Category Archive: Course 5

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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Oct 28

Course 5-Post 5: iPads in the classroom

Halloween Read Aloud

While using a new tool in the classroom can be scary, ideas are flowing and the ball is rolling in the right direction at RIS. Our ES iPad team (a balanced and dedicated group of early-adopters and not-so early-adopters) met during their lunch time to help make the decision-making process what it needs to be…shared.

ES iPad Team
As a result of our meeting, the iPads are being distributed to the classrooms (Pre-S up to 1st grade) so that teachers can familiarize themselves with the iPad and various apps that have been downloaded. Also, teachers can then experiment with the use of the iPad with small groups.

The second grade took the initiative to try-out using the iPads to help showcase their learning of insect life-cycles via Voicethread.

Screen Shot 2012-11-06 at 10.26.40 PM

Here are the examples from Ms. Lisa and Ms. Supen’s class. I invite readers to listen to the students’ projects and leave a comment. Since the 2nd grade just started posting on their website, I am sure any comments would be received enthusiastically. :)

Just recently, the kindergarten class was working on describing emotions. They used Comic Life to take pictures of the students showing the different facial expressions associated with emotions such as sad, happy, excited, disappointed, etc. Even though it was the first time for the students and the teachers using the iPad, but the students were engaged and the lesson went smoothly. After taking the photos, students added the emotions in the speech bubbles in Comic Life.

In a later I will share the student versions along with the teacher versions.

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Oct 21

Course 5-Post 4: Nuts and Bolts to Making it Happen

teamwork 5
Joining the RIS team, the players that I work extensively with are Dainty Angeles (ES Information Technology Coach) and Tim Pettine (K-12 IT Coordinator and COETAIL graduate).
ES iPad Team
When we were thinking of covers for the iPads, we knew we wanted something so pre-school kids could handle the machines without too much worry. Tim provided an “industrial” cover that we liked. Unfortunately, being in Thailand, the shipping cost did not make the cover a cost-effective option. :(

As a result, Khun Tony (IT Director) provided us with a good alternative. The covers have done well in our initial tests with the students.

iPad cover

iPad cover

iPad cart?
Initially, we took an available cart and we found some plastic bins that we could use to help organize the iPads. We felt that bins would allow the iPads to be checked-out in groups and it would be easy for collection.
Custom Made iPad wheeled-cart
Thanks to our onsite shop and Khun Oh, the idea materialized after Khun Oh looked at our example, did a quick design on paper, and then quickly went to the production stage.

Custom Made iPad wheeled-cart
The front doors are lockable and the ventilation holes on the sides and back should hopefully create a secure charging area.
Custom Made iPad wheeled-cart (back)

iPad cart complete

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Oct 21

Course 5-Post 3: iPads in the Elementary

On Friday, October 5, 2012, our school held an entire day dedicated to thoughtful integration of IT with the curriculum.

21st Century Learning Day
Tim Pettine, our IT Director, started off the event sharing Dr. Reuben Puentera’s work and the SAMR model to the entire faculty.
21st c day schedule
Teaming up with Dainty, our Information Technology coach for the elementary division, we planned and delivered our first PD for the elementary staff.

While uploading the presentation to Slideshare, the website recommended the following presentation. Not only did we gain an additional iPad resource when sharing online, but also we gained over 100 views!

In our Mac Lab, we just had the IT technicians set-up the lab space for wireless connectivity. As a result, our staff was also able to try-out the web-based iPad apps.

21st Century Learning Day
Learning together on the iPads.
Teachers and staff did well learning and exploring with the iPads during our short introductory session.
ES iPads #1

Small steps forward using technology are ok. I appreciate Benjamin Sheridan sharing his thoughts on how iPads can be used to improve a lesson. Here in the photos is one teacher trying out using the iPad with a small group of students soon after the workshop.
iPad in the first grade
Teachers are excited to utilize a new tool in the classroom. As the rest of the building becomes wired for wifi, upgrades in the infrastructure are being done to support the use of iPads+ in the classroom.

At the end of the workshop, we asked for names of teachers who were willing to serve on the iPad committee to help make shared-decisions on how best to facilitate the learning and manage the iPad roll-out. After our initial workshop, we have 22 iPads available for use in the ES and an initial four people on the iPad committee to help decide what will best meet the teacher and student needs.

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Oct 21

Course 5-Post 2: The Digital Landscape

At RIS, the ES has two Mac Labs and all classrooms have recently been equipped with data projectors, document cameras and a teacher desktop computer.

Prior to this year, HRs were regularly scheduled for technology classes. As a step towards a more integrated approach to the use of technology, it was decided to eliminate the separate technology class and create the role of Information Technology Coach (ITC). Faculty ask the question where the students will get the keyboarding and other basic computing skills. In an attempt to check on teacher expectations, Dainty, the ITC, and I went to grade level meetings to introduce or reintroduce the ISTE NET Standards.
nets tech essential conditions

Like kids from Japan and the US, students at RIS have iPhones or other smart phones, iPads, laptops, and access to other technology. How much access students have to mobile devices is still under investigation, and this is an area where our Head of School and K-12 IT coordinator would like to collect more data. How many students have use of a mobile device outside of school? How much are students “connected” and is there a future possibility of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) time for the upper grade levels in the future?

International Cultural Week_0004

The teachers and staff in the ES are a diverse group of educators with skills and expertise that runs wide and deep. I appreciate their warm welcome and openness to take on new house specialists

While some teachers have actively incorporated the use of a class website, Edmodo, and other online resources the range of experience with educational technology is wide.

Gmail and Google Docs was just introduced to the staff this school year. Our first attempt at a collaborative presentation, the specialist teachers worked individually on their “slide” for the collective presentation. At one of our staff meetings, I took everyone’s pictures, placed them in a Gdocs folder, and shared it to the group. Depending on comfort level, individual teachers or teacher teams created their slide directly on the presentation, or offline (which I later added). While timing, coordination, and differentiation for the presentation was a challenge, the end product was a success. I applaud our faculty and staff for embracing the new system and trying out a new way of communicating and collaborating.

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