Year: 2016 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Indian Creek Road Public School
511 Indian Creek Road
Chatham, Ontario N7M 0P5
Subjects and grades taught: Math, Science, Language and Physical Education, grades 7 and 8
Brian Aspinall strives to create an inclusive, supportive and empowered atmosphere in his classroom and school, taking full advantage of technology and children's desire to create. His students say that this "funny man" keeps them laughing and active as they learn.
Mr. Aspinall believes that knowledge should not be something students memorize, regurgitate and forget. Rather, they should understand and use it to expand their thoughts and enquiries. He similarly seeks to refine his teaching practices by reflecting on and sharing what he knows with fellow educators through his extensive social media network.
- Champions the teaching of coding and creating apps to elementary school students; introduces tools such as Makey Makey (an invention kit that lets students turn everyday objects—bananas, for example—into touch pads and playable piano keys) and Scratch (an online tool for programming stories, games and animations).
- Creates free web-based software to support and assist students and teachers: Edmettle, for example, is a social network and feedback management tool to help students develop soft skills such as collaboration and independent work; Twiducate is an online resource for teachers to create micro social networks for their students.
- Launched and mentors the school's "tech team," a group of students who help their fellow students solve technology problems.
- Recognized for his innovative ideas: leads a team of educators developing coding curriculum and resources for the province; and was asked to write an article for the union magazine on how teaching coding and introducing maker spaces bring equity to the classroom.
"Mr. Aspinall was able to help me identify my strengths, weaknesses and fears. He turned my weaknesses into strengths and helped me develop my own voice."
"He gives his students choice and voice in how they will tackle their learning, which creates independent thinkers, learners and eventually leaders."
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