By Margaret Hamilton and Doug
Since the Internet appeared in
Canadian schools, Ontario teachers have made many
contributions to its innovative use in the classroom.
teachers had a head start thanks, in part, to the
Ontario Teachers Federations Creating a
Culture of Change (3Cs) project. An exciting change
catalyzed by the 3Cs project was the early
development, by teachers, of a spectacular electronic
quickly evolved into a province-wide collaborative
culture a culture of innovation. Now,
powerfully linked together and no longer isolated in
classrooms, teachers in Ontario were suddenly sharing
on-line. Over 100 moderated
conferences gave educators, from classroom teachers
to superintendents to university professors to MET
officials, an opportunity to "talk" with
The World Wide
Web descendent of this communications innovation by Ontario teachers is the Education
Network of Ontario (ENO), also teacher-designed.
Both in its comprehensiveness and in its vigilant
attention to excellence in teaching, ENO is a unique
education resource and the envy of educators in many
Teachers Leading the Way
teachers have been in the forefront in Canada in the
development of sound classroom applications for new
technologies. Many of the innovations have been
rapidly adopted by educators across the country. For
example, publishing students creative writing
for a real audience is a much greater incentive to
students than merely getting good marks. So, Michael
McCarthy created "Childrens Voice" on
SchoolNet. It publishes creative writing by children,
while urging adults to value childrens thoughts
"Childrens Voice" began, Diane
Hammond, Marjan Glavac, and Jim Robertson, all Prime
Ministers Award winners, pioneered "News
Ontario," a province-wide resource that
publishes the works of student journalists.
"News Ontario" received a Nortel Institute
Award for its well-crafted pedagogical design.
In 1995, six
young, newly graduated teachers from Queens
University and education professor William J.
Egnatoff created the "SchoolNet Support Teachers
Project." This project brings a team of young
Internet-savvy teachers on site to help busy teachers
in their classrooms.
student-teachers are energetically leading the way in
many Ontario schools. They are designing and running
GrassRoots projects, setting up on-line courses for
high school students, developing school web sites,
offering workshops in board teacher resource centres,
and collaborating in designing projects with
Statistics Canada and Ontario museums.
ENO-based projects, many Ontario teachers are
exploring cutting-edge technologies. Greg Rundle is
helping Wingham students broadcast their
schools radio station live over the Internet.
Stephen MacKinnon has developed ways on his web site
to allow student musicians to publish their music.
Worth a Look
ENO [http://www.enoreo.on.ca/Projects/projects.htm] features many projects
for beginners to advanced Internet users. Each
project is thoroughly supported by a moderated
interactive electronic conference.
SchoolNet provides a number of unique resources to
teachers, all of which are accessible from its home
page http://www.schoolnet.ca . Ontario
teacher-designed, SchoolNets GrassRoots program
publishes many innovative projects by Ontario
A great source
of ideas for new projects is SchoolNets Digital
Collections, which makes over 100 rare collections of
artworks, photographs and documents available on the
World Wide Web.
Ministers Awards site (also accessible from
SchoolNets main page) links to all kinds of
award programs teachers can apply for. To check out
the many projects by Ontario teachers appearing
exclusively on non-Canadian sites, point your web
browser at "Pitscos Launch to On-Line
Collaborative Projects" http://www.pitsco.inter.net/p/collab.html . It contains links to
over 80 sites featuring on-line projects.
Elementary School in Ottawa [http://www3.sympatico.ca/st.elizabeth1/projects.htm] displays breathtaking
web-based projects entirely researched, designed and
programmed by award-winning teacher Dalia Naujokaitis
and her Grade 6 students. Take a look especially at
"Learning: the Next Generation" and its
astonishingly sophisticated student designs for
schools of the future.
John Paul II
High School in London [http://home.on.rogers.wave.ca/jp2/projects/projects.htm] promotes excellence
and accountability in student research. Check out Jon
McGoeys GrassRoots project: a field survey of
the Thames River which shows students considering the
social, political, economic, technical and
ideological dimensions of the nature of science in
relation to what they are discovering while doing
[http://noisey.oise.utoronto.ca:9996] , or MOOkti, is an
education-focused MOO (MUD Object Oriented, where MUD
means Multiple User Dimension) that exists to provide
space and support for teachers and learners who wish
to explore topics or collaborate on projects
Teacher-Driven Web Sites
The College web editor has suggested some
other sites that are well worth a visit.
Created and maintained by John Rickey, a Grade 1 and
2 teacher in Haliburton, this site has some fabulous
interactive applications. Animation and sound abound.
Storybooks, math questions, games and face painting
using Java applets make up this fun-to-use site.
Bonaventure Meadows Public
Teacher Marjan Glavac, a K8 computer teacher at
Bonaventure Meadows Public School in London includes
student home pages, teacher home pages, the Meadow
News (an on-line student newspaper) and student book
reports, among other things.
Alan L. Browns
Websites for Kids
In all the hype surrounding the net and the
negative impact it will have on books,
teacher-librarian Alan L. Brown has created a
fabulous resource for kids who happen to love books.
Brown, who teaches at Havenwood School in
Mississauga, has designed his site with kids in mind.
Margaret Hamilton and Doug
Walker are Ottawa teachers, as well as writers and
educational consultants with Canadas SchoolNet.