Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Ideas for 2009 - 2010 School Year

New ideas are brewing as we return from the summer and I would like to share them with you.

In the Middle School one of the faculty has spent the better part of this summer preparing for a paperless school year. Focusing on Adobe Acrobat and PDF technology, he has prepared all his Judaic Studies classes to be run through LAN School (I prefer this to Synchroneyes - easier to use, simple user interface and much, much, less expensive)and Adobe Acrobat. He learned all he needed through online classes at and ended up with over 100 pages of notes to share with other teachers. This idea is inspired and the application is incredible.

We are using VoiceThread throughout the school in both General and Judaic studies to enhance student engagement and, parental involvement. Through a grant, our Middle School Judaic Studies will be thoroughly enhanced with VoiceThread, document cameras, and collaborative learning programs.

With the addition of an iPod Touch cart and specialized training for the faculty everyone is a-buzz about using this new technology in the classroom. Tony Vincent has a fabulous Podcast tp help you with technical ideas and projects. Between iTunesU and the plethora of educational apps in the online store I am sure we will see a growth in student and teacher podcasting.

We have deployed 125 laptops for student use and Trapeze points throughout the entire school, but flooded the Middle School with MP in many classrooms. Teachers will be able to sign out laptop carts through our SchoolDude managed IT program and the carts have been re-designed inside by "yours truly" to enhance distribution and minimize confusion and delay.

The Tech Staff has been re-named "coaching" staff and have been assigned to the faculty for technological support as well as curriculum development. Engaging tech savvy students as coaches is just another way of providing real life education for the students and support for the teachers. Students have been hand selected to support the IT Department as student coaches. Teachers have a list of students with their schedules so they can find someone quickly when the IT Department is otherwise engaged.

Good wishes to all as the new year begins and I will keep you posted of new tech integration solutions as we go along.