CGS Professional Development Blog

Outdoor Council of Canada Field Leader Course by Emily Coady (Alora Papow)

Posted on November 19, 2015 at 9:55 am

Earlier this year, Alora and I attended the Outdoor Council of Canada Field Leader Course. The course is designed for people leading many different types of outdoor experiences that are of high quality and safety. The first component of the course looked at the different leadership skills needed to successfully plan and lead a group in a ‘hiking’ environment while the second part applied this information in a planned activity.


Course Focus

  • Pre-Event Planning
    • The Vision – this stage of planning is critical and requires the leader to consider exactly who are the participants, what are the activities, and where is the event location.
    • Hazards and Defense – it is the leaders responsibility to anticipate risks as best as they can and take appropriate measures to reduce them to an acceptable level. Some hazards to consider are; environmental, weather, wildlife, people, and transportation.
    • Team Building – everyone involved in the event will have different needs to be satisfied in order for them to do their part in making the event a success. The success of the event requires that each person understands their role and agrees to perform it to the best of their ability.
  • Environmental Responsibility – it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure the participants understand how to behave so as to protect the environment.
  • Group Management – good group management achieves three things: it keeps the group together; it ensures that the information the participants need flows out to them in a timely manner; and it ensures that the information the leader needs flows in to them as appropriate.
  • Situational Awareness – when the event is underway, it is important to remain alert to the many changes going on in the environment around you.
  • Accident and Emergency Response
  • Debriefing – this is a critical element of the event cycle that enriches the experience of the even just completed while helping you learn the lessons that will assist in offering an even better event next time.


BlendED 2015 Symposium by Annie Lougheed

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

On October 27, we had the pleasure of presenting a session at the blendED 2015 Symposium in Edmonton, Alberta. The blendED 2015 Symposium is devoted to practical and comprehensive approaches to blended and online learning.  The Symposium is organized around five broad themes:  Research, Pedagogy, Tools, Course Design, and Diverse Learning Groups.

We were invited to share examples of our technology integration program at The Calgary Girls’ School. Our session included a brief description of Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model for technological integration as well as a look into our Techsperts technology support model. This specialized team of Techsperts is made up of students that are leaders in technology in our school. This team of students meets twice a week to explore various technology tools, applications and they are also a technology support for other students who have questions. Students demonstrate a growth mindset as well as strong habits of mind such as, persistence and applying past knowledge to new situations.
Annie Lougheed, Grade 4
Nelson MacDougall, Grade 9 Science and Technology Learning Strategist
Joel Melashenko, Director of Technology

Young Scientists Academy by Jeff Orsten

Posted on November 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm

In the fall of 2014, Tim Lee and Jeff Orsten participated in the University of Calgary’s ‘Young Scientists Academy’. This was a weeklong professional development camp involving teachers from Alberta schools and students from the Calgary area. The camp was an exploration into robotics as a vehicle for teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Using Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits, students completed a challenge to design, build and program their own robot to perform specific tasks. Teachers then collaboratively shared their perspectives on the connections made to the STEM disciplines. This was an enlightening and valuable experience for both Mr. Lee and Mr. Orsten, not only in the application of robotics for teaching core subject concepts, but also as an investigation into the new literacy of coding.

Compassion • Integrity • Collaboration • Courage • Curiosity • Democracy • Diversity