Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The upcoming school year

The 2011-2012 school year is all set to be an amazing year for student growth, teacher growth, learning, integrating digital literacy and technologies, and overall progress for our school district.

This year we will continue to implement the changes begun last year like Google Apps for Education (Gmail, Documents, Sites, etc.). We also plan to continue the use of Gaggle Net email for students (protected, restricted usage). This year our Interactive White Board experiences will expand from Promethean and eBeam to include Mimio as well, and we have acquired several mounted and mobile projectors from our generous Parent Teacher Council.

In addition, we have contracted with the Discovery Education Network for video streaming, science curriculum materials, media sharing, and digitization of material across all curriculum areas. Beyond the "stuff", we will have job-embedded professional development throughout the school year on how to best utilize these digital media tools within the classrooms.

Teachers will continue to use the student management system Skyward for grades, attendance, etc. The school plans to "open" the portal to parents later in the fall for 24/7 access to student progress and performance. This year our substitute system will be automated with AESOP (an online caller and tracker system).

Students will also use iPod touch devices for reading and math remediation, practice, and enrichment. The school will also continue to use the Multiple Assessments of Progress (MAP) assessments in reading, language usage and mathematics to track and measure student growth and learning.

Finally, students will still be encouraged to use Prezi, Glogster, Voice Thread, Edmodo, Wiki's, Blogs, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Alexandria, and countless other Web 2.0 and 3.0 services, tools, and learning enhancements.

The school's Twitter and Facebook pages will continue to be updated with information, events and happenings at Pennoyer School.

All in all we are looking forward to a GREAT school year full of exploration and growth for students and staff!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Social Networks

I recently won a free book by Solution Tree: Communicating & Connecting with Social Media - just released, written by William Ferriter (first blogger I ever followed) - author of the Tempered Radical Blog, and Jason Ramsden and Eric C. Sheninger (one of the leaders I follow on Twitter).

Before I read the book and share my thoughts via Twitter ... I wanted to take a moment to list the "social media" I use - kind of a personal inventory ...

Facebook - personal private page as well as public school page
Posterous - work related - posts via email to school Facebook, Twitter, Blogger sites
Twitter - personal public page as well as public school account
Blogger - this blog, as well as work blog (pushed from Posterous)
Diigo - don't really know "how" to use this - but I'm exploring it's possibilities

Google + - not yet a "member" but I requested access
Open Text IL Supt. social network (professional)

So ... I'm pretty "wired/connected" etc.

Personally I use the social networking to stay connected with current friends, family and old friends.

Professional I use the social networking for public communication, outreach, professional development, "just in time learning", and networking and growth!

Edmodo is another work-related social media site members of the faculty and I are exploring, we aim to incorporate Edmodo next year with students and families.