Friday, May 9, 2014

“Lead With Your Strengths" Program: Mobilizing Students As Leaders

In the Andover High School library today the first meeting of students dedicated to developing their leadership skills met to
begin the vision of Candace Hall the Director Of Human Resources for the Town of Andover. Candace has for a long time wanted to see a dialogue opened between students and community about the issues related to race,ethnicity,diversity and multiculturalism. Candace expressed that the “Lead With Your Strengths “ program has been a long term goal of hers "to see the goal of Martin Luther King fulfilled”.

Students met from 8 am till 11:30 on their half day of school to participate in the program implemented by Dr. Luz Valverde Assistant Principal at the high school, Aixa de Kelley Director Of Guidance and  Dr.Jorge Allen Program Advisor for the World Languages Department. Assiting Dr. Allen and Dr. Valverde was Roberta Hantgan a Fellow from Merrimack College and Digtial Learning Specialist Daniel Downs, Ed.D.

The program included having students complete web based “Surveys Of Character” which helped them self assess their leadership skills,elements of character and reflect on how they can become leaders in their school and beyond. Students engaged in meaningful discussions on expressing their strengths and shared visions for how this program could evolve. All students shared their self-knowledge on a blog dedicated to the cultivation of their ideas and personal perspectives related to their skills and experiences with leadership. 

The blog was implemented to digitally capture student reflections and carry the experiences from this meeting to future participation.

The students had a keynote address from community leader  Pavel Payano who spoke to the students about the importance of setting goals and how to create change in your community by taking a leadership role. Mr.Payano described his experiences working with Student Activities at the University Of Massachusetts in Amherst. Mr. Payano described his experiences using the skills working in his college environment to creating change in his hometown community.

This program has developed out of a vision as part of the “One Andover” project and hopes to create new opportunities for students to develop themselves and become mentors in school and the greater community. The program will also bring awareness to the diversity of culture within the community and present opportunities for student ambassadors to connect with town leadership.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Andover High School Instructional Technology Update March 24th-28th 2014 Daniel Downs

On Monday of this week I was able to speak with the English Department about the acquisition of District Google Accounts for their department. Their adoption of these tools will enable them to embrace the collaborative tools like shared documents,spreadsheets,forms and drawing tools. Several of the teachers are already using Google to do collaborative work with Google Documents and also using the Drive feature to back up existing documents.

On Wednesday I worked with Jorge Allen on the development of the website for the distrcit world languages department. We decided to go with the blogger platform so that district links and releases could be shared easilly and to improve department communication. Jorge has been collecting resources to share out through this platform.
Here is the link to check it out!!!!

On Thursday I had the opportunity to visit the UTeach Program at UMass Lowell with the TSTT(Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers) students from Andover High School. During this day students met with the UTeach Programs Director about how the program at UMass Lowell helps prepare students for teaching in a variety of classrooms and also the licensing needs of teachers in Massachusetts.

This was a great opportunity to visit the UMass Lowell Campus and become acquainted with this great program which really helps assist students who want to become teachers learn not only what skills they will need in the classroom but also what licensure requirements will be necessary.

Learning Java with Nick Wackowski

While working in the Innovation Lab, I learned about how to plan and code a program in Java. I already had some background with Java, but I never made a program this large. As such, I learned a lot about how to properly plan out my code, and how to stay motivated while writing massive blocks of code. I also learned a lot about using different classes, and how to program one class to go into the other without any sort of weird thing happening in the code ruining the whole program because that would be really annoying you know? So I learned how to properly plan everything out so that wouldn't happen and now everything is going swell.

Since my last blog, I did a lot of testing with my own program. I found a rather crippling flaw with Browxy: if it runs a program for more than a minute and a half, browxy crashes. As such, I can only test minute-and-a-half intervals of the game. I will have to find an actual JVM to test my game.