Saturday, September 6, 2014

Instructional Technology & Digital Learning Update Andover High School Week Of August 25-28 2014

Over the course of the summer I had d the opportunity to teach ,develop new curriculum and view the transformation of a variety of classroom and library spaces for the Andover Public Schools Digital Learning Department.

Summer Work
I taught a Web Design & Development course at Minuteman High School for 3 weeks which enabled me to review and research new tools for the new Web Development course  which is going to be rolled out this fall at Andover High School. The Web Design & Development course is one of 3 new courses which in include Game Development and Exploring Computer Science course. These courses are part of the newly formed Digital Learning Department at Andover High School.

As preparation for the new Exploring Computer Science course I participated in a great  training at Google in August with the new Digital Learning Teacher Michael Messina. We were
not only able to witness the “Google “ work experience but also got great training in making computer science more equitable for a wide range of students. The experience at Google was fantastic and getting to know many of the other teachers participating in this opportunity was extremely rewarding.

Early in the summer I was able to use mobile application development curriculum that I had been developing with a grant with the National Science Foundation and Bunkerhill Community College. The course uses video screencasted tutorials and sequenced code lessons to enable students to create an Android Mobile Application. This was a rewarding opportunity to begin teaching this curriculum  which I had been  developing with a former student of mine over the past year.

Teacher Successes 2013-2014
I was also able to reflect on the success of the teachhers with technology at Andover High School. So many teachers challenged themselves with adopting Google Docs and so many new web 2.0 tools to enhance their teaching. The students who participated in the first year of the Andover Innovation Lab produced so many amazing projects and experiences. Moving forward I have created a new website to showcase their writing and projects We are excited to be scheduled to present at the Masscue conference in October and be a part of their student showcase and help desk.

In addition to the new website we plan on having a theme introduced each year for students to investigate.  This year we are embracing the theme of creative coding. Students can research open source programming languages to create graphics. Students will have the option to pursue this as opposed to their own tech study. Additional new initiatives for the help desk this year includes a  plan to integrate group webcasts on instructional technology topics. We want to continually bridge the gap between students skills and application of technology and the teacher’s use in the classroom.

Prototype Classrooms
At the close of the last school year an opportunity arose to update 3 classrooms at Andover High School as well as the Media Center with 21st century learning furniture. During the month of August furniture was dilligently put together and represent three prototype classrooms. The classrooms are aimed to be models of furniture which supports learning with technology and also making classrooms more adaptable and flexible to group learning.

In two English classrooms and one math classroom students have some pretty cool new desks and tables. The library also has new tables and chairs are on the way to have a new 21st century feel to the space. Moving forward this library space will shift from a static space to one in which it will be easier for students to use their laptops and other computing devices to research,communicate and collaborate. We look forward to seeing this space transform.