Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Putting My Feet in the Water

Yesterday I broke out the iPads with my 6th grade.  After 5 minutes I felt like I was a first year teacher on my first day of class in a room full of students who just came back from recess and were ready for lunch.  Yes, it was crazy!  By the time I said "navigate to my website and wait there" they were already elbow deep into Angry Birds or some other game or taking funhouse crazy mirror style photos of me without me knowing it. 

Catch my breath.  Wow, that was wild.

Eventually, we got to the task at hand (course evaluations) and they were impressed that I had imbedded it in my website (thanks Cathy and Lisa for showing me the way).

Later we moved onto Math Bingo and that was a big success.  I saw kids who normally struggle with computation absolutely nail it while playing the game.  Mostly I saw how even the kids with no iPad experience were within minutes flying around with it better than I could after months.  That type of technology really is their native place. 

After just one class I think the iPad can be used effectively for math.  It was fun, it was a break from the norm, but it also gave the chance to practice some important skills in a fun way and allow kids with different learning styles and skills to emerge from the crowd. 

And...I learned a lot about using the iPad.  I learned  that if you swipe with four fingers across the screen you can move between apps.  Didn't know that before yesterday.  Thanks, kids!

I look forward to designing some lessons which incorporate the iPad.  I can also see great applications for challenging students who might finish an assignment or a test early or for a student who might need to use their hands in order to better understand a concept. 

It was just one day and it was a little crazy, but in the end it was worth it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The other day, Steve and I had a brief conversation about the "higher ed bubble" that is getting closer and closer to bursting.  How it is possible to save for college these days, not only for the cost but also because we don't really know what "college" will look like in 10-15 years.

Enter MIT. For many years, they, along we many other universities, have been putting some of their courses online (OpenCourseware) for people to access. Now they are adding another layer to this - M.I.T.x.  M.I.T.x will be a more interactive platform where students can ask questions and respond to other students while taking the course.  In addition, a student can earn a M.I.T. certificate when they show some level of mastery of the content.

Read more about M.I.T.x here -

Preparing our kids for college and the future becomes more of a moving target....

Friday, December 16, 2011


Wow what a day we had! Five members of the TLC took off and spent the day holed up in a conference room at SMCC laughing, discussing, "crying", and working through some of the ideas that we have been in the back of our minds all fall. We talked extensively about scribe blogging for our classes and we all are going to try it come January. We explored the idea of a flip classroom and even discovered a new app that we are all nervously excited about called educreations. Check it out at We finally had the opportunity to sink our teeth into some of the stuff that we have been talking about for weeks. At the end of the day we started to tap into new apps and just play. Our courageous leader supplied the iTunes cards to help us feel free to try new apps and we only broke to grab a yummy bite to eat from 158 - a local spot across the street! Thanks to everyone involved but to the greater TLC gang and to Page!!!

Food For Thought

If the image above is not loading follow the link below and it will hopefully lead to a great info-graphic depicting how pervasive the internet has become in higher education.  This is not news but the graphic is cool.

It is an indication of an ongoing cultural shift in how students access information and how educators utilize the internet.  Of course, many of us already know this.

Technology Literacy will need to be a key component to early elementary curriculum in order for learners to manage the vastness of the internet and their own learning.  What would that look like?  What level should this begin?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pros and Cons

I appreciate the following article for the simplicity in which it highlights the positives and negatives of having technology readily available in the classroom.

For me the most poignant idea is how our students interact with text. Their visual field has become so accustomed to a web-like format that many have difficulty comprehending text that stands alone on a page.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's official - there will be an EdCampME (Maine) this March and Waynflete will be hosting!  Our TLC (Technology & Learning Cohort) came up with the idea after a bunch of us attended EdCampKeene in August.  We all enjoyed the "camp" and came back thinking that it would be a great thing to put on at Waynflete.  That enthusiasm did not die so we began laying some groundwork to bring EdCampME to Waynflete.

I had several initial conversations with the Head of School and Director of Finance and Operations and they both gave me the go ahead to find a date.  Finding an open date was a little tricky as our facilities are used a lot on the weekends for Admission events, athletics, and arts.  I found a few options in March which is a good month overall because it is between sport seasons, it is just before the "end of the year" craziness begins, and stress levels seem to be in check.

After a few more conversations, I found a date that would work and got full approval for a weekend in March and reserved the space.  Before I left for the weekend, I decided to post the date on the main EdCamp website and reserve a website wiki -  (Seem to make it even more official). On Saturday morning I woke up and checked my twitter feed and found that the "edcamp guy" (@dancallahan) had tweeted that he was looking forward to EdCampME in March (yay - instant press). Then he followed up that tweet a little later telling me to check in with @jaimesteward who (along with @alicebarr) was also planning an EdCampME. I checked the edcamp site and sure enough, she had put an entry in for EdCamp Maine for March 17th.  What are the chances?

So I tweeted @jaimesteward and @alicebarr to see what they had planned and asked if they wanted to team up. They said they were working on reserving a space. We all thought it would be silly to have two edcamps so we teamed up.  Not only that, but in the course of the twitter conversation we had about 3 or 4 other Maine educators volunteer to help us - yay Maine.  Here's the shortened twitter conversation:

Now we have 10 teachers from Waynflete plus an additional 5 or 6 educators from the whole state working together to plan this EdCamp for March 31st.  Now the fun begins.  To get things started I created a Google Doc to share with everyone to begin brainstorming some ideas for the day.  Once we get the big picture down, we can begin to assign jobs.

We don't have the details worked out yet but stay tuned to twitter (#edcampme) and to our website ( for more information on:
Saturday, March 31
Waynflete School, Portland ME
We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From Kindergarten to College: Technology and Education in ME

After reading an address by Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College, and listening to a MPBN segment on iPad use in kindergarten classrooms in the Auburn school district, I find myself pondering the role of technology in the classroom across the ages. The technology revolution is upon us; how do we implement technology in ways that make sense for students from age 5 to 18 (and beyond)?

In his annual Opening of the College address...President Barry Mills addresses the role of technology in the transformation of education:

Nine years ago Maine became the first state to equip middle school students across the state with laptop computers...Now, in a program which is gaining international attention, one school district has launched a new learning initiative to supply all kindergarteners with iPads:

Monday, September 12, 2011

CNN and iPads in ME

Above is the link to the CNN article regarding the use of iPads in Maine.

I used Poll Everywhere for the 4-5 Opening Reception. Parents and kids were thrilled with it and the results will fuel a few of our early math classes. As an FYI, the "as many times as you like" option for voting really means only 40 times.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good morning!

Hi everyone,

Great to connect with you all this week to talk about experimenting with new technologies to help us meet our curricular goals! I am excited to spend the year collaborating and learning with you all. This morning I came across another great TED TALK and an excellent document on my netvibes RSS feeder: check them out:


Dr. Mark Wagner. Blogs, Wikis, or Docs: Which is right for your lesson?

Off to try and do some advising planning for LEAP Week and buy some water (just in case!)

Memory Research

I found this article a few days ago and found it very interesting in light of our TLC work and some of our school-wide summer reading.

It is a summary of some research regarding the influence of current technology on memory.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

TLC is underway

Welcome to the TLC blog.  This will be a place that the members of TLC will be able to post reflections, interesting web sites, new app discoveries, and thoughts about their teaching.  This is a place for us to share knowledge, collaborate, and meet when we cannot meet face-to-face (when the pace of school picks up).  I hope this blog will help us bridge those weeks in between our meetings allowing us to keep the connections that we made during our 3 days together.  Please visit often, post often, and read often!