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Initiatives


All schools should have initiatives and plans for the future.  For technology we want to look at certain proposals like:


1:1 iPad Program

iPad apps are expanding the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. From interactive lessons to study aids to productivity tools, there’s something for everyone.

Apps for Education

With iPad, the classroom is always at your fingertips. Right now at the App Store, there are thousands of apps available to download. Students can track their assignments, take notes, and study for finals. Teachers can give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organized. And that’s just the beginning.

iWork for iPad: Pages, Keynote, and Numbers

The three iWork productivity applications help students and teachers put together professional-looking documents, presentations, and spreadsheets no matter where they are. Pages is a powerful word processor with simple-to-use layout tools and a large onscreen keyboard. With Keynote, it’s easy to create presentations with stunning animations and effects. And Numbers lets students and teachers build compelling, attractive spreadsheets in minutes, including tables and charts. When you finish what you’ve been working on, use AirPrint to print it out directly from your iPad.

Make movies and music with iMovie and GarageBand.

iMovie and GarageBand will uncover hidden talent in the classroom. You can record HD video on iPad, then edit on the large, Multi-Touch display. GarageBand turns your iPad into a musical instrument and recording studio. Play Touch Instruments such as guitar, keyboard, drums, and synthesizers using just your fingers. Then record, mix, master, and share your music.

Apple’s iTunes U

Apple’s iTunes U is home to more than 350,000 free lectures, videos, books, and podcasts from learning institutions all over the world. Universities such as Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Bejing Open University, and the University of Tokyo, as well as broadcasters such as PBS, offer free content on iTunes U. Content ranges from lectures and presentations to syllabi and campus maps. Accessing iTunes U is simple. Just tap More in the iTunes app and you’ll see iTunes U. From there, browse and download content directly to your iPad.

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Adobe Education Leaders

Adobe Education Leaders are educators who have used their unique abilities and expertise to promote excellence in education through the integration of Adobe solutions in the classroom, school, or district.

The Adobe Education Leaders program highlights the successes and contributions of innovative educators involved in primary and secondary education utilizing Adobe tools and applications.

Adobe Education Leaders are dedicated to enhancing creativity, communication, and collaboration and improving the teaching and learning experience. They share their expertise through technology-based projects and at workshops, seminars, and conferences. These leaders develop standards-based curriculums and educational resources that are used worldwide.

When new products are developed or existing products are revised, the Education Leaders are among the first to support learning objectives through effective use of the technology. As leaders in their field, they are dedicated to creating a dynamic learning environment for students and teachers.

Through the Adobe Education Leaders program, a network of outstanding educators inspire each other, share ideas, and collaborate with peers in the education community. Leaders can be classroom teachers, district administrators, technology coordinators, in-service specialists, college faculty working in the field of education, or education consultants.

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Apple Distinguished Educators Program

The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program is a relationship program focused on educational excellence and leadership. ADEs are members of a select group of K-12 and Higher Education professionals possessing an identified expertise in educational technology leadership. This group of over 1,500 educators spans the globe with membership in the USA, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.

ADE Member Roles

Members of the ADE community fulfill four primary roles in their interaction with Apple:

Advocates – ADEs are passionate advocates of the potential of Apple technologies and they provide expert assistance and best practices to educators and policy makers. ADEs are frequent presenters at local, state, national and international educational conferences.

Advisors – ADEs provide valuable input to Apple on the realities of integrating instructional technology into learning environments.

Authors – ADEs publish authentic work to share with peers such as teaching and leadership best practices, exemplary lesson ideas, and a range of content items that showcase Apple products and technologies for the advancement of education.

Ambassadors – ADEs are innovators in building community and capacity for teaching and learning in a global context. Through online projects and collaboration tools, they empower each other to expand the walls of the classroom and bring global experiences to classrooms everywhere.

To contact Europe/Middle East/India/Africa – EMEIA_ADEs@apple.com

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Competitions

Elementary school competitions

Middle school competitions

High school competitions

  • Destination ImagiNation Website
  • Hydrogen Ambassadors International Competition Website
  • International Bridge Building Contest Website
  • International ROV Competition Website
  • Odyssey of the Mind Website
  • RoboCup Website

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and

Curriculum Mapping (Planning, Communications, Grading ~ MB)

Rubicon Atlas and even better for IB schools is ManageBac.

In Rubicon Atlas:

What is Mapping?

Rubicon’s new definition of mapping:

A system for focused conversation.
An instrument for transparent partnerships.
The hub of all curriculum initiatives.
The central nervous system of curricular discussions.
An electronic town hall.
A promise that the students won’t get lost.
Implemented properly, it can be transformational.

In ManageBac:

Collaboratively plan your curriculum

Unit Plan

  • Collaboratively create and share Units of Inquiry.
  • Link units directly to summative & formative assessment tasks.
  • Export directly to the PYP planner template.

Whole-School Curriculum

  • Easily complete vertical and horizontal planning with the whole-school curriculum map.
  • Analyze units by subject focus, concepts, learning expectations and skills & attitudes.

Build stunning student portfolios!

Goals & Reflection

  • Build a timeline of student learning goals and self-reflections.
  • Engage parents in goal setting and reflection.

Coursework – Consolidate student coursework with comments.
Learner Profile – Students evaluate their learner profile characteristics.
Parent Conferences
– Record meeting notes and centralize school-to-home communication.

Track progress along the learning continuum

Teacher View – Track student progress along their learning continuum.
Customization – Customize your scope & sequence with built-in overall expectations, conceptual understandings and learning outcomes.
Student & Parent View
– Engage parents in their child’s progress along the learning continuum.

Simplify PYP assessment

Learning Expectations – Define and customize your learning expectations from built-in learning outcomes from the IB Scope & Sequence Subject Guides.
Evaluation Criteria
– Customize your assessment evaluation criteria by year.

Simply stunning IB report cards!

Learner Profile – Students evaluate their learner profile characteristics.
Goals & Reflections – Report learning goals alongside student, teacher and parent reflections.
Standards & Benchmarks Evaluation
– Core and specialist teachers evaluate student progress against overall learning expectations.

Engage parents in their child’s progress

Portfolio

  • Highlight the current unit of inquiry alongside the full program of inquiry.
  • Engage parents in their child’s progress through goal setting and reflection.

Learning Continuum – View their child’s progress along the learning continuum.
Exhibition
– Showcase the PYP exhibition.
Parent Association

  • Directly post announcements and messages to parents.
  • Centralize assessment policy and academic handbooks.

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eSafety 360°

Great e-safety tools are found here at generationsafe.ikeepsafe.org.  It is a self-assessment tool that asks educators to see how effective they are implementing safety through the cyber-world.  Resources to consider include:



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Google Certified Teacher

The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other primary and secondary educators in their local region.

More about the program found here

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Going Green with Tech

A great website to check out about this thought is: urbangreeninginstitute.com

Many countries, such as Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, Germany and Canada, are seeing an environmentally sustainable economy as an opportunity and competitive advantage for great innovation and economic prosperity.  These countries and many others are betting that the next economic revolution will be about optimizing all resources: Energy, Materials, Land, Human Ingenuity and Labor.

In other words, the next wave or if there is a common ‘want’ amongst the world population, it must be “Go Green”, especially in this dull economy.  Enough is Enough,  most people yearn for fundamental values and Back to Basics of being Human: Truths and Goodness.

More and more companies are strategically positioning themselves to thrive in a sustainable Green economy by reinventing what they do – from quality lasting products, efficient manufacturing processes,  effective energy systems, sustainable building materials, public service to household goods, unlimited material supply through recycling – everything in our worklife, school life and home life, to have less impact to the environment and achieve true collective progress.

We stumbled upon Mr Paul Hawken’s video (an eye-and-heart opener and wonderful news that sky-rocketted my HOPE for a better world,  very wise thoughts based on years of in-the-field experience.

CLICK HERE to see videos

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Monitoring

Faronics Insight

Faronics Insight changes the way that technology is viewed in the classroom by turning standard computer labs into collaborative learning environments. Insight is the ultimate classroom technology management solution that empowers instructors with the ability to educate, assist, monitor, and communicate with an entire class from one central computer. Instructors no longer need to deal with classroom distractions—such as games, instant messaging, and web surfing—when teaching a class. Insight makes it easy for instructors to monitor user computers; blank user screens; mute audio; remote into their computers; open, close, block applications and web activity on user workstations.

Insight’s classroom collaboration options are just as powerful as its classroom control features. Instructors are able to share their screen with users, or with their supervision, let users share their screen with other users. Communication efficiency is increased with the ability to send and collect files, chat with users, broadcast messages, and hold classroom votes and student testing.

Education

Computers have the power to enhance the classroom experience for both students and teachers, but the benefits can easily be lost to distractive elements such as games, instant messaging, and web surfing. Instructors often have to deal with students who are not paying attention to classroom instruction, which makes it difficult to teach classes effectively.

Empowering Teachers With Control

Trying to coordinate simple tasks—whether it is having students open a website and then navigate through to the required page or trying to have them type in a complex URL—can often become a tedious and time-consuming task for teachers. Insight changes all this by delivering total control over classroom computers into the hands of the instructor. With Insight, teachers can easily launch applications and websites on all student workstations from a central teacher console. Teachers no longer need to deal with distractions when teaching—such as students surfing the Internet, typing on the keyboards, clicking their mice, and playing games. By blanking student screens, teachers can lock students out of their computers when they should be paying attention, and can monitor multiple student computers through Insight’s thumbnail viewing feature. Teachers can also monitor the running applications and Internet history on classrooms computers to ensure students are on task.

Enhancing The Student Learning Experience

Insight enhances the learning experience for students by turning standard computer labs into interactive learning environments. Students are able to request and receive help directly in their workstation session, and appreciate the discretion that the instructor chat feature offers. They can discuss course material and ask questions without leaving their workstations and without disturbing other students. The anonymity that the voting feature provides students allows them to often times provide a more accurate answer to questions posed to the class. Students can also develop their leadership skills by sharing their screen with other students (under teacher supervision) and share their knowledge with the rest of the class.

Advancing Technology Without Increasing Complexity

The entire Insight user interface was designed with teachers in mind, which is why it is so intuitive to use. Within just a few minutes of using Insight, teachers become familiar with how Insight works and the features that are available. Insight’s learning curve and network bandwidth requirements are a fraction of that required by competing products—making it extremely popular with IT personnel who want to deploy an easy-to-use teaching product that won’t generate helpdesk requests or slow network traffic.

Faronics DeepFreeze

Computers in education environments are among the toughest IT environments to manage and secure. The large number of daily users, the limited resources of on-site staff, and the immense number of computers and labs that technology personnel must manage all come together to create an IT ‘perfect storm’. IT personnel cannot afford to have computer systems down for long–students use computers in schools to conduct research and complete assignments; instructors need computers to record grades and organize their lessons; administrative staff need their workstations to complete their job function.

Computer Labs

Deep Freeze makes it easy for IT administrators to create bulletproof computer labs that deliver trouble-free computing to instructors and students. Deep Freeze ensures that students are able to use public access computers with the assurance that their session will be free from accidental system misconfiguration, malicious software activity, and incidental system degradation. Personal information is never retained by the computer, which means IT personnel don’t need to worry about desktop computers becoming congested with student projects and files. Computing environments become easier to manage, and expensive computer assets are kept running at 100% capacity.

Deep Freeze’s ability to prevent stability degradation ensures that scholastic computer labs are able to provide the same experience over and over again regardless of the user on the desktop–an important prerequisite to successfully teaching a classroom concept.

Administrative Machines

Deep Freeze is not just for student machines; it can also be used on instructor and employee computers. Since Deep Freeze offers flexible options for saving user data, it becomes easy to secure a workstation with total resiliency while still enabling users to save their work. Instructors and staff enjoy the assurance of knowing their computers will never fail them, and IT personnel are freed from having to deal with tedious helpdesk requests.

Libraries

Deep Freeze ensures that students and staff enjoy a trouble-free library computing experience. Students are able to use library computers with the assurance that their session will be free from malicious software and system slowdowns. IT personnel can rest easy with the knowledge that Deep Freeze makes media computers immune from system slowdowns and software corruption caused by students accessing online media resources during their research.

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NETS for Teachers

Educational technology standards are the road-map to teaching effectively and growing professionally in an increasingly digital world. Technology literacy is a crucial component of modern society. In fact, the globalizing economy and technological advances continue to place a premium on a highly skilled labor force.

Education Must Change

As technology dramatically changes our society, educators need to demonstrate the skills and behaviors of digital-age professionals. Competence with technology is the foundation.

  • Societies are changing
  • Expectations are changing
  • Teaching is changing
  • Educators must lead

Transforming Learning Environments with Technology

Today’s educators must provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities. Technology standards promote this classroom transformation by ensuring that digital-age students are empowered to learn, live, and work successfully today and tomorrow.

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Online Presence

A school website is not enough. As a foundation proud of its accomplishments it needs to take control of the digitally expanding universe.  This means Facebook, Wikipedia, MySpace, Youtube, FourSquare, RSS feeds, Scribd, and many other popular communities need to be tapped into in order to create the online presence properly afforded to a school of a certain stature.

As Jeff Utecht states, “If a school doesn’t take control of their own presence, then soon enough that presence will be taken care of…but probably not from the sources the school would choose.”

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School Collaborations

One conglomerate that appeals to K-12 educators is Global School Net.  Visit their website.  Review their mission:

Global SchoolNet’s mission is to support 21st century learning and improve academic performance through content driven collaboration. We engage teachers and K-12 students in meaningful project learning exchanges worldwide to develop science, math, literacy and communication skills, foster teamwork, civic responsibility and collaboration, encourage workforce preparedness and create multi-cultural understanding.  We prepare youth for full participation as productive and effective citizens in an increasing global economy. Founded in 1984, GSN is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization. Let’s work together to give youth the skills they need.

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