OCDSBXL & Carleton University: The importance of student engagement

Before distance learning & physical distancing measures were enacted due to COVID-19, Sociology of Education students at Carleton University listened to a guest lecture from fellow senior undergrad student Rachel Anderson-Houldsworth about how impactful student engagement is on motivation and … Read More

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XL_Live Episode 4: Kelly Johnson, Chef

Kelly Johnson is the assistant pastry chef for the Governor General of Canada.  If you are receiving a Medal of Honour or being inducted into the Order of Canada, you can be assured that Kelly Johnson and the rest of … Read More

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XL_Live Episode 3: Jon Baron, Carpenter

xl_Live Episode 3 looks into the career of Jon Baron, Training Coordinator at the Carpenters’ Union Hall Local 93 in Ottawa ON.  In this episode Jon shares his career pathway, from high school apprentice, to Red Seal Carpenter, and includes … Read More

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Sir Will’s “LaurierLive” Students Continue to Broadcast from Home

LaurierLive is a student-run broadcast news station at Sir Wilfrid Laurier SS. Grade 11 and 12 students broadcast live announcements through closed circuit TVs in classrooms, and stream live to the LaurierLive Youtube channel at the start of every school … Read More

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Photo of Councillor Glen Gower

XL_Live Episode 2: Glen Gower, City Councillor

When asked for advice, Glen Gower’s hopes for students are simple but seem to give a window into his passion and drive: “Stay curious [and] get involved.”  Glen Gower These are two things that continue to move the Carleton University … Read More

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Choice board

#OCDSBLearnAtHome Strategy: Choice Board

Mrs. Clark has been working to turn her classroom into an experiential learning hub. Inspired by fellow educators, Mrs.Clark has created a Google Slides Choice Board for her classes at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in order to facilitate #OCDSBLearnAt … Read More

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**NEW XL_Challenges: Challenge 1 – #OCDSBTimeCapsule

The #OCDSBTimeCapsule is a living gallery, a collection of student curated artefacts that represent the lived experience of learning and expression present in the time of #LearnAtHome and Covid-19. It is a living history of youth expression in all its forms. In the … Read More

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Terry Dale at race track

XL_Live Episode 1: ft Terry Dale, Motorsport Hall of Fame Member

Our newest feature, XL_Live sessions, feature interviews with industry-leading tech and trades figures. Subjects will range widely, and are designed to bring students, teachers, and community partners together in a distance learning setting.  This is one of many innovative solutions … Read More

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Collaboration for OCDSB Educators w/ #OCDSBLearnAtHome

One of the positive outcomes of our current LearnAtHome practice is that it is generating excellent examples of innovation and collaboration across the school district. Educators are seeking ways of collaborating with colleagues to build and share resources. One strategy … Read More

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Three university students hold the planning template.

Carleton University Students Utilize the OCDSBXL Experiential Learning Plan Template

Student engagement and leadership skills are at the core of student work being undertaken in the Sociology of Education course (3300B) at Carleton University. The majority of students enrolled in the course are majoring in child studies, sociology, psychology, or … Read More

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A trifold with the words 'home fired insulation' across the top

Student Design: A Low Cost, Eco-Friendly Solution for Home Insulation

–by J-P Brichta, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School When faced with the challenge of, “How can you change the world for the better?”, Nicholas Steinke thought about dirt. Then rocks. Then rubber tires.  And he was just getting “warmed” up.  … Read More

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Student work

Projet passionnel à Mutchmor avec Glebe CI

Auteure: Vy Tran (étudiante) Même avant le début du projet, “project-based learning” m’avait toujours intéressée. Donc, j’étais très enthousiaste quand notre classe a commencé les projets passionnels. En particulier, mon groupe avait décidé de faire notre projet à une école … Read More

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Morgan’s Story: #BellLetsTalk

“Tired”Words by: MorganPerformed by: MorganMusic by: Micco; used with permission.  Contributor: Ruth McKeague and Morgan Bouncing Back (#RHSBouncingBack) is a school-wide initiative at Ridgemont High School aimed at building resilience and wellness into students’ day to day experiences. It promotes a school … Read More

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Students stand in a field of produce.

Students at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Enjoy Salad Bar Learning Opportunities

Contributor: Farm to Cafeteria Canada (Reprinted with permission) Interested in following their lead? Apply now for a grant. There’s an old adage about how food brings people together. The students at Elizabeth Wyn Wood alternate program have experienced that first … Read More

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Woman holding a sign that has the word innovation on it.

Focus on Research: Meaningful Work

Student voice refers to listening to and valuing students’ views regarding their learning experiences, as well as treating them as equal partners in the evaluation process (Blau & Shamir-Inbal, 2018). This is expected, in turn, to empower students to take … Read More

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Poster inviting students to participate in a design challenge around caring.

B&LT Launches 2nd Design Challenge: ‘Caring’

This year,  B&LT (Business and Learning Technology) is challenging students to use their Maker-skills. There will be a total of 3 Maker Challenges that students, classes, and clubs can participate in by coding, making, sewing, creating, programming an app, filming, … Read More

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Man plays guitar in circle with a group of students.

Craig Cardiff explores the power of song with Woodroffe HS English Language Learners

English Language Learners at Woodroffe High School were given the opportunity to put their words (in multiple languages!) to music with singer-songwriter, Craig Cardiff.  Cardiff is a Juno-nominated Canadian folk artist who, in addition to recording and touring, runs workshops … Read More

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A woman and child's hands working with a piece of wood. OCDSBXL lettering is written over the top.

OCDSBXL Podcast (Ep2): “Growing thinkers; Feeding learning.”

In Episode 2 we talk with Derek Brez from Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Derek is pushing the boundaries of what Science education looks like in high schools, with some of the most reluctant learners.  When … Read More

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Adults and young women pictured in radio station office.

Youth Ottawa & OCDSBXL Featured in 1310 News Interview

Check out the interview featuring the great work done by our friends at Youth Ottawa in partnerships with OCDSBXL.

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Group of students from Ridgemont pictured in front of the school

Time to Take Action: Ridgemont High School and the National Capital Commission (NCC) #LookOutside

Recently, as part of the larger #RHSBouncingBack initiative, grade 10 and 11 Science students at Ridgemont High School, in partnership with the National Capital Commission (NCC), applied their learning to combat climate change as citizen scientists.  Students and staff alike … Read More

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Directions on how to use a period pad on the wall of a bathroom.

Project Period: Featherston Drive PS Students Promote Gender Equity

Written by Grade 8 Students : Mariam Abdulhamidkhon, Abod AlAmeer and Rokayah Karim, R8A At  Featherston Drive Public School, the students of R8A have worked on a project to empower girls and to ensure every female has the right to … Read More

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Adults students in a classroom working on a movie.

Environmental Activism & English Language Learning in Adult High School

Students in the Central Orientation Class at Adult HS spent weeks completing an environmental audit for the school.  They were shocked by their findings. This ignited in students a desire to bring school wide awareness to the issue, inform their … Read More

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A group of students holding shovels out in nature.

Are you an OCDSB High School Student Interested in Spending Semester 2 in Nature? Learn More…

Before becoming a classroom teacher, Chris Drummond worked as an ecologist, a park naturalist, and an outdoor educator.  His passion for the outdoors and how human beings interact in the ecosystems around Ottawa and beyond led him to develop a … Read More

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A student sells a plant stand to a customer in a mall

OTSS Students learn about Manufacturing & Business with Junior Achievement

Submitted by: Heather Galigan, Teacher Librarian OTSS students in the Manufacturing class are learning all about product development through participating in the Junior Achievement (JA) program organized by ONFE.  Through trial and error they developed a mid century modern plant … Read More

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Woman holding a sign that has the word innovation on it.

Focus on Research: Student Choice

Student participation, voice and control have been widely cited and documented in the education research literature. Specifically, research exploring the impacts of student voice in the classroom has focused on student autonomy and content, assessment formats, and motivation. According to … Read More

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Have a great story to tell about innovation in the OCDSB? Staff and students are invited to write for the OCDSBXL blog. Please visit... https://ocdsbxl.com/write

Share Your Stories With Us

OCDSBXL wants to share your stories! Staff and students from the OCDSB are invited to submit stories about the innovative learning going on in their classrooms and communities, which embodies the pillars of the board’s strategic plan: innovation, caring, and … Read More

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Featherston Drive PS: “Shooting Stars & Stories”

                  Written by Larisa Taha & Malak Mutter, Grade 7 Students   Since October, Ms.Conley’s grade 7 class from Featherston Drive has been working on a storytelling showcase. We went to see Jacqui … Read More

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A large group of girls who participated in the skilled trades day.

OCDSBXL Hosts Women in Trades 2019 at OTSS

Women in Trades 2019 took place last week at the OCDSB’s Ottawa Technical Secondary School.  The event was attended by approximately 200 grade 7 and grade 8 girls from schools across the Ottawa-Carleton District.   The success of the Women in … Read More

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A young blond woman sits on the floor holding a baby girl.

SHSM Students at South Carleton Engage with Toddlers & Seniors in the Community

Contributed by: Teachers Jamie McIntyre & Kristine Kelly Fortin. Video by Grade 12 Student Ben Grant Playgroup has been a part of South Carleton High School for decades, bringing the community together through play. It’s been embedded in the Richmond … Read More

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Students Build Friendship Centre with Knowledge Keepers & Elders at Sir Guy Carleton SS

From the outset the goal at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School was to transform their Friendship Centre into the welcoming and supportive environment they had envisioned it to be.  Students and staff in collaboration with Knowledge Keepers, Community Elders, and … Read More

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OCDSBXL Hosts NetworkingXL1

As part of its work to build a network of innovation in the OCDSB, the Innovation and Adolescent Learning Department hosted its first networking event for staff from across the board: NetworkingXL1. Over a hundred staff filled a room at … Read More

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National Apprenticeship Competition Recently Hosted In Ottawa

Sharing the perspective of students, teachers, and Tradespeople at the National Apprenticeship Competition.  Hosted by UBC Local 93 Carpenter’s Union Hall at their world-class facilities in Ottawa, ON, Canada.  For youth, teachers, parents, employers, and industry, events like these help to … Read More

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A group of students gathered around surveying equipment.

Hands on Learning in the Trades at John McCrae SS

A new program is being offered at John McCrae to help students looking to get into the skilled trades. The course started by math teacher Sean Mikkelborg, supports students in college pathway programming to learn about the math necessary for … Read More

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Four students wearing chef uniforms ready to serve food they have prepared.

Farm to School Month celebrated at Sir Guy’s Parent-Teacher Night

Tatiana Vorobej and her Hospitality and Tourism students serve up their freshly made delicacies Guest author: Josie Di Felice from Sustain Ontario (used, with thanks) Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa celebrated Farm to School Month 2019 in style on October 24th … Read More

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Picture of a woman's hands helping a child wrap thread around a nail. OCDSBXL is written over it with an invitation to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as we build a network of innovation.

Welcome to OCDSBXL

#OCDSBXL is the new home of Experiential Learning and of the Innovation and Adolescent Learning Department of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (the XL is short for eXperiential Learning). We are committed to sharing innovation, facilitating the creation of networks, … Read More

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Students and staff standing and kneeling in front of a bus. Students in front row are wearing medals.

After recent ‘Skills Ontario’ Success, OCDSB Students Ready for this Year’s Competitions

May 6-8, 2019 Skills Ontario held its annual Skills Competition for Elementary, Secondary and PostSecondary students at the Toronto Congress Center. Students from the OCDSB and across Ontario competed in 14 elementary contests  and 47 secondary contests. Team OCDSB was … Read More

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A woman and child's hands working with a piece of wood. OCDSBXL lettering is written over the top.

OCDSBXL Podcast (Ep1): “Learning is Messy; Standing Back is the Hard Work”

In our first episode, “Learning is Messy; Standing Back is the Hard Work,” we talk with Leslie Mott from North Gower Marlborough Public School, in North Gower, Ontario, Canada.  Leslie reflects on the story of powerful learning with grade 4 … Read More

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Woman holding a sign that has the word innovation on it.

Focus on Research: Student Engagement & Collaboration

There is an increased focus on student engagement, student leadership, collaboration, and experiential learning in the classroom (Vaughan,2014).  Current research studies demonstrate how collaborative learning and a student centred approach to learning can be highly effective when designing and supporting … Read More

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Photo of a boy in a red t-shirt sitting on a chair.

From Passion Projects to a Whole New Mind: Making as Learning

When Leslie Mott’s students began imagining passion projects in March there was no way for them, or their teacher, to fully understand where the initial steps would lead: how could a 10-year-old imagine shrinking themselves down to elfin height to … Read More

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Two students using a camera to make a movie.

My Lens, My Story: The Power of Student Stories In Film

Youth Ottawa’s Youth Active Media (YAM) begins with a premise: the outcome of empowering youth to tell their stories has the collateral effect of developing, in the words of Executive Director, Ian Bingeman, “idea generators through transdisciplinary connection.”  Providing students … Read More

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Photo of a young man in construction wear standing in front of a high rise building.

OYAP Feature Apprentice: Sincere McNab

Sincere McNab, originally from Treaty 4 #88 Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan,   is now a registered apprentice, a member of IUBAC LOCAL 7, and makes his living and his home in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Meet Sincere McNab.  End of … Read More

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Red poster with hand drawn pictures of non perishable food items.

Solutionaries: Children solving real-world problems

Confronted with a National problem for Canada’s food banks, students at Fielding Drive Public School implemented a solution: enlisting the support of multiple community partners, students led an awareness campaign to promote “Ottawa’s Most Wanted”, and needed, food donations.  The … Read More

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Purple book with figure in the middle


Welcome to our new blog!  This site will be the home for eXperiential Learning and the Innovation & Adolescent Learning department of the OCDSB. The site will be used to share the stories of innovation in the district, provide professional … Read More

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