2015 Learning Highlights

1. Developed two math and dance programs, expanding on our “M” in STEAM offerings

2. Offered exciting day camps on school professional development days

3. Welcomed a new cohort of 40 educators to our year-long SHIFT Lab program

BONUS: We held two semesters of our Prototype Project which engaged hundreds of Jr. and Sr. High school students

Looking Ahead

1. Expand customized team-based professional development for educators

2. Expand our awareness and practice to better meet the needs of First Nations students

3. Deliver new outdoor programs to take advantage of our 6-acre park

BONUS: Expand our Direct From programming

Learning

By: Diane Greenwood, Director, Education, TELUS Spark

TELUS Spark offers unique programs designed to foster experimentation, observation and collaborative learning for students, educators, and families. In 2015, over 71,000 students participated in our school programs and were encouraged to think differently by challenging themselves to learn in new ways. Our 40 curriculum-linked school programs focus on developing skills that are crucial for the growth of all students as they move into the future. 

In response to a growing conversation about declining math scores, TELUS Spark collaborated with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks to teach math concepts through movement.  Our two new programs have been enjoyed by elementary students in record numbers and it is truly amazing to see a whole class creatively immersed exploring concepts like reflections, translations or fractions.

The educators of SHIFT Lab cohort 2 have been working to offer innovative classroom experiences and push their teaching practice to new levels. We saw collaboration across school districts and grades that will have positive outcomes for students in Alberta. The programs that have been developed for SHIFT Lab are also proving beneficial within our training and staff development initiatives. We continue to push our own practice to stay fresh and innovative with the programs we offer.

With proven success in our school programs, we can now take a deeper look at how to better meet the needs of the community. All levels of government and school boards have highlighted a need for an increased focus on the learning of First Nations students. We are in a position to help by providing an informal learning space that could support the learning needs of this community. We will begin with extensive consultation with the first nation’s communities and by building partnerships with stakeholders.

TELUS Spark has courage to ask difficult and complex questions and to tackle controversial topics. Our educational programming is building on timely topics of environmental stewardship and energy sustainability. We can offer students the opportunity to explore real life challenges and find innovative paths forward.

“SHIFT Lab has given me an example and model of what is possible in the classroom. It has provided inspiration and direction for my own school and what 21st century learning should look like. SHIFT Lab has encouraged me to develop a more robust process of reflecting upon my own practices and those implemented in a school. If you want students to be excited about learning and engaged in the classroom, SHIFT Lab is providing some of the answers.”

-Clayton Roe, Principal, Holden School (Battle River School Division)