February has been encouragingly full of new knowledge & ideas, stirring possibilities and promise. The new systems and processes that I’ve experienced and discussed through recent PD excursion alight a motivation to investigate steps forward.
I recently posted the take away points from my PD trip to UK – see below:
I’ve listed some details of some of things that have been taking place in the MS since the start of the Year of the Horse.
- 10 teachers within the MS are currently piloting Hapara’s “Teacher Dashboard”. Teacher Dashboard provides an instructional management layer on top of the HKIS used Google Apps, giving users a snap-shot view of student activity across Docs, Sites, Blogger, Picasa, Gmail and Calendars.
For more information see here : https://hapara.com/teacher-dashboard-for-google-apps/
Through the remainder of the 2013 – 14 school year we shall be conducting reflective conversations with the pilot group in order to consider / confirm future usage / application.
- The grade 7 LA students are currently working on their quarter three “Powerful People” unit. In this unit students will be generating multiple pieces of work that highlight their selected powerful person. These pieces will be through a variety of media. I’ve been working with the students 🙂 – demonstrating and encouraging the use of the creative options available to the students through Apple’s iSuite programs. It is interesting to see the deeper creative control options available through all of the production tools. It’s great to know that the students are aware of the options within their laptops.
Their focus through the presentations has been great. I look forward to discussing their ideas and constructions as they develop.
All Grade 7 students receive this information and it’s very pleasing to see it connect to collaboration from previous social studies projects – the skills are being taught throughout the curriculum. The answers to questions shows the students retain operational processes and creative and communicative benefits.
Yeah – great to see.
- I have been looking into what options we have associated with the placement and control of a digital signage system within the MS. Connections have been made with a variety of companies and meetings set in order to test and consider what product may best suit our needs. Companies are preparing trial accounts for us to test the operational interfaces. I look forward to clarifying the options that are open to us.
More will follow.
- Through semester one, fourteen iPads have been allocated to a variety of MS teachers to test the application of the tool as a teacher tool with a variety of curriculum. Aiming to reflect on the benefit attached to these tools we are running an assessment of their effectiveness and potential benefit. This is also an ongoing process.
Findings will be summated towards the end of the year.
- My recent visits to ICT conferences in Hong Kong & the United Kingdom have highlighted an expanding global interest in students “making” and the educational experiences attached to doing so. Recognising this, Miss Law and I are currently investigating ways to enhance the Middle School’s robotics and 3D design elective programs.
So far, the addition and expansion of constructional components and materials plus the introduction of electronic components, and potential 3D printing have been exciting considerations.
We will continue to look at how best to implement these expansions, hoping to add as much as possible to the 2014 – 15 school year courses.
I will report more asap.
- The MS 7/8 grade maths department have been preparing to integrate digital motion data sensing products into the maths curriculum and associated activities. It’s exciting to see the connection of live data collection and mathematical processes. This sensor will be Vernier’s Motion Detector, used to measure position, velocity, and acceleration of moving objects. All data can be collected through Vernier’s Logger Pro software, currently available on all MS laptops. To date most data sensing has been applied to the science curriculum so it’s great to see that expanding too.
For more information on the motion sensors, see here : http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors/motion-detectors/md-btd/
- As previously reported, the MS technology department environment has been reconstructed. Opening early Feb, the technical staff are now going through the long process of re-organizing the newly constructed MS ETS and AV environment so that it meets their operational needs required to support our MS kiddoes.
- As frequently required, we continue to reiterate the grade 5 – 8 ICT Student Use Expectations to ensure our students are conscious of the operational expectations surrounding their use of technology.
The reiteration is considered crucial as the students develop operational habits around the use of ICT through their time at the MS.
We aim to help all be the best of users.