ib americas september 2011 ejournal

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© International Baccalaureate Organization 2011 IB Americas ejournal Enhancing curricula through technology First edition Page 1 September 2011 International Baccalaureate ® © International Baccalaureate

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IB Americas September 2011 ejournal


Page 1: IB Americas September 2011 ejournal

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2011

IB Americas ejournalEnhancing curricula through technology

First edition

Page 1

September 2011

International Baccalaureate®

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2023

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Primary Years Programme

Communication and collaboration: Beyond the four walls of your classroomJohneen Harris, Capilano Elementary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

We all know that finding experts for our students to collaborate with allows them to practice their communication skills in a more authentic way, but not everyone can actually visit our classrooms. Collaborating with experts takes time, but adds a richness to our teaching that we could never achieve alone.

Recently, our grade two team had this same dilemma. We were conducting a unit of inquiry under the theme “Who we are”. In the classroom, we investigated how communities were similar and different and how people depend on each other within a community. We noticed, however, that students did not seem to understand that communities can be quite different and meet people’s needs in different ways. We felt that technology might help us clarify how communities can be similar or different for our students. In Making the PYP happen, the authors suggest that the use of ICT:

• can document the learning, making it available to all parties

• can provide opportunities for rapid feedback and reflection

• can provide opportunities to enhance authentic learning

• can provide access to a broad range of sources of information

• can provide students with a range of tools to store, organize and present their learning

• encourages and allows for communication with a wide-ranging audience.

(2009: 43)Our grade two team decided to harness technology to broaden our students’ understanding of communities. Using an easy online application called “VoiceThread” (http://www.voicethread.com) students shared what they had learned about their own community. VoiceThread allowed us to upload pictures of our community and have our students comment on the pictures by recording their voices. Students were able to practice both what they wanted to share about our community and the questions that they wanted to ask others before recording their voices. Some of our English-as-a-second-language students recorded their contribution several times before they were happy with how it sounded. VoiceThread allowed students to be authentic “communicators” not just with their classmates, but with people around the world.

We invited the students’ friends, families and other classes to add their ideas and comments to our VoiceThread. The children went home and emailed their friends and families, many of whom lived in different places around the world, and asked them to share what their community was like. We also arranged for other classes to participate using EPals (http://www.epals.com). EPals helps educators collaborate with other educators from over 200 countries around the world. We were able to connect with a class from Texas in the United States and one from Saskatchewan about 2,000 kilometres away in central Canada. Both locations were quite different from our community and allowed us, as educators, to really highlight the differences.

After a week or so, students were eager to hear what people from other communities had to share. Many students were following the VoiceThread at home with their families, but we gathered the students together to listen and reflect on similarities and differences. One

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student lit up when they heard their uncle from South America and another beamed proudly as he listened to his aunt in England tell about how they used trains to get around in their community. Students in the classes from Texas and Saskatchewan shared what people in their communities did for a living, what they did for fun, what kinds of transportation they typically used and much more. Our students were much more engaged hearing from real people from a variety of locations. Through this inquiry, students gained a deeper understanding of how communities meet people’s needs and how to use technology to communicate with others to learn more about the world around them.

(Check out our Community VoiceThread at: http://voicethread.com/share/1345985/).

Introducing technology in the classroomVerónica Avellá Gamboa and Minerva Rodríguez Reyes, Educare Centro de Servicios Educativos, S.C., Orizaba, Mexico

Among the activities carried out for the English class in the six years of our primary school are the ones carried out online using the internet. In addition to helping the children improve their computer skills, these activities allow them to come into contact with the different English accents and to exchange messages with children of other nationalities. For these activities we use a program called Destination Reading (http://destination.learningms.com/lms); the program captivates the children from an early age, stimulating them to build and develop their reading skills through a variety of activities. The program focuses on reading aspects that have been proven effective.

Phonetic knowledge. Systematic and explicit instruction through the use of songs, rhymes and manipulative activities.

Phonetics. Systematic phonetic instruction teaches the vowel sounds gradually according to the children’s age.

Fluency. The children are exposed to a fluent reading level through a narrator who delivers a different intonation and rhythm based on age, gender and ethnic background.

Vocabulary. Destination Reading synchronizes vocabulary with high-frequency words and introduces new ones by relating them to the vocabulary they have already learned.

Understanding. The program provides texts with meaningful topics and develops comprehension skills and strategies based on year and age.

For some sessions, in addition to using a PC, we support students’ learning by showing the activities on the classroom screen, and we work together putting emphasis on phonetics.

This system allows us to have differentiated instruction, as the teacher can assign activities according to the specific needs of each student; the tool itself includes a regulating mechanism, which is constantly adapting the level of the activities in accordance to the children’s responses. Students can also explore different literary genres based on their interests and reading levels.

There are two other sites that we use frequently:

http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/games . This page helps our children link to other children, review vocabulary and improve listening skills, as, in addition to reading them, the children can listen to the activities’ instructions.

http://www.primarygames.com/science.htm . Activities related to science can be found on this page. There are activities and experiments that help the children learn about the subject while at the same time strengthening their vocabulary through listening to instructions in English; this again helps the children improve their listening skills. Furthermore, the videos can be shown on the classroom’s screen and the students can follow the instructions given in the video.

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Technology at Quest Elementary SchoolStephanie Harney, Hilton Central Schools, Hilton, New York, USA

At Quest Elementary School, a PYP school in Hilton, New York, USA, students go through an information technology program designed for them to become independent digital citizens in today’s information age. We support students in becoming effective users of resources in a variety of formats including traditional and emerging technologies. In addition, students engage in learning activities in the areas of information retrieval, information management, critical thinking and literature appreciation. Classroom teachers, our instructional technology teacher, and I (library media specialist) work together to provide opportunities for students to achieve information literacy and foster a lifelong interest in expanding their knowledge. Currently we are drafting a scope and sequence that will ensure that our students have a solid foundation, which will include the new IB ICT standards, Common Core and 21st Century Standards by the American Association of School Librarians.

Morning meetings are a foundation of our program at Quest. They are designed to build community and are held in each wing on a daily basis. One day per week, a school-wide meeting is held in the auditorium. Multimedia abounds to the point that we are recruiting a much-needed Quest Stage Crew consisting of intermediate students who will be responsible for checking the morning meeting wiki for equipment needs and scheduling multiple presentations. At the school-wide meeting, students share book trailers using programs like Animoto to encourage reading. Trailers that meet copyright standards are embedded in our Destiny library catalog. Public service announcements created in Moviemaker and iMovie allow students to take action on a topic they have researched. Students use Audacity and Garage Band to create podcasts and sometimes include original music in their productions. Several of our intermediate classes attended MAC Camp to learn how to use these tools, and program instruction also is embedded in their research during computer lab with our IT teacher, who last year was named Teacher of the Year for our school district.

This year students made advertisements publicizing their choice of a favorite book for the New York State Caldecott/Newbery mock “Three Apples Award”. A grant was obtained to purchase Flip video cameras for students to use for this project. Students recorded book talks at home and uploaded them to our library website. Clips were shared at a morning meeting to ignite enthusiasm and were accessible to all students while voting took place.

For Exhibition, two students wanted to increase awareness of the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. After extensive research, interviews, and attending a local event where the activist Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland, spoke on the topic, the duo created an Animoto Invitation. The event was to host their own screening of Gasland at our school (with free popcorn, of course) to raise awareness as our New York Governor prepares to determine whether this practice will be allowed within our state borders. The invitation was shared at morning meeting and sent to schools in the surrounding community. The invitation can be viewed here: http://animoto.com/play/actjp6f5rm1rdh0U8oc6jw.

When students need statistical information for a project, Polldaddy and Survey Monkey are used to collect data from staff, students or the audience at hand. This year an Exhibition student brought attention to “Water for Sudan”. He created an “H2O challenge” for family participation to bring awareness of the importance of fresh water in our lives. He gathered data from staff and students through a digitally generated survey. He shared his action at a morning meeting, which included results from his poll, participation in his action, and a movie sharing statistics on water issues in Sudan and how we can make a difference.

Many students create websites as their action for Exhibition. Some are created to provide a safe place for kids to blog about issues like cyber-bullying. Other websites are designed to bring awareness and to share information on how to help protect endangered species, for example: https://sites.google.com/a/ga.hiltoncsd.net/endangered-sea-turtles.

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Digital storytelling at Storybird.com is a venue for students to create image-generated stories and publish them digitally or purchase a hardcover book of their creation. Most recently we are sponsoring a fundraiser using the program to raise money for a kindergartener at our school who recently had a bone marrow transplant. Even our youngest students are able to use the program!

Several teachers, including a special education teacher at our school, use weblogs for students to interact with one another regarding literature they are reading. This allows students to dabble with social media in a setting monitored by an educator and used for furthering their understanding of the book at hand. An example is here: http://schoolcenter.hilton.k12.ny.us/education/components/blog/default.php?sectiondetailid=10791&linkid=nav-menu-original-4-194. Being a 21st century learner is all about communicating and collaborating, which you will see at Quest.

Students have access to laptops, a small bank of computers in each classroom, and are scheduled for computer lab. We have a limited but growing lab pack of Macbooks, iPads, iPods and Smartboards. Additional hardware is being added to our current array of tools to support instructional technology at Quest this fall.

This year I am challenging Quest families to take the lead at being progressive, disciplined digital citizens. Never before have students had open access to media in such a multitude of formats. This requires a new level of responsibility as we strive to adhere to high standards as an IB World School.

The Quest library website is heavily used by students and teachers to access our Pathfinder for all PYP planners and also a variety of other tools. For more information, visit my website at http://schoolcenter.hilton.k12.ny.us/education/staff/staff.php?sectionid=202.

Planning for IT in the PYP Sherri Magill, James B. Sanderlin Elementary, St Petersburg, Florida, USA

How do administrators, teachers and students collaborate to demonstrate student knowledge? That is the essential question to ask when considering how to incorporate technology in the classroom. In this economically challenged time, technology resources must be evaluated for price versus impact value. Money spent has to give learners the best tools to express their knowledge. Decision makers need fundamental knowledge of the many technology resources available and must make a plan by asking themselves basic evaluative questions: What do our students know? What do we want our students to be able to accomplish? What resources do we have? What resources do we need? What applications are available online for free?

The inquiry process is fundamental to a well thought-out technology integration plan. Just as we expect our IB students to collaborate locally and globally, the process of incorporating technology into the classroom starts with the inquiry process and continues with the collaboration of district leaders, administrators and teachers. Eventually, this will bring to our classrooms the best tools students need to showcase their knowledge.

James B. Sanderlin Elementary is an IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP) At James B. Sanderlin Elementary, we have a technology plan and collaborative process. There are two essential components to that plan, a teacher/staff planning committee (Tech Connect) and a student implementation group. The plan starts with an administrator, committee chairperson and teacher representative at each grade level, who guide integration of technology in the classroom. This group ensures the availability of resources and continuity of services to our community of learners. Tough decisions—such as equalization of computer resources across grade levels, and planning for age-appropriate technology experiences—are made by this committee, with input from the stakeholders they represent.

This committee also plans for school-wide technology training for staff. Much of the training is composed of “just in time” efforts to give our teachers and staff what they need when they

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need it, and every effort is made to showcase our own teacher knowledge by encouraging staff to train each other. When that is not possible, we are fortunate to have district trainers on whom we can rely. Contributing to each other’s knowledge base and technology skill level is an essential part of this committee’s commitment to driving classroom integration, thus guaranteeing that our community of learners is getting what they need to choose appropriate technology tools to support their classroom learning experiences.

Our Tech Connect committee is also tasked with providing age-appropriate experiences for our community of learners. We have developed a technology curriculum map that is our guiding resource. This curriculum map focuses on the integration of district and state standards with the PYP planners. Age-appropriate technology experiences, used in conjunction with the units of inquiry, are the vision for this map. Each year we strive to build on the skills introduced or reinforced in the previous years. For example, our first graders are introduced to the theme “How our world works” in December. An important part of that study is the introduction of hyperlinks on the internet and how those links connect us to answers and additional lines of inquiry about our world. A resource website called Infobits is used to help learners quickly see how general knowledge can lead to more specific information. A simple question such as “What is the most common type of transportation in China?” can be researched with a general understanding of the key words “transportation” and “China”. Students can then trace the links to the specific answer of “bicycles”. The answer encourages further exploration of this topic on more websites that support the answer and, more importantly, to the broader questions we want our students to ask.

In second grade, we build on this previous learning in October with “Where we are in place and time”. We introduce additional internet research skills, such as browser selection, search engines, bookmarking, copying and pasting, and so on. Our third graders begin to multitask using the internet and graphic organizers, such as Inspiration, to web their knowledge and record appropriate links on the internet. They also begin to understand the power of the internet as a collaborative tool when they use Skype with classes outside of our school during the “Sharing the planet” unit. Fourth graders develop their own websites, and fifth graders make extensive use of Web 2.0 tools and the internet to produce their exhibitions.

Some software programs are part of continuous initiatives and are used each year by staff and students. For example, our school uses Rosetta Stone to reinforce our second language experience for students and staff. It is introduced in second grade, and its use continues through the rest of the PYP. Also, our district provides online access to Destination Success for Reading and Math, which is used by teachers to diversify instruction. Like the programme of inquiry, our technology curriculum map strives to provide a framework that builds on a student’s schema and leads to more in-depth focus and knowledge that can be used in their real-world experiences.

The next component to our technology plan is to build a community of student technology representatives (called Techie Pros). In first through fifth grade, teachers select students to act as the Techie Pros for each unit of inquiry. Students from each grade level meet with their counterparts in other classrooms to brainstorm and collaborate on what technology tools may best be used to demonstrate their knowledge on a given unit of inquiry. The technology specialist or the media specialist, depending on the academic content of the unit, gives guided practice to the Techie Pros. Techie Pros are then tasked with taking that knowledge back to their classrooms to assist teachers and fellow students with technology resources.

What comes next for us? In this model of continuous schema building and exploration, students have become increasingly more international-minded. It is a natural process when students are given tools that allow them to reach out of their own communities and begin to explore other cultures, ideas and ways of expressing themselves. The internet has brought the world into each of our classrooms. Our use of online collaborative groups and student internet pen pals is just beginning, but already is showing tremendous progress with the help of resources such as the IB Virtual Community.

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We started with the question, “How do administrators, teachers and students collaborate to demonstrate student knowledge?”. As technology changes and we provide the resources that allow students to grow in knowledge, the answer is ever-changing.

Facing the ICT revolution in the PYPAl Zeijlmaker, St. John's-Kilmarnock School, Breslau, Ontario, Canada

In her wonderful novel, Sanctuary Line, Canadian author Jane Urquhart writes about a teacher in rural, nineteenth century Ontario. The teacher has just received a much anticipated globe for her one-room school house (they had waited a long time!) and the students are absolutely ecstatic. So ecstatic, in fact, that they are each allowed to come in from recess for a few minutes to see and use it. The historical perspective here is wonderful and makes the excitement of our current information revolution all the more palpable and awe-inspiring.

In order to meet the opportunities and challenges presented by what has been called the third information revolution, my school has developed an ICT Committee. It meets monthly and the members—representative of different divisions and curriculum areas—debate computer usage, implementation, software, websites, policies, etc. Reflecting the collaborative ethos of the IB, non-committee staff are frequently asked for their input on issues to be discussed, widening the circle of experience that the Committee makes use of.

Likewise at PYP meetings, the staff discuss useful and relevant websites as well as their experience in using ICT to accentuate the relevancy of the learning experiences they plan. The collegial sharing is tremendous, and many a recess period is spent with an enthusiastic colleague coming to share information about a new ICT experience or resource.

The Lower School has a set of Apple laptops that the teachers sign out for specified periods each week. Students at all levels of the PYP make use of them with grade level applications, concepts and skills at the core of their experiences. All PYP classrooms have a SMART Board, and they are put to good use to increase the interactivity and immediacy of inquiry.

Library subscriptions to useful sites such as Britannica online provide another avenue for student and teacher research.

For the last two years the PYP staff have mapped out and refined their IT curriculum. Reflecting on the usefulness of the hardware and software is at the core of these meetings, as well as setting appropriate timelines for concepts to be introduced. One need only read and reflect on the document, The role of ICT in the PYP (issued this past June), to see that information technology and its usage in modern education continues to evolve at a breathtaking pace. The multiplicity of useful and relevant applications is phenomenal. The skill set lens of the PYP is focused on: investigating, creating, communicating, collaborating, organizing and becoming responsible digital citizens.

This new document will, no doubt, add to discussions and programme refinement as staff planning and reflection continue, but with a particular focus on the ICT skills listed above.

As a team, we continue to grow as ICT learners; this is crucial. We know that, like our planners, the role of ICT will continue to evolve. As such, the IB prerogatives of team reflection and collaboration are more important than ever to ensure that the skills at the core of the programme are not only enhanced, but widen the scope of inquiry in fantastic ways that were not available before.

Technology use in the IB classroomMolly Foote, Wade King Elementary, Bellingham, Washington, USA

Armed with only a Flip camera and an iMac, Primary Years Programme students produced many videos about the International Baccalaureate. These short videos were played during assemblies or through our whole-school broadcast system. Students explored different

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interview techniques, camera angles, introductions, transitions, editing, sound quality and effects, music accompaniment and conclusions.

The first type of video we produced was a “man-on-the-street” news interview clip compilation. Students went throughout the building during lunch, recess and other times and asked students what they knew about different attitudes, how they demonstrated the attitude and why they thought the attitude was important. This type of video gave voice to a wide range of students and helped to generate more school community involvement. Primary students are often separated from the older students, so a main goal of the video project, beyond teaching about the attitudes, was to facilitate more interaction between students of all ages, both through having my fifth graders interview the younger students and by having the younger students presenting to all the students of our school.

With the help of our librarian, my students also created videos highlighting books that told stories of characters demonstrating different attitudes. Students chose a few pages of each book to photograph and then completed voice-overs to match the photographed pages. They worked in groups to develop brief summaries of the stories, encouraging students to check the books out of the library.

In my building, students are called on to read important and meaningful books during assemblies. To make a book come alive and to guarantee sound and voice quality, my students would make a video of the book. Each page of the book was photographed and reading parts were assigned to different students. Along with a narrator, students recorded the dialogue in different voices. This was enjoyable for the students doing the voices and even the youngest members of the audience were riveted to the screen while the video story was playing.

Our final video inquiry had students delving into a stop-motion animation production. This proved to be the most challenging, but also the most exciting. Students told stories of empathy with stop-motion clay figures. Frustration ensued when clay figures fell or were moved too much between shots, but each student group persevered to complete their stories. This was our first attempt at this format and we had no formal instruction. We simply learned by doing and we did learn a great deal about how to make an animated video. Much of the animation was less smooth than we would have liked, but what we learned about the animation process will be shared with students who embark on similar projects in the future.

After our work in video production, many of my students chose to create their own videos as part of their Exhibition projects. It was exciting to see them take what we learned together as a class and apply it to their own media presentations.

While all my students enjoyed producing the videos, I feel as if my more shy students benefited the most. Students who would never have presented during assemblies or for other large groups had no problem talking for the camera, doing different voice-overs or interviewing other students. Knowing that they could edit out their mistakes and complete several takes until they were satisfied with their performance provided a safe environment for them to express themselves, share their ideas and perform publicly. Learning about video production allowed students to take risks while exploring a fun, pervasive and interesting technological medium.

Technology in education: Westlake City SchoolsDeb Wadden, PYP Coordinator, Westlake City Schools, Westlake, Ohio, USA

Utilizing technology in the classroom is a vital component to 21st century learning. In Westlake City Schools, Westlake, Ohio, USA, teachers use technology to engage students in a variety of ways. We are fortunate to have interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in most classrooms. Teachers use IWBs, document cameras, digital video, classroom amplification systems and classroom computers to offer students a range of interactive experiences. Multimedia presentations of material provide information to students with a variety of learning styles. Technology also plays a role in communication and collaboration among staff

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members, who plan and analyse data collaboratively using Microsoft Office programs, the internet, digital video and podcasts, Skype, Google Earth and distance learning. Our district, school and teacher websites (http://beta.westlake.k12.oh.us/default.aspx) and e-newsletters facilitate communication with parents and the community. Here are a few examples from the past school year.

Get started early: Westlake City Schools students began to use computers in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes to explore cause and effect, special relationships, colours, shapes and the basics of mathematics and language arts. At the pre-kindergarten level, touch screens and adaptive mice helped to differentiate so that specific student needs were addressed and all students could experience growth. See them in action here.

Think, create, communicate: First and second grade students improved their communication, creative writing and research skills last year as they created a series of enhanced podcasts, including book reviews, collaborative stories and animal reports, using PhotoStory3. With each experience with the software, students built upon prior knowledge and skills in order to create improved products. Students remained engaged and supportive of each other throughout the process, worked individually and collaboratively, and built research skills and written and oral communication skills in addition to digital literacy. Teachers encouraged self-reflection as students reviewed and edited their podcasts for content and communication qualities. See some examples of student-created podcasts here.

Learn, then teach others: Third and fourth grade students created individual and group presentations using PowerPoint, ActivInspire and video cameras. Collaboration, creativity, synthesis and communication skills were all addressed as students collected information and taught it to others via digital media. Third grade collaborative PowerPoint samples can be viewed here.

Digital art: First grade art students used the Windows Paint program in a series of three sessions. In the initial session, students were instructed in the basics of the Paint program and created digital pieces using the tools as they learned them. During the second session, students called upon what they had learned about the program and about Matisse to digitally create works inspired by the artist. Finally, students were encouraged to engage in a session of extended practice. Samples of their work can be viewed here.

Stop-motion animations: Technology helps us teach across the curriculum. Fourth grade students used Microsoft Paint to create product advertising for an economics unit. They also wrote, storyboarded and produced stop-motion animations, incorporating video production, character creation and analysis, writing constructs and lots of patience! You can watch their videos here.

Explore the world: Third grade students expanded their views of the world using Google Earth and distance learning (DL). Using a teacher-created Google Lit Trip (http://www.googlelittrips.com/GoogleLit/Home.html), students travelled the route described in How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. Along the way they explored the Coliseum in Rome, got a bird’s eye view of Mt. Vesuvius, among other stops, and addressed cross-curricular questions associated with each location. Other third graders experienced a virtual field trip to Alaska via DL equipment. They were able to connect what they had learned about the Iditarod and sled dogs during DL interactions with real mushers and their dogs, even directing a team on a live run.

Revisit, reflect, review: Student- and staff-created videos helped students to revisit concepts and skills as part of reflection and review. Teacher-created videos allowed students to answer questions on their own time, at home or at school. Many of our teachers posted these videos on their websites, allowing students to access them when needed. Click the dinosaur on the Water Cycle web page here to see an example. Websites were also used to communicate with students, parents and community members and to showcase student work.

Going forward: One of our goals is to incorporate projects previously implemented at the intermediate level into primary level buildings. Projects of interest include increased use of student-created enhanced podcasts and Google Earth; use of wikis and online polls for

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discussion, journaling and unit review; and expanding our use of Skype to include international collaboration.

Enhanced podcasts: As a reflection exercise prior to assessment, student teams made narrated PowerPoint presentations reviewing mathematics concepts. The resulting enhanced podcasts were uploaded to an iTunes account for students to access in preparation for the unit assessment. View an example here.

Wikis for journaling: Using a teacher-created wiki, students posted weekly journal entries in response to prompts and questions on topics related to classroom units. View an example here.

Westlake City Schools’ IB Primary Years Programme Coordinators, Colleen Steidel and Deb Wadden, bring experience with, and enthusiasm for, technology integration to the table. As our elementary schools move toward becoming PYP candidate schools, it is apparent that technology will continue to be an integral part of student and staff learning and our implementation of the Learner Profile and Programme of Inquiry.

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Middle Years Programme (MYP)

Teaching in the 21st centuryTom Ansuini, Music and Computer Programming Teacher, École secondaire Marie-Clarac, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Before I begin, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom Ansuini. I teach music and computer programming and direct two orchestras at “École secondaire Marie-Clarac (Montreal)”. I specialize in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and I have also published several pedagogic software applications aimed at providing fun and motivating learning experiences for students of all ages.

My method – my philosophyTeaching music is my great passion, and I firmly believe that anyone can learn anything if they are properly motivated. In my 25-year teaching career my goal has always been to make music learning fun and accessible to everyone, regardless of level or musical taste. That’s why I decided to create my own computerized method called the Virtual Practice Studio (VPS), or, in French, “Le studio de pratique virtuel (SPV)”. I use these specially designed computer programs to motivate students to learn music theory and ear-training through various games and self-evaluation activities. These applications also contain interactive teaching modules that allow the students to select, study (interactively) and self-evaluate their understanding of specific theoretical and ear-training concepts. Students are motivated to learn and expand their knowledge and understanding through the various pedagogic games available for each notion and what would otherwise have been a very formal and strict disciplinary practice now becomes a fun and colourful learning experience. This pedagogic approach works particularly well in our school, where music is not offered as a concentration but rather as an elective. Most of my students have no prior musical experience or knowledge and they have no intention of spending long periods of time learning through traditional methods. They want to have fun! They want to do, create and play right away. When they first come into my music class, they have this fear that they will have to go through a lot of boring theory before getting to the good stuff. I then show them the VPS programs and all the pedagogic games and activities at their disposal to learn the basics and then they cannot wait to get these programs and start exploring all of the various modules. I follow the same philosophy when it comes to musical repertoire for the various class projects and for my orchestras. I let them choose their songs and I prepare the arrangements for their instrument and skill level. I do not impose my musical choices on them. If they like what they’re playing, they will practice with more excitement and motivation. My main objective is to get them to learn music and to give them a positive learning experience in doing so.

Areas of interactionThis pedagogic approach puts particular emphasis on approaches to learning by providing interactive tools to make the students take responsibility for their own learning. With various modules designed to elaborate a concept in several different ways, the VPS software (volumes 1 and 2) gives the students the opportunity to choose, according to their personal learning style, the best way to develop their understanding. The more advanced music composition modules also put emphasis on human ingenuity by helping students to experiment with harmonic progressions and rhythmic cells and to understand how these are created. Using these modules, students can easily recreate and analyze popular song progressions or even compose their own original harmonic and rhythmic structures to use later as verses or choruses for their own compositions.

Classroom applicationI have been writing and using my software methods in my music classes since 2000 and have amassed quite a collection of applications to help students develop numerous theoretical, ear-training and practical skills. Much of my software collection can be viewed and downloaded directly from my website (http://www.mtcmusic.ca) or on YouTube (search: “Tom Ansuini”).

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On the website, you will also find many online modules, playable through any browser (PC or Mac). These online modules are added and changed regularly throughout the school year and are designed to give my students additional practice and self-evaluation tools, depending on what we are doing in class.

In my classroom, each student has access to the VPS software on their own computer, allowing them to work and progress at their own pace without feeling pressure from the rest of the class. This also allows me to have classes containing students with mixed levels of musical skill and in which each student can progress, moving forward from what they already know without having to wait for the rest of the class to do so.

All of the software has been designed in a modular fashion and contains interactive explanation modules, customizable self-evaluation modules, educational game modules and instrument simulation modules. Depending of the current project, students use the necessary software to learn, practice and develop their understanding of any given concept. They then put their knowledge into practice to further the advancement of their current project. I suggest to the students the best modules to use for the learning task at hand and assist them by elaborating on the information supplied in the module.

I also use the interactive quiz modules to evaluate general theoretical and ear-training skills regularly. There are several advantages to evaluating these skills in this manner.

1. Each student is given a unique set of questions for his or her quiz, making it impossible to cheat.

2. In the case of an ear-training quiz, the students can study and practice using the same quiz module at home prior to taking the quiz in class. During these practice sessions, the students receive immediate feedback on their answers, thereby allowing them to know exactly how well they understand their material and to learn from their mistakes.

3. Each quiz module allows the students to customize the difficulty level, thereby allowing the students to progress gradually.

4. As opposed to the pen and paper quizzes, the interactive quizzes are much more fun to do and give the students their marks immediately after each quiz.

5. At the end of a quiz, the students raise their hands and I go over and take down the final mark. No corrections required! This allows me to focus more of my time on preparing interesting learning situations and less time on correcting written quizzes.

There are many advantages to using the ICT approach to education, but for me the main one is motivation. A motivated student will be more curious and will want to learn simply because he or she enjoys what they are doing.

Recently I was asked by some mathematics teachers at our school to develop a software application to help students practice the basic multiplication tables. Following that request, I developed three different software applications, in French and English, to help students hone their mathematical skills. These three applications can be downloaded for free from http://www.mtcmusic.ca.

1. The fortress of multiplications (with customizable practice module and pedagogic game)

2. The caverns of divisions (with customizable practice module and pedagogic game)

3. Algebraic expressions (working title – customizable practice module)

These programs were completed in April 2010, and since then, the first two have been used extensively in our elementary school and all three will be given to all the secondary 1 students entering in September 2011. Just like the VPS music software, these applications have been designed to make the learning process fun and motivating.

If we are to teach and motivate students in the 21st century, we as teachers must make optimum use of ICT and Web 2.0 tools. We must communicate our knowledge on a technical

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level appropriate to that used daily by our students. We must interest them, excite them and even surprise them using the technologies with which they associate in their daily lives. We must make learning a fantastic adventure.

Doing more with less: Using technology and stations to transform a classroomGeoffrey Aladro, Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center, Miami, Florida, USA

In the classroom of the future everyone will have their own personal computing devices, all technology will be seamlessly integrated and students will be limited only by their imaginations. Using technology in the classroom of the future will be effortless, but what about the classroom of today? One strategy to bring the future into the present is using stations. This approach transforms a classroom from a place where students use old processes with new tools, into a place where inquiring students take risks and pioneer new techniques. Stations create these opportunities in two ways. First, they create a resource multiplier effect; in a classroom with six stations all of the technology in the room is magically multiplied by a factor of six. Second, they assist educators in developing lessons that uniquely take advantage of specific technologies.

Let’s take a tour of a classroom utilizing stations to provide students with an exciting and differentiated learning environment. Imagine a station where a small group of students are using Google Earth on a digital whiteboard to study a region of the world. Instead of passively absorbing information, students are collaboratively interacting with information, choosing where and how to look at a place, and peeling through layers of data to obtain a better understanding of a certain location. By giving a small group of students direct contact with the digital whiteboard, their entire relationship with the technology has changed.

Another station might be a multimedia studio with a computer, a video camera, a microphone, a MIDI keyboard and a green screen. What kind of media can students create in this station? Anything. Want to create a resource that students can use for review? Assign each group a different topic and have them create a movie or podcast, which can be stored in a digital library for future use. Middle Years Programme students love learning from other Middle Years Programme students, which creates the added bonus of positive social interaction within groups.

A station can be created for hands-on activities, which are a wonderful way to encourage student inquiry. Equipping a classroom can be prohibitively expensive. With a station, one set of tools—such as probeware, manipulatives or realia—is sufficient. Instead of being limited by a lack of resources, students are given an optimal space to create and experiment.

In a classroom with 24 students and 4 student workstations one-to-one computing can seem like an impossible task. However, divide that same classroom into six stations, and a small computer centre can provide exactly that. This provides students time to work individually with a computer. This resource multiplying effect means that even classrooms with limited technology can have students interact with computers in a meaningful way.

A single iPad or netbook can greatly benefit students. For example, students can record an extemporaneous speech, debate or discussion and then review it using a rubric. This allows students to improve their public speaking. Furthermore, they can access resources such as iTunes U to find expert discussions and lectures.

Does technology have to be cutting edge to be useful? Absolutely not. A station can be designed to optimize the use of old technology. An eMac is about nine years old and would be difficult to use for multimedia creation, but hooked up to a projector it powers a digital gallery in which students have access to any digital image in existence. Printed images are expensive and difficult to work with. A digital gallery allows students to focus in on points of interest and access a large number of resources.

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The greatest resource is the students themselves. In any group some students will know more about a certain piece of hardware or software than other students. The small group dynamic allows these students to teach their peers. Additionally, using a classroom wiki can lead to the creation of a virtual classroom memory. Instead of the teacher constantly answering frequently asked questions about using technology tools, students can find their own answers using the wiki. This way the teacher can focus on instruction rather than tech-support.

Stations are a powerful strategy for fundamentally changing how students interact with technology. Through the resource multiplier effect and careful design, stations allow our students to work with technology actively rather than just being passively affected by it. While it is certainly not effortless, stations can help a classroom of today more closely resemble a classroom of the future.

Technology in the classroom: Growing readership of an online newspaperShannon Hoffman, Mount Mourne School, Mooresville, North Carolina, USA

How do I connect with an audience?

In the 2010–11 school year, MYP students in the Newspaper class at the Mount Mourne School in Mooresville, North Carolina, were challenged to answer this unit question by increasing visits to the school’s online newspaper. The result was a six-week immersion in technology, marketing and journalism that transformed The Mount Mourne Post and dramatically increased the flow of traffic to the site.

Prior to this project, the newspaper site had served as a showcase for student writing. In class, students learned about journalistic values and practiced writing and reporting skills. The unit on growing an audience allowed students to apply what they learned in an environment that mirrored that of a fast-paced, reader-focused, real-world newsroom.

Although facilitated by a teacher, the success of this project lay in the fact that it was student-run. Two talented student writers with senior reporting experience were appointed editors and charged with leading the effort. Webmaster positions were filled by two tech-savvy students. The remaining students took on different beats in the role of reporters.

With the unit question in mind, newspaper staff asked potential readers what kind of stories would attract them to the newspaper website. The answers were used to create news categories, which in turn became beats for reporters. Reporters were then tasked with finding and pitching story ideas within their beat.

Once a story idea was approved by an editor, reporters were given freedom during class to conduct research and interviews, take pictures, film videos and ultimately write a weekly story. Completed stories were submitted for approval to an online database, where they were proofed and released by editors. Webmasters provided support and enhancements to the site as needed.

Regular features included a spotlight on personal projects, extracurricular club reviews, a photo gallery, an advice column and a weekly video interview entitled, “What would you do if?”. Articles highlighting campus events, classroom projects and student accomplishments rounded out the offering.

On their own initiative, students promoted The Mount Mourne Post by creating a page on Facebook, visiting other classrooms, putting posters up throughout the school and arranging for teasers to be placed on the school’s website. One of the most effective campaigns involved advertising in bathroom stalls.

An advantage to using a web-based product was that students were able to measure the results of their efforts easily. Weekly traffic reports showed how many visitors entered the site each week, how they were referred, what articles they looked at and how long they stayed on

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the site. With this information, students were able to design the website strategically to better serve readers and bring story and feature ideas in line with what readers were viewing.

This unit was approximately six weeks long and took students to the close of the school year. In that time, students were able to increase traffic from 589 visits to 2,359 visits1 and page views from 1,853 to 8,9792 when compared with the previous month (source: Google Analytics).

Dedicated technology resources for this project included a membership to School Newspapers Online (a web-based platform with templates and tools), four computers and one digital camera. Personal mobile phones with video and camera capabilities supplemented when the digital camera was unavailable. To fill the computer gap, class was held in the library lab or the school’s mobile netbook library was utilized. When all else failed, students were able to meet deadlines by logging in to the website from their home computers.

Differentiation in this unit allowed students to work in roles that suited their interests and skill sets. In terms of relevance, students worked actively within the community in the same manner as they would in a real-world newspaper. These aspects, coupled with the social nature of reporting and the ability to use technology freely, drove a high level of engagement.

So, how do I connect with an audience? In this unit, students learned how to leverage the use of technology and their own ingenuity to attract an audience online. Working as a team, they were able to increase readership of the newspaper site significantly in a very short period of time.

1 “Mountmournepost.com Dashboard”. 3 April–2 May 2011. Google Analytics. Accessed: 28 July 2011.

2 “Mountmournepost.com Dashboard”. 3 May–2 June 2011. Google Analytics. Accessed 28 July 2011.

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Diploma Programme

Technology initiative brings learning to students’ fingertipsKelley Waldron, IB Coordinator, St. Andrew’s School, Savannah, Georgia, USA

St. Andrew’s School in Savannah, Georgia, embarked upon an instructional transformation during the 2011–2012 school year with the implementation of a one-to-one iPad initiative for all students—three-year-old pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. The school also purchased three rolling Macbook carts for students’ use and gave each teacher a Macbook, iPad and interactive Eno board for their classrooms. While there was much excitement and a little bit of hesitation throughout the school community on the potential uses of these tools and the implementation of this technology initiative, they have transformed the culture of the school and the level of instructional engagement in the classrooms tremendously over the course of just one year. Some of the ways in which these tools have transformed our school’s learning and culture to be in line with 21st century learning practices are:

Access: The one-to-one iPad initiative is giving our students an incredible amount of access to a universe of tools and information. Students are not limited to the information that is in their textbook or the supplies in their classroom but can instantly search a multitude of resources related to their topic of study. The iPads also give the students the ability to prepare and practice more for the oral components of their internal assessments in their language classes using recording applications (apps).

Collaboration: The implementation of the iPad initiative has allowed our students to collaborate both in and out of the classroom. English classes have been utilizing tools such as wikis and social media sites to comment on texts and engage in discussions before and after formal instruction with the teacher. In theory of knowledge, our students used Skype to talk with the school-outreach coordinator from Pennies for Peace as well as one of the female graduates from a school funded through the programme in Pakistan to explore knowledge issues from different perspectives.

Engagement: The access to technological tools has opened up the ways in which students can engage with coursework in their classes. The iPad allows students to access models and manipulatives in the sciences and mathematics that were either previously unavailable to them or to which they had limited access in school. Students can now access these resources in class or after school when studying or completing homework. Students in Spanish used Adobe to respond visually to poetry they were reading.

Creativity: All of the technological tools we have implemented have expanded the possibilities for our students to express their understanding of the topics they are learning about creatively. In IB world languages this year, students produced e-books that were portfolios of their learning, and these included text, audio and digital files.

Invention: One of the most exciting and promising aspects of the implementation of this technology at St. Andrew’s is the way it empowers students to take control of their own learning. For many of our students, they are more familiar with the technological tools we have given them than their teachers. They are finding and sharing new ways of learning with us as much as we are helping them. Students are gaining a deeper knowledge of the multiple ways in which they can expand and challenge themselves as learners.

For a better picture of the technology initiative at St. Andrew’s School, please visit one of our many documentary short films about the implementation of these tools at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngkSIw7uIhM.

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Increasing student achievement using the IB QuestionbankNina Kimbrough and Judi Charley-Sale, T.R. Robinson High School, Tampa, Florida, USA

Our hope is that you and your students will experience an increase in student achievement from learning how we used the IB Questionbank software among Diploma Programme (DP) and pre-DP IB students. True, we teach mathematics higher level (HL), but our approach to using the IB Questionbank can work in any discipline. There is an IB Questionbank available for business and management, French and Spanish B, biology, chemistry, environmental systems and societies, and physics.

The challenge of preparing a topic-specific test within the IB environmentAs a DP teacher, you can relate to the pressures of preparing your students for their IB examinations. How often have you wanted to use previously administered IB examination questions to test your students on a specific topic? All of us have inefficiently gone through stacks of paper copies of old examinations and used scissors and glue to literally cut and paste in order to create a topic test. Compound this inefficiency with a hunt for the markschemes, and you have a recipe for wasted time and energy, which ultimately takes away from the focus on the momentum of learning.

We use the IB Questionbank: Mathematics to deliver lesson content and prepare our students for the IB examinations efficiently and effectively. All our DP and pre-DP students significantly benefited from learning how IB-style questions are presented and scored in IB examinations. The efforts helped our students further their understanding of IB testing philosophy and policy. Our success was evident in the pass rates for mathematics HL. For example, in our first and third years as mathematics HL teachers, our students exceeded the worldwide 2010 pass rate by about 20 percent.

Structure of the IB QuestionbankThe IB Questionbank: Mathematics contains test questions used on past examinations for each of the three IB mathematics courses—HL, standard level (SL) and mathematical studies SL. Questions are aligned and organized in accordance with the IB subject guide and are easily searchable by topic. Each question in the Questionbank contains reference and correlation to a related markscheme, subject report and link to the IB subject guide (curriculum detail). Teachers can search the Questionbank for specific questions by topic, year, paper/option, IB subject guide, as well as graphic display calculator (GDC) allowance. We will leave it to you to explore the specifics of using the software.

How the IB Questionbank supports learning goalsThere is a natural and eternal struggle between teaching “pure content” and teaching “for the test”. In any assessment-focused programme, including the IB, test preparation is a vital element of a candidate’s success. The IB Questionbank is an invaluable resource for helping maintain a focus on the IB examinations, the specific style of the IB questions and associated grading markscheme.

A common question in a mathematics classroom is, “Do I have to show my work?” The teenage brain typically is more drawn to the speedy calculation portion of a mathematical solution than the methodology portion. IB examinations award answer and method marks, and there is no greater motivation to an IB student than the opportunity to earn higher marks on a test. Incorporating the IB markscheme in the classroom effectively helps students learn to “show their work” with eagerness. In IB markschemes, answer marks almost always follow method marks when it is a multistep question, which is frequently the case.

Lesson content delivery: DP studentsSay, for example, the topic of study is Complex Numbers. Our lessons begin with a general mathematical approach to complex numbers and ultimately develop a targeted focus on IB questions involving complex numbers. For example, we introduce the topic from a textbook,

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give context within the framework of the curriculum, and then get into the nitty-gritty of practice problems, quizzes, review and testing with specific IB-style questions. The DP students are extremely receptive to the IB questions, especially the seniors, who are already beginning to anticipate the examination.

Lesson content delivery: pre-DPHigh-achieving pre-DP students are used to getting “straight As” and over 90 percent on tests. As instructors we know that many high stakes examinations, IB examinations included, are not designed for a 100% success rate. We must explicitly introduce this new testing paradigm to our students (and to their parents) so they can understand and accept that an “A” grade might correspond to a 70% score on a test, just as a score of 70% might correspond to a 7 on an IB examination. We use IB-style questions within the pre-DP curriculum as an eye-opening exercise for the students to experience the difference between traditional textbook problems and the creative IB questions.

For mathematics, we found the mathematics SL questions were best for the majority of pre-DP students, but the mathematical studies SL questions are available too, and the mathematics HL questions can be used to challenge the highest achievers.

Expect a roar of protest from the students if the first time they take a test or quiz with IB questions they receive a score of 50% of the marks available. But continue to include IB questions in practice work, review and tests. Your students will begin to understand how the IB tests, assesses and awards marks.

Specifics on our methodologyOur process uses the IB Questionbank software with MS Word to create master documents and sub-documents for a specific topic (for an example we continue to use the topic of complex numbers).

Within the IB Questionbank, select the topic of complex numbers and choose 10 to 20 questions that provide a range of question approaches, marks (minutes), GDC allowance and year of administration.

Export these questions to an MS Word file (the software creates a rich text file with an .rtf extension). Name this file something like “IB Qs Complex Numbers.rtf”.

Create a markscheme answer file and export this to a second MS Word file named something like “IB As Complex Numbers.rtf”.

Combine the IB Qs and IB As files into one master document containing both questions and markscheme answers. Leave the IB Questionbank software running (in case you want to choose different questions) and start to work directly in MS Word. (1) Open the document files containing the questions (IB Qs) and markschemes (IB As), (2) copy and paste the entire content of the markscheme file to the very end of the question file, then (3) save this as a new file named something like “IB Q&As Complex Numbers.doc”. Then you can close and, for all intents and purposes, not refer again to the .rtf intermediary IB Qs and IB As files.

Working exclusively with the MS Word file IB Q&As Complex Numbers, “clean it up” by removing page breaks, space provided for answers (if there is a table you can use Ctrl-X to delete it), extra carriage returns and, in general, creating for yourself a document with questions and solutions to use as a teaching resource.

You now have a master document containing about 20 questions on complex numbers. Read through the questions and choose problems to use for warm-up. Since this is all done electronically, you can type in a code to keep track of how you plan to use each questions (W for warm-up, C for class, R for review, T for test). If you want to get fancy, use the “hidden text” feature in MS Word font formatting so that your comments in the document do not print, but are readable on screen.

With your master document complete, you can create sub-documents that contain the salient portion of the material.

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Reviewing the markschemesWith DP students we typically include the markscheme in the document for the student, so they can self-assess. As the teacher you should always collect and review their self-assessed work to determine areas of weakness for specific students and for the class in general. With pre-DP students (where the temptation to “copy the answers” is often strong) we have found it better to review the markscheme in class (have students use a different colour pen or pencil to grade their work) either with a “trade-and-grade” approach or with self-assessment. It is incredibly valuable for the students to read the markscheme themselves in terms of resolving the “do I have to show my work?” struggle between teacher and student.

Using the IB Questionbank for examination preparationThe IB Questionbank is by far one of the most powerful tools in our repertoire of resources during the final period of examination preparation. Our students took old examinations as practice tests, self-scored their work using the markscheme and then reported their results for each question (parts A, B, C, etc) to the teacher using a MS Excel template specific to each practice test. The template allowed the students to fill in how many marks they earned for each portion of each question; the template included a reference to the topic the question assessed. Once the majority of students reported their results, we could easily determine areas of weakness, for the class overall and for individual students, by comparing the average marks earned and the total number of marks available.

After identifying areas of weakness, we would re-teach those topics by creating short review lessons and could quickly and easily pull problems from the IB Questionbank for students to use for reinforcement and for additional practice. We continued this cycle of:

students take a practice-test

students self-assess and report

teacher identifies weaknesses by topic

teacher re-teaches topic

teacher pulls practice IB questions from the IB Questionbank

students practice and re-learn.

After a few of these cycles we tracked the performance by topic and shared the improvement with our students. The students became more confident in their content knowledge and test-taking skills, thereby reducing their anxiety for the actual examinations.

In closingThe IB Questionbank offers many more learning opportunities for teachers and students than can be conveyed in this short article. For example, the IB approach to problem solving in mathematics provides a firm foundation for more advanced mathematical study; the British-style wording familiarizes students with alternate questioning. We hope to continue to share our experiences with you to improve the performance of all IB students.

One important word of caution: there are enough typographical errors in the IB Questionbank (for mathematics, in any case) that you should inform your students that if something does not make sense, it is probably an error. You can correct these errors in the MS Word documents you create, and rely on these for future use rather than going back to the Questionbank time and again for a specific topic. But the irritation of these errors is far outweighed by the value this software offers you and your students, and we found our students became more critical readers when on the lookout for mistakes (and we would award extra credit points for those who found errors).

We hope you are successful at increasing student achievement by incorporating the IB Questionbank in your DP and pre-DP classes. You can purchase IB Questionbanks at the IB store here: http://store.ibo.org/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=questionbank.

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About the authors: Nina Kimbrough is a National Board-certified teacher with seven years’ experience teaching “traditional high school US” mathematics from remedial algebra through calculus. Last year was her first in the IB and she taught the full two-year course of mathematics HL. Judi Charley-Sale originally hails from Jamaica and has experience teaching in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Programme as well as three years of teaching the two-year mathematics HL course in the IB. Both Nina and Judi teach in the Hillsborough County School District, and this past year their collaboration yielded superb results for their mathematics HL students, with pass rates of more than 90% for the IB mathematics HL and AP calculus AB and BC examinations. This coming year they will both be at T.R. Robinson High School, where Judi will continue to teach mathematics HL and Nina will expand her experience teaching mathematical studies SL and Inquiry Skills.


Incorporating ICT: A three-year plan

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By Miguel Astorga and Luis F. Palencia, Colegio Williams, Mexico City, Mexico

At Colegio Williams we think that being at the forefront of education implies living in a constant process of transformation. This is how this institution has remained a pillar and standard for academic action for 112 years in Mexico City. As changes in society occurred both in Mexico and the world during the 1980s and 1990s, we identified a need to include IT knowledge and, thus, benefit from its different applications. This is how nearly 20 years ago we opened two IT labs that we continue to update with top technologies. But we did not stop there; that was only the beginning of something more innovative.

A year ago we started working on a project to incorporate ICT into the classroom. We designed a three-year project for all three IB programmes the school is authorized to offer.

In the first year we constructed a knowledge base of technology for students and teachers that could be used in the classroom based on the use of software that would inform the development of content; we constructed an infrastructure of networks and internet to carry out research and collaborative work, create our own criteria and share the new vision generated from new knowledge and awareness of current technology. In this first year we were able to train teachers to lead projects and use technology as a tool for researching, collecting, analyzing and synthesizing information and, as a central part of the process, to enable students to share new knowledge, experiences and reflection in an outcome that was meaningful to this whole process, and which they could share with their community.

A clear example of this was when a small group of Middle Years Programme (MYP) students, very excited about the novelties introduced by this process and supported by a team of teachers, carried out an in-depth inquiry on the effects of monosodium glutamate consumption (an ingredient found in the majority of instant soup brands, among other things). The students put together a very illustrative and playful video on this topic, which they shared with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) students, encouraging them to acquire knowledge of the concepts used and to use ICT at their corresponding levels.

Now in the second year, the ICT incorporation project aims to introduce ICT in the various elements of teacher work, such as its incorporation into planners, operating programmes, units of inquiry, and so on. For this, teachers have committed themselves to applying the last school year’s acquired knowledge and, together with the three IB programme coordinators, to developing an action plan for each teacher determining individualized areas of opportunity and improvement, while making sure that:

students generate their own content

teachers guide their students in the appropriate and rational use of ICT in their learning activities

the community views ICT as a tool that can promote creativity and learning

ICT is incorporated into the activities that would require its use, and in records made to their planning documents.

For the third year, the project requires the commitment of students and teachers to constructing digital spaces where they can share experiences, projects, content and outcomes with their local, regional, national and international communities. There will be virtual feedback, comment and analysis spaces on the use of ICT, with a rational and critical approach, viewing them as a useful tool that is present in their academic and social life.

Meanwhile, teachers will form high performance groups to support others in the use of technologies—to define and revise strategies, share experiences and together enhance their teaching experience.

This is how the project to incorporate ICT in the classroom aims at supporting the teaching-learning process developed in the PYP, MYP and the Diploma Programme through the generation of content.

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In order for this project to come to fruition we acquired 131 laptops equipped with state-of-the-art technology grouped in four mobile labs, two servers and network infrastructure for the school campuses. Furthermore, specialized training was arranged for teaching staff, with continued support available to them throughout the year in the generation of the above-mentioned content.

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