5×5: 5 Thought Leaders, 5 Questions, 5 Answers

9/22/13- This is a guest post from a wonderful and talented ADE from Canada named Michelle Cordy.  Michelle wrote a series of blog posts that featured various women who are though leaders in ed tech on her thought provoking blog:  Hack the Classroom Adventures in Transforming Education.




The History department at the High School is beginning to use the iPad learning tool to create authentic iMovies to showcase historical events as lived and told by some of our community members. This authentic approach to reliving historical events has our students really engaged in the learning process. The link above is an iMovie created by our teachers on one of our local heralded veterans. It is a big file so it may take a few minutes to download.

What is iMovie?
iMovie is a movie editing application that is part of the iLife suite of digital lifestyle applications that allows Apple Macintosh users to create movies from a number of different sources including digital video cameras, DV-encoded files, and pictures.
iMovie allows you to:

  • Easily import footage from digital camcorders and still cameras (that support video capture)
  • Organize your video in a central repository, across your Mac or on external hard drives
  • Gather, view, edit, and share your edited movie files
  • Create movie files that include music, sound effects, themes, menus, titles, transitions, and other effects
  • Save your edited movies onto physical media such as a DVD, CD or as a file on a hard drive
  • Share your movies on the Internet through services such as Gallery, YouTube, and personal web sites

Summer at MTHS – Digital Content

Its been a busy summer for us at MTHS. I am happy to inform you that we have gone through a successful refresh to ensure that our students and teachers have the best technology available.  All students at MTHS will be using the new iPad learning tools this upcoming school year.  Additionally,  with the onset of iBooks and digital interactive textbooks, I am proud to say that all students taking Algebra 1, Algebra II and Geometry will be using the newest Common Core editions of iBooks by Pearson Inc. It should also be noted that we are entering a research partnership with Pearson to measure possible student learning gains while using this new digital content.

Apple Introduces iBook Textbooks

WoW!  On Thursday of this last week, Apple changed the face of the school textbook industry by introducing several new products.  Please watch the video above on how they are changing the way our students learn with interactive textbooks. The press release started like this: “ NEW YORK—January 19, 2012—Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don’t weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore℠ with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks.” We are incredibly excited about this announcement primarily because we are now in position to access this brand new technology for our students.  Stay tuned as we enter a new era of learning in Monroe Township.

Lockers / Teachers – Student Workflow

It’s hard to believe that our students have had their iPad learning devices for 3 months!  As the initial wave of excitement settles, we are planning the next steps of our implementation plan inclusive of how student and teachers are interacting with each other in a virtual world.  The “Lockers” program is being presented to the Board of Education Curriculum Committee tonight by the head of our technology department, Mr. Reginald Washington.  “Lockers” is a means for electronic distribution and collection of student assignments.  We will give you updates on our progress as the students and staff get trained and accustomed to this “workflow” for student work.

Monroe High School Students

Before I left for our Thanksgiving Break one of our teachers sent me this update on what was going on in his classroom with the iPads:

Essentially they’re teaching themselves and each other about membranes with this awesome website called “Just Passing Through.”  The students downloaded a document from our class wiki that would lay out the requirements for their investigation. They then saved it to their digital notebooks which they maintain in GoodReader. One group member is using the MacBooks to navigate the site and research the structure of cell membranes and how it relates to its functions while the other is recording all of their information on their iPad.  Afterwards, each group will be presenting their findings and we will be working towards creating a class model of the cell membrane.

Board of Education Meeting Presentation

Last night members of our student body presented to the BOE and the community their version of 21st Century learning that is quickly becoming our culture At MTHS. These students were identified by their teachers who readily assisted other students and teachers in some amazing activities available on the iPad. As building principal I was so proud to showcase the incredible talents of our students. I can envision their next presentation to be to the board of directors at a major company. Great job MTHS. Follow the link to our student KeyNote presentation: BOE Student Presentation 111611.pdf

Video from the Board of Education meeting will be available shortly at http://monroetv.pegcentral.com/