Instructional Technology Update & Andover Innovation Lab Week of March 17-21 2014

At the Andover Innovation lab and student run help desk we are busy planning for our promotion efforts for next year! We had current students create flyers to hang around the school promoting our program. Students will be able to sign up for the help desk next year during the week of March 24th thru 31st.

From an instructional technology perspective teacher awareness of the use of web 2.0 tools is been a major focus this month as I have been sharing the district resources for Digital Learning. These resources help teachers to integrate a variety of web 2.0 tools into the classroom and also be able to differentiate what the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 tools is. Please review the link below to review some of Andover Public Schools Digital Learning Approved Tools. At a recent faculty meeting I was able to present the availability of these materials and  presented to faculty the tools and suggestions for integration.

A tool that I was able to directly introduce to them at the same meeting was the social bookmarking tool Symbaloo. This is a very graphical bookmarking tool that allows you to set its interface as the homepage of your computer and also create multiple pages of bookmarks. I can highly recommend the use of this tool for teachers particularly for creating specific pages of bookmarks to share with students and also the ability of this tool in other users

“webmixes” of links and resources.

This is great for finding new resources and also sharing specific subject area links. Another option would be to have students create accounts and make their own list of links to share with the teacher.

This week at Andover High School we were in the midst of MCAS testing. It became a great time to catch up on projects but also to connect with teachers more easily about how their technology is functioning and how their current projects may be developing.

On Thursday I had Natalie Pinta come and shadow me for a day at Andover High. She was interested in viewing how were integrating technology into our classrooms and the tools and culture we were creating with student and staff use. She was really impressed with the collaborative approach and willingness of teachers to let me into their classroom.

Instructional Technology & Andover Innovation Lab Update March 10-14 2014

This week the language lab continued to do training on using the Sanako software in the language lab. This support and training really benefits teachers who can use the software to create language immersion experiences.

I also met with Jorge Allen to refine the plan for the the world language website. The plan is to create a place for parents to more easily connect with staff and showcase the highlights of the department. I assisted Jorge with gaining access so he could post himself and see the layout.

The students in the Innovation lab have been diligently working and pulling projects together. They are in the process of  completing formative projects on the way towards their final. We are asking students in the coming week to create videos which discuss their learning process and software applications.

On wednesday I was part of a district wide meeting of program advisors and district leadership to meet with Jim Stanton from EDC who is part of a grant to help provide training to computer science educators to implement a course called “Exploring Computer Science” in the coming year. The training willl be taking place at Microsoft and Google in Cambridge,Massachusetts this summer. Participation in this program will provide a great backbone for implementing a computer science program at Andover High School  with a cross curriculum approach.

At this point in the school year teachers fluency has improved with the use of the laptops and also with using some of the hardware such as Epsom Projectors and Interactive boards. 
The use of web based group tools are on the rise as well as teachers are moving towards organizing their communication with students and parents in central platforms. Many teachers are currently part of a pilot of using  Google Apps. The pilot will expand in the coming months and training for Google tools will expand as well.