Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Instructional Technology & Digital Learning Andover High School Week of January 13-17

During a week in which most teachers are preparing for the end of semester exams many teachers are still working at integrating a variety of tools into the classroom. I had a chance at the last faculty meeting to present some of the components of using Google Docs with files and some of the benefits of collaboration with these tools. Being able to share these tools has opened up a variety of conversations with teacher’s which has extended from just creating Gmail accounts and exploring the collaboration features to developing Google Forms for Assessment in the classroom.

Teacher Highlights:

Teachers in Foreign Language are integrating variety of podcast tools in the foreign language department to help students learn language. Students can participate in lessons driven with native speakers and deep embedded vocabulary.

For the purpose of improving her connection to her students with web based content a teacher is developing a blog using the Blogger format from Google. She has developed a variety of lessons and media to support her existing curriculum. She will be rolling out the website in the new semester. I have had the benefit of working with her to develop the technology which supports her teaching methodology.

Teachers in the Social Studies department are in the process of reviewing web based tools in which to store and share links of curriculum content to share and collaborate with. Teachers were introduced to tools such a Wikispaces (, Portaportal (, Urlist ( and . These tools can add layers of productivity and collaboration between teachers. For the document outlining these tools click here.

Teachers are beginning to integrate Apple TV into their classroom environments either by projecting their desktops to their class or using the built in applications. Apple TV is an additional piece of hardware which enables “sharing“of Apple devices (IPad, MacBook’s, and Phone’s) to the projector. This technology is particularly beneficial to classrooms in which has access to the IPad or MacBook carts so that students can project their device as well. To learn more about this technology check out this page from Apple.

Co-Teaching Experiences
I had the opportunity to go back into Karen Stevens-Mazmans' class and teach a web design lesson using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for a marketing webpage assignment she is giving to students. Students are creating promotional websites based on a product. Click here to see her lesson write up. Going into her classroom is a great opportunity to share my skills and deepen the skills learned in the Marketing curriculum. It’s great to see the student’s interest grows as they learn how to code and change the appearance of websites.

Andover Innovation Lab/Help Desk
Students are in the final phases of their independent technology driven projects at the Innovation Lab. We currently have a student creating a mobile application (Eli Gukovsky), researching Minecraft in Education (Viabhav Patel) and learning the programming language Lua (John Makiej). These students will be presenting their final projects during the finals week in an online platform. For more information visit:

Teachers are well into the swing of adapting to all the new technology provided to enhance their teaching and learning. Wireless projection and understanding the intricacies of their new MacBook’s  is beneficial to student engagement but we also want to continue a deeper level of integration of a variety of web tools such as Google tools, Workspaces and a variety of Ipad applications which enhances student understanding of core concepts. In the Science Department a recent influx of new applications for their Ipad carts has enabled them to demonstrate Physics, Engineering and core Physical Science content online.

These updates are just some of the continual evolvement that is going on with technology driven initiatives at the high school across curriculums.

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