Superintendent's Blog

Entries from January 2012

Digital Textbooks: We have Reached the Tipping Point

January 19th, 2012 · No Comments

The creation of more opportunities to purchase and author   digital textbooks  is highlighted in today’s edition of T.H.E. Journal which notes the release of the  iBook2 ( http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/01/19/apple-launches-ibooks-2-ibooks-author.aspx)

In Bedford, as we continue the development of our 1:1 initiative at the high school, the opportunity to create and revise our own textbooks is a key component of the shift we are supporting in our classrooms.  With that end in mind, we have joined with Andover and Burlington High Schools submitting an Innovation  Grant to the DESE seeking some financial support for our teachers to continue to work together.  Last June Burlington High School hosted a professional development week so that our teachers could  share digital resources via ePubs.

If the three districts are successful in getting this competitive grant, our cross-district collaboration will provide a great model for the rest of the state.  It is time for Massachusetts to support the shift from traditional to digital textbooks and Bedford is well-positioned to help lead the way.

If you have time, watch the video just released by Apple.

http://www.apple.com/education/#video-textbooks

Tags: Community · Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning

Project 351

January 17th, 2012 · No Comments

During the Martin Luther King weekend Governor Patrick hosted Project 351, the second annual statewide volunteer effort involving  eight graders from across the Commonwealth.  Michael Barkan represented John Glenn Middle School at this event.  Michael’s day included a town hall meeting with Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray and Mayor Menino.  Michael then joined The Cradles to Crayon group refurbishing and packaging supplies for homeless children.

In nominating Michael for this honor, his teachers said the following:

Michael Barkan is an affable and respectful young man.  At an age where many are prone to follow, Michael is a natural leader.  Whether it is working with others in group projects, participating in class conversations or merely in a casual setting, Michael meets peers and adults alike, with the same genuine and congenial smile.

Kudos to Michael for achieving this honor!  JGMS is very proud to have such a caring leader and great role model in its midst.

Tags: Community · Digital Learners

Global Education and Technology in Action

January 12th, 2012 · No Comments

The current edition of the Primary Source Newsletter highlights an inter generational collaboration that involved multiple school districts and Primary Source, one of Bedford’s Professional Development providers.  Primary Source hosted a rich online discussion of the novel Girl in Translation. This poignant story of a young woman immigrating from Hong Kong to the U.S. highlights many of the issues facing the school aged immigrants who enter our country today. The newsletter notes:

Readers of all ages were engaged in thinking about critical global issues such as immigration, child labor, race, and identity. Educators were inspired to consider ways to incorporate Girl in Translation into their curricula in order to foster a deeper understanding of global issues.

Having an online discussion involving both adult book groups and the first time author Jean Kwok was a great opportunity for our high school literary scholars.

I have read this  novel and recommend it to you.  If you want to read the newsletter that mentions our BHS students, here’s the link:  http://primarysource.org/technology-connects-author-schools-for-global-conversation

Tags: Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning in 2012

January 4th, 2012 · No Comments

One of the blogs that I follow as part of my Personal Learning Network is Mind/Shift.  In a recent post, one of the guest contributors noted that we can expect the following trends to grow in 2012:  Teacher Collaboration, Technology Integration, and Blended Learning.  These trends reflect the work we are doing in our schools as we make the time for more teacher collaboration, encourage the integration of online resources into classroom pedagogy, and support teachers’ efforts to incorporate blended learning models into their practice.  As I think about 2012, I am convinced that we have reached the “tipping point” that will quickly shift our schools into a future where the roles of teacher and student are more fluid, the requirements for time on learning are redefined, the use of technology and classroom access to the internet via 1:1 devices more widespread, and and the need to collaborate across time and space  more urgent than ever before.

I know that our talented faculty is ready for this shift and I, for one, am excited to see them evolve their practice in the coming year.

If you are interested in learning more about these trends, click here:  http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/12/three-trends-that-define-the-future-of-teaching-and-learning-2/

Tags: Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning