Lausanne Laptop Institute 2011

I’m looking forward to learning alongside some incredible people next week at Lausanne Laptop Institute. I’m even more excited to be attending the conference with six colleagues from Trinity, all of whom will be presenting at least one session. These educators are passionately curious about teaching, technology, and learning. For some, this is their first “educational technology” conference and their first time presenting to non-Trinity colleagues. I’m so proud to be attending #LI11 with such a dedicated group of educators, risk-takers, and learners! I’ve included the list of all Trinity presentations at #LI11 below.

Teachers Improve Education

Trinity School Educators @ Lausanne Laptop Institute 2011

Julia Kuipers, 5th and 6th Grade World Languages

When Technology Is the “Lead Teacher” on Monday, July 11th @ 9:45am in UM 102

Online learning and hybrid classrooms present new challenges for traditional teachers.  We must learn to compliment the technological advances with intentional teaching techniques.  In this session, we will focus on the importance of supporting online learning by leading students in reflection, monitoring progress, adjusting programs to benefit the learner, and providing alternatives for the students to increase their learning potential.

Jack Parrish (@jack_parrish), 5th

Online Book Clubs in an Elementary Classroom on Monday, July 11th @ 11:00am in UM 104

Wouldn’t it be powerful if each child in your classroom was given the opportunity to share a meaningful and thought-provoking comment during class discussions? This presentation will explore the use of blogs to upgrade traditional reading and writing instruction in an elementary setting. This shift from a teacher-centric to a student-centric model not only allows the student to direct his or her own learning, but also allows the teacher to see students in a different way.

Kara Koetter (@kkoetter), Instructional Technology (K – 5th Grade)

From Chic to Geek: The Importance of Building a PLN as a New Teacher on Monday, July 11th @ 1:15pm in T 220

This will be an exciting session geared towards new teachers. It will focus on new educators being thrown into the hectic world of teaching and being expected to keep up with the 21st century skills we are supposed to deliver to our students on a daily basis. It will be my testimonial of going from chic to geek in just a matter of months — from creating a professional learning network using Twitter to adding blogs to my RSS feed. Since I was new to teaching and technology, it was necessary for me to grasp its increasing importance in order to become a better educator.

Marsha Harris (@marshamac74), Instructional Technology (K – 5th Grade)

Wikis in the Classroom: Collaboration, Communication and Creation on Tuesday, July 12th @ 11:00am in UM 206

How can teachers and students collaborate in an online global environment? Why is a wiki an innovative and effective communication tool for my students, parents, and fellow teachers? How can creating content empower students and encourage them to join forces with others? Wikis in the Classroom will provide technology leaders and educators with concrete examples of effective uses of wikis along with answering and discussing the questions above. Join me in a journey to investigate the power of the wiki and how its use can impact teaching and learning in the classroom.

Megan Howard (@mmhoward), Director of Teaching and Learning

From Tradition to Innovation: One School‘s Personalized Approach to Online Instruction on Tuesday, July 12th @ 11:00am in Rodgers

What happens when an independent elementary school seriously evaluates the meaning of its mission statement, eliminates its current language program, and adopts an innovative (and disruptive?) approach to language instruction? In this session, participants will explore the promises and pitfalls of online learning. Discussion topics will include: teacher management of hybrid classrooms, student directed learning and assessment, metacognition, and program evaluation.

Kate Burton (@k8burton), 4th and 6th Grade Science

Just say ‘No!’ to PowerPoint on Tuesday, July 12th @ 1:15pm in T 204

Discover why classrooms, especially at the elementary level, should be utilizing presentation software other than PowerPoint.  We’ll discuss the benefits of having students use programs like HyperStudio or Share, which are better suited for the new (and non-linear) ways that students should be presenting information to one another. As educators, it is important that we activate multiple areas of students’ brains to aid in retention and deep learning of new information. Since teaching and presenting helps transfer information from short-term to long-term memory, come explore new ways to create presentations that go beyond PowerPoint.

Tag-riffic! Social Bookmarking for the Classroom on Tuesday, July 12th @ 2:30pm in T 204

Remember the good old days when changing computers meant a hassle moving all your favorite bookmarks?  Remember the good old days when you could only share websites with others by sending the link to a website in an email and your annotations of the website could only be included in the email?  Wait… you STILL do that?  Come discover the joys and benefits of social bookmarking.  We’ll explore Delicious and Diigo, discuss their uses in the classroom, and consider the brain-benefits of tagging websites.

Amanda Pool (@AmandaPWilson) , 1st

Photo Story in the Elementary Classroom on Tuesday, July 12th @ 2:30pm in UM 102

Photo Story for Windows is an amazing tool that can be used in a variety of ways in the elementary school classroom.  This program is not only easy to use for both teachers and students.  I will show participants many examples of how I have used Photo Story in my First Grade classroom.  I will then walk participants through the creation of their very own Photo Story using pictures, music, voice, and more! Photo Story is truly an invaluable way to capture students’ opinions and thoughts while incorporating technology at the same time.


Going to Sea

I appreciate how my (down-the-road) colleague and friend takes the time to not only notice but also reflect upon the small things. From his writing about an osprey’s nest to his sons’ ongoing learning adventures, Bo Adams uses as an “observation journal (think pad) of short posts and single images.”

Sweet summertime seems to afford me the opportunity to notice more, to reflect more, to read more, and certainly, to write more. My previous post, “Opening Doors,” is an example of what this added time allows me to do. I yearn for this mindset during the school months…to do more of the noticing, reflecting, reading, and writing in an open and transparent way would only make me “do better and be better.” Perhaps I am building my writing muscle. I hope that I’m establishing good habits this summer that will carry with me as the school year begins its fall-winter-spring march.

Either way, I thought this passage from Verghese’s Cutting for Stone merited a place in my own observation journal and think pad of sorts. It reminds me of something @fastwalker10, my friend and down-the-hall colleague, talk about a lot which is teaching instinct. It also gave me pause  (as I sat on the beach) and thought about the purpose(s) of schooling:

Sound Nursing Sense is more important than knowledge, though knowledge only enhances it. Sound Nursing sense is a quality that cannot be defined, yet is invaluable when present and noticeable when absent. To paraphrase Osler, a nurse with book knowledge is like a sailor at sea in a seaworthy vessel  but without a map, sextant, or compass. (Of course, the nurse without book knowledge has not gone to sea at all).

My wondering is this… all schools have missions. A school’s mission is incredibly ambitions and almost always speaks to the advancement of every single child in the school’s care. So with the creative tension (a la Senge and The Fifth Discipline) that comes when one places the current reality of a school in 2011 with its respective mission and/or vision, what happens? One would hope that we make our reality move toward our vision rather than the other way around. How do we change the things that need to change to ensure that the children in our care actually want to go to sea and are pushed out to sea in seaworthy vessels…and with maps, sextants, and compasses (if needed and desired)?

I think Verghese would remind us to tell the children in our care that “it’s okay…you can be you.” And then he would remind us that both knowledge and skills are important. And finally, he’d implore us to tell students that we’ve created a place where they are invited into “a world that wasn’t secret, but it was well hidden. (They) needed a guide. (They) had to know what to look for, but also how to look. (They) had to exert (them)self to see this world. But if (they) did, if (they) had that kind of curiosity, if (they) had an innate interest in the welfare of (their) fellow human beings, and if (they) went through that open door, a strange thing happened: (they)left (their) petty troubles on the threshold. It could be addictive.”


I want all of the

learners at Trinity

to be addicted

to “going to sea.”