Tech Buzz - The Year So Far

Technology is Buzzing at Irmo High School!

First Semester Tech at IHS

The first semester just flew by! So much has happened so far this year, and this Tech Buzz newsletter (which should be monthly...) is long overdue! (I promise to do better the rest of the year!) But better late than never - let's celebrate what we have accomplished, and look ahead to what is coming.

iPad Rollout for Students

In September, we had a huge undertaking to accomplish - rolling out over 1,200 iPad minis to students at IHS in under a week. With tremendous help from TTLs, English teachers, District personnel, administration, and many others, the rollout was smooth and greatly successful! Over 75% of our students now have iPad minis to use for academic purposes. Keep reading below to discover some of the fantastic, innovative ways teachers have incorporated these mobile devices into their classrooms to help promote 21st century learning.

Hour of Code

At least 10 IHS teachers had one or more classes participate in the Hour of Code during the week of December 9-13, and exposed students to the basics of computer coding. Everyone really enjoyed the experience, and teachers were overall very pleased with how easy the prepared lessons were to use. Minimal planning, interested students, and a great learning experience all wrapped in one package? Yes, please!

If you didn't participate, please consider trying it next year. Ask a teacher who was involved how easy it was and how much students enjoyed it. I promise you don't even need to know one thing about coding to participate!

Celebrating Tech Use

Read below for some great examples of ways your colleagues have used technology in the classroom so far this year! Feel free to ask any of them about their lessons.

  • Caroline Davis had students take pictures of the digestive system, then draw on and label the pictures in Skitch.
  • Alenda Jones' students prepared Keynote presentations of vocabulary terms.
  • Peter Lauzon had students using 3 separate apps on their iPads during an "egg"cellent lab, and even taking pictures through a microscope using the iPad minis.
  • Nancy Owen is helping prepare her IB students for their IB exam by practicing recording interviews on the iPads.
  • Gene Williams is a whiz at creating and using Prezi for interesting presentations for his classes.
  • Karen Heath was amused at the videos her Econ students created using iMovie for advertising the product ideas they developed.
  • Allison Smith's and Jeff Corley's biology students created a stop-motion movie of mitosis using innovative iPad stands!
  • Christine Boyeson was truly excited when her students were able to collaborate with middle school classes virtually!
  • Madison Lane had her students creating fun radio commercials by using audio mixing software.
  • Stephanie Dukes presented a Shakespeare play to her students using an app on her iPad that gave them the play acted out in cartoon form.
  • Joe Cunningham motivated his students with an online Entrepreneurship game to practice skills learned in class.

And there have been many, many more - way too many to list here!

Anytime you have a great technology infused lesson, please let Heather Boudreaux know, and you could be featured in the next issue of The Tech Buzz.

Upcoming Event - Digital Learning Day

Look for more information soon about Digital Learning Day, which is February 5, 2014. This national event is designed to promote effective use of technology in the classrooms and encourage the inclusion of 21st century skills in schools.

All you will need to do is plan some sort of technology or digital learning in your classroom for that day, which many of you would do anyway! It can be as simple or as complex as you want, and can easily fit right into your plans you will already have.