2012 year of the dragon……

A very happy Year of the Dragon to all of you from the ECIS ICT Committee. We hope you have had a good start to the year and had a chance to rest and relax over the holiday season. With another year behind us and us all looking ahead to 2012 this month’s blog is a kaleidoscope of resources, ideas and updates. A few things seem to pop out as areas of focus, the proliferation of internet devices in our lives/schools, our growing reliance on them. The Bring Your Own Device  movement (Bring your own Devices in Education and Interactive Student Engagement, Bring Your Own Device in schools – one school’s experience and Don’t be scared of “Bring Your Own Device”) seems to be taking up more conversations with programs around the world seriously exploring or actually implementing this approach to mobile technology integration in schools. In tandem there has been quite some attention from an article  in the New York Times Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools, which has highlighted the tensions that are evident with the fast changing pace of the digital world, and how content, knowledge and learning can be accessed easily out of the confines of our school. How do educational institutions continue to be relevant and engaged with these changes? For us working and managing such IT systems  and facilitating education technology pedagogy, change at a fast pace seems to continue to be what will preoccupy us. Juggling visions and big ideas from our school leaders and then operationalizing these into a concrete reality will continue to be the  challenge for all.

 Dance vs. PowerPoint, a modest proposal

This idea and Tedtalk is a wonderful jolt to ones thinking about presentations, and something worth sitting and watching, enjoy.

Stretching Your Technology Dollar

In this Educational Leadership article, Minnesota district media/technology director Doug Johnson suggests  ways to get the most from technology dollars, we thought this might be a good resource and conversation start as many of us start juggling budgets for next year 2012-2013

  • Use effective budgeting techniques. “Good technology budgets should not just be practical, but moral as well,” says Johnson, “clearly showing how every dollar spent directly or indirectly improves educational opportunities for students.” This means the budget is aligned with goals, is transparent, is specific, and includes input from key stakeholders.
  • Take advantage of group buying power. Get quotes and use intermediate service agencies to get discounts.
  • Practice sustainable technology. Don’t purchase more technology than a school can regularly maintain, upgrade, and replace – and rotate hardware and software.
  • Purchase the right tool for the right job. This means asking whether this is a job for technology, what exactly will users do with the equipment, where will it be used, will a reconditioned machine serve just as well as a new one, and could families rather than the school provide this item?
  • Take advantage of free software. This includes open-source material, minimally featured versions of commercial products, and web-based software applications – see http://schoolcomputing.wikia.com/wiki/Best_Free_Software.
  • Use the cloud. This can save storage and backup expenses at the school and district level.
  • Enforce standardization through single-point purchasing. Standardizing equipment, software, and services increases bulk purchasing discounts, decreases inventory of supplies and parts, increases the amount of training time, decreases the need for technical support, and increases the likelihood of compatibility with legacy systems.
  • Get rid of outdated stuff. This includes 16mm film projectors, filmstrips, cassette tape players, opaque projectors, Microsoft Works and AppleWorks software and phasing out overhead projectors, CRT televisions, VHS tapes and players, and desktop rather than web-based software.
  • Provide sufficient training. This ensures that the equipment you’ve invested in will be used well

“Stretching Your Technology Dollar” by Doug Johnson in Educational Leadership, December 2011/January 2012 (Vol. 69, #4, p. 30-33), http://www.ascd.org; Johnson can be reached at doug0077@gmail.com.  

Online Professional Development

  • If you are like most educators, you wonder from time to time how others are teaching your subject in other schools. You may also sometimes wish you could discuss ideas and tools with and seek advice from those beyond your school community.  The professional network, 1to1<connect> facilitates your communication with other educational professionals for that very purpose.  You can also use the group feature of 1to1<connect> to help promote sharing amongst your school community as well. 1to1<connect> is free and secure. If you would like to join, go to http://beta.1to1web.net/ and click “Beta Registration” on the right side.  Please keep in mind that we do vet emails to avoid spam, so you may have to wait a short time to receive your confirmation. Feel free to share this link with others who may be interested or contact me directly about setting up your school community or group as a whole. We hope to connect with you soon.
    Leah Treesh 1to1LT.com

  • Codecademy, a startup that uses interactive online lessons to turn anyone into a computer programmer, has signed up 97,000 students in less than 48 hours for its New Year’s resolution class Code Year.
  • CodeAcademy: http://www.codecademy.com/#!/exercises/0

Bytes of the Month

Very insightful website about iPad 1:1 implementation in 10 schools in Victoria, Australia. Great overview of application, implementation guide, classroom ideas and also focus on special needs schools. http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/

Focus on Math Web 2.0 tools

  • 3Dvinci http://www.3dvinci.net/ccp0-display/splash.html 3D design is a great motivational and instructional tool. It exercises both left-brain and right-brain skills, and appeals to students of all abilities. ModelMetricks books contain easy-to-follow projects based on the free Google SketchUp application, to show how to model anything in 3D.
  • Algebasics http://www.algebasics.com This site contains a variety of interactive Algebra help/ problems/activities
  • Archimy http://www.archimy.com  This site has  a service for drawing the graphs of all kinds of functions . With Archimy, you will draw the graph of any function and form, just use your imagination.  The program must be downloaded and is free.
  • Arcademic Skill Builder http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com Our research-based and standards-aligned free educational math games and language arts games will engage, motivate, and help teach students. Click a button below to play our free multi-player and single-player games!
  • Calc3D http://www.calc3d.com This site has interactive Mathematical graph and charting software for geometry and statistics
  • Chart Gizmo http://chartgizmo.com This site has an incredible chart builder for any type of data that can be typed or uploaded to this tool
  • CrickWeb http://www.crickweb.co.uk/ks1numeracy.html  Math interactive tools for white boards
  • Flash Card Creator http://www.aplusmath.com/Flashcards/Flashcard_Creator.html  This site from aplusMath allows for the easy creation of online/printable math flash cards Interactive Simulations for Math and Science http://phet.colorado.edu/simulations/index.php?cat=Featured_Sims This site is from The University of Colorado
  • Interactives http://www.learner.org/interactives Interactives” provides educators and students with strategies, content, and activities that can enhance and improve students’ skills in a variety of curricular areas.
  • Interactive Library Applets for Math, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry & Earth Science 6-12  http://edinfo.securesites.net/il/il_math.htm The Interactive Library is about “real interactivity”! The database contains hundreds of activities that make use of sophisticated java, vrml and shockwave programs. Teachers can create their own activity sheet to go with the programs.   Students can use these programs to supplement their classroom activities, or use one of the more advanced applets as a starting point for their science project.
  • Introducing Integers (6-8) http://mathstar.lacoe.edu/newmedia/integers/intro/media/media.html This site contains hands-on approaches for teaching the sometimes challenging concept of integers. Included are video clips, concrete models and Mat Board  for solving the problems. Quick-Time media player is required.
  • Java Math & Science Applets http://www.falstad.com/mathphysics.html

Professional Development

Mark your calendars!!

Watch this space for more details !

  • ASB Un-Plugged 2012 February 22, 23, 24, and 25, 2012
    Come to ASB Un-Plugged to engage in developing and articulating a vision for a 1-to-1 learning environment. Bring a team from your school for inspiration and best practices to help you steer an intentional course.

Your words, your input…..
Please remember your links, your thoughts, your resources are important to this blog if you have something you wish to have featured drop into our wiki area on iSkoodle and add it there, I will make sure it is featured in our Feburary edition.

Have a great start to 2012!

ECIS ICT Committee Chair

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