Tag Archives: teacher practice

Kick off for 2012-2013 school year

The new school year is officially underway and, despite a delayed start, the Blended Learning programs and my coaching schedule is up and running. I spent the first two weeks of school helping our tech department get our Chromebook carts ready and in classrooms. Due to an overwhelming number of orders (note to self, order Chromebooks in February if possible) our order arrived on the first day of school. To make matters even more complicated they all arrived at our Support Office in Oakland in giant piles.

photo taken with photosynth

So I sifted through them all and organized them into piles for each site, arranged for their transportation, unpacked boxes, charged them, turned them on, enrolled them into our domain, tagged them, inventoried them, carted them etc… All this set up is nothing in comparison to that of a macbook cart, for example, but it is still a significant number of days work.

Envision School is embarking on two new ventures this year. We are expanding the use of Chromebooks in Algebra I classes to all four sites.

Metropolitan Arts and Technology High School – known as Metro, in San Francisco

City Arts and Technology High School – known as CAT, in San Francisco

Impact Academy – known as IA, in Hayward

Envision Academy – known as EA, in Oakland

We are using a Flexlab model at two of our schools (Metro and CAT) for language classes, credit recovery, and extension classes. We are also continuing to work with our highest need students individually to provide blended learning opportunities through integrating technology with the general education curriculum. My role as Blended Learning Coach is to support the teachers in implementing these programs, continue to monitor the effectiveness of the each program and, of course, write about it.

Our efforts are unified in that we are focused on individualized and differentiated pathways to success within the structure of A-G requirements and standards aligned courses. We strongly believe that all students will experiences success when given appropriate opportunities and tools. An important part of this equation is using technology as both a tool and thus an opportunity to access individualized and differentiated learning experiences. I look forward to sharing these experiences with you over the coming school year as I write about what is working and what is difficult. I always welcome suggestions, comments and feedback as I learn from active engagement with my audience.

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Summer situation update

There are many great things about being a teacher. We all go into the field for different reasons and have different high points and challenges. However, one things that many of us can agree on is the importance of summer vacation. Its our time to relax, read a novel, prepare our curriculum and revitalize. Being that I am both a teacher and a student, summer vacation is a chance for me to rest, relax with a novel and do research. Yes, research.

Supported by the Graduate Schools of Education at UC Berkeley and a generous gift from Google I had the pleasure of spending the summer delving into the literature and research in the field of technology and teacher practice. It is difficult to ignore the presence of technology both in our everyday lives and in the work-force. As we prepare students to be educated in and work in this technology rich environment, we must teach in new ways. One of my driving questions was to better understand the skills that teachers need inorder to skillfully integrate technology into their teaching practice and how teacher preparation programs either do or do not teach these skills.

In hopes of gaining clarity I need to gather the perspectives of teachers. To this end, I have developed a short questionnaire that I hope you will find time to complete, and please pass along to all your teacher friends. find it here: http://tinyurl.com/9xwobgl

Stay tuned for my findings and recommendations.