Toronto District School Board
Skip to main content

Technology and Innovation in Education


GLOBAL COMPETENCIES IN DEEPER LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS ENABLED BY PERVASIVE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES: EVOLVING FRAMEWORK FOR THEORETICAL FOUNDATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION: There has been a sustained effort to examine and foster global competencies and deeper learning with technology within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The evidence can be found in recent TDSB research reports listed on this web page, such as this evolving framework concerning the relationship between deeper learning, global competencies, and digital fluency, all of which transform the learning process for our students. Within this paper we argue that learning environments where global competencies are refined by deeper learning and supported by pervasive digital technologies enable TDSB students to achieve high levels of literacy, numeracy, and digital fluency. This emerging work which is the first in the literature, provides clarification of the basic features of the three areas including, the interrelationships and forms the basis for the development of deeper learning, global competencies and digital fluency in subsequent steps. Click here for the full report (2018).

IMPROVING GLOBAL COMPETENCIES AND DEEPER LEARNING THROUGH INTEGRATION OF ROBOTICS AND TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLASSROOM: This study includes mixed method, pre and post research design involving surveys, classroom observations and stakeholders interviews to examine elementary teachers’ knowledge of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK), application of higher levels of the SAMR (the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model), self-efficacy and engagement after participating to professional learning and teaching and learning STEM with Robotics. The study also examines the effects of the intervention on student learning and improvement in their global competencies. This study allowed us to document use-inspired findings in: (1) teacher technology integration, (2) teacher engagement, (3) student engagement, (4) global competencies and skill growth in students along with (5) challenges and barriers in robotics teaching and learning.

Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic of the Robotics Report (2018).

TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH CODING: DIFFERENTIATED EFFECTS ON TEACHERS' TECHNOLOGICAL AND PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE (TPACK) AND STUDENTS' LEARNING: This report details a quantitative study on teaching and learning coding in the TDSB. We examined the effects of coding professional learning opportunities on teachers’ Technological, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and elementary school student outcomes across the TDSB. In total, 245 educators, most of whom did not have prior experience with coding, were surveyed before and after taking part in professional learning coding sessions. Results indicated a positive outcome across several variables within the area of teacher skills and knowledge as well ad student global competencies.

Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic of the Coding Report (2018).

TEACHER ENGAGEMENT, TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION, AND LEADERSHIP IN STEM PEDAGOGY: The goal of the TDSB's STEM strategy is to build capacity among TDSB Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators to enhance their STEM pedagogical knowledge, self-efficacy, and promote STEM implementation in classrooms. A critical factor in enhancing STEM across the Board is teacher engagement. This study examined: (1) teacher cognitive and emotional engagement, (2) social engagement with colleagues, students, and leadership, and (3) teacher engagement with STEM and digital tools. It is  suggested the method used to measure teacher engagement in this study will be used in other system wide program implementations across the Board. Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of this report.

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN TEACHING AND LEARNING: A FOCUS ON WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS: The reality of our current times is that creativity and an innovative mindset are requirements to succeed. The recent years have seen a plethora of varied research produced about creativity and innovation much of which has been aggregated and gathered here as the body of this study. A prevailing axiom in contemporary research on creativity is that creativity is not an inherent attribute, but rather a skill that can be developed through education. Using this as an organizing principle, teachers and pedagogical practices play a central role in the development of creativity and innovation. This study summarizes educational literature in order to look at areas of teaching, learning, and educational policy in creativity and innovation.  Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of this report.

Coherence is crucial as having an alignment of vision and execution can be a make it or break it moment for the implementation of a system-wide new initiatives. When coherence is not achieved, deep individual silos, competition among stakeholders, duplicated work, and an overall failure of initiative implementers to “get on the same page” is often the result. Using the implementation of STEM as a case study this report examines Coherence as a phenomena and how it is best created in a large and diverse school systems like the TDSB. Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of this report.

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN TEACHING AND LEARNING: A FOCUS ON INNOVATIVE INTELLIGENCE (I2Q) PILOT PROGRAM: The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) currently nurtures creativity and innovation through many pockets of innovative programs in educational technology, entrepreneurial thinking, and global learning and competencies. The present research studied the first year implementation of the Innovative Intelligence (I2Q) Pilot Program. The I2Q Pilot Program, which runs in the TDSB’s Model Schools for Inner Cities (MSIC), is filled with explicit training for teachers and administrators on teaching children the skills and behaviours of innovative thinking. In doing so, in this report we are reporting on the Grade 5 and 7 TDSB students’ innovative characteristics, the TDSB teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions, conceptions, and teaching strategies about creativity and innovative teaching, and the school/district support of creativity and innovation. We also studied the empirical research on the best instructional practices promoting the students’ creativity, innovation, and innovative thinking and the current trends in learning sciences. To provide recommendations to TDSB educators, policy decision makers, and researchers, we triangulated all of the findings with this focus-intervention study. Click here for the full report (2017).

AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF COACHING ON SYSTEM-WIDE STEM IMPLEMENTATION: This exploratory research study focuses on the STEM coaching model and investigates certain effects on teaching and learning using a longitudinal mixed-methods research design. Herein we include brief results from the year one STEM implementation and partial year two quantitative and qualitative data findings. Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of this report.

STEM OR STEAM: KEY STAKEHOLDERS VIEWPOINTS ON THE FUTURE DIRECTIONS OF STEM: Over the last three years the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has been conducting studies affiliated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Some of the topical areas covered have included professional learning in STEM, global competencies, deeper learning, and scaling STEM up across the school board. As part of the STEM and Global Competencies research series, educators were asked whether they prefer STEM to remain as STEM or for it to be modified to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Mathematics). This mixed method research study triangulates key stakeholders viewpoints on the future directions of STEM. Click here for the full report (2017).

TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (TDSB) DIGITAL LEAD LEARNERS AS SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGE AGENTS PROMOTING GLOBAL COMPETENCIES AND DEEP LEARNING ACROSS THE BOARD: Digital Lead Learners (DLLS) are leading teachers who explore new practices in technology and ICT and bring this knowledge into their schools to teach others (TDSB, 2014). This report presents the results of the effectiveness of professional learning offered to Digital Lead Learners (DLLs) at the TDSB measured by pre-and post-surveys. In doing so, we investigated the perceptions of DLLs’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), Technology Integration and perceptions of their role as DLLs. Pre and Post survey results triangulated with the current research literature to inform theory, practice and policy. Click here for the full report (2018).

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of the Digital Lead Learners Report.

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2017) of the Fostering Global Competencies and Deeper Learning with Digital Technologies Research Series: Compelling Research Findings.

TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (TDSB) LAPTOP INITIATIVE: LESSONS LEARNED AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This report (2018) examines the impact of the TDSB’s large scale laptop initiative on teaching and learning. Using two surveys, a variety of student and teacher opinion was gathered to see both successes, failures, and improvements that could best use this influx of mobile technologies into schools and educational systems.

Click here for the Visual Infographic (2018) of this report.

FOSTERING ENTREPRENEURIAL THINKING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP LEARNING IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: ASSESSING TEACHERS’ AND ADMINISTRATORS’ ATTITUDES, PERCEPTIONS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND PRACTICES AND STUDENTS’ MINDSET AND SELF-EFFICACY: This study focuses on evaluation of the first phase of the Entrepreneurial Thinking (ET)  program through the analysis of surveys designed to elicit feedback on participants’ perceptions, attitudes, knowledge, and practices regarding ET teaching and learning, as well as the quality and effectiveness of the professional learning activities and resources offered in the program. It also provides comprehensive research literature in the area of ET in K-12 schooling. Click here for the full report (2015).

GLOBAL LEARNING AND TEACHING WITH EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: This report has been written to provide a foundation and to inform the strategies in  the area of global competencies and educational technology. It can be used to inform effective integration of educational technology into teaching and learning and curriculum. Click here for the full report (2014).

K-12 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING STRATEGY: INCORPORATING THE ARTS IN TO STEM: This fact sheet has been written to inform policy decisions in regards to the TDSB’s Improving School Effectiveness and Student Achievement & Well Being through Learning Centres Strategy. Click here for the fact sheet (2016).

KEYBOARDING INSTRUCTION AT THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD PILOT STUDY 2016-17: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE: This report describes the results from the evaluation of the keyboarding pilot program in 2016-17. The purpose of the evaluation was to inform decisions regarding the integration of keyboarding instruction into the TDSB curriculum. The study involved a quasi-experimental, mixed methods research design, with before and after online surveys completed by students, administrators, and teachers as the primary data collection methods. This study indicates statistically significant improvements in students’ keyboarding knowledge and practices and accuracy from before to after the Keyboarding Pilot Program. Please refer to the full report for detailed findings and recommendations for policy and practice. Click here for the full report (2017).

Click here for the Visual Infographic of the Keyboarding Instruction Report (2017).

PRE-PILOT KNOWLEDGE BUILDING PROJECT: YEAR ONE REPORT: This study provides empirical findings that can be instrumental for educators and policy decision-makers to identify the effectiveness of Knowledge Building (KB) in K-12 schooling and inform current and future KB initiatives. Click here for the full report (2014).

RESEARCH SERIES ON SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: CREATING ACHIEVEMENT GOALS WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF DEEP LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY: In this research series on School Effectiveness and School Improvement we are focusing on informing school improvement practices on “creating achievement goals with an understanding of deep learning and technology”. Click here for the research paper (2016).

STEM TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: TOWARDS A STRONG THEORETICAL FOUNDATION AND SCALING UP FROM INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE K-12 STEM STRATEGY RESEARCH SERIES I: Using longitudinal research design this “use-inspired developmental evaluation” study examines the system-wide STEM implementation in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). At the end of the first year of implementation of the STEM Strategy, our research revealed important findings about administrator, teacher, coaches, and student attitudes towards STEM education, STEM teaching and learning practices, and STEM professional learning practices. This research study provides comprehensive empirical data to track outcomes for teachers, administrators, coaches and students’ learning and involved a longitudinal STEM strategy over three years to improve educational opportunities, decrease marginalization and improve school outcomes for all learners. This report also includes comprehensive literature on STEM pedagogy, trans-disciplinary STEM education, robotics and STEM education, characteristics of effective professional learning communities, and coaching. Click here for the full report (2016).

Click here for the STEM FACT SHEET I: Impact on Teachers (2017)

Click here for the STEM FACT SHEET II: Impact on Learning Coaches (2017)

Click here for the STEM FACT SHEET III: Impact on Administrators (2017)

STEM TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD RESEARCH SERIES II: Deepening, Sustaining, Building Coherence and Fostering Student Learning and Equity: The purpose of this study was to examine the implementation of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) K-12 Strategy and track outcomes for administrators, teachers, and students involved in this strategy. As part of the second year of implementation data was collected through interviews with system leaders on STEM, school administrators, teachers, and STEM coaches as well as classroom visits to examine perceptions of STEM, planning and implementation for the STEM initiative, collaboration efforts, supports provided, successes, issues and challenges, impact, recommendations for scaling-up, and achievement results. Click here for the full report (2017).

UNPACKING THE TDSB’S VISION FOR LEARNING: RESEARCH BRIEF ON DIGITAL FLUENCY: The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has recently set forth an innovative vision for learning, and this research brief will unpack this vision for learning, focusing on a core aspect of digital fluency. By doing so, we are targeting to inform recent practices and policies regarding digital fluency across the board and the province. Digital fluency is an essential part of global competencies and an important part of preparing young Canadians for a strong future. It is the hope that this research brief will motivate you to think about ways to better support digital fluency. Click here for the research brief (2016).

UNPACKING THE TDSB’S VISION FOR LEARNING: RESEARCH BRIEF ON GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AND CHARACTER: The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to preparing all learners to succeed in the ever-changing competitive global environment. As such, the TDSB has identified five foundational skills and competencies that are important for student success. They are: (1) global citizenship and character, (2) communication, (3) critical thinking and problem-solving, (4) collaboration and leadership, and (5) creativity, inquiry and entrepreneurship. In this research brief we are targeting recent practices and policies regarding Global Citizenship and Character. Click here for the research brief (2016).




© 2014 Toronto District School Board  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy   |  CASL