Sandy MacDougall is a Technology Integration Specialist at Halifax Regional School Board in Nova Scotia, Canada. He shared, “In my role as a Technology Integration Specialist for our district, I offer teachers PD to show them various aspects of Discovery Education. One of my favourite features is student accounts. When teachers realize that students can have their own accounts and can access both resources that the teacher has created and made available, but can also explore Discovery Educations resources, they are always very happy. Student accounts allow for differentiation and student curiosity. I believe the real power of DE isn’t known until students have their accounts and start using them on their own!”
How do you start your day?
Breakfast including coffee, checking email, quick scan of the newspaper e-edition, and listening to CBC Radio.
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I’ve recently taught a graduate level course at a local university.
I was a member of a provincial team to identify and select a productivity suite for all schools in the province. That effort identified Google Apps for Education, and now I’m on the provincial committee that is coordinating implementation of GAFE across the entire province. I’m a DEN Star, LC member and Guru.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
Small steps. Identify one strategy, tool, resource you want to use and then learn how to use it. Seek help, there’s no need to feel that you’re alone as you begin to use digital media and technology in your classroom and MOST importantly, develop a PLN… if you don’t know what that means or how to do it – please ask!
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
I have an extensive PLN that grew from my DEN friends and now extends well beyond those great people… though they are still a very important core group. I follow many educators on Twitter and Facebook and have just started to dabble in Pinterest!
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
-President, Reunion co-Chair and webadmin for Alumni Association of Nova Scotia Teachers College – the College no longer exists, so maintaining support and interest is a struggle at best (nsteacherscollege.ca)
-Treasurer, Technical Director and webadmin for Bedford Players Community Theatre – and as with all community theatre, we all do a wide variety of things in addition to our formal titles (bedfordplayers.ca)
-Treasurer, Registrar and webadmin for the Halifax Sci-Tech Expo – the regional science fair for Halifax (hste.ednet.ns.ca)
-Member of the Nova Scotia Teachers College Education Foundation – a provincial board that administers scholarship funds remaining from the Nova Scotia Teachers College. We use the funds to awards scholarships to current BEd students
-Member of Provincial Google Apps for Education rollout and implementation committee (work related)
-Taught graduate course – Technology Integration in the Curriculum – at Mount Saint Vincent University this past winter
-Retired member of the Canadian Forces Reserves and worked for 26 years with the Canadian Cadet Organization
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
One very memorable experience was walking into the lobby of the residence to check in at Burlington. This was the first time I had met Porter Palmer, who rushed over to my colleague and I and greeted us by name and gave us a hug! “Wow,” I thought, “what have I gotten myself into!?” Now two years later, I know I’m into the best “family” of educators and friends – far and near – in the world!
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
Probably at home. My partner and I have a wonderful home, with a fantastic kitchen that’s great for cooking together. A few years ago we added on to the house and now have a wonderful space for entertaining and relaxing. We have great gardens, and a lovely deck that bring us outdoors… so, yeah! Home is a pretty wonderful place to spend down time.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
Oh! So many to choose from… but I’d have to say Chocolate Glazed (NOT frosted)
How can others connect with you?