Sunday, May 19, 2013

Memories To Last A Lifetime

Today was Crestwood High School fifty-second commencement ceremony but it was like no other to say the least.  For those family members and friends who were unable to attend Spring Commencement, the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District was pleased to offer a live video stream of the ceremony. This was made possible with the partnership of JDL Horizons out of Minneapolis who assisted with providing us the set-up and equipment to make this all possible.  

Camera 1 with Sound Board
I'll be honest I had butterflies in my stomach because with technology anything is possible and knowing we were going to be reaching a wide audience from all over the world. 

Camera 2 with Video Mixer

We're "LIVE"

Yes! Its always a great feeling to see posts that we are "LIVE"  and everything is clear all the way in Wales.

Presentation of Diplomas

To manage the cameras and soundboard today we utilized CHS students who showed an interest into the media production. Today I have heard our live video stream reached TX, CA, MN, IA, and Wales. Memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

1:World Learning Initiative

Create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then translate that vision into a reality. ~Warren G. Bennis 

Next school year, all students will be immersed in a technology rich environment, which motivates, engages students to learn 21st century skills, as it will be an integral part or our daily life. Sparked by our School Boards vision the recommendation to launch was reached with careful consideration by a School Board Member, administrator, staff members, and students. After a unanimous vote in favor of our 1:World learning initiative on May8th, 2013. For the K-6th grades the students will be issued an iPad and 7th-12th grade students will be issued a MacBook Air.

Why the 1:World Digital Learning Initiative
Our Districts mission is to prepare and empower our students to think creatively, serve, contribute and
succeed locally and globally. What is really important about this though is its not an initiative, its a 1:World digital learning initiative. This is not about the technology; it's about changing instruction in order to meet the needs of our students and to individualize instruction. As we launch this 1:World digital learning initiative with technology as a tool which will enhance learning and allow students to grow into 21st century learners.

This year our teachers have been stepping into the path of making global connection both near and far. From utilizing tools such as back channeling, Skype, ooVoo, and collaborating through google docs. Check out our 2012-2013 school year photo slide show that encompasses all the activities.

Connecting with schools in CT
The strengths to come with our 1:World digital learning initiative will be the transformation of the classrooms from a passive learning environment (teacher lectures) to an active learning environment (student-centered). This will allow for the students to become more engaged in the classroom activities. There are many different ways information can be presented by teacher and student, which allows for the expression of creativity.

Professional development and faculty preparation is crucial to achieving the 1:World learning initiative  We have outstanding teacher's and staff; their professionalism, and passion for learning is the reason we can execute this project. To help staff take these talents to the next level, they will participate in professional development sessions in the fall of 2013 and throughout the school year.

This summary just touches a few key project elements. New policies must be written, laptops evaluated, infrastructure prepared, and communication plans drawn out. Our journey will be profound. Stay tuned to read about our 1:World learning initiative unfold which empowers students to succeed.