Tuesday, January 27, 2015

iLearn Academy Charter School Opens its Doors

iLearn Academy Charter School opened this week with 110 students making their way to the island's newest and second charter school.

Students were bussed from around the island to the campus in Yigo where the school held its very first orientation. iLearn academy principal Rachel Alquero said, "Right now, we're doing orientation for all of the students, so as you can see they are all grouped by their grade level, they were introduced to their teachers, and their classmates so really right now we're just using it as a time to get to know each other." 

Not only were the students introduced, but at 10am on the first day, they were already getting their first taste of robotics and iPads. "Today they're going to be introduced to the iPad, so all of the teachers are going to be giving an example on how to take care of it, what they can expect from the iPad, what they're going to do with it within the classroom, just go over the rules and things like that," Alquero continued. 

So parents might wonder, what will a typical day be like for students at a technologically-driven school?  "What the typical day is for the students is, from here on out they will be doing all four core classes in the morning, they will have their lunch and their break, and within the classroom they will be utilizing the iPads, they will also be doing journal writing within the classroom," she explained. 

Although core classes will take place in the mornings, the afternoon is reserved for extracurricular coursework, with Alquero adding, "We have a range of classes so they'll be doing robotics, PE, art, music and dance, so all of the students will have two of those classes every single day." 

iLearn Academy is still accepting applications, but the deadline to register students K-5 is this Friday. 

Source: Isa Baza, KUAM

Monday, January 26, 2015

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools MOOC

This spring the University of Houston’s College of Education will offer another free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that is aimed specifically at K-16 teachers. This course is the second in a series of online professional development opportunities called "Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning.” UH’s Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Education (LITE), under the direction of Drs. Sara McNeil and Bernard Robin, and I have developed and will be teaching this five week course. Teachers in the state of Texas may be eligible to receive up to 15 hours of Continuing Education Units for each MOOC if they earn a certificate of completion from Coursera.

The first MOOC focused on the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling and was offered in September 2014. It will be offered again in summer 2015. The second MOOC on Web 2.0 Tools will begin on February 1, 2015.

Each MOOC is five weeks long and will be delivered through the Coursera platform (http://coursera.org). The MOOCs are free, and the only requirements for participating are a PC or Mac desktop or laptop, an Internet connection and a willingness to learn and share new ways of using computer-based tools and techniques to support teaching and learning across different grade levels and multiple content areas.

The "Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools" course is designed to provide teachers at all levels with strategies to effectively integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their instruction. Participants will learn to harness the power of free, easy to use, online tools to boost student engagement and motivation in their classrooms. Our approach focuses on the task rather than the tool in an effort to improve communication, collaboration, presentation, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking in all learners. Participants will take part in a robust exchange of practical ideas while participating in online discussion forums and sharing their experiences with fellow teachers. Participants will learn how to use these tools effectively in their classrooms through unique problem-based scenarios that will help them understand how to choose an appropriate Web 2.0 tool for the task.

The MOOC will begin on February 1, 2015 and end on March 8, 2015. To enroll, please go to: https://www.coursera.org/course/newtechtools

For more information, please contact Dr. Sara McNeil (smcneil@uh.edu) or Dr. Bernard Robin (brobin@uh.edu).

Feel free to share with colleagues and friends around the world. We would love to have more educators sign up and participate in this course.

Susie Gronseth

Susie Gronseth, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Learning, Design & Technology
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Houston - College of Education

Office phone: 713-743-5036
Office location: 315B Farish Hall
Mailing address: 256 Farish Hall, Houston, TX 77204-5027

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from around the Pacific! May the year 2015 bring you many blessings filled with much love, joy, peace, and happiness!

Biba Añu Nuebu! – Chamorro

Feliz Año Nuevo! – Spanish
Engan ke ya sasu! - Kosraean

Gung Hay Fat Choy – Chinese
Ungil Beches Er Rak! – Palauan

Selsalan Ebéach e duw! – Yapese
Peren En Parakapw! – Pohnpeian

Hauoli Makahiki Hou – Hawaiian
Pwapwan Ei Ier Mi Fo – Chuukese

Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo! – Korean
Maligayang Bagong Taon – Tagalog

Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan! – Vietnamese
Jeramman ilo iio in ekaal! – Marshallese

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu – Japanese
Ameseighil ubwutiiwel Layúi Luugh me raagh féé! – Carolinian

Image source: howtolearn.com