I am very proud to announce that I am one of the founding members of a new educational partnership. EducatorU is now working with schools districts and individuals to plan, deploy, and implement educational technology. Our team is also leading professional development opportunities for all grade levels and curriculum areas based on technology devices and applications for the classroom. The EducatorU team is made up of dynamic and experienced educators and IT professionals. I am excited to work with other educators from around the country as EducatorU helps prepare them for their roles in a modern connected classroom.
The EducatorU team will be a major sponsor for the upcoming New England 1:1 Summit. We will also be announcing some exciting educational technology sessions and courses soon.
Thank you to Judy Wasserman and the Burlington Union for the opportunity to talk about our 1:1 iPad initiative at Burlington High School. The recent article did a wonderful job highlighting the excitement at the school and the engagement of students using the iPads. We have been asked many questions, from many different media outlets and school systems but it is always nice being featured in our local news so that we can share the events in BPS with our community.
The Burlington Public Schools EdTech Team is hosting a great free event on March 10, 2012. The New England 1:1 Summit will feature information and sessions about 1:1 learning environments for schools administrators, teachers, and IT professionals. Burlington High School Instructional Technology Specialist Andy Marcinek, Burlington Systems Administrator Bob Cunha, and I are planning the event which will be held at Burlington High School. We have great presenters and several industry leading vendors scheduled for the summit.
The New England 1:1 Summit will be an important event for anyone currently working in a 1:1 school or planning for an upcoming initiative. The event sessions will also be very beneficial for any teacher interested in educational technology professional development.
It was great to be a part of the Apple Education Keynote video on January 19, 2012. The video features comments from educators about the challenges facing students and schools today. Several members of Burlington Public Schools were part of two videos played during the keynote. The second video featured the use of iPads at Burlington High School. During the keynote, Apple announced the new iBooks Author application and enhanced course management system for iTunesU.
I am very proud of the students and staff of BHS for their efforts integrating the iPads into the school. They have been an inspiration and helped many other schools with their development of 1:1 technology environments.
The first annual Burlington Public Schools Opening Professional Development Conference was held this week. The three day conference at Burlington High School was attended by nearly 500 BPS staff members making it one of the largest educational conferences of the year. The event had almost 90 different sessions featuring topics in educational technology, special education, student assessment, and wellness activities. From iPads to yoga, the conference had something for everyone and almost all sessions were led by Burlington teachers. Most sessions were optional and teachers were able to choose what they felt was most valuable to them. The event even featured a closing session with prizes and swag provided by local business and vendors from across the country.
Thank you to all the session leaders and participants. Thank you as well to BHS Instructional Technology Specialist Andy Marcinek for all his help with the planning of the conference. We spent many summer hours trying to put together a beneficial and enjoyable three days for our staff. I hope that the conference provided everyone with new ideas and knowledge in preparation for the new school year. I hope you had some fun as well.
Thank you to Ken Royal from Scholastic for including me in a recent Scholastic Administrators Best In Tech Today article. The article first appeared on the Scholastic Administrators blog and later was published in their magazine. Ken asked me to speak about the initial plans for the 1:1 iPad initiative at Burlington High School. This was a great opportunity to discuss the initiative and also how my first experiences with iPads in classrooms throughout Burlington Public Schools made me a believer in the power of the device in education. Whether it was the first time we brought iPads into a middle school classroom and students cheered or the when I witnessed first graders completely engaged in educational apps, I knew that the iPad would be a great device for distributing content to our students.
Ken Royal is a outstanding journalist and passionate about educational technology. Please check out more from Ken on his blog or follow him on Twitter.
I was recently introduced to the Socrative student response application. Socrative is a rapidly evolving web application that provides the easiest and most user friendly experience I have seen from any student response system. Socrative will ultimately provide full featured apps for iOS and Android devices. The system was developed by MIT graduates and is just starting its private beta testing for installed applications.
Socrative provides a similar end user experience to that of the SMART Response System or Promethean Activote. The difference with Socrative is that students can use web enabled devices as their buzzers. We tested the system with iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones. The interaction between the teacher created questions and student responses was fast and clean.
So you are using iPads in your classroom and you want to get away from your old, expensive, out of date, and often poorly developed textbooks…what do you do?
Too often teachers and administrators are stumped by that question. Although many educators agree that textbooks are not always the best teaching tools, most don’t know where to start when it comes to teaching without them. The good news is that some educators are trying to live without textbooks. They are developing their own curriculums based on digital resources and materials available for free.
Don’t repeat that last part too loudly… Textbook companies don’t like free.
Baseball helped teach me the most important lesson I’ve ever had about being an educator…
Now that baseball season has started I spend a lot of time watching the Red Sox and thinking about my grandfather. My grandfather, who I always called Papa, worked for the Sox for more than 60 years. I was extremely lucky to have grown up helping him in the Sox clubhouse. Baseball really was life in my family. Almost every member of my family has worked for the Sox at some point in their life. Papa’s name was Vince Orlando and he started with the team after his brother asked him for help. I still have three family members working for the team and there has now been an Orlando working for the Sox since the early 1920s. Baseball is so big in my family that we actually trade family members who don’t like the sport. I lost some really nice cousins because they liked hockey…
Last year, Burlington High School Principal Patrick Larkin had begun to discuss plans for going to a 1:1 computer environment for students at the high school. At the time, I wrote a post for our Burlington Public Schools IT blog about the potential for iPads in the classroom. I believed that the iPad had the potential to become one of the best educational technology tools. I even hoped that we would end up going with iPads for the 1:1 plan. Of course, at the time no one had even used an iPad. A year later, we are finalizing plans to give every student at BHS an iPad next year.