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IT4K12 Registration is Now Open!

it4k12 conferencerichmond, BCNov 2016Twin Lens Photography 604-788-5793
Looking to collaborate, share and learn from colleagues all around BC? Then you don’t want to miss this!
IT4K12 2017 is taking place November 9th & 10th at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, BC. The only event of its kind, this conference brings together leaders in education & IT allowing them to share their knowledge and expertise along with learning what’s new and exciting in their respective industries.

ERAC is working hard on the program (it promises to be the best one yet!) but we have some exciting details to share in the meantime:

Motivation & Inspiration

Sue Gardner, the former Executive Director of Wikimedia (which runs Wikipedia) is delivering the keynote address. She is one of a few women who has headed up a top ten website. A formidable speaker on new media, Sue looks to the future of collaboration on the web. How will the new knowledge economy—where content is free, and everyone’s a contributor—affect our education, our journalism, and our democracy?

Connect on Multiple Levels

Introducing a new attraction to this year’s event, the ERAC Connect Lounge! This comfortable work space will provide the perfect spot to catch up with colleagues, fast-charge your mobile devices in the brand new Brightbox Station, enjoy specialty treats to keep you energized and more. Be sure to stop by and check out all the lounge has to offer.

Want even more ways to connect before, during and after the event? ERAC is excited to partner with Quickmobile bringing you a customized event app just for IT4K12. The app will include features such as community boards, individual profiles, games and a one click social media sharing tool.

ERAC members can register by visiting this page.

 

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Attention Exhibitors

If you are a vendor looking to exhibit at this conference you have multiple opportunities to choose from, each providing a unique set of benefits. Click here for more information and to register.

Visit our website for up to date information and check back often as we confirm presenters and sessions.


ERAC Has an APP for That

ERAC has an APP for the K-12 Resource Collection. Educators now have access to the only searchable collection of BC educator-evaluated resources from any Apple or Android device.   Find it in your APP store by searching for BCERAC. The APP allows for on-the-spot collaboration by groups of teachers; working with grade level teams, subject specialists, and with the support of teacher-librarians. Together, teams can quickly evaluate whether a resource fits with the core and curricular competencies, and whether social considerations might support or detract from student learning in order to seK12 Applect the best resources for each classroom.

Time spent choosing resources at vendor displays can be reduced by using the resource collection to preview key information. Reviews include Curriculum Fit, Social Considerations, General Content, Technical Design, suggested Classroom Usage and any Additional Comments by your peer-reviewers. If the resource is not in the collection, you can request that it be reviewed by submitting an online form.

The BCTF selects practicing BC teachers to evaluate the resources in the collection. ERAC trains all new evaluators and provides mentorship as they start their three-year term. Two or more educators are assigned to that specific resource, based on each team member’s area of expertise. The review team, representing a broad spectrum of perspectives, develops a cohesive evaluation of the assigned resource.

This is a unique collection of resources reviewed by BC educators, linked to the BC Curriculum with corresponding grade and subject areas.  Currently, ERAC offers five curated collections: Aboriginal, ELL, LGBTQ, Professional, and Novel. You can search the collection by Title, Author or Keywords.

If you are looking for novels that include LGBTQ perspectives, characters or themes, start by searching the LGBTQ Collection.  Add the keyword ‘adventure’ and you will see three resources to consider.  One resource, Better Nate Than Ever, offers an “opportunity to open dialogue and discussion with students regarding gender difference and preferences, and sexual orientation” according to the Social Considerations Comments. As for Curriculum Fit, Better Nate Than Ever can be used to support the core competencies of reading and social responsibility and is suitable “as a novel for guided reading selection or independent novel study in a classroom or library setting.”

Entering the keyword ‘women’ in the Aboriginal collection in the search field will present the resource Great Women from our First Nations. This resource is an authentic First People’s text and a Canadian resource suitable as “a standalone resource… in a classroom library or as examples of biographical writing excerpts” according to the Suggested Classroom Usage section. It includes a teacher resource with suggested lesson plans.

In order to access the full reviews, create an account on the ERAC homepage by entering your name along with your district or school email address to validate your membership. Once you have an account, find a resource you are interested in and log in to get the detailed review.


Made the Grade - May 2017

 

Crenshaw

Crenshaw

Grades: 3-6
Supplier: Not Available

When Jackson’s parents fall on hard times the family must move out of their house, sell their belongings, and live in their van until his parents can get back on their feet. As 4th-grader Jackson tries to cope with this situation, his imaginary friend Crenshaw—a giant cat—re-appears in his life to help him through these troubled times. This realistic portrayal of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and resiliency is discussed in an accurate and realistic way from the point of view of a young boy, and will appeal to students of a si

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Fastest Boy in the World, The

Fastest Boy in the World, The

Grades: 2-8
Supplier: Not Available

Young Solomon, despite being from a poor Ethiopian village, believes that he can become a world-class runner, just like his heroes on the national team. When his grandfather takes him to Addis Ababa, Solomon cannot believe his good fortune – the national team will be in a parade while he is in the city. His grandfather has other reasons for the trip and Solomon learns an important secret about his grandfather’s past. When grandfather falls ill Solomon must make decisions that test his character and his endurance. An action-packed story of a boy whose passion for sports and dreams of greatness will resonate with children in grades 4 to 6. A useful novel to raise awareness of ethnic and cultural diversity, spark discussion of societal roles of women and men, and affirm and enhance self-esteem through pride in

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Great Cake Mystery, The: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Great Cake Mystery, The: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case

Grades: 2-4
Supplier: Not Available

Precious, a young girl who lives in Botswana, sets her heart on being a detective when she grows up. When a mystery occurs in her class –who stole the piece of cake, the bread and jam, and iced buns-—she takes it upon herself to solve the crime. Although all the children blame an overweight boy for the theft, Precious looks beyond stereotypes and prejudices to seek the truth. The three-colour illustrations and easy-to-read text will delight primary students, as well as introduce Botswana and its culture, and the themes of honesty, prejudice, and social responsibility. Written by noted author Alexander McC

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Odd Egg, The

Odd Egg, The

Grades: K-1
Supplier: Not Available

Duck is concerned that all the birds around him are laying eggs and preparing for their babies to hatch, except for him. He discovers an abandoned egg and lovingly cares for it. When the egg hatches, a surprising animal emerges, and Duck loves it as if it were his own. This cleverly illustrated book with staggered pages will capture the attention of primary students, and provide opportunities for the discussion of animal reproduction and i

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Purim Superhero, The

Purim Superhero, The

Grades: 1-3
Supplier: Not Available

Nate loves everything about aliens–so much so that he decides to dress as an alien for Purim celebrations. But, all the boys in his class are dressing as superheroes. Nate is torn about what to do and turns to his two dads for support. Nate’s final decision surprises everyone. This picture book, illustrated with eye-catching cartoon-like drawings, will be useful to introduce primary students to the topics of celebrations from different cultures, being true to yourself, and the diversity of famil

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George

George

Grades: 4-7
Supplier: Not Available

George has a secret: he was born as a boy but identifies as a girl. When the class puts on a play of Charlotte’s Web, George dreams of playing Charlotte, but isn’t allowed to audition for the part as a boy can’t play a girl’s role. George and her best friend develop a plan for opening night that lets George be Charlotte and lets everyone finally learn who she really is. This engaging and honest novel introduces gender identity struggles and gender stereotypes in a way that intermediate students can u

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Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, The

Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Charlie Price thinks life can’t get any worse after the death of his mother but then his younger sister starts acting very oddly. He discovers her going down a secret hatch and he follows. There he discovers a world where his Mother still lives. As he visits his dead mother in this alternate reality, Charlie realizes that the longer people stay in the alternate world, the less they are able to exist in the real world, and he is faced with difficult decisions about grief and letting go. This novel, suitable for grades 6-8, raises complex questions of life after death, losing a loved one, and how people struggle with grief, which provide opportunities for students to think critically and c

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Thing About Jellyfish, The

Thing About Jellyfish, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Suzy struggles with grief when her friend Franny dies in a swimming accident. Suzy cannot accept that these things just happen and convinces herself that a deadly jellyfish is responsible for Franny’s death. This title would be suitable for a novel study to integrate science and physical and health education in middle school. Projects and discussions could focus on personal identity, how students see themselves, and inquiry projects on ocean life. Each part of the novel is named for a part of the scientific method and the only illustrations in the novel are based on scientific drawings of

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Map Trap, The

Map Trap, The

Grades: 4-6
Supplier: Not Available

Sixth-grader Alton Barnes absolutely loves maps. He creates maps of all kinds, including ones that show what he really thinks about people—his friends, teachers, and even the principal. When Alton’s maps are stolen from his locker, trouble is on the horizon and Alton will need every cartographic skill he can muster to escape it. An ideal novel for grade 4-6 classrooms as part of literature circles or small group discussions, for independent study by students interested in mysteries or cartography, as well as for introducing mapping and inf

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Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Seventh-grader Sierra is a high achieving student at a school with a zero tolerance policy. When she accidentally takes her mother’s lunch bag to school and sees a paring knife in it, she turns it into the office. Sierra is immediately put on in-school suspension and will face an expulsion hearing. Spending time in the detention room with other “troublemakers” makes Sierra question right and wrong, rules, and acceptable behaviour. This compelling novel makes complex ideas readily accessible to middle school

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Green Bicycle, The

Green Bicycle, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Wadjda, a spunky young Muslim girl in Saudi Arabia, yearns for a green bicycle so she can race with her best friend, who is a boy. She is faced with a problem: it is improper for girls to ride bicycles. Frustrated by the many expectations and constraints placed on girls in her culture, she is resourceful and comes up with many schemes to raise money to buy the precious bike. This informative and relevant novel for students in grades 6-9 allows for exploration of personal identity, understanding diversity, and presents opportunities to discuss Muslim

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Improving Access to Digital Resources for Students and Teachers

erac_bcdclogo_stacked_rgbWondering how and where you can access the BC Digital Classroom Collection in your own district?  There are several options.

1. ERAC provides direct access to the BC Digital Classroom resources through the Access page. Within a school site, any student and teacher can visit the Access page and will be directly connected into the resource database collection. Note that home access requires a login and password, available from your District Contact page.

2. District-customized Access page: Many districts have also created their own landing pages to allow teachers and learners to easily access the BCDC and other district-licensed or free digital resources. Check with your District Contact to see whether your district has done this.


Exchange Online Protection & Advanced Threat Protection

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EOP Webinar

On Thursday, December 8, 2016 ERAC, Softchoice and Microsoft hosted a webinar to walk through the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) implementation process and to answer other questions about this email filtering solution.  As a follow-up to that event, we have prepared a recording of the webinar, a list of questions and answers from the webinar and a FAQ document for Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that some Districts were asking about. If you want to go directly to the recorded EOP Webinar, click here. For the Q&A document from the EOP Webinar, click here.

Please note: the Government of BC has pushed the deadline for Districts to migrate off GEMS to January 31, 2017 so you do have extra time to make the transition.

Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection

During the EOP Webinar, a number of Districts asked about the additional functionality included with Advanced Threat Protection.  You can find out more about Microsoft ATP here.

While EOP is included at no cost as part of the ERAC EDesktop solution, ATP is only available at an additional cost per user. The costs can be quite significant for a full District deployment but a full District deployment is not required for ATP – Districts can identify high-risk groups and license only those groups if they choose.

ERAC is working with Microsoft to negotiate discounted faculty/staff pricing for Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and to get student accounts included at nominal or zero cost. An offer should be available by mid-January.  If you are planning to purchase ATP, we suggest you hold off on that purchase while we try to arrange volume discounts for ATP.  January 31, 2017 is the new deadline to migrate from GEMS so you do have time to wait.

You can help ERAC negotiate a better discount for ATP by sending an email to psheaves@bcerac.ca indicating whether you are interested in purchasing ATP and for approximately how many users. This will help us estimate volume for the ATP negotiations.
For more information, please contact info@bcerac.ca.

 

 


Short-Term Offer for IDÉLLO from Group Média TFO

idello-image

ERAC is pleased to announce a new Short-Term Offer for ERAC members on the evaluated resource IDÉLLO from Group Média TFO. IDÉLLO is a French Language digital learning platform. It offers a wide variety of thematic files, applications, games, educational tools and videos in French. You can find details of the IDÉLLO offer here. District Contacts must sign in for confidential pricing information.

 


Post Conference Highlights Are Up for 2016 IT4K12!

post-confernce-group-shot-of-attendees

The IT4K12 Post Conference Highlights are up and we’re excited to share it all with you! View a list of our registrants and sponsors (sign in first to see list) and find out who won all the goodies! Presentations weren’t recorded this year but we’ve left the Program up for review. The presentations we do have are available on our new ERAC Vimeo Channel. Enjoy!


Making It Easy to Access Your Resources

new-look-for-collection

ERAC had a mission – to build a more visual interface to the ERAC online collection so members could easily see and access their resources. Well, we did it! Now when you access the collection, you will notice a fresh new look and feel. Simply click on the image to reveal a short description. Click on “Learn More” for complete synopsis and product details. ERAC members can select “Read More” to access information on social considerations, curricular connections and more. Register for your ERAC member login here.


PIA Announcement for BC Digital Classroom Core Collection 2015 – 18

bc-digital-classroom-bundle

ERAC’s BC Digital Classroom (BCDC) Core Collection subscribers now have a generic Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) template available for completion. Districts can ensure that their schools have completed due diligence regarding privacy and security for all staff and students by personalizing the downloadable document for their district. This PIA will help your District comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) when introducing an initiative or program(s) even if they do not include the collection of personal information. Best practices indicate Public Bodies should still complete Part 1 of the PIA and submit it along with the signature pages to their privacy office(r) even if it is thought that no personal information is involved. This process ensures that the initiative has been accurately assessed by the School District and has determined that the use of the BCDC Core Collection solution meets the requirements set out in the School Districts’ PIA as required under s.69 (5.3) of FIPPA. To download your BC Digital Classroom Core Collection PIA, go to: https://pia.bcerac.ca/


PIA Announcement for Trimble’s SketchUp Pro

sketchup-pro

ERAC’s SketchUp Pro subscribers now have a generic Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) template available for completion. Districts can ensure that their schools have completed due diligence regarding privacy and security for all staff and students by personalizing the downloadable document for their district. This PIA will help your District comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) when introducing an initiative or program(s) even if they do not include the collection of personal information. Best practices indicate Public Bodies should still complete Part 1 of the PIA and submit it along with the signature pages to their privacy office(r) even if it is thought that no personal information is involved. This process ensures that the initiative has been accurately assessed by the School District and has determined that the use of the solution meets the requirements set out in the School Districts’ PIA as required under s.69 (5.3) of FIPPA.

To download your SketchUp Pro PIA, go to: https://pia.bcerac.ca/