Friday, January 31, 2014

Instructional Technology Update Andover High School Week of January 27-January 31 2014 -Daniel Downs

This week at the Andover Innovation Lab & Help Desk we got off to a great start with the addition of 10 new students beginning projects using technology. The student projects range from learning Java, creating websites and also developing business plans for innovative products. In the next week we will be posting blog entries from the students describing their first week at the help desk/innovation lab.

Some of these students have been able to assist teachers in their role at the Innovation Lab/Help Desk  with a variety of technology. Students have assisted in setting up wireless projectors,adding email accounts to phones and downloading the Chrome browser on the new MacBooks.

Students at the Innovation Lab are also piloting the use of district based Google Drive accounts. Students in the lab will be urged to use these tools to assist in their research,share documents,videos,images. At the end of this semester we will ask students about their use of these tools and use their opinions to help develop a list of benefits these tools can bring to the district.

Photo:Help student Viabhav Patel installs PC for Innovation Lab students at help desk.

This week I worked with Adriana Gonzalez a teacher in the Foreign language department. I assisted Mrs. Gonzalez with creating shared Google Documents which contain her course homework. These documents enable real time updates of assignments and provides a consistent and reliable link for parents and students . Using a link shortener named we were able to also shorten the Google Links to personalize and shorten links. These links were then placed on the X2 portal.

Teachers are also beginning to use Google Groups to create collaborative web portals for students to ask questions,post comments and share acquired knowledge. The groups enable teachers to organize a collaborative web based environment on individual emails. Students and the teachers are sharing information simultaneously and are notified whenever someone adds to the discussion. These groups are widely used in higher education for collaboration I have included the link from Brown University who uses these groups consistently.

Link To Brown University Google Tools Site

Lauren Ream Social Studies teacher has ambitiously developed a blog to host her course materials this semester. Mrs.Ream has organized her course materials and hosted a variety of web based documents using Google Drive on her Blogger blog. Over the course of the semester she will have students commenting on discussions directly in class and will also enable students to share quickly and efficiently the course assignments and homework postings.

I was able to work within Mrs. Reams classroom this week and assist her with adding existing lessons and editing them to be posted on the blog. We also added students to become readers of her blog.  Her students blog posts engaged students with not only with learning technology skills but also improved engagement with her content. At the end of the class students could scroll through student responses and view a variety of opinions related to subject matter content. These changes will enable Mrs. Reams class to continue to develop  web based lessons and ready access to assessments.

In the coming weeks I will be offering out to teachers
more technology training after school to assist in understanding their MacBooks “System Preferences” and “Commonly Used Web Apps” such as Evernote and Skitch.
Additional training opportunity will include beginning teachers with Google Drive and Documents. I want to enable to teachers to improve their adaption of tools to their existing lessons and classroom environments.