledgeable coaches.  I think it takes years and a ton of training to become as competent as these folks.   

    • Going into this experience I knew we had rock solid technology coaches, but I have to be honest I was bit anxious about the time commitment and the potential complexity of some of the topics. Their relaxed, fun demeanor helped quell my thoughts. The way they presented the material made it easy to grasp and I really appreciated that it was posted for review. I was able to go back to the site and answer questions by watching the  many short clips embedded in the presentations.

    A really beneficial aspect of this experience was that it opened up different opportunities for collaboration.  The Breakout EDU sessions was really exciting. I loved the way Kelly sat back and just let our group try to figure it out.  We all worked diligently and thoroughly enjoyed learning this invaluable tool.  I was fortunate to explore Breaking Out with one of the teachers I collaborate with for my grade three ELL students.  Bridgette put a ton of time in designing the tasks and I was able to help test it out with a dry run. When we did the Breakout with her class it was unreal. One of my ELL students is shy and not very confident in her English skills.  It was incredible to watch her really come out of her shell and use her English skills to communicate and collaborate with her group trying to figure out the tasks.  The whole class was completely engaged in learning for the entire time.  I have never seen such enthusiasm for learning. I know Bridgette is working on another one for the Village Called Earth Unit and I look forward to more collaboration with her!

    Another session that really challenged my thinking was Data session.  I had felt pretty comfortable with xcel and Google sheets.  But Ben really took it to another level and pushed my thinking.  I really benefited from learning how to set up our own sheets, rather than relying on Erin (who is awesome!).  It has been very useful being able to customize our input, to put in our own criteria,  with drop downs using the data validation.  The ELL team does a lot screenings for admissions and I was able to set up a sheet with all the students performance levels based on our specific ELL tests.  Locking a reference and using the drag function has also become a really useful tool for inputting and analysing student data in our  PLC.  James really continued pushing my comfort zone with the second session.  His explanations about pivot tables and comparing grades across different level really made me rethink what we were currently doing in our PLC.  We were able to go back, look at the data from a fresh perspective, and really plan specific targeted intervention for kids.

    The Coding session Keith taught was incredible. My background knowledge and experience with coding was minimal.  He really got me up to speed with the what, how, and why of this crucial aspect of 21st century learning. I was all ready to roll when the hour of coding came around.  I felt so confident with what I learned that I volunteered to teach a lesson in one of the classrooms.  I had pretaught my ELL students, so they had the confidence to be my “assistances”.  They walked around and helped their peers get up on the different websites and try various activities. This really boosted their confidence.  They really loved the Star Wars one!  The screencasting and virtual reality sessions were awesome.  Thanks again Keith for the 1:1 VR session! I can’t wait to try this with Bridgette’s class during the VCE unit. All and all an incredible PD experience.  I’ve grown a lot and the kids have really benefited. Thanks again folks!

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