Welcome to the April edition of the ECIS Technology/Innovation/Design Committee blog. For many of us, the weather is starting to change, and the days are getting longer. (Though those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are of course having the opposite experience!) Thoughts of finishing out this year turn to thoughts about summer and the start of next year. While some are preparing for the usual summer routine of summer projects and imaging machines, others are preparing for transitions to new schools and new homes.
Kudos go out to Kimberly House, Frederic Nevers, Kevin Skidmore, and the rest of the team at Bavarian International School for a very successful ECIS Technology Conference. Kim Cofino gave an excellent keynote and highlighted the conference on her blog. Kim and Fred are assembling links and video to conference presentations, and we hope to share that in next month’s blog posting.
This month, Allen Lindblad from Franconian International School shares his experience with a whole-school professional development day focused on one-to-one learning, and ECIS TID Committee Member Sarah Woods shares her intriguing reflection on Identity: Where Fear and Change Intersect in Education from TEDxAmsterdamED.
Please remember that your input is valuable to the entire ECIS Technology/Innovation/Design community. If you are interested in contributing an article, or have ideas, resources, links, or information about upcoming professional development opportunities that you would like to share, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org a week before the first day of the month and I will be sure to highlight them in the next edition of the blog.
On behalf of the ECIS Technology/Innovation/Design Interest Group.
Building and Supporting your PLN
ICT Head of Department and Integrator, Franconian International School
Last month at the Franconian International School we had pleasure of hosting Warren Appel and Chad Dixon from the International School of Amsterdam, Kimberly House from Bavarian International School, and via Skype from the American International School Riyadh, Michael McGlade, Trevor Cunningham, Sean Walmsley, and Bryan Wiedeman for a whole school professional development day. Our school is moving to 1:1 BYOD with iPads in Middle School and laptops in High School and we wanted to draw on the experience of other schools and ICT professionals who have had a chance to evaluate and reflect on how implementation of programs similar to ours had gone.
We used the day to further develop the idea with our school community that technology is a tool used to enhance learning, and learning objectives should come first before looking at devices or apps. Embedding SAMR into planning how technology is used in lessons and units was a theme reiterated to all teaching staff as well. This meant the our visiting presenters had a packed day. In addition to workshops for teachers they joined in meetings with IT network staff to discuss rollout issues, meetings with student tech leaders to discuss other projects they could be involved in, collaborating with small teaching teams to discuss specific subject related integration questions, and participating in a panel discussion to answer parent questions regarding 1:1 school environments.
After the PD day I have had some time to reflect on the whole experience and wanted to share a few of my take-aways from the event:
- Building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) and networking with other international schools gives access to an amazing wealth of resources and experiences. This is where I will also include my plug for the ECIS ICT forum on iSkoodle which is one of the best places to get answers and feedback on all kinds of ICT topics. I can’t count how many times we have been struggling to find a solution to wording a permission form, bulk creating users, software bugs, etc. and this amazing community always comes through with an answer or contact person in no time at all.
- If your school doesn’t have something already built in for your educational and ICT leaders to share their ideas with other schools, look at starting this ASAP. We always promote the idea of observing other classes and schools, but without incentives and release time this can be difficult. Since we benefited so much by having outsiders come in and share their experiences, it was good to hear from both Warren and Kim that they had some ideas they would take back to their schools as well. Connecting and collaborating brings gains for everyone involved.
- The original idea of Mystery Skyping with other classes can be taken to a new level. Dan LoCascio at the American International School in Vienna has done an amazing job of connecting teachers and classes to do projects where students learn about other geographic locations each year. These teachers have engaged students via video chatting through Skype. We used Skype for the AISR staff to present, but considered using Google Hangouts to make the workshops more interactive. We have a few staff members exploring Hangouts, especially the ability to have your Google documents shared on the same screen, and they are now talking about team teaching lessons where students collaboratively write a story or share lab procedures and hypotheses to jointly run an experiment. If you have any experience or interest in starting something like this I would love to hear from you.
- Our school’s eLearning Plan has 3 main components, 1. curriculum and assessment, 2. professional learning, and 3. accessibility. Each of these 3 pieces is vital to the success of a technology plan. Without having our network staff involved and supportive we could not move forward with implementing changes to curriculum. It is also important to note our professional learning piece also includes parent and student professional development so everyone in our community shares the same vision.
- Finally, we all have something to give. This goes back to the point of building and supporting your PLN. Since we have just begun our 1:1 program I was feeling that I didn’t have anything to share with the schools that were giving so much to us. However, our director had been in communication with the International School of Augsburg who are looking at starting a 1:1 program in a year’s time. They ended up sending 2 staff members to our PD day to see how we were preparing staff for the rollout and to listen in on the sessions. So we were now able to pass along our experience to help others. The recent ECIS ICT conference at BIS was another great forum to continue the discussion and share ideas and resources.
If you would like to see more from our professional development day check out #FISPD.
Identity: Where Fear and Change Intersect in Education
Sarah Woods, from the International School of Amsterdam, spoke on the topic of Identity at the recent TEDxAmsterdamED. Here is a link to her intriguing talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lClU4gelhVI
Mediterranean Center for Innovation in Education
The Mediterranean Center for Innovation in Education has open registrations for a variety of upcoming events:
- Google Summit – Registration is still open for our Genoa Google Summit, which will be hosted by the International School in Genoa from April 25-26, 2015. Join us for two days of interactive learning about a wide spectrum of topics related to Google Apps for Education, integrations, design thinking and blended learning.
- Interested in becoming a certified Google Educator? Enroll in one of our upcoming Google Educator Certification Workshops to master the skills, concepts and process of becoming a certified Google Educator and, if desired, a fully-fledged Google Education Trainer. Next workshops are available in:
Paris, France – April 13-15, 2015
Tunis, Tunisia – May 22-24, 2015
Barcelona, Spain – June 29 – July 1, 2015
For additional information about these workshops and registration information, visit http://www.medcie.org/google.
- Online Courses — Registration is open for four online Google courses that will begin in April, May and into the summer. All online courses are a blend of rich resources, self-paced activities, interactive discussions, and live teaching and learning activities. Online courses opening soon are:
Google Certification Cohort – 10 weeks, begins April 7th
Google Apps for Leaders – 5 weeks, begins May 5th
Designing Learning with Google Classroom – 3 weeks, begins May 5th
Google Apps for the School Business Office – 5 weeks, begins July 6th
Additional information and registration information available at:
- Summer Institutes – one month left to register! Our Summer Institutes are still open for registration. We are excited to be offering sixteen different two-day, intensive institutes on a variety of engaging topics — led by dynamic, expert facilitators and set in the fantastic beach-side setting of Marbella, Spain. Technology-focused institutes include:
- IT is all about Thinking: Developing Deep Thinking Skills in the Technology-Infused Classroom
- Leadership in the Connected School: Build Your Personal and Professional Toolkit
- Infusing Technology with Language Acquisition & Mastery: Tools, Concepts and Hands-On Strategies
- Student as Maker: Integrating Designing, Tinkering and Production in Your Curriculum
- Coding and Programming in the Lower and Middle School Classroom
- Showcasing Student Work: Using Digital Tools and Platforms to Celebrate Learning
Additional information and registration available at http://www.medcie.org/summer. Registration for all Summer Institutes closes April 30th.
EdtechIST- International Educational Technology Conference – 18-19 April, 2015
Edtechist is a two day event in Istanbul, Turkey, where some important educational technology leaders will deliver masterclasses one day prior to the conference and hold half day sessions during the conference.
The topics are: iPad in Education, 21st Century Teaching & Learning, BYOD /1:1 Programs, Leadership, Creativity & Innovation, Professional Development, Maker Movement & Design Thinking, Online Learning, Technology Infrastructure, Digital Citizenship, Digital Storytelling, Gamification.
Attend half-day workshops by the renowned experts in educational technology. Alan November, Gary Stager, Connie White, Suzie Boss, Bernajean Porter, Greg Hodgson, Mario Fishery, Rory Newcombe, Sharon Brown Peters, Suzie Boss and more to be added. http://www.edtechist.com/speakers/
We invite you to our amazing city and one of the best Educational Technology Conference experiences ever organised. If you have any questions, please let us know. Hope to see you in April!
International School of Amsterdam Professional Development Opportunities
Friday May 1 – the first-ever European Veracross Users Group meeting. If your school is using Veracross, come gather with your counterparts from other schools around the world to share ideas and learn together. It’s not just for tech folks – bring people from your admissions, athletics, or registrar’s offices. The fee will be low to encourage large teams to attend together. Learn more at https://sites.google.com/a/isa.nl/isapdcentre/home.
Saturday / Sunday May 2-3 – AppsEvents Netherlands Google Apps Summit at ISA. Hands-on workshops to learn more about the ever-changing world of Google Apps for Education. Early-bird registration fee of 249 Euro is available until April 2. Submit a session – if you are chosen to present, your registration fee is waived! Special sessions are planned on ways to integrate Veracross and Google Apps, as well as sessions tailored to office staff and other non-teachers, making this an excellent learning opportunity for more than just your school’s teaching faculty. Learn more at http://www.nlsummit.org/
Also coming in late May (dates and schedule to be announced) the ISA iPad Sharing Summit. Come visit ISA on a Friday during school and observe our 1:1 iPad program in action. Then on Saturday, attend hands-on workshops and sharing sessions to learn more about apps, workflows, and more. There will be sessions for everyone from the tech support staff to classroom teachers and assistants. If your school is thinking about expanding your use of iPads, you’ll get your questions answered, connect with other teachers, and ensure success of your school’s iPad program. Registration fees will be low to encourage schools to send large teams.
Digital Evolution Un-conference – Düsseldorf – May 8 & 9 2015
Project Zero Atlanta
CASIE and Atlanta International School are hosting Project Zero Atlanta, May 10 – 15, 2015. With an over-arching theme of Think-Create-Innovate, the Atlanta conference will invite educators to reflect deeply on ways to build and sustain engaging, enriching and rigorous learning opportunities; to encourage problem-finding and problem-solving; and to develop the disposition to act to make the world a better place. See the following link for more details: http://www.casieonline.org/events/pz/atl.
Flat Connections Updates
European Google for Education Summit – September 2015
Join educators from around Europe for the 4th European Google for Education Summit! Sept 26 and 27th, if interested in presenting connect and submit a proposal: http://european.appsevents.com/request-for-speakers. A wonderful opportunity to share, learn and engage with colleagues working and teaching with the Google Apps for Education suite of tools.