On Monday Etienne Vallée, the library media specialist, presented a six hours workshop on Digital Photography and Video across the Curriculum to a small group of dedicated teachers. The goal of this presentation was to get teachers and students to use the tools they currently have, such as smartphones and tablets, to create their own content, use them in class, and publish them to the web to reach an authentic audience. We use several tools at the Academy, none of which cost more than $20, to enhance the capabilities of these devices. We have tablet and smartphone tripod mount adapters for better stability. We use microphones and extension cords to provide excellent sound quality up to 15 feet away from the device. We have a light that helps provide constant lighting. We have various lenses that can clip on the device and zoom in an out or provide wide or fish-eye views. These accessories, along with the devices, allow teachers and students the ability to document classroom activities and visually demonstrate learning by using footage and sound in apps such as iMovie, Shadow Puppet EDU, or FilmoraGo (both iOS and Android). This presentation was well received by the attendees and some of them have already begun implementing ideas from that workshop.
On Wednesday Claudia Provencher, MA's French teacher, Etienne Vallée, and Vincent Kane, formally of MA's Social Studies department but now teaching in Gambell, Alaska, presented an hour-long on 20% time, a semester-long project where participants explored the concept of using one day a week in class to personalize education. We focused on social studies and on foreign languages, but this idea can easily be implemented in any subject. Students create a proposal, research information, annotate a bibliography, create a product, and present their product in a museum-style showcase. Projects are aligned with content and Common Core standards and careful scaffolding and timelines are followed. The presentation of student-created products provide other students with the the opportunity to learn about topics that would not otherwise be covered in class. The wealth of products and projects ensures that even students who are generally not interested in the subject will find a topic they are interested in. Finally, the teacher and the school librarian work closely with each other throughout the semester and co-teach several pieces of the 20% project, as well as co-evaluate the results. Once again this presentation was well received by the attendees and one of them has already started the process of implementing this workshop.
Finally, on Thursday Laura Maroon, technology director for Moultonborough School District, and Etienne Vallée presented a workshop titled Our 1:1 Journey - What Four Years Taught Us. We discussed how our 1:1 iPad Pilot in 2012-2013 morphed into a full-fledged 1:1 initiative district-wide by 2015-2016. Starting with the pilot allowed us to focus on small groups of faculty members at first, then used this knowledge with larger groups of teachers until everyone in the school was familiar with the device. Our purchase of a learning management system facilitated the distribution and centralization of information, while our adoption of notability as our note-taking app provided a unified platform for homework and class activities. We encountered several other issues along the way and elaborated effective policies to address them. Finally, we shared tips on the management and deployment of these devices. This workshop was the most well-attended and the ideas and discussions that were generated sparked an interest in several schools and districts considering such a move. This workshop and the feedback we received demonstrated once again that Moultonborough School District is ahead of the technological curve, but we must continue to integrate technology so it becomes a seamless part of the curriculum, and not simply a focal point.