Friday, April 18, 2014

April 14th-18th Instructional Technology Update-Andover High School- Daniel Downs

This week I signed up for professional development for the implementation of the Exploring Computer Science Program. This training will help teachers in the state of Massachusetts implement the new course becoming fall season. It will require multiple online hangouts online ands a weeklong session in August.

One of the most exciting opportunities with this program is the collaborative professional development between teachers in the state of Massachusetts. It’s a great opportunity to be part of some new course development that once implemented will make ahuge impact as the new standards for computer science are released statewide


 As a district we are preparing for the shift as we had a visit from the head of ECS come and talk to us about the benefits of this program in the background of the grant. We are excited to be part of this opportunity and look forward to implementing the courses next year. We plan on implementing the Exploring Computer Course as well as additional courses as they are offered through the grant.

The Digital Learning Department is continuing to support the creation of a mobile application for Andover high school students. In the past week we have set at some planning sessions on the integration of the app with in the school culture and how it could be used to support the existing website. We look forward to working with Dr. Lord and Director Of Digital Learning  Joanne Najarian
to helping us make this app happen.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 7-11 Instructional Technology Update Andover High School -Daniel Downs

I have been communicating with teachers around the building this week on how to use Baseline Edge software and complete the uploading and checking off of evaluation documents. This has benefitted teachers with helping them become more familiar with saving and storing important artifacts for their SMART goals. This learning process has been taken on with full steam and I am highly impressed with their detailed documentation of their learning goals and graphics being added to the portal.

Sara Adam a senior who works at the helpdesk was in a cake decoration competition in Danvers Mass. She is currently designing a website at the helpdesk about her cakes and designs and cupcakes. Sara has been diligently working on her site which displays a photo gallery of her work and also the history of her business. 
Sara was eager to have the opportunity to join the help desk and she has brought a great spirit and attitude to the help desk.

This week I continue to work with Peter Hall on his video project that he has for this the French students. He is currently using iMovie with video clips the students of shot show parts of Andover to the students are visiting from France. I am working with him to have the clips to iMovie edit and add titles. Peter has dedicated himself to integrating more technology into his classes and now he is taking on full video projects.

He will be sharing this project with the students were visiting as well as his own students to strengthen the vocabulary and dialect of their French. Working with Peter has been greatly rewarding and I am currently planning on using his project as a best practice for high school integration in Andover. I have included the photo of Peter's notes which he meticulously took about the contents of the project outcomes he wanted for students in this video. 

We are currently planning a video which will showcase teacher use of technology across the district. The video will be a collaboration between the digital learning department and the film and video studio teacher at Andover High School, Dan Brennan who will help us shoot and edit the "Virtual Open House".

The goal of the "Virtual Open House" will be to inform the community,parents,teachers and students of the variety of new technology tools, integration strategies and best practices which will be an important part of the 1:1 implementation in the fall in the 8th grade. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of the video as we move forward.

Monday, April 7, 2014

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.