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ISM High School Teachers Share IT Skills

On August 24, 2011, several ISM High School teachers shared their IT skills with colleagues around topics such as: Blogging with WordPress, Interactive Promethean Board Exercises, Google Applications, the Flipped Classroom, Document Cameras, and Digital Arts in the Classroom. Below are a few pictures from the various training sessions:

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Promethean Board Training – August 18-24

This past August 18-24, 2011, ISM held Promethean Board training for all teachers who have Promethean or Smart Boards in their classrooms. General sessions were also held for all interested teachers to learn more about this powerful technology. The trainer was Peter Dawes from England. His blend of sharing practical, easy to produce teaching materials, mixed with tutorials on how to use the ActiveInspire software left the teachers feeling much more confident in using the technology in their classrooms and motivated to keep learning more to maximize the boards capabilities for improving student learning. Peter used his years of classroom teaching experience to make each session practical for the audience, catering to the various departments, grade levels, and teacher interest groups that came for training. He was engaged daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with few breaks each day, but handled the schedule beautifully. We at ISM truly appreciate Peter’s flexibility with the schedule, as well as his ability to differentiate his instruction to be suitable for each audience. We are also very thankful for the wealth of resources Peter left behind for us to utilize as we move forward in our understanding of how to enhance the learning environment in our classrooms through this interactive media. We wish Peter a heartfelt Salamat Po (Thank You) and hope that our paths will cross again in the future.

Below are a few photos from the training as well as some quotes from participants in the training. Enjoy!

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Quotes from the training:

“Everything that was shared was so useful and practical! Thanks for the quality training, Peter!”

“Great classroom application with actual hands-on practice! Spot on!”

“Thanks for the many practical tips and tricks for using the software! I feel so much more confident to try things now!”

“This has been the very, very best IT professional development I’ve ever been to. I could attend Peter’s workshops daily without any frustration. Cheers, Peter! You are a legend!”

“I appreciated seeing ways to get students up on the board. The Magic Tunnel and Handwriting Recognition tools were two interactive examples. This training was extremely useful!”

“Peter was easy to listen to, and his training was very informative and entertaining. It was exciting to see how you can easily make objects interactive and moveable!”

“Thank you for the ready-made resources that I can adapt for my classroom!”

“Peter gave some great ideas for games and fun interactive exercises for students! I liked seeing creative ways to use the ‘revealer’ and ‘spotlight’ as well as importing video and audio. Excellent training!”

“After attending my first general session with Peter, I returned two more times for further training as I found everything so useful and meaningful for teaching ESL. Peter had so many creative ideas, and he is an extremely patient trainer; he answered every question that I posed. I would definitely recommend hiring Peter again!”

“The training was excellent from start to finish, and I am more comfortable with using the board. Thanks!”

“I appreciated how Peter came into our classrooms and supported our learning in our own teaching environment. This extra practice time was so valuable!”

“It was great being introduced to everything and learning the different uses of the ‘Power Tools’. Spotlight, Revealer, and Magic Pen – WOW! Amazing! Thanks!”

“I liked learning all of the simple tricks like layering, how to write on other applications, creating links for video/audio, ‘drag a copy’, screen shots, and the grid designer. Superb!”

“Peter’s pace, content, personality, and experience made this a spot-on training! I especially found the Infinite Clone, Timer, and Spotlight features really handy!”

“I really enjoyed seeing the presentations and then having the opportunity to play around with the software on the computer and try some of them myself with Peter’s support. This was a great learning experience!”

“Everything was great! I now have so many practical ideas for use within my classroom, and I am much more confident to play!”

ISM – Professional Learning from the Inside Out


On Wednesday, February 16, ISM teachers showed their support of their colleagues by participating in various professional learning presentations given by some of our own ISM faculty. Three of the presentations were in preparation for the upcoming EARCOS Teachers’ Conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in March. Below is a video montage of the day.

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Here are some brief synopses of the presentations:

Play Based Learning – What does it really mean? – Pre-School teachers Anissa Eglington and Catharine Luhtala presented this workshop centered on the big idea that “Play” is an essential element of developmentally appropriate, high quality, early education programs. The workshop provided an overview and resources for a comprehensive play-based program. The focus was on providing opportunities for educators to share and discuss the essential components which include: play based philosophy, emergent and negotiated curriculum, role of the teacher, parent and community education and relationships, and assessment and documentation.

Integrating Technology in the Early Years Classroom – Steve McCallum (ECLC) and Matt Pelkey (Pre-School) shared a variety of technology tools that early years teachers can integrate with their current curriculum. They discussed the pedagogy of integrating technology in an early-years class and provided practical tools teachers can immediately use to support learning.

Alternative Assessments Straight from Awesometown – High School Science teachers Ringo Dingrando and Richard Reilly shared their philosophy on assessment in their Physics classes. They are moving away from the typical quizzes and tests that mainly assess in one way to promoting Transdisciplinary Skills such as collaboration, communication, planning, and research through alternative assessments.  Using short plays, comic stories, live presentations, student-led mini-lessons, and dramatizations, students can tap into the various multiple intelligences to display their understanding in a way that plays to their strengths.  All of these assessments emphasize creativity, conceptual learning, and peer collaboration.

HS ECo Presentation – High School Social Studies teacher Tom McLean presented about the work the High School Environmental Council (ECo) has been doing over the course of the year and discussed plans for the remainder of the academic year. The presentation centered on the emerging focus groups within ECo and the projects that they are working on. ECo’s student led projects are aimed at making the school function in a more environmentally sustainable fashion and as such present teachers with interesting authentic learning activities that have the potential to be integrated into classroom practice. Tom shared ways in which teachers can utilize these projects either through direct personal involvement or virtually through data shared on the ISM blog.

Planting Seeds of Sustainability – Grade 1 teacher Juanita Rea presented which focused on how sustainability education can be embedded into our curriculum whilst focusing on the ISM school-wide priorities and student goals. The presentation showed connections between the ISM curriculum framework and the Service and Environmental Learning Goals thereby explaining the purpose of ECo integration. Juanita shared examples of how authentic learning experiences, in a real-life context, can allow students to think about global issues and take local action. This action is centered around the past learning and future possibilities that the Community Garden can provide for ES, MS, and HS as well as by engaging with the service partners to contextualize grade level unit understandings. Juanita also shared examples of ECo integration and how these learning links can be shared through the ECo blog. She will discuss future plans for the Community Garden and how teachers can make relevant use of this living learning space to empower our students.

Indeed, the ISM learning community gains so much from the expertise right inside these learning walls. You can view a video montage of these presentations on the Professional Learning Blog at Now, we look forward to Anissa, Catharine, Steve, Matt, Ringo, and Richard who will all be presenting these sessions again during the upcoming EARCOS Teachers’ Conference from March 24-26 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. We wish them all the best as they take in the feedback from their recent audience and place the finishing touches on what are already very professional and engaging workshops. Good luck to you all!

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