• Populate the 'Programs and Sites' page
  • Develop the Mission Statement

What keeps us up at night?

(Justin) 21st century literacy - Moving curriculum away from content and into questioning.
(Julie: The IB MYP and PYP programmes are big on this point. David Warlick is one of the best exponents here, but there are many others. Teaching learners how to learn rather than following a strict content-based syllabus but at the same time addressing the need for standards within the curriculum....it's very possible if we can persuade teachers to be less afraid)
(Doug) Not much, I'm a bit of an early bird! But what gets me up in the morning? Doing new things with my classes, finding new and interesting ways to do things I've done before. Finding ways to motivate all the learners in my classroom.

(Justin) Staff Development - Teachers as learners - How to get through the "digital immigrant" barriers.
(Julie: Yes....how? I have almost given up at ISD this year. I'm tired of the negativity and the closed classroom doors which is very un-MYP might I add! I am tired of the plea "we have no time". It is attitude, but it is also our jobs as edtech specialists to pave the way. But we also need support from above. I do not think it unreasonable that all educators have an online presence in the form of putting their curriculum, their blog, their wiki etc all or some of these out there as part of their professional learning environment)
(Doug) There is no 'digital immigrant barrier'! There's a spectrum of competencies, motivations and interests that interact in kind of a messy 3D way such that every individual is different. The best way to get more teachers to use technology is in a small group basis and with teachers teaching teachers (to steal a phrase from a podcast...)

(Justin) Laptop learning - Examples of good integration and best practices for classroom teachers
(Julie: You know I sat through a secondary school department heads meeting recently where the Head of Diploma and the Head of English complained that laptops were a 'distraction' in their classroom and they were considering banning them. I almost burst into tears! Luckily the Head of Humanities came to my aid and spoke at length about how moving into a laptop school such as ours had transformed his teaching. our teaching clientele are so diverse in age, culture and background in internationl teaching in particular. At home most teachers stay longer in the one school and you know they have shared experiences and opportunities at PD. In the expat teaching world in my experience average contracts are 2-3 years. How do you inspire, convince and establish a new teaching regime in this time with everything else a teacher has to contend with in a new country and school??)
(Tom: I think that that the use of class laptops even at primary schools, would help to integrate the use of web 2.0 tools more readily. We have plans afoot to take a step into this realm so I will be very interested how 10 laptops with a wireless broadband connection in my room full time (plus class blog etc) can be most suitably used.)
(Doug) I really wish that we had a bank of laptops that students could use. It would be even better if they could use them at home and school. Not going to happen in the next couple of years in the UK though. I've been thinking how great it would be if students could bring in their own laptops from home (or PDAs, etc.) and use them in school. Perhaps I could use my laptop as a wireless bridge? Hmmm...

(Justin) Looking for learning: How does technology enhance student learning ?
(Julie: Yes, we need proof and statistics and best-practice examples. Parents are asking for it, Boards want it and teachers are reluctant to move without it)
(Tom: attributing specific academic attainment to use of technology is a massive one! For us in UK primary we still have the written paper test at the end of the key stage, so doing work on our blog or other online space could not (currently) be further from that!! Unfortunately.
(Doug) A difficult one, as Tom says. You can't prove a postive correlation, but you can see - as a teacher - the way in which it leads to a building of confidence, of increased motivations. For example, my Year 10s do a lot more homework when it's for their blog than otherwise. Also the confidence they build through blogging transfers to answering questions in front of others in class. It's great. :-)

(Justin) If you could give every classroom one, what would it be?
(Julie: I don't think what we all need individually has been fully invented yet in terms of gadgets. We need a mobile, connected tool that will bring information in and allow the user to create their own information online and digitally. In terms of a 'classroom'....wireless projector to go with the teacher Tablet PC is my choice, not that I have these yet)
(Aaron) I would give each class a blog (or at least show them where to get one), along with training so the teachers would know how they could use it. Now I know that some people define blogs in such a way that a teacher posting homework and other assignments would not be considered a blogger, but we need to start with baby steps here.
(Doug) I'd give it support: technical support. The ability to have someone on-call who knows (or can find out) how technology can enhance learning in a given area. Kind of what I think Jeff Utecht's school does in Shanghai. That would be great as it would mean that teachers would be more likely to experiment with software and hardware as they have a 'safety-net'.

(Justin) assessment practices

Justi "teaching wikipedia?" - piggy-backing on some "long tail" thinking and making a case for new paridigm shift in education