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Showing posts from May, 2013

Edutouring 2.0 - Learning by Doing and Design Thinking at Nueva School

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Nueva School is a private California School that provides a constructivist education for gifted students. That said, what they actually provided was a programme that could (and should) be offered to any student. The school's motto is to "learn by doing, learn by caring" with students engaging in project based learning, integrated and thematic studies and as much real world learning as possible. Across the programmes students apply a Design Thinking process that insure learning is built around inquiry. 
Nueva School has been open for 45 years and has traditionally been an elementary and middle school only (same as a full primary in NZ), however they are just about to launch Nueva High School so as to provide a complete educational journey for their students.Students take a range of seemingly traditional subjects such as Maths, Science, Technology (IT), Literature Studies, Humanities and PE. They also take Design Engineering which seemed comparable to the equivalent of al…

Edutouring 2.0 - iPads in the land of milk and honey at Monte Vista

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On arrival at Monte Cristo Christian School we were greeted by the charismatic Headmaster Steven Sharp. Turned out in loud yet stylish shirt and matching black and white shoes. Steven was a sign of things to come, this place was, as he was - loud yet stylish, passionate, caring and generally pushing the boundaries of what a school should look like and feel like. The sprawling campus covers 102 acres in Watsonville, California. The facilities have to be seen to be believed. Classrooms have been decorated to resemble hunting lodges...complete with taxidermy, the library and student spaces resemble Abercrombie and Fitch...minus the shirtless men, the student cafeteria is a 50s diner complete with chequered floor and music. Facilities include a horse ranch, a football stadium, softball and baseball diamonds. This definitely felt like the land of milk and honey...with just a dash of Vegas.
But we weren't there to simply appreciate the decor, we were there to check out the learning and i…

Edutouring 2.0 - iDreaming at San Antonio Elementary School

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San Antonio is a low decile elementary school in San Jose. Whilst it is a long established school, it was in a sense recreated two years ago with new buildings and the launch of the iDream programme. The programme involved funding from Apple for a full technical set up across the school, including wifi infrastructure, Promethean whiteboards in every room and all students being provided with either iPods or iPads in school time. Like the school we visited before it, and much like many of the schools in NZ, San Antonio was at the beginning of implementing change, enabled by technology.

In terms of preparing staff, teachers at San Antonio had a week of training with a MacBook and iPads. They were shown how to use a range of apps. The school now has an Apple Resource teacher to support staff. Initially the IDream programme was meant to be able to offer a full time Apple support person and days of professional development. But like so many promising initiatives this dwindled actually down …

Edutouring 2.0 - Same same but different at St Ignatius College Prep

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Our first stop on our TTS US Ed Tour was St Ignatius College Prep - a high decile Catholic school in San Francisco. The intention of the tour is to visit a range of schools who represent the spectrum of e-learning (and for the most part Apple) integration. In many ways St Ignatius was a lovely place to start with the school being at the beginning of its journey as a 1:1 iPad school, just finishing the first year of implementation. Like many NZ schools they are at the point of trial and error, learning with their students how to make the best use of the technology.

So how are they going about it?

All students are provided with a leased iPad which they treat as there own device. They pay a bond for insurance, but the cost of the iPad is actually covered by school fees. Students were issued their iPads at the beginning of summer, so as to give them time to familiarise themselves before the school year began. They also completed a two hour class to set up iPads, showing them how to use e…