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New Year, New Projects

The new year is always a good time for new projects . . . we’ve been working on a few new tools and activities to see how they might fit best with our students, curriculum, network, and staff. They are pretty exciting! Here’s a preview of some of the trial projects in progress. When or if these trials are successful, look for the tools and ideas to expand to our other schools.

Podcasting: A group of teachers from DMS, YES, and EPES will be participating in a podcasting workshop and bringing those ideas back to their classrooms. What are podcasts? Independent of Apple and iPods, they are really just audio and video files you may share over the Internet. They are a great way to share student work with a wider audience–a hallmark of strong technology integration.

Moodle: Although it’s hard to say, Moodle is a great tool for learning and sharing. It’s an online classroom that includes discussion forums and more. There are wide variety of groups trying out this tool, including principals and teachers. Our trial projects include English classes at DAHS and New Reflections, 4th grade classes at WES, and a couple of projects at DMS with staff members and students. The WES 4th grade activities will include some special guests in their Moodle . . . Little Red Riding Hood, the Fairy Godmother, the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks, and others will be “visiting” this spring.

Picasa: Looking for a better way to manage pictures, a few staff members have been testing out Picasa from Google. It makes it easier to print, manage, and modify your pictures.

Document Camera: A 3-D alternative to the overhead, a document camera has many uses. DMS Spanish classes will be doing the first trial with this tool.

SmartBoard Software: Math teachers at DMS have been using SmartBoards, but the software is useful even without the board. Although we initially planned to make this software available to all staff, there’s a slight kink with installation. Look for more information during the January 21st inservice sessions dealing with technology.

And there will be more . . . if you have an idea or technology you think has promise, let us know. Contact Kim Bannigan at 6537 or Howard Draheim at 6536. A review committee meets quarterly to review teacher ideas for new technologies.

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