Tech Fervor

COETAIL has definitely motivated my technological fervor.  I have always tried to honor the work of my faculty, usually with words or slideshows of pics.

Last month, after my first successful attempt at video, I thought, why not video their good work and show it off?  Here is a slightly less successful video, at least in design, but it does serve to upgrade the annual Success Slideshow and I will continue in this vein.

I looped the video and showed it while staff were entering the faculty meeting, getting food, and working on their initial self-reflective activity to begin the dialogue of the meeting.

What else are we doing to support the use of technology in our school?

Shared notebooks through Evernote’s Premium account.  This has revolutionized our internal communication about individual students, in addition to my own note-taking and organizational skills.


Tweeting from the office and adding the Twitter feed to our blog has been great for last minute reminders.


Using Moodle as a vehicle for professional dialogue and information, both with students and with faculty.


Evernote is just one example of something I discovered through COETAIL by reading the blogs from my RSS Reader.  My professional reading has leapt tremendously and the idea wheels are racing.  More to come as we continue to use technology to support learning.


Learning about Learning


What Does Learning Look Like by tarawaudby

I am an idea person.  I cannot turn them off, and oftentimes find myself frazzled by two many ideas that I want to implement.  If I had all the time in the world, I still wouldn’t have enough.  So, I am very excited about finally creating my first video.

I bought my Macbook Pro in 2010 with the intent to create movies for my faculty and of my children.  I learned how a while back and then never got around to it, always pushing it to the back of the To Do list.  This summer was the summer to create.  I had a brilliant idea – to film my very young children learning and parallel those joys and frustrations with how high school students learn.  I took video clips all summer, and still found myself, the evening before the first faculty meeting without the video.  Luckily, I knew more than I thought, and it didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would to create a passable movie.  Here is a video about learning.  This is what it looks like regardless of the age and this is what we are focusing on with our faculty – defining learning and what it looks like in our high school.

What is the Intent of the AUP?

Some rights reserved by giulia.forsythe

I wrote my AUP with two of my colleagues also in this COETAIL Cohort, Matt and Justin.  As we are all in the high school, we decided to try to upgrade and refine our current acceptable use policy, which has not been revised in some years.  We have presented our result to our current Director of Technology for feedback, in the hopes that we can adopt this, or a revised version, for the following school year.

In meeting about the AUP, we discussed a series of options.  Most of the samples we researched were wordy, sounded like legal documents, and contained a series of rules and regulations.  We figured, if they are unreadable to us, surely, they are unreadable, and therefore off-putting, to students.

I had just been looking at some sample school handbooks, and I like the way Taipei American School has laid out their Student and Parent Handbook.  Therefore, we looked at their AUP and really liked how it was centered on their school values.

At the same time, we are completing our self-study year for reaccreditation, and so we decided to focus our AUP on our Mission goals as well.  We wrote this document to reflect our school Mission and Beliefs and to represent the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.  Hence, to the extent possible, we phrased things in the positive, focusing on what students should do rather than what they should not do.

In addition, we decided to define Digital Citizenship and incorporate the parameters this way.  In essence, this is a document meant to teach students how to be responsible Digital Citizens.  We also feel it is important to teach students that digital citizens create as well as consume.  Hence, our AUP is really a guideline for how to live with and use technology in this technology-laden world.  Hopefully, this is the first step in creating greater awareness of what digital citizenship is and how we can more fully support each other as digital learners.

Collaborative AUP for High School

Creating a Community of Engaged Learners: Course 1 Final Project

As an educator, my goal has always been to create an engaged classroom, and in my classroom, we are rarely silent.  Rather, we work together, collaborate, communicate and gain understanding.  As an administrator, I hope to emulate this goal as a school.  A successful school is an engaged school, with faculty coming together to share ideas, collaborate and communicate with one another.

The RSS Reader was definitely a hit for me in this first course, so much so, that I hope to inspire our entire faculty to utilize this powerful tool.  To that end, I have written a UbD unit with the goal to get everyone on faculty using an RSS Reader within the next six months.  I cannot force this upon teachers.  Instead, I have to create an environment of engagement so that teachers want to participate.  This is the goal: an engaged faculty participating in the global community and utilizing the power of the web to enhance their professional practice.