Curriculum: Week of March 25, 2012

What’s Happening:

  • The Language A department collaborated and updated their vertical alignment of assessments. This is a backwards planning process that begins with the end in mind: the AIS IB Diploma recipient. What is expected of a successful DP English student? By examining both internal and external assessment requirements, department members were then able to identify assessments at each grade level that contribute to developing skills in grade 6, thus establishing a spiral of vertical alignment through each subsequent grade level.
  • Taking Charge of your Professional Development is coming to you as an end-of-the-year professional development opportunity. This will be a series of three one-hour long workshops. Watch here for further details!

21st Century Thought of the Week:

The 21st Century is NOW!

My love of technology most likely stems from my love of science fiction. In the early 90s I would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes and envy the PADDs the characters carried around. They would use these tablets for reading reports, voice recording their daily logs, and recording the health status of patients in sickbay (often using a stylus).

Only 20 years later, I have my very own iPad. I find that my iPad allows me to do many of the same things that were made so glamorous by Data and Jean-Luc Picard. I can read reports, novels, poetry, ebooks, and communications. I can create journal entries and presentations. I can watch a video clip of a Klingon opera, Kahless, the Unforgettable, or learn how to make the perfect soufflé. I can voice record my daily musings. There are even voice recognition apps that can convert my spoken words to text. I can calculate my Body Mass Index (BMI) and monitor my heart rate. I can write in many apps using my finger or using a stylus (but I don’t yet own one).

I, for one, am so pleased that this is happening during my lifetime and not some some distant future. It is an amazing time to be a lifelong learner! Gene Roddenberry was so ahead of his time and, thankfully, Steve Jobs and co. were able to make it happen.

Article(s) of the Week:

So, suppose knowledge is not the goal of education. Rather, suppose today’s content knowledge is an offshoot of successful ongoing learning in a changing world – in which ‘learning’ means ‘learning to perform in the world.’

App of the Week:
Destiny Quest

  • What does it do?
    Go beyond the walls of the AIS libraries with the Destiny Quest Mobile App! Search AIS’ library catalog — anytime, anywhere! Place holds and add items to the personalized “My List,” discover the Top 10 Most Popular titles and New Books at your library, maintain lists of books you’re Now Reading, Want to Read and Have Read. Your access to these features will be set up by your librarian. The Destiny Quest app is now available on the AIS Teachers suite of apps on your AIS iPad with the recent sync of new apps for teachers.
  • How can it be used to support learning? Students can access research information and reading material 24/7. Teachers can access an excellent collection of professional development resources. Librarians and teachers can post Resource Lists of works available on Destiny Quest to support a unit of study (e.g., Ancient Civilizations, Critical Thinking, Shakespeare Grade 10). Users can submit and read ratings and reviews.

Video of the Week:

Google Docs rock!

Blog of the Week:

Ask a Tech Teacher is the blog of Jacqui Murray, a K – 8 technology teacher who blogs about “integrating technology into your curriculum.” Her blog offers tips, lesson plans, and reviews. She also offers the opportunity to look into her class wikis and class blogs.

Book of the Week:

Learning to Question to Wonder to Learn, by Jamie McKenzie, Ed.D., is an excellent resource on understanding the power of questioning in the classroom. This book “shows how teachers can equip [students] with the questioning strategies that will prepare them to wrestle with the most difficult decisions and problems.”The introduction, chapter 1: Why Question?, and chapter 2: Why Wonder? can be found/read online. The author’s website, The Question Mark, is also a great resource to support questioning to take us all beyond simply thinking.

There is plenty of thinking that never achieves lift-off, never contributes to understanding and never casts light on issues of importance. Much thinking beats around the bush, wanders off course and fails to inform or illuminate.


2 thoughts on “Curriculum: Week of March 25, 2012

  1. thanks for highlighting destinyqueat. i amreally impressed with how students have been benefiting from the mobility of this app while browsing the library or conducting research. there are improvements to come.

  2. The Grant Wiggins article is excellent. Is this on the docket for our next professional development day? I totally agree personal change is the goal and knowledge is the side effect, not the aim.

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