I thought I would share the successes happening at school and how I think as minor as they may appear on the surface that they are hopefully a sign of a more substantial change.
There seems to be a lot of discussion going on about ways to extend the classroom. A third grade classroom is going to do their upcoming biomes project as a wiki. I sat and watched 4th graders do PowerPoint presentations and even though it was the definitive death by.. I came away impressed with their presence and excited to talk to the teacher about how we can make the presentations better. They had the choice to do it digitally or old school poster style and 90% were going digital. Now just to teach them how to do it well. I definitely need to spend more time in Lower School classrooms.
Our Middle School is getting in the act as well. An English teacher was going to make photocopies of their poetry unit and send it home as a book but she came to me and asked how we could do it digitally. Now she will be using StoryJumper to create an online compilation and simply send the link home. Our head has been playing with podcasting via iPadio and will hopefully be creating weekly preview/reviews in the future.
In Upper School we have a collaborative Ning all in Spanish with Lovett in Atlanta, the TedxProject as well a new teacher trying blogging in Economics. Our choir teacher is posting podcasts from their trip to sing at Carnegie Hall.
With the new wireless going in and the website revamp on pace for a June release, the potential is steadily increasing. The best part is the conversations that are organically taking place around school about better and more innovative teaching. While none of the things are necessarily huge by themselves the collective feeling is moving towards a different feeling which seems very positive. Hopefully the upcoming SummerSpark will only enhance and ignite more conversation.