Thursday, October 30, 2014

Andover Innovation Lab & Help Desk Experiences At MassCue 2014-Lab Overview and Student Help Desk

On early  Wednesday October 22nd 5 students left early and  travelled to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro,Masachusetts from Andover High School as members of the Andover Innovation Lab and Help Desk to be part of the MassCUE(Massachusetts Computer Using Educators event in the form of the student help desk featured in the main concourse. The students participating were Eli Gukovsky,Ari Primak, Will Owen and Bryce Corbitt.

With the assistance of Dan Downs and Dan Brennan the students set up a video which promoted their endeavors at the help desk and helped outline the curriculum which they are part of at the high school. The video below helps outline the process of the Andover Innovation Lab and Help Desk.

This was a great opportunity for the students to better understand the huge movement they are apart of which empowers students to use technology more efficiently with teachers and enables them to work on their own innovative technology driven project. Students had an opportunity to network with other teachers who use technology as a main part of their instruction. 

The students also had a visit from Andover Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marinel McGrath who visited and chatted and tweeted out her visit with the group.

I was also able to present the Andover Innovation Lab curriculum to a roomful of teachers eager to see how we work on our projects and use blogging as a reflective form of the process. The presentation below outlines the design of the curriculum used at the help desk and provides an overview of several of the students projects. This was a highly beneficial opportunity to share what we do at the Andover Innovation Lab and how this model continues to evolve as we integrate technology in the district.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Instructional Technology Update- Andover High School-Grades 6-12 Daniel Downs Week of October 6th-10th 2014

This week began with a tour of Andover High School for a group of  Dutch Superintendents who visited to see how we currently integrate technology within our school. We were able we were able to make a video of their tour with a variety of different classrooms using technology. We  stopped in to the special education rooms, language lab as well as the programming courses labs. Dan Brennan the Media/Video also gave a first hand tour of the Andover Tv Studio. I was able to provide a detailed description of the work students do at the innovation lab and help desk for our visitors as well.
Their tour concluded with a question and answer session with the entire faculty at the end of the day. They also gave out of the gift of the book The UnDutchables to Dr Lord and others who were on the tour. This was a great opportunity to share     our perspectives on technology in education.

I had the opportunity to work with Isa Perez in the World Language department to have an overview of Google Classroom and how she could use it with her students. We also went over the process of adding new page, re-sizing images and content for those pages.  As you can see from the photo of her Google site her page looks great and she is excited to add a calendar for her students as well.

Also in the World Language Department Diana Zawil has been using a variety of great tools to integrate technology into her courses. She is using the cartoon creator
to make cartoons of herself and others to explain language learning opportunities.

She is also using QR codes with her students to quickly get them engaged with content driven language games that she can use to track their vocabulary growth in Spanish. The use of QR codes is growing as creating these codes is easy and can take students to web links,text,images and a variety of other web based content.

I am very impressed with how Diana has integrated these tools and it expands on her ever growing knowledge of the use of technology in the foreign language classroom.

Students in the Innovation Lab have begun working development of tools to assist with learning a Google Sites for teachers.

We also received our t shirts and banner for the library. The banner will hang on the back wall of the library and also be a backdrop for videos and also go along with us to a field trips and other presentations of the students plan on making of the next several months.
Our Blog:

It's great to finally have something to help us identify ourselves in the library we also have the opportunity to interview process Alicia a student who was part of last year's help desk to be in our promotional video.

At the end of the day on Friday I assisted Dr. Lord with adding a video from his phone straight to his blog to share out with parents. Dr.Lord does a great job of sharing out his experiences from the week on his Principals blog every Friday.
Find his blog here:

On Friday I have the opportunity to work with Assistant Principal John Norton to assist a student with a broken his hand to take notes for his classes with Evernote.
Find Evernote here:

I appreciate John Norton pulling me aside  and having the opportunity to work with the student.
It was great to be able to review the benefits of Evernote and how the company has added many new sharing features including the sharing and multiple notebooks.

A great tool I would like to share out this week is the the Cloudconvert Google Chrome App.
Find it here:

This app works within the Chrome Browser and enables you to take video files of a variety of formats convert them to your choice of format(avi,mp4,mkv) and reuploads them automatically back to your Google Drive. The process really is seamless and saves many conversion steps. This is great for sharing online video in a variety of formats.

From The Vault: Business Website Outline Planning Sheet For Business Website Introduction-Web Design 2011

As a continuation of the Business Evaluation Website this sheet is the introduction to the outline of the students ideas for a business website

This sheet can be used to help students to define the key links in the navigation and the minimum amount of content that should be expected in their design. In this lesson for the business website I also included the integration of an image gallery This sheet asks the student define how they would use the image gallery in their design.

This sheet also asks students to target their design towards a specific market which the site will be targeted for and an opportunity to explain the details and specifics of their product or service.

The final question from this sheet asks students to consider how the design elements which will be integrated into this site will influence the design. This is an opportunity to discuss the impact of colors,borders,color schemes,layout and use of text styles and fonts.

As an evaluation of their idea this sheet provides an opportunity to narrow the students scope and focus on the impact of the design on the marketing within the website.

Focus Areas:
Navigation & Planning 
Target Market of Business Concept(customer needs)
Image gallery
Design Elements(color,layout,text)
Project Scope

From The Vault: Business Website Evaluation Lesson-Web Design 2011

I wanted to share some old lessons as I begin to scan them and add them to my Google Drive Account for safe keeping. I am going to focus on the web design lessons and Sports Marketing lessons as they provided a great amount of student creativity and research. This lesson was first used in 2011. Be sure to notice the links included in the bottom.

Lesson Plan Links:
Part 1 Lesson Link:
Part 2 Lesson Link:

Page 2 Link

Website List Page 1
Website List Page 2

In this lesson I provided students with a series of questions to help them evaluate a variety of business websites. I enjoyed giving this lesson because it urged students to evaluate business websites
against competing businesses on key factors to the consumer.  You will also see that the questions urge students to look closely at the graphic,color ,navigation and layout of content of the websites which were included in their list(links at the bottom of this page).

This lesson also has students engage with the website as a consumer or targeted market. This helps the students to think critically about the content and how it is presented. This assignment also urges students to look for the "it" factor in terms of the success of the design. I would introduce this lesson by providing them with these sheets and a page of web links (included below) to have them search the sites and answer these questions.  This lesson is the first in a unit on the development of a business website from concept to coding and presenting.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Instructional Technology Weekly Update-Andover High School & Wood Hill Middle School-Andover Innovation Lab September 29th-October 3rd 2014

This week I had the opportunity to learn more about Nettexts at Woodhill Middle School. Sara Mensale the Digital Learning Specialist at Woodhill Middle School and I participated in professional development with several groups of teachers from the school. Nettexts is a web based application for a variety of platforms which enables the creation of lessons,units and entire curriculums using Open Educational Resources often called OER.  It was great to get a refresher on how this software can help manage open educational resources for teachers who want to implement them into their courses.

At the Andover Innovation Lab and Help desk we had a busy week with students preparing their Project Development Forms which help them outline three formative projects they will be working on over the next several weeks. All of the students are very motivated to work on this phase of their projects and they have all been so productive this semester so far. I really expect that in this phase we will really see their projects take shape and they will start to see their research pay off. This week Andre D.  is a student of the week he has been busy working on his Android Studio project and is finding resources to get his project moving.

To view these documents and the students blog please visit:

All of the blog entries found on the website this week will relate to the students ability to complete the Project Development Form and give us more insight into what their thoughts are about their projects as they move forward. Take a minute to view the finished blog entries on the website and read all the entries for this week.  The students  have all shown a great level of interesting applying technology to their learning.

In terms of assisting teachers around the high school this week Bryce Corbitt started with updating the iPad cart for the Social Studies department. Bryce was eager to get started with this and learn how the iPad's could be updated and how new apps need to be added to the iPad's and need to be cleared for new projects. He will continue working on these projects for teachers in the next coming weeks. Be sure to check out my screencast video of the expectations of this week's work and what the potential projects and items on our to do list where.

This week Dr. Lord decided to share out many department members websites that have been in the development over the past couple weeks. Here is a  link to his blog which contains the links he shared out in the past week. 
Dr. Lords Blog
I had a great time collecting them from teachers. With speaking to teachers about these blogs I had great discussions about the content and the direction they were thinking of taking. In the past week I've also had an amazing opportunity to begin the training of some of the high school teachers with the use of Google Sites and Google classroom.

Many teachers have decided to build websites not only by working with me but also taking the TechByte  trainings with Joanne Najarian at the central office on Tuesdays. I've begun to introduce teachers to the classroom and how the documents can be easily shared amongst each other. I think one of the huge benefits of working with in the high school so closely is my opportunity to sit down with teachers in their break rooms and discuss how I can help them with technology. One of the departments that I've gotten to know more closely is the World Language Department in which we can share a variety of strategies for organizing audio files and also creating websites to help them teach. We have also worked closely to create forms for students to submit information for quizzes and surveys in a variety of languages.

This is an exciting time of year with teachers and technology. We are in a time of great experimentation and transition. Each week I see a transition of skills and adaptability to use technology in the classroom.