Sep 22

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Sep 20

First Graders Use Fotobabble to Present Their Investigative Report

I was interviewed by a team of three adorable kindergarteners.
There was the videographer, the interviewer, and the photographer(?). Each student had a role and after they completed their interview, they went back and reviewed the footage to come up with this Fotobabble presentation.

Impressive and fun.

Way to go first grade!

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Nov 28

Course 5-Final Reflection

Ready, Aim, Fire…

Project 366 #239: 260812 Stay On Target!

Photo by Comedy Nose

As we come to the end of Course 5, it is a time to reflect on how the project has evolved. Moving from the role of teacher to administrator, the project looked a little different from a standard unit plan. Our target, or our long-term goals for the iPad program are the following…

Given the number of new initiatives addressed at the start of the year, our group did well to establish the foundation for building 21st Century skills…
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
3. Communication and Collaboration

We set-up the policies, procedures, and other behind the scenes work needed to help teachers and students focus on the learning and not the management.

House build - June 2011

As a new administrator in a new school, in a new country, along with a new IT Director, and the tech teacher taking on a new role of IT Coach, we have attempted to be purposeful and thoughtful with establishing the parameters of each person’s role and working on establishing the fundamental relationships needed to move a program forward.

Proceed with Caution

While it would have been nice to have been ready right at the start of the year with a plan for the iPads, the development of the plan engaged stakeholders in the conversation and set the foundation for future conversations as to how technology will be integrated and supported in the curriculum.


Relationships are key to moving forward any initiative. Here are few words reflection from our ITC, Dainty.

I am thankful for having a great group of professionals to work with. I believe that teachers do feel supported with this new initiative and they are gradually taking advantage of the availability of the iPads and coaching opportunities.

Timing, like anything is important with the implementation plan. As I experience the school calendar at RIS, I can better understand the requirements that pull at teachers at certain times of the year.

As the ES iPad committee continues to meet, we will collaboratively look at how the use of the iPads will go on for the upcoming months. While this approach is a bit ambiguous, the flexibility built into the plan will hopefully reduce any of the stress associated with trying something new in the classroom, but still allow enough support and structure to support appropriate risk-taking that will move teachers to tackle all four levels of the SAMR model—Substitution, augmentation, modification, and a longer term goal, redefinition.

Like a good lesson, we are leaving room to monitor and adjust in order to best fit the needs of our pre-school through 1st grade classrooms.
While in retrospect, it might have been advantageous to work closely with one or two specific teachers, given the number of school initiatives being put in place this year and the number of other changes, this is something to further investigate as teachers get their teaching routine down and feel more comfortable to take on additional challenges.

If monetary restrictions were not as tight, it would have been advantageous to have more devices available for teachers and students to work with. While teachers are being encouraged to use their professional development funds (about 300+ dollars can be applied towards a purchase of a tablet or laptop), without the device available to experiment with, teachers become further behind. While the device is not the key, getting close to an iPad or (an iPod/iPhone even) helps build common knowledge and vocabulary. Being familiar with a device can potentially unlock the doors for some to see how this type of technology can seamlessly work in the classroom. Use of a personal device changes the way humans behave. If teachers are not from the generation that is using personal devices so regularly, then making that shift can be all the more challenging.

One particular highlight from our efforts to establish an elementary student friendly acceptable use agreement, was the graphic designs created by RIS high school students. The resulting designs are included in the video below:

As we continue on our journey to hit our target with the ES iPad initiative, I believe that we have a solid stance on a good foundation. One step at a time, one teacher at a time, we are gathering the data and building the momentum needed to validate the purchase of additional sets of iPads.
Perfect Shot

For our next steps we will have more opportunities for sharing and celebrating teacher and student work via the web, staff meetings, and lunchtime professional development opportunities.

While many teachers are not currently at the redefinition stage, we (ES faculty) do have redefinition, modification, augmentation, and substituion in the conversation… We are including this on our word wall and deepening our understanding of these terms. So while we may not be at the redefinition stage yet, we definitely now have it in our sights.

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Oct 28

Course 5-Post 6: Next Steps, Clarifying the Vision

As a member of the Leadership Team, Technology Committee, and WASC Technology Committee, I will continue to make system improvements to integrate technology into the curriculum in order to improve student achievement.

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Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action, talks about the importance of not what you are doing, but the reason behind your actions. The “Why” we do things is what people connect to and not the “What”. I think this is important as we move ahead with our various tech initiatives and we continue our work to clarify our vision.

Sir Ken Robinson – Educating the Heart and Mind provides a balanced and humorous perspective on how to look at our educational programs today.

At our most recent WASC Technology committee meeting, we discussed the key components necessary for change–
-Vision, skills, incentives, resources, plan

As a school we are taking the steps to take on institutional change.

The Steps to making change
1. Recognize need for change
2. Set the Vision
3. Scan the system
4. Plan

Example: Sally’s Day
Just as A Day Made of Glass 2-Expanded Corning provides a vision for the Corning company and for its’ customers, Sally’s Day can help students, teachers, administrators, and parents envision a future where technology is embedded throughout the day.

During our meeting we asked committee members to say what they wanted to accomplish by incorporating technology in the classroom. Below is a list of some of our wishes.

Wish List:

Independent learners/self-motivation …build their own learning
Communicate their learning/understanding
Remove all barriers that hinder collaboration
Go beyond their space and time as learners
Research – real data…current event/relevant information
Blur the school day
Extend the school day
Evaluate their sources of information
Build your own knowledge
Listen and give good feedback to others
Make good decisions
Save paper – be more efficient
Discovery and the sharing of experience
More evaluative feedback
Get out students into better universities
Legacy of production — something tangible that can reflect to others their level of ability


As we continue to tighten our focus on a long-term vision, our next steps are to utilize tools such as the SAMR model and develop tools specific to our school, students, and staff in order to assess our systems and the initiatives. With good assessments, we can…

measure our progress,
celebrate success, and
reexamine the areas where we fall short.

I look forward to continue working together and sharing RIS’ future progress!

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