Friday, May 27, 2011

What an incredible school year!

Yesterday was my 14th "last day of school" in the Sioux City School district. This year has been a wild ride, looking back to where we were a year ago at this time.
Last year at this time we were getting ready to train 300 elementary teachers to teach differently while utilizing new classroom technologies like Interactive whiteboards, Mobi's, Document Cameras, and CPS responders. It's amazing to see how that training has made a huge difference in classrooms around the district. No matter what building I visit, I see teaching that integrates technology to engage, motivate and foster student learning. I cannot say enough about our Instructional Tech Coaches, Jamie and JoDee! They have been an inspiration to me and several teachers who made the leap and tried new things in the classroom this year. The real-time support and professional development they have provided has been the catalyst for excellent learning for students.
We completed 1:1 pilot projects with 3 different classrooms in 3 different high schools. These teachers did incredible things with students and we learned right along side them. Their experience has had ups and downs, but has led our district to a place that we can confidently bring 1:1 initiative to our 10-12th grade students starting next fall! Check out the press release here -
The opening of new science wings at 3 high schools was an amazing experience. Coming alongside our HS Science professionals was a huge treat for me. They adapted and adopted technology for teaching so quickly and effectively. Each day working with them was a learning experience!
In 2 of our 3 middle schools, we also worked to install classroom technology for instruction. Utilizing team planning time for training was a new experience. It worked well because it forced us to be precise in the delivery and allowed me the ability to coach teachers more effectively. For example, at NMS, I delivered a 45 minute training on using the Dualboard and Mobi. Then the bell rang and teacher's dispersed to their classrooms. I would then follow them in, show them in real-time, ways to apply what they had JUST learned the hour before. AMAZING results.
A new building called Liberty Elementary will open this year, which is always exciting and knowing that the teachers who are teaching in this new environment are prepared and ready to use the new technology is very exciting.
This summer couldn't be more busy with 5000 computers going from XP to Windows 7. Preparing HS teachers to have globally connected students in their classrooms. Migration of all email to the cloud, implementing Office 2010, and so much MORE!! Not to even mention the 3000 laptops that students will be using that are 3G Verizon network connected 24/7. I just got back from EHS where our 1st shipment Of 1000 was delivered! (See Pic)
The end goal is always to improve student achievement. These initiatives are all part of the greater idea of making our schools more effective and for each and every student.

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