Superintendent's Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Digital Learners'

John Glenn Middle School Places 16th in National Math Contest

May 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

I am pleased to announce that the National Assessment and Testing Administration (NAEP) has determined that John Glenn Middle School has some of the best middle school mathematicians in the country, as demonstrated by their 16th-place finish in the 2012 Collaborative Problem-Solving contest (CPSC), a national mathematics contest  administered by the National Assessment & Testing Administration.   Lisa Fontaine-Rainen served as the team’s coach working with students using brainstorming, collaboration, research, and technology to solve the problems and gain experience that will be critical to students in college and their careers.

Congratulations to our students and a special thank you to Ms. fontaine-Rainen.

Tags: Digital Learners · Parent · Teaching and Learning

Congratulations to Bedford’s Grade 2 Finalists: We Can Change the World

May 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Finalists Announced

Congratulations to the 12 students on the Grade 2 Davis School team, one of 72 student teams recently announced as finalists in the 2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. This year’s finalists’ projects include developing a new method to detect detergent contamination in water, educating peers on the environmental effects associated with using disposable water bottles and creating a way to harness energy through electromagnetic inductance.  The Davis School  Project focused on conserving electricity at Davis School.

Special thank to Sarah Dorer,  the teacher/coach and Richard Jones, the expert energy consultant for working with our Davis scholars.

Tags: Community · Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning

Strategic Plan 2012-2017

May 5th, 2012 · No Comments

The 2012-2017 Strategic Plan for the Bedford Public Schools has been approved by the Bedcord School Committee. The Strategic Plan has been designed as a roadmap for the future articulating key system goals. In addition, it includes a Technology Vision designed to guide school leaders and the community as we continue the transformation of the learning environment in our schools.

To view the Strategic Plan, click here:

Tags: Community · Digital Learners · Parent · Teaching and Learning

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 (

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.

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:

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:

Tags: Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning

Social Media and Schools

December 19th, 2011 · No Comments

An article in yesterday’s New York Times captures the dilemma schools face as we encourage the use of more social media in our schools.  Teachers, parents, and students use the new media as a primary form of communication so as a district we need to be sure that we enable our staff to use Facebook, Blogs, Google, Twitter, etc. in a manner consistent with the professional standards we set forth for both teachers and administrators.  From my perspective, using social media is just another venue for communicating  with the constituencies we serve.   Whether we use social media or the more traditional newsletters to share information, we are all expected to maintain appropriate boundaries consistent with the professional position we hold and the responsibility we assume in the schools.

The new media present both a challenge and an opportunity enabling us to  generate  online conversations.  Moving  into these new venues, we need to be thoughtful about both  the information we create and share and our capacity to manage a professional online environment that is not intermingled with our personal lives.

Yesterday’s New York  Times article offers some food for thought for all of us as we encourage the use of the new media supporting a culture that fosters collaboration while protecting both students and teachers.    If you are interested in reading the article, here’s the link:

Tags: Community · Digital Learners · Parent

Response to “My Teacher is an APP”

November 21st, 2011 · No Comments

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal:  My Teacher is an App has stirred debate throughout the educational community.  The article cites examples of school districts that have incorporated more online learning opportunities as a cost effective measure in a tight fiscal climate.  As one who believes we need to create a learning environment that establishes meaningful connections and collaborations across the world,  I would suggest that the focus on more online learning should be different. As we incorporate more online learning opportunities, we need focus on the quality of the learning environments both online and face to face.

From my perspective, the use of more online learning opportunities does not diminish the need for classroom teachers, rather it changes the roles of teachers and students. To suggest otherwise, devalues the significant influence teachers have on the growth and development of the students we serve.

Tags: Community · Digital Learners · Teaching and Learning

The Man Who Made 21st Century Connectivity Available for Everyone

October 6th, 2011 · No Comments

As we mark the untimely passing of Steve Jobs, I think we should all pause and internalize the message he delivered to Stanford graduates in 2005: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

What a powerful message from a man who changed our lives ushering in an accessible, connected 21st Century. Like many of you, I was using an Apple device, the iPad, when the news starting streaming from Twitter announcing his untimely passing. Like many of you, I am indebted to the visionary who had a profound impact on our world and our classrooms.

Tags: Digital Learners