Friday, June 28, 2013

The School Year in Review

I just finished writing my portfolio for the year at school. I don't always love the process of writing portfolios, because I am not very good at it. I also get interrupted a lot during the day and so I never seem to be able to finish it on time. (Excuses, excuses!) So I went in to finishing it today with a sort of negative attitude. I really thought I didn't do much. I started at noon and it's now 8PM. I guess I was wrong! Here are a few highlights to share:

We continue to have many visitors from nearby districts as well as from around the world ostensibly to see our laptop program in action. After Student Ambassadors take them around to classes, meet with them in panel format, and explain our beliefs, visitors often leave understanding that technology is just one piece of the culture of student centered learning. The Student Government Tech group and ultimately Student Ambassadors continue to make an impact on our program.

YHS beliefs:

We believe the best learning occurs…
  • when positive relationships form the foundation for learning;
  • when students engage in high-level learning and access appropriate support;
  • when students have an active role in their learning and in the school community;
  • in a culture of collaboration;
  • when students and teachers extend their learning beyond the school;
  • in an environment of creativity and innovation.
We are an Apple Distinguished School. iBook and PDF

The Summer Technology Course (June 17-19 and in September and October) started off really well. We introduced two concepts to the teachers that I think will be adopted in Classrooms. The Edcafe model and the EdCamp model. Teachers really seemed to like the structure. Both of these models promote student choice and voice.

A new project that we (the tech integrators) have worked on is the Lead Learners. We adopted the model from Wayneflete School. This was absolutely amazing. Each Lead Learner was  given an iPad to use. We had a professional day in October to unpack and  introduce the iPad. The energy around learning and trying new things was fabulous. We also did an activity where everyone had to work in pairs to learn a new app and then present it to the others. We meet monthly to share and support one another. It has been a very positive experience for everyone. We asked some of the lead learners (in addition to the student helpers we have) to "TA" for us in the technology course. It helped promote the vision of impacting technology use at each building. We are pretty happy with the way this has turned out and hope to be able to continue this project in some way next year. The great part about this format is the exchange of ideas shared, a little learning community.

Digital Citizenship. We changed our Digital Citizenship day to Living Your Life. Online. It took place during two period 3's. Students could sign up for 4 sessions.  The things students liked were our visitors and anything hands on. One Student Senate member suggested that we do some small group discussion at the beginning of the year.

Just a few nuggets, but I guess I feel like I did something this year! If you have questions about any of these programs, please feel free to leave a comment.

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