Have you observed any interesting, inspiring or innovative teaching/learning practices in or out of the classroom around College Prep?  If so, then please click on New post below and share your observations and any related photos or videos. 
Teachers so rarely get the time to visit each other's classes, so here is a way to cultivate and enjoy some virtual visits or snapshots throughout the school year! Any questions? Contact Lori.

Othermill Desktop CNC Demo in the Xlab

posted Feb 5, 2015, 8:41 AM by Lori Hebert   [ updated Feb 5, 2015, 8:47 AM ]

Check out photos and videos from the Othermill Demo!

We hosted two representatives from the Other Machine Co in the Xlab yesterday during 2nd, break, and 3rd to demonstrate how their desktop CNC machine called the Othermill works and what it is capable of. 

The Othermill is a portable, precise milling machine that allows you to create 2D and 3D objects out of durable materials, such as wood, metal, and plastic, using digital designs.  

As a tool it falls somewhere on a spectrum between a laser and a 3D printer, and can produce amazing projects with a range of materials that neither laser nor extruder can handle... 
Just imagine custom circuit boards, wearable items, milled boxes, stamps, fancy inlays, molds to make chocolates and more!

All in all, over 40 students and faculty came by the Xlab to check it out and walked away inspired by the possibilities such a machine offers.

Curious to learn more? Ask Jeff S, Lori, or someone from the ITS Crew.

Are we considering adding one to the Xlab? After the enthusiastic reception to yesterday's demos, it is certainly something we are considering and we will keep you updated.

Real & Virtual Pig Dissections in Biology

posted Jun 14, 2013, 11:55 AM by Lori Hebert

College Prep Biology classes conducted fetal pig dissections in lab this past May. In order for students to study the structures they viewed in class while at home, they were encouraged to visit Whitman College Biology Department's Virtual Pig Dissection (VPD). Students and teachers alike find this to be an essential supplement to the in-class work.

If students feels they can't handle doing the dissection, they can speak with their teacher to discuss alternative levels of participation for the dissection. The minimum expectation is that students at least observe others doing the dissection. In some rare cases, when students have moral/ethical issues, they may be allowed to work through the same structures using only the virtual dissection.

In the 2012-2013 school year, about 5% of the students used the online tool exclusively. Nonetheless, Bernie, Eva, and Raquel concur that web-based dissections are mostly valuable as additional support for an actual dissection, rather than a replacement for it. Each year, they strongly encourage students to do the hands-on dissection and while students who ask to be excused are accommodated, the Biology team certainly doesn't see virtual dissections replacing real, hands-on dissections.

Biology Team: Eva C, Bernie S, & Raquel G

Dr. Tyrone Hayes: Silent Spring to Silent Night

posted May 8, 2013, 8:22 AM by Lori Hebert   [ updated May 8, 2013, 8:51 AM ]

At this week's Forum, Dr. Tyrone Hayes gave his presentation Silent Spring to Silent Night: frogs, pesticides, hormones and environmental justice.

This Forum was required for Biology, AP Biology, Animal Behavior, and APES students, and was open to all who are interested.

If you missed his presentation, be sure to watch a video version of it on the right.

More Info:

Edutopia Spotlight: The Power of Collaborative Learning

posted May 7, 2013, 9:02 AM by Lori Hebert   [ updated May 7, 2013, 9:07 AM ]

March 2012: Quizlet Visited College Prep for a Multi-player Game Preview

posted Mar 23, 2012, 10:39 AM by Lori Hebert   [ updated Mar 23, 2012, 2:35 PM ]

Quizlet founder Andrew Sutherland and 3 of his teammates (Will, Anand & Sophia) paid a visit to College Prep on Wednesday 3/21 for a lunch time demo and preview of their new multi-player study game. A number of teachers and students attended to test out a recent update to their prototype, which is something of an Apples to Apples meets Balderdash experience. The game requires everyone to write a sentence using the prompted words, which come from an existing Quizlet set such as 100 Most Common SAT Words, Moby Dick Vocabulary, Japanese Level 4 Vocabulary or AP Environmental Science Exam Review. When sentences are completed, everyone has to vote on the other sentence submissions.

They plan to launch this game as soon as possible — but they want to make sure it’s really good, and ready to scale to Quizlet’s millions of users. One way to see if it is ready for all those users out there is to try it out on audiences like College Prep.
They had us play the new game using 100 Most Common SAT Words and, despite a variety of glitches, we enjoyed a range of colorful sentences using words such as abstinence, rancorous, subtle, and restrained. By the end of our group session, English Department Chair Kate K and freshman Dylan G's sentence submissions were the most highly rated and won them each a blue Quizlet tshirt. Before the bell rang, we gave the Quizlet team lots of feedback on our experience that will now help to inform how they further refine their prototype before releasing it to the public. 

According to the Quizlet blog, they have three tests in mind that their ultimate game prototype should pass:
  1. It should have learning value.
  2. It should make you laugh out loud.
  3. It should keep you on the edge of your seat and be playable for long stretches.

I can safely say that it achieved all of the above with our audience, even with the numerous issues that still need to be resolved, and we look forward to continued innovations from the Quizlet team!

February 2012 : Hands-on Workshops for Course Site Development

posted Feb 17, 2012, 3:09 PM by Lori Hebert   [ updated Feb 17, 2012, 3:24 PM ]

I wish we had filmed all 3 days of these workshops because D4 was full of energy, ideas and collaboration each and every day. 

This video only features the 3rd and final workshop which was attended by the Math Department, John H., Julie and Atsuko.

Teachers attended to either create new sites or refine existing sites. Tech Team and ITS Crew members spread throughout the room to partner with teachers on their projects and answer questions.

Here are just a few of the sites worked on during these 3 workshops:

January 2012 : English 1 Class Sighting

posted Feb 14, 2012, 1:51 PM by Lori Hebert   [ updated Feb 17, 2012, 3:37 PM ]

I happened to catch Jeff Peterson's 3rd period class while they were reviewing 
The Odyssey via small collaborative group presentations in class and captured a couple of photos.

Students worked together to accomplish the following in order to prepare themselves and their peers for the Final Exam:
  1: Type up the names of major characters, plot events and ideas your assigned chapters are concerned with. 
  2: Pick three rich, important passages of 5 – 10 lines in the chapters you are assigned. Document page numbers and write down notes you can share on what each passage contributes to our knowledge of the work. 
  3: Post the review document to the course site for everyone to access.

WEDNESDAY, 1/11—Overview of The Odyssey 
Books 1-3: Erica, Deanna & Nadira 
Books 4-6: Myka, Maddy, Parsa & Akash 
Books 7-9: Ian, Matt, Pete & Andrew 
Bks 10-12: Hannah, Natalie, Lizzy & Maga  
THURSDAY, 1/12—Continue Odyssey Overview Books 13, 18: Ian, Matt, Pete & Andrew
Books 19-20: Myka, Maddy, Parsa & Akash
Books 21-22: Hannah, Natalie, Lizzy & Maga
Books 23-24: Erica, Deanna & Nadira

1-7 of 7