July 28, 2015

EdCamp OOB

July 28th was the first Edcamp launched by a team of Old Orchard Beach educators. Over 100 area instructional technology, media/library and classroom teachers gathered to share ideas and learn from each other. The structure of this Edcamp was the usual plan of an open board that becomes a set of sessions when teachers put stickies up and organizers move them around to combine ideas and place sessions.
I attended sessions on "Genius Hour", Makerspaces and apps for early learning. I have a new set of resources to share from each of the sessions. Alice and I both attended the Makerspaces session, the notes on this shared doc.  Mike and I went to the session on implementing the Genius Hour concept. I would like to work with teachers on the possibility of implementing a spring fourth grade unit, Billy Corcoran share his doc that describes what his 4th grade classroom did last year along these lines. He used his literacy block on Friday mornings. 

I spent the 3rd session with Libby Corcoran who is a special educator who is also an app developer. I will be reviewing her app The Reading Train with our Kindergarten team. The app allows for individual logins and is organized into leveled books. Students can hear the books, read on their own or record themselves reading. Libby also has .pdfs of the Level 1 books that can be printed and sent home with students. I was very impressed by her story of becoming an app developer and I think this app may well be just what we have been looking for as a way to support literacy learning with the K iPads. Libby also shared a list of apps that she thinks are of value; this will be helpful as well in getting started with our second year of iPads in K and our third year in first grade.


July 17, 2015

Teaching and Learning with iPads - USM 2015

USM EPC 576 Teaching and Learning with the iPad


This summer there were fifteen K-12 educators who spent the middle week of July working toward new ways to use iPads in their classrooms. The collaborative and individual projects shared on the last day of the course were the highlights of the week. My goal in teaching the course is to give teachers enough of a start to bring about something significant as the school year unfolds.

June 25, 2015

Engaging Learners Using Technology - Yarmouth Course

The week after students finish classes is traditionally the beginning of the Yarmouth Technology Course, this year entitled Engaging Learners Using Technology. A group of about twenty educators, three who are not Yarmouth teachers, met to challenge themselves to look at an instructional area or unit that could be changed to increase the engagement of learners through the use of technology. The animated, collaborative conversations culminate in "Shark Tank" style pitches for project ideas submitted by each individual or team. There will be a half day on a Saturday in September for teachers to get assistance with projects and then the final day will be presentations by all participants on a Saturday in October.



May 6, 2015

Second Graders Learn to Program with "The Foos"


Second graders used "The Foos" for Hour of Code in December. There has been considerable interest in returning to this problem-solving, logical thinking activity this year. The website: http://thefoos.com has links to download the free app for iPads, iPhones, Android devices and computers if families are interested.


March 18, 2015

Girls Who Code through YCS After School

Following the ideas and activities from the Hour of Code, this is the first year that we have gathered a group of fifteen girls to focus on the ideas of logical thinking and programming. The resource page for the class serves as starting point for the group to create, collaborate and design.




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