6/10/14 – District Administrative PLC Engages in a SAMR Blended Learning Course as a mini-PLC that will support staff and students.
The Blended Learning Community is a PLC consisting of our building principals, vice-principals and K-12 Content Area Supervisors. It was the brainchild of Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Gorman. The PLC was formed in Year Three of our 1 to 1 initiative and is based upon the research of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, creator of the SAMR model. The SAMR PLC uses a flipped PD/classroom model to extend and expand adult learning beyond the physical space. We have used many edtech tools to model the various rungs of the SAMR ladder for our administrative team. The actual course is a SAMR ladder in itself as the unit and lesson design targets transformational levels of learning through Modification and Redefinition, two components of SAMR. This helps make sure that we are using a common academic vocabulary when we are coaching our staff and their use of technology. We have also aligned teacher professional development with SAMR. Currently we are creating a series of collaborative SAMR templates that are specific to each content area. This PLC is embracing 21st century skills to foster transformational learning experiences for our students.
2/28/14 – Teachers Receive Differentiated Professional Development in iTunes University SAMR Course
The high school staff has been participating in PD that is improving teacher practice and student outcomes as we prepare to move into our 4th year of the SAMR model. In late February the several staff members participated in a differentiated SAMR PD. The novice group took a mini-workshop called Sassy SAMR, which focused on instructional strategies such as digital storytelling, classroom response systems, and using technology to support our Marzano framework. The advanced group spent the afternoon in a mini-course called Super Sassy SAMR. In this session they focused on strategies and techniques that would transform the physical environment of the 21st century classroom. The teachers signed up for accounts in Thinglink: a platform that allows teachers and their students to blend links, videos, and images for an enriched contextual experience. Also, the teachers worked very hard to learn how to use Augmented Reality technology. Augmented Reality is a technology that allows for a student experience that would have been previously inconceivable prior to the iPads. The teacher uses the LAYAR platform to create two dimensional learning objects that become three dimensional videos, photo galleries, or hyperlinks when they are scanned by the students with the app LAYAR. This technology leads to high levels of student engagement and a deeper understanding of the content. Another round of these workshops will take place towards the end of April.
Link to iTunes U Course
8/21/13 BOE Presentation: Monroe Township’s Debut in iTunes University
At the Wednesday August 21st Board Meeting Dr. Gorman and Mrs. Pepe introduced the BOE to iTunes University. Each Board member was given an iPad and walked through the process of what it would be like to sign up for an iTunes U course, complete an on-line screencast, and navigate through the workflow of using various apps within the iTunes U course management system.
Here is a clip from the presentation that is made as an APP-smash in Tellagami and Explain Everything…
7/25/13 Monroe now has an On-Line Presence in iTunes University.
In February of 2013 twenty members of our school community took a one day workshop about course creation in iTunes University. The group was comprised of high school teachers, K-12 Supervisors, Mr. Goodall, Dr. Hamilton, and Dr. Gorman. The workshop was facilitated by Apple’s Jill Vermillon.
Five short months later… Monroe is a featured institution within the K-12 section of iTunes University. So on the first day of school in the 2013-2014 school year some students will be going to iTunes University to download their course syllabus. This public presence will showcased at the August 21st BOE meeting.
How Will We Assess Our Progress
- New levels of student engagement will be documented by teachers and the administration.
- Students will become creators of academic content in ways not witnessed in the past.
- Students will demonstrate more independence as learners and will be interdependent of their fellow students as they find new ways to personalize their learning.
- Teachers will innovate classroom practice and demonstrate new ways to guide students to learning.
- Creativity will become a part of the school culture.
- Learning will become a 24/7 prospect for our students.
- Student achievement gains will be demonstrated.