The fifth and final Digital Learning Environment Event was held on April 28 in beautiful downtown Pittsburg at the City Center Doubletree Hotel. The keynote speaker for the event was Holly Jobe, the Project Manager for Classrooms for the Future (CFF), Pennsylvania’s high school reform program. Holly Jobe has been involved in all levels of education. Her interests include how education technology can reform education and fully engage student in taking responsibility for learning; and educational leadership. She has served in her current position with the Pennsylvania Department of Education since 2006.
Pennsylvania’s initiative goals are to transform the way high school teacher teach and how student learn. With 20 million dollars budget the plan was to equip classrooms in all curricular areas with enhanced technology, laptop computers, and other state-of-the-art resources. CFF provided funds over three years so that all Pennsylvania high schools could participate. Now in the 3rd year of the initiative, 143,000 laptops have been distributed for 500,000 students.
The important component of professional development is being addressed as well. $6 million in state and federal funds was earmarked for teachers and other staff to receive extensive training. Training includes methods that use technology to increase student achievement and ensure that students are ready for college and other demands of the 21st century. In order to support the teachers as they learn the new technologies and attempt integration into their curriculum, the CCF initiative has initiated on-site instructional coaches in each participating school. These coaches provide support and training to ensure that all school staff acquires the understanding and skills to integrate technology into their classroom instruction, use data to make informed decisions, and promote more individualized instruction.
The specific goals of CFF are;
• Improve teaching and learning in English, math, science, and social studies.
• Change classroom practice.
• Change student-teacher relationships.
• Increase student engagement.
• Students responsible for learning.
• Students developing 21st century skills.
• Increase Academic achievement
More specific information regarding the state’s CFF program can be found at: http://www.edportal.ed.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/classrooms_for_the_future/475
As the 5 city DLE events come to a close, it is clear that the goals of Pennsylvania’s CFF are in line with the regional goals for education that we have seen demonstrated and discussed all around the country. It is encouraging to see so many committed educators embracing the need for systemic change in education. Together we can make change happen as we continue to move from the instructor centric towards the student centric model. The events have been opportunities to look at how a digital leaning environment can be the catalyst for teaching and learning in the 21st century. The hands-on opportunities have demonstrated to attendees how technology-rich learning environments not only enrich students’ learning experiences but also help them achieve their goals. Many thanks to all the partners and individuals who made this year’s DLE Events such a success!
Posts in Category "Events"
Learn how to create green screen student TV newscasts, classroom video projects and more this summer as Adobe Education Leader Rob Zdrojewski teaches the basic and advanced features of Adobe Visual Communicator 3. New this summer are workshops for existing users, where we will examine features like live flash web streaming and sharing your productions online.
Summer 2009 Workshop offerings:
-School TV Made Easy with Adobe Visual Communicator 3 (Beginners)
-Perfecting Your Adobe Visual Communicator Shows (Advanced Users)
-Using SchoolTube to Safely Share Videos Online
-Create Teacher Websites
Join us as hundreds of teachers, media specialists, and administrators have for an exciting look at using Adobe Visual Communicator for green screened school TV newscasts and more!
Learn more here:
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET
Join Jenny House, former educator and President of RedRock Reports and Adobe Education staff to get the latest updates on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and how Adobe solutions align with E2T2, Title I, IDEA and other new funding line items for 2009 and 2010. Adobe solutions cover technology integration across the curriculum, career and technical education with ISTE aligned curriculum and new certification as well as online professional development.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act & Adobe Education Solutions
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
10:00 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET
The third Digital learning Environment Event, held on April 2 in Boston, had the most participants of any DLE event so far this year. The day began with a review of Intel’s k12 Blueprint for success website: http://k12blueprint.com. This site is an essential planning and implementation blueprint for any district considering one to one computing.
The jobs of tomorrow are here today. Future industries with high expected growth include:
• Renewable energy
• On-line Entertainment
• Medical Research
And employers say the skills essential for our future workers include:
• Science and math
• Critical thinking
• Self direction
• Life long learners
The conversation then, is how do we instill these necessary 21st century skills in our students today? This is especially critical when all of the above, with the exception of science and math skills, are virtually impossible to test. Our traditional high-stakes standardized testing techniques can’t possibly test self-direction, creativity or innovativeness. In this era of No Child Left Behind, our focus as educators, for sheer survival, is on testable skills, and these are not necessarily the skills our students need for the 21st century. Our vision must be to educate our students with 21st century skills by providing them access to engaging technologies in collaborative, inquiry-based learning environments with teachers who are equiped and able to use technology’s power to assist them in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions and new information.
Here is where the rationale for full integration of technology begins. Technology can be the bridge that gets us to the goal of providing what our students need for the 21st century. And it isn’t just the success of the individual students that is at stake, the future of our country is at stake as well. President Obama, in his speech on March 10, 2009, stressed the danger in letting U.S. Education fall behind, saying the nation’s place as a global economic leader is at risk if we do not do a better job preparing and educating our students. Obama lists four major areas for education reform:
1. Early childhood programs
2. Tougher standards, assessments and accountability
3. Recruiting, rewarding, and supporting outstanding teachers
4. Promoting excellence and innovation in U.S. Schools
Creating the learning environment for the 21st century student requires a major shift from Instructor Centric to Student Centric teaching and learning. Student Centric environments will include tools that will extend learning beyond the school day and beyond the wall of our traditional schools. These tools include learning portals, online libraries, online classes, access to other educational institutions and online learning communities.
Cost efficiencies are making the goal of one to one computing a reality, not just a dream. Improved software and applications that fit the curricular goals are getting mo re effective and more affordable. Companies such as Intel, hp and Microsoft provide support and resources to help make the dream a reality. For more support and ideas for integrating technology visit these sites:
hp’s site: www.hp.com/gp/TeacherExperience and
Microsoft’s site: www.microsoft.com/education.
The second Digital Learning Environment Event, held on March 26 in Seattle, was kicked off with an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Barbara Grohe. Dr. Grohe is Superintendent of Kent School District in Kent Washington. Her dynamic address included highlights of the amazing things her district is doing in the area of technology.
Grohe began her address on the subject of 1:1 computing: Private schools are implementing this much better than public schools where leaders are still debating 1:1 adoption. Dr. Grohe says most of the world has passed up that conversation and already realize we need to have 1:1 initiatives. It’s happening now in India and Africa with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project.
Dr. Grohe’s vision and leadership have brought her district into national distinction as leaders of technology implementation and 1:1 computing. (In 1998 Dr. Grohe was honored as the National Superintendent of the Year) Kent educators believe that preparing students for future success means making technology an integral part of K-12 education. Funding for several projects (classroom presentation stations in every classroom, replacement of outdated student computers, teacher laptops, and one-to-one initiatives) was secured through the passage of a Technology Levy in 2006. Voters were promised; that with the passage of the levy, the projects funded would be focused on helping student achieve 21st Century skill sets such as digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity.
Planning and implementing such an enormous task has been quite a tremendous undertaking. Dr. Grohe shared with the audience a few things that they have learned through the implementation process so far:
• Grohe says, “In times of crisis, you have to narrow the focus”
• If you don’t focus on the learning the best teachers won’t come along with you. Those teachers are concerned about how kids learn-they need to know how these new ways of teaching with the aid of technology will change teaching and learning to make it better.
• Focus on the curriculum. Curriculum becomes the beginning of the discussion as a result of having the technology available to them. Look at the way technology can change the very nature of curriculum to help you teach better, not just different
• It’s not about the “stuff”; it’s about how to make the teaching and learning more effective.
• Talk quietly, do everything step by step.
• Optimize the teachers you have on staff. Help them understand what strengths they bring to technology.
• Identify your “maniacs”. These are the incredible people with a mission. Get out of their way and they will help you get where you need to be.
• Identify the others who are determined that your plans will NEVER succeed. Having an enemy is a true asset because they, as Grohe put it, “will ask the question your friends won’t” They will be great assets when they are brought into the decision making process.
• Chart your course. Know where you want to end up. Staying the course is the hardest part. The job of the administrators and the boards is to keep moving forward-never go back.
• Understand your obstacles. The administrators’ job is to get those out of the way. Grohe refers to this as “rubble removal” – so the “maniacs” can complete the mission
• And finally, Dr. Grohe suggested that you then have an obligation to share with your colleagues your lessons learned and she directed us all to the Kent School District website for more information on their technology program and implementation.
The rest of the day included more classes for participants to cycle through four 50 minute “classes” which included Science, Math/ Language Arts and Professional development. The day culminated with a wrap up presented by representatives from Smart and a drawing for some amazing prize which included a Smartboard and an hp tablet laptop!
I’m looking forward to my next Digital Learning Environment adventure in Boston next week. If you are in that area, or if you live near Boston, Phoenix or Pittsburg, consider joining us at the DLE event in your city. Find out more here: http://www.guide2digitallearning.com/
The keynote speaker at the first Digital Learning Environments Event in Chicago on March 19 was Superintendent Steve Baule from District 201 in Westmont Illinois. Baule began his address by asking what we can do more effectively with technology. Answers included extending the school day with things like online encyclopedias and virtual courses, and using standardized testing like MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) for higher reliability and faster results.
He mentioned these keys to successful technology use and planning:
• Focus on student learning and the districts strategic needs
• Create robust infrastructure
• Train everyone with adequate ongoing multi-level training and support
• Constantly Review/Revise/Supervise/Inspect
• Support your decision with data
In the area of data, Baule stressed that quantitative data is important for technology planning as well as new technology adoptions. He mentioned gathering data on the following:
• How often or long technology is used
• Changes in test scores or attendance rates
• Impact on family contacts
• Changes in graduation rate and grades
After the keynote address, participants left their “homeroom” and cycled through four 5o minute “classes” which included Science, Math/ Language Arts and Professional development. With 5 minutes passing time these participants stepped into our students’ shoes for the day. In my class, Language Arts, their behavior was good-I had no referrals for the day!
Lunch was a nice sit down meal at the hotel’s restaurant. I enjoyed dining with a high school teacher from northern Wisconsin. Although we teach in geographically different parts of the country, she in Wisconsin and I in California, we discovered our school districts had much in common and shared many of the same challenges including declining enrollment, shrinking state resources, rising transportation costs (we are both in rural environments) increased difficulty in meeting the rising requirements of NCLB. Although we were both feeling more challenged in our teaching careers than ever, we were both optimistic that in spite of these challenges our students will still learn and grow and that we and our colleagues will continue to give our all to help our students succeed.
I came away inspired, just like I am every time I have the opportunity to connect with professional, dedicated and talented educators around the country. I look forward to my next Digital Learning Environment adventure in Seattle next week. If you are in that area, or if you live near Boston, Phoenix or Pittsburg, consider joining us at the DLE event in your city. Find out more here: http://www.guide2digitallearning.com/
Hp and Intel are the major sponsors of the 2009 Digital Learning Environment Event Series. Adobe, Microsoft, Smart Technologies, Dyknow, KNS and PASCO are partners in the events. These are free, interactive one day events taking place in Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Scottsdale and Pittsburg over a 7 week period starting March 19. The purpose is to provide a hands-on experience for K-12 decision makers in the area of technology integration into the curriculum. Attendees will experience state of the art technology solutions in lab environments in the areas of Science, Math, Language Arts/Literacy and professional development. The major goal is to learn how technology-rich learning environments enrich students’ learning experiences and help them achieve.
As an Adobe Education Leader with over 10 years of experience integrating Language Arts and technology I have been asked to provide the training for these events in the area of Language Arts/Literacy. I’ve just arrived in Chicago and am excited about the first event which will take place Thursday. I will be demonstrating how technology can enhance the language arts curriculum using Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements along with other hardware and software solutions like Smart Technology’s Smartboards and Smartsync.
The Language Arts standards typically have 4 major components; reading, writing, listening and speaking. The tendency in most American classrooms is to focus on paper, pencil, and listening. This is understandable since reading and writing are heavily tested on our high stakes standardized tests. Teaching and learning with multimedia technologies can address the often overlooked standards of listening and speaking as well as deepening knowledge in the total core curriculum. Further,
Technology can be the hook, the spark that draws a student’s interest into the learning process. By its nature, technology embodies “active participation”. Students learn by doing, by exploring, by creating, and in the end, their creations are authentic outcomes that are valued and can be shared.
As I journey through these 5 events in 5 cities, I will share my experiences and observations. If you want to attend one of these events just register at:
I have to say, the 2009 TCEA conference was the best of ‘em yet!
TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) continues to host one of the largest educational related technology conferences in the US. This year’s Texas-sized conference hosted over 400 sessions and workshops and a slew of panel discussions. The conference also had more than 400 companies exhibiting their products in over 800 booths!
While the economy was taking a hit, the conference certainly seemed to be faring well. Over 8,000 education professionals attended this year’s event, and most of those that attended ended up spending a large amount of time checking out the latest technology products inside the “vending area.”
The Adobe booth was very well attended. The Adobe software gurus did an excellent job “wowing” the crowd as they demonstrated how to create PDFs, edit video, build websites, and do amazing stuff with digital images and print.
I stayed busy teaching Adobe-centered workshops throughout the week. This year I taught five workshops – and every seat was full! I was most worried about filling pre-conference workshops, as the onslaught of conference attendees tends to reach its peak toward the middle of the week. However, I was pleasantly surprised that both my early-in-the-week workshops (Adobe Captivate and Photoshop Elements) were packed full of eager-to-learn educators.
Toward the middle of the week, I had the opportunity to host two Photoshop CS4 workshops and an Adobe Acrobat 9 workshop. The Acrobat participants were amazed (as I still am) at Acrobat 9’s ability to generate student portfolios. I also noticed ear-to-ear smiles as they learned how to run the Acrobat form wizard to effortlessly crank out interactive forms – simply amazing!
Photoshop CS4 is always great fun to teach. I had to chuckle when I heard the gasps of amazement as the participants learned how to stitch together a folder of images into a panorama (File>automate>Photomerge). One guy exclaimed, “This just made the conference worth every dollar!” (Tip – you can also run Photomerge from Photoshop Elements – New >Photomerge Panorama).
Perhaps the fact that my lovely wife was able to join me for the final two days of the conference added to this year’s enjoyability factor. She has been making an effort to integrate technology into her 5th grade math class and wanted to pick up a few more tips and techniques. She asked her principal if she could attend and he gladly granted her permission. Let her story serve as a lesson – sometimes you just have to ask.
By Thursday evening I had completed my conference commitments and was looking forward to enjoying some of the great food and entertainment that Austin, Texas is famous for. My wife and I joined a tableful of other people at MariaMaria restaurant for a fine experience that consisted of great food, superb company, and a wonderful atmosphere. Thanks Adobe!
Make sure to include next year’s TCEA Conference in your 2010 itinerary. You will learn a heap of great information and have a blast while doing so.
Participants enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at how Amherst Middle students deliver live school newscasts using Adobe software at the Amherst Tech TV studio in Amherst, NY. Although it was a snowy and cold two days, participants made the drive from as far as North Carolina, Pennslyvania and Ohio. One even flew in from Belgium to take our unique workshop!
We began with a tour of the studio facility, and then discussed the basic hardware items needed to get started. Participants were surprised to learn that for only around $500 you can begin school newscasts using any classroom or office for a recording studio. School newscasts no longer require expensive hardware like years ago. Now any classroom can serve as a professional newsroom! A basic camcorder, microphone, and green sheet is all you really need to begin creating newscasts, classroom video projects, slideshows, and more using Adobe’s Visual Communicator software.
Everyone was impressed at how easy and simple the software is to learn. Below are the links to watch some of their first video projects made during our workshops. Thanks to them for allowing us to share with the world!
Visit our Workshops Calendar to see when the next workshops for Adobe Visual Communicator are offered. We’d love to have you join us, and learn just how simple and affordable Adobe Visual Communicator is for TV production, newscasts, projects, web videos and more.
If interested in Summer 2009 Adobe Visual Communicator Training and Workshops, please complete this survey.
Austin, Texas. What a great place for a technology convention for educators.
For the past 5 years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching the two-day Web Academy at the TCEA convention. Educators from all over the state make up the class – and each brings with them a variety of skills and needs. What motivates Texas educators to enroll in this workshop varies. Some take the class because they are looking for best practices to follow for designing and managing their school web sites. Others sign up because they need to learn how to use Adobe software in order to train their own staffs when they get home. Whatever the reason, I try to throw everything I can at them for the two days we are together.
I’ve made my share of mistakes over the years – so each year I try to improve.
Here are my Top 10 Things I try to remember when I teach a workshop on how to use Adobe products:
1. Teach educators the same way you would teach your students in your classroom. Keep them engaged and constantly review them on the skills they have learned.
2. Give your workshop participants time to practice their new skills.
3. Provide participants materials to take notes. They will remember what they learned better if they take their own notes.
4. Never give your participants all your handouts all at once. You will keep your students attention much better if you spread out throughout the day the passing out of handouts and materials.
5. Try to have door prizes. Adobe is great about providing software for your trainings – so be sure to order it in time to have it when your training starts.
6. Make sure your participants know about all the free educator materials on the Adobe web site. I am always surprised at how many teachers do not know about the Digital Design Curriculum that is available in the k-12 section of the Adobe site.
7. Plan for the unexpected – especially if you are training in a lab that is unfamiliar to you. Just because the Fireworks Slideshow tutorial works great on your laptop does not mean the RAM- challenged computers in the training lab will produce the same results.
8. Be honest. It’s okay to tell your students you don’t know the answer to their questions. They will appreciate your candor.
9. Give breaks as needed. Six hours in a dark, cold lab gets uncomfortable fast.
10. Try to make yourself available when the workshop is over (I know this is hard.). Share your email address in case your students have questions later. Also, make your handouts available online for downloading extra copies when they get home.