Tag Archives: Programs

Connecting around the world (within Timezones)

One of the projects on the back of my mind for our school is to buddy different classes or grades with “sister school” throughout the world.  Where this most often becomes is through technology, authentic needs and projects, and through meeting synchronously at the same time.  To alleviate this last worry, I was examining the idea to limit the schools we would connect with to those within our own timezone (for now).

Time Zones

Time Zones

This would mean that we could still get a cross-cultural feel for how things are in different parts of the world, but never have mix-ups or hiccups because of timing.  I can envision it now:

“Ok, great.  We’ll Skype with your class at 2pm then.”

“Wait, 2pm your time or mine?”

“Oh, ours.”

“Oh, we will already be gone home.”

This preplanning could fix all of this hassle down the road.  Because I am in Istanbul, this gives me a wide gamut of places and schools to consider, for example, Finland, Kiev, Bucharest, Cairo, Lubumbashi, Pretoria, Cape Town, and the list goes on.

Asynchronous conversations would end this worry and could be done through ideas like: Edmodo, Wikis, Blogging, Google Docs, Twitter, Twijector, and more.  However, there is definitely something about connecting in real-time.   I am excited about the idea and will comment further about the progress and the new problems we may face.


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ICT integration at NIST

I am researching what ICT integration is and what it looks like.  While doing so I came across an interesting document from NIST that stated exactly what I was looking for:

What is ICT and what is ICT Integration?

ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology and is used as a term to describe all technologies that manipulate and communicate information. This term is the preferred term in education because ICT covers all digital equipment such as computers, camera’s, PDA’s, calculators, sounds recorders, mp3 players and all other digital equipment imaginable.

In the Elementary School at NIST Information and Communication Technology is part of the classroom experience and students use digital equipment on an almost daily basis. To make meaningful connections between the units of inquiry and ICT experiences, the ICT teachers work in close collaboration with the homeroom teachers. This way we can ensure students make connections between previously acquired concepts and we support them with their inquiries.

What are the underlining principles?

We believe that ICT is a catalyst for learning, promotes creativity, brings members of the community together, enhances understanding and gives people a voice. Below are some essential agreements about ICT in the elementary school:

  • Well integrated ICT into the classroom allows us to expand, broaden, and enhance all aspects of learning
  • The ICT department works in collaboration with the year level teams to make meaningful connections between classroom content and ICT activities
  • We believe that the ICT experience should be inquiry based and that there should be room for exploration and discovery

What does ICT Integration look like in practice?

The Elementary School is equipped with two computer labs and one drop-in lab that can support up to one full sized elementary class. Students in year 4, 5 and 6 have laptop carts available that can be used in the classrooms.

The Elementary ICT team works in collaboration with the different year levels to plan lessons and make meaningful connections to the units of inquiry. The ICT teachers are on a flexible timetable which gives room for flexibility and homeroom teachers can book us to assist in the classroom or for lessons in the computer labs.

Of course, I will be cross-referencing this with other sources when I find and add them here.


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If you own a computer…you must have | the list

In my last post I was talking about things that are great for neat tricks, great time saving devices, excellent linking and syncing software / applications and also good websites.  If I was to get a new computer, I would recommend getting the Microsoft Software and the Adobe Creative Suite put in first, but then I would be tweaking the computer out with the remaining products.  All of them are free and easily available online found at the links below.  Check them out for yourself and install them today:

I hope contributions will allow me to come back here to add more.  Thanks, in advance, for your help.

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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Technology


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