October 11, 2012
Dear HTS Community:
It’s not the technology…it’s the teaching. A colleague of mine recently suggested that with all the new technology added to schools in recent years (at HTS, we have added SmartBoards, iPads, laptops, Apple TVs, etc.), that sometimes things can get lost in translation. Technology is simply a tool that allows our staff to modify, differentiate or otherwise deliver our Board-approved curricula in a challenging yet supportive manner. Our staff and students have settled in nicely to their daily schedules and I trust you are all enjoying the 2012-2013 school year. We are approximately six weeks into the school year and I wanted to send you all a brief update on the HTS Digital Learning Initiative. HTS teachers and students are using the iPads in a multitude of different ways. Some examples:
In fourth grade math, Mrs. Galdieri has already downloaded the Singapore Math App and used it in conjunction with the SmartBoard to challenge students.
In Algebra I, Ms. Tsai and Mrs. Englesman are using the iPad to take and share notes and study guides. Also, our teachers have created an Algebra I calendar that syncs automatically to the students’ calendars on their iPads. The students set the alerts for 3:00p.m. so when they go to their lockers at the end of the day, their Algebra assignment is waiting for them. (ed. note: students are not exactly thrilled about this)
Mrs. Norris’ seventh grade art students used their iPads to research a famous artist and edit their printmaking assignments. They also used the Notes App to collect notes from their entire student group, and submit their assignment to their teacher, electronically.
In Mandarin Chinese, one of our seventh graders, Matthew C. used his iPad to finish his homework (see below) and his dictation assignment:
星期一我有中文棵。Monday I have Chinese class.
星期二我没有法文棵。Tuesday I don’t have French class.
星期三你有体育课吗。Wednesday do you have PE class?
星期日我没有课。Sunday I don’t have class.
According to Mr. Harris (ed. note: please follow Mr. Harris on twitter @htslmc), the Library Media Center is thrilled to welcome eBooks to its circulation collection, easily downloaded from any location directly to students’ iPads. Students may search for eBooks exactly as they would search for hard copy materials, using the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) on the LMC’s website. This eBook collection will be available shortly and is part of the LMC’s ongoing efforts to increase students’ proximity to educational resources. In other words, learning anytime, anywhere.
In Dr. Gervis’ science class, students are using the Science 360 App (visuals and videos) to enhance the learning experience of the topics they are covering. The HD visuals as well as the associated narrative is another way Dr. G. reinforces the curriculum in both group projects and individual study sessions. Moreover, the Molecules App is very useful when the children study the atmosphere. The students are able to see the shape of the molecules, rotate 360 degrees, and look at their components as well as the chemical bonds connecting them.
Last, but certainly not least, our Kindergarten teachers – Mrs.Schutz and Mrs. Higgins – have been implementing the iPads during small group instruction using sundry language arts apps. The children are playing letter and word games, using rhyming apps as well as some great letter tracing apps.
If you have any questions or suggestions for us, please contact us at school. Also, if you would like to learn more about what/how your child is learning in a specific class, contact your child’s teacher. As always, thank you to the PTO for funding the Digital Learning Initiative.