An Infographic In Celebration of Computer Science Education Week | Edudemic

Check out these amazing info graphics about technological advancements in different fields. The discussion questions are also worth looking at – it gets students to think about not only the future of technology but the ethical and practical applications of it. From nanoscale devices to smart prosthetics, these info graphics give a nice, quick visual of the the different ways computer science affects our lives.


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Guest Blogger: Melanie Leblanc on How She learned to Love GoodNotes! [en français!]

Évaluation des textes d’élèves à l’aide d’une application d’annotation

Mélanie Leblanc

C’était la fin de l’étape et il me restait encore beaucoup de corrections à faire avant de faire le calcul des notes pour le bulletin; mes élèves avaient écrit plusieurs textes et je n’avais donc pas de temps à perdre. Je suis donc repartie avant la fin de semaine avec ma pile de corrections et mes grilles d’évaluation imprimées. J’avais cependant oublié d’imprimer les textes de mes élèves… J’ai essayé tant bien que mal d’installer ma nouvelle imprimante, sans succès. Je n’ai donc pas eu le choix: j’ai ouvert mon iPad et l’application GoodNotes, téléchargée quelques semaines auparavant.

J’avais encore peu expérimenté avec les logiciels qui me permettraient d’annoter les textes de mes élèves; pourtant, j’y pensais depuis maintenant plus de deux ans. J’avais donc décidé d’ajouter cet outil à ma liste d’objectifs pédagogiques TIC pour l’année puisque je me rappelais régulièrement qu’il était temps que je m’y mette.

Avant tout, ce qui est important est que l’outil me facilite la tâche et puisse en même temps offrir un avantage pour mes élèves. En ce qui concerne la correction de textes sur la tablette; je n’en étais pas tout à fait convaincue. Comment écrire et surligner clairement pour rendre les commentaires et les indications lisibles? Transformer tous les documents en PDF me prendra-t-il plus de temps? Que faire pour les élèves qui préfèrent écrire à la main ou qui réussissent mieux ainsi?

Ma collègue en math et sciences, Mme S., avait récemment présenté GoodNotes et son travail avec l’application dans sa classe lors d’une rencontre de nos matinées techno-pédago. Je m’étais donc déjà familiarisé avec l’application. Il ne restait qu’à importer les documents de mes élèves. Voici donc les étapes que j’ai suivies pour annoter avec GoodNotes:

  1. J’ai d’abord importé le PDF sur lequel je voulais travailler:

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J’ai importé individuellement les documents de mes élèves à partir de Google Drive. Cette étape était plutôt longue pour le premier travail puisque j’avais oublié de sauvegarder les documents en PDF. Il n’est pas possible d’importer directement un document Google sans avoir d’abord complété cette étape. Ce qui est pratique, c’est qu’il est possible de sauvegarder plusieurs documents à la fois en tant que PDF.


  1. J’ai créé des dossiers ou «catégories» dans l’application afin de m’y retrouver (à faire en premier idéalement).

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  1. J’ai annoté les documents des élèves à l’aide des fonctions: écriture, surlignage et soulignage. L’application nous permet aussi de zoomer sur le document afin d’écrire lisiblement à la main.


  1. J’ai importé à nouveau ce PDF sur GoogleDrive dans mes dossiers d’élève afin de pouvoir facilement les repartager avec mes élèves. (Toutes mes élèves ont déjà l’habitude de recevoir des documents et de les gérer dans Google Drive):

photo 1 (1) photo 2 (1) photo 4 (1) photo 5 (1)

À la remise des travaux en classe, les élèves ont bien apprécié l’annotation et la correction avec un code de couleur et d’y avoir accès sur iPad. Certaines ont cependant préféré avoir une copie imprimée lorsqu’il était temps de faire les corrections.

Somme toute, j’ai bien apprécié l’expérience d’annotation sur tablette. Une fois les documents importés et organisés, il a été très facile et rapide de les annoter les uns après les autres. Cette fois-ci, j’avais imprimé les grilles d’évaluation sur lesquelles je notais. La prochaine fois, je tenterai d’importer la grille d’évaluation directement sur chaque document afin d’annoter celle-ci dans GoodNotes. Les élèves consulteront et conserveront alors leurs grilles d’évaluation au même endroit et pourront l’imprimer au besoin.

Je vous recommande donc l’essai de GoodNotes pour commenter et noter les textes de vos élèves et je vous mets au défi comme moi de gérer vos corrections qui s’en viennent, sans papier!

In Honour of Computer Science Education Week: Stats Can’s Gender differences in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) programs at university

From the horse’s mouth. Gender differences in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) programs at university is part of the “Insights on Canadian Society” series published by Statistics Canada.It dates from almost exactly a year ago, so pretty recent.

[…]Despite the advances made in recent years,Note4 women remain less likely to choose a career in STEM areas, and more particularly in engineering, mathematics and computer science. This stands in contrast to nearly all other fields of study, where women now represent the vast majority of graduates—especially health and social science programs. Why are women staying away from STEM programs?

Here is the overview:

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Check out the study. The stat that gives me the most pause and I think is indicative of the root problem is the last point – where women who score high in STEM fields are still less likely to choose a STEM program than men who fared less well in the same classes.

Is it an issue of perception?Do young women equate engineering and computer science with anti-social, awkward loners and not with the opportunities to effect change in th world throughout these fields?   Is it because there are not enough role models in young women’s daily lives or in popular culture? Why?

I think it is a mix of many things, not to mention the centuries-old gender bias that has only recently (the last century is recent when talking about our society’s perception of gender) started to be deconstructed.

Either way you look at it, if women are to have a voice in our culture, they should have a hand in building it, whether it be a bridge, a pipeline or a virtual space online.

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week and do an Hour of Code!

The Hour of Code is coming

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The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries and over 30 languages. Ages 4 to 104.


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It sucks that Computer Science Education Week happens during our black out week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore on your own or take a workshop offered in Montreal!

The Apple store on St. Catherine street is giving short Hour of Code workshops for kids on Thursday after school.  There is also an introduction to Ruby (the language Clay Jannon uses to build his virtual 3D bookstore in Mr. Penumbra!) for girls aged 8-13 and their parents given by the wonderful women at Ladies Learning Code. This is happening tomorrow so if you are interested you should register now!

Don’t have time to attend a workshop? That’s okay! Take one of the amazing tutorials on the Hour of Code website. I highly recommend the Khan academy’s introduction to java script. It is fun, interactive and easy to follow!

rAPPido Review: the new Canva app!

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 9.04.48 AMOh, how I love templates. How I appreciate a funky, new design where I can simply plug in my information and let all those people with a modicum of aesthetics do all the hard work for me.

Imagine my excitement when I heard through this article that Canva, which up to now was only a web-based application, now has a new app!

Price: free

What is it?

Canva helps you create posters, invites, info graphics, etc. It has many , many different lay outs.

How does it work?

First, you choose a template:

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I chose to make a poster. Then scroll through the vast field of lay out options:

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Ok. Picked one. Now for my text!

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Ok. So far so good. I add the text by simply tapping on the filler words. You have to tap each line to modify the text. Here is where the app got slow, like molasses slow. I thought it was frozen but realized after a while that it was just taking a long time to process. I am not sure if this is because I am using an older iPad (iPad 3) or if it was just having a bad day…Will have to try again at a later date to test this out.

You can also add more text by choosing one of the text layouts.

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There are many layouts:

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You can move text around and change the colour of the font as well as the backgrounds:

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I was especially impressed to see that they provide the hex code for the colours, which is super handy if you want to get the colour exactly right:

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Once you are done, you can download your design as either an image or a pdf:

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But the sharing was weird. When I first tapped on the share tab, I got this message:

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So I went back to the “My designs” page and then opened my poster again and was finally able to get my sharing options:

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Even with the slowness, this poster took me only a few minutes. It is way better than what I could accomplish with powerpoint (which is the lazy way I usually make my posters) and way easier to navigate than something like photoshop (which I have valiantly attempted several times but then always run away screaming).

Here is the finished product:

Book Cafe

This is a great app for students to use when they need to make a visual for a project- from info graphics to posters to invitations, it has got something for all aspects of school life! It is also easy-to-use and free. I will be adding this app to the iPad Lab!

7 Ways You Can Use Texting to Your Advantage in the Classroom | Edudemic

I found this article surprisingly enlightening. I am not one of those people who are especially worried about texting abbreviations being the large meteor that destroys our ability to write, but neither have I given much thought to the hidden benefits of texting either.

There were a couple of ideas about texting from a linguistic perspective that I found fascinating:

Students may abbreviate and make up their own words, but they do so in grammatically correct and consistent manners. In fact, when they make up their own words, they’re subconsciously thinking about what kind of speech it is, and ordering it in their text accordingly. What’s more, when they’re abbreviating or inventing, they’re also paying close attention to the phonology of the word. That is, they’re keeping the letters they know they need to communicate the gist of the original world, or they’re riffing on a sound or concept in a way that will be intuitive for the other person to decode. Phonological awareness is directly related to our ability to read, and so texting can help both create and foster readers.

There are also some very creative ways you can incorporate the language of texting in your classes. A few that stood out for me was using it to translate Shakespeare – how would Hamlet sound as text messages? I am also intrigued with the idea of using texting abbreviations for note-taking. Students are already finding ways to get meaning across in shorthand- why not use that same language for note-taking?

Check it out- I guarantee you won’t see texting in the same way again!


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rAPPido review: SketchNotes

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.00.39 AMI saw this amazing post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano about Sketchnoting and decided I would try the app SketchNotes. I used the information about best practices for passwords to try it out.

Price: free

What is it? 

It is a visual note-taking app. This means you can type your notes like you would in any note app. But as an extra bonus, you have the ability to doodle on it. Since Science has proven that doodling can actually be a good thing, this could be useful for certain types of learners.

How does it work?

Easily. You have the option either to typer or to draw. It just takes a tap to switch modes.

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My biggest problem happened when I tried to export it as a PDF or text. However, I got none of these options:

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Hmmm. This might be a glitch, but even shutting the app and opening it again didn’t help. Still, it is kind of game over if you can’t get your notes out from the app.

A neat feature is also the re-arrange. You select an object by drawing a box around it:

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Then drag it with your finger:

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However, this only works with the drawings, not the text.

Here are the formatting options:

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You can see what notes you have created on the left-hand side.

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Although the drawing feature is kind of neat,and it is relatively simple to use. There are some features lacking (not to mention the export options which are just plain missing). For instance, you can’t zoom in or out, which would be helpful with the drawing. As I mentioned above, you can’t move blocks of text around either.