Laurie Cassie and Rebecca Robins
Year: 2010-2011 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipients
David Livingstone Elementary School
315 East 23rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5V 1X6
Subjects and grades taught: Math, Social Studies and Personal Planning for grades 6 and 7, Resource – Language Arts, Math and designated students for grades 2, 3, 6 and 7
Have a seat and help yourself to some tea and cookies in one of Laurie and Rebecca's Passion Cafés, where student passions fuel the discussions. Passionate about engaging students, Mrs. Cassie and Ms. Robins are always on the lookout for new ways to help students of all abilities learn and excel. Continually innovating, this "dynamic duo " has made SMART boards and video part of everyday life in their classrooms. Their tech know-how is in high demand and has inspired hundreds of other educators looking to enhance their teaching practices.
Collaboration is key for this teaching team known for their creative use of SMART Boards in the classroom and ability to integrate digital media into their lessons and across disciplines. The two use technology in ways many teachers could only have dreamed of a few years ago. Mrs. Cassie recognizes her students' technological abilities and lets them teach the teachers. Often working with students who struggle with the English language or have a learning challenge, Robin's uses video to help her students understand content and make a stories come to life. Both are inspiring leaders committed to sharing ideas and best practices with their colleagues.
- Now a District Technology Inquiry school, David Livingstone Elementary owes much of its tech savvy status to the imagination, innovation and passion of Laurie Cassie and Rebecca Robins.
- Upon learning of a technology contest sponsored by Best Buy, Mrs. Cassie led the creation of a student-centered video about their future vision of technology for learning. The group won a $20,000 grant for the use of technology in the classroom and the school was able to purchase 30 netbook computers.
- Tapping into resources like CBC and BBC archives, the Discovery Educator Network and Book Flix (Scholastic's digital book resource), Ms. Robins makes learning relevant to each and every student.
- At provincial SMART Board conferences and workshops, Mrs. Cassie regularly trains her students to co-present with a team of adults. The students become excellent problem-solvers as they help teachers use the right tools to design effective lessons.
- Mrs. Cassie's students also learn about the ins and outs of money in a bank as David Livingstone Elementary turns into a real working branch of the Van City credit union.
- Mrs. Cassie and Ms. Robins regularly share their resources with colleagues and submit lessons on the SMART Exchange – a sharing space developed by SMART technologies. Ms. Robins was named an "Exemplary Educator" by SMART Technologies; her puberty unit was the #1 most recommended in Canada and her Remembrance Day unit the #1 most downloaded of the week.
- Both Ms. Robins and Mrs. Cassie were recognized as STAR Discovery Educators by the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) – an elite group of 5,000 educators globally.
"Laurie Cassie and Rebecca Robins have been instrumental in transforming our son's worldview. School is no longer a torment, but a rich adventure, where he feels his contribution is valued and his ideas respected."
"In my 38 years in education, I have not come across such a dynamic duo as Ms. Cassie and Ms. Robins."