Tech Salad

With Crunchy Bits and Bytes

Month: August 2014

Promethean Review

During our two days of professional development at the end of the summer, I worked with a group of teachers to share ideas on how to create Promethean flip charts with interactive features for students. Some of these mimic what students are asked to do in the new Technology Enhanced Items in the SOL tests.

The flip chart I shared has explanations of how each effect is achieved so teachers can create their own. Many more examples can be found on the TEI Resources blog. The flip charts on this site are formatted to look much like the SOL test screen does, which is very useful when helping students prepare for the tests. Even more resources can be found on Promethean Planet.

And We’re Back!

It has been a while since I posted anything here. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without writing a blog post before, and I have so much to write I hardly know where to start.

In June I spent a lot of time with teachers who signed up for staff development. I also spent time with teachers who will be in our 1:1 iPad program. I’m excited to see this finally come together at GMS.

In July I participated in the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Summit. It was great to see old friends and make new friends from 31 countries. We spent five days learning from each other and participating in amazing outdoor experiential learning activities. We went hiking, we explored plankton, we learned about reforestation and tracking tree growth, and so much more.

Photo courtesy of Harry St. Ours

We had incredible guest speakers. EO Wilson, naturalist, author, and a hero of mine, spoke about the importance of science and understanding the world that surrounds us. I was very honored to be invited to sit at Dr. Wilson’s table for lunch. He looked at my book on flies on my iPad and seemed to like it a lot. He even drew an ant in the whiteboard widget and signed it. I could not stop grinning for the rest of the day.

Photo courtesy of Chris Penny

We also heard from biomedical animator Drew Berry. He shared his own adventures in learning when he talked about creating his animations. Some of his subjects are constantly changing as new discoveries are made, so learning is a requirement. He made it so clear why we have to incorporate art in education. Visual communication is so important, and having a good grasp of design principles is crucial. Just take a look at his animations. Even if you don’t know much about molecular biology, you can enjoy and learn something new.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President for Environmental Affairs, also spoke at the event. In keeping with the theme of getting to know and caring for our planet, Ms. Jackson spoke about Apple’s efforts to convert as many facilities as possible to renewable energy sources. She also spoke about Apple’s efforts to make all devices more energy-efficient. It was very cool to see our event appear in a few of the Apple news sites.

A few days after the end of the ADE Global Institute, my new book was published on the iBook store. This is my third book, and while I was with people from all over the world, I got lots of new ideas for more books. So, keep an eye out for a release inOctober and maybe another one in December.

At the end of the summer I returned to Goochland to work with our new teachers. We have a really great group of new teachers this year, and I’m really looking forward to a year full of learning adventures.



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