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 Tatyana!

College Prep's New Director of Ed Tech Joins the ATLIS Director's Institute

posted Aug 19, 2016, 10:25 AM by Tatyana Griffin   [ updated Aug 31, 2016, 11:29 AM ]

My name is Tatyana Griffin, and I am the new Director of Educational Technology! I am participating in the ATLIS (Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools) Early Career and Aspiring Technology Directors Institute during the 2016-17 school year. The Institute includes sixteen cohort members, selected from a pool of applicants, and eight faculty from leading independent schools throughout the nation. The one ­year blended learning program kicked off at the ATLIS annual conference in Atlanta in April and then met for the residential portion of the course in June.  Stevenson School generously hosted the cohort on their beautiful Pebble Beach Campus, providing a retreat-like setting for the group.  

Modeled after the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Aspiring Heads program, the Institute offered participants an intensive deep ­dive into the many facets of technology leadership  including: professional development models, skill building, writing, budgeting,human resources, leadership, project management, effective meeting management,relationship building, security, and trends and challenges in the independent school market.
 
“I was amazed at the level of engagement throughout the entire Institute,” shared Ally Wenzel, director of technology for Stevenson School, and Institute mentor and conference host. “There was a significant amount of information and experience shared within the cohort, and discussions were relevant, stimulating, and interactive.”
 
Following the Institute, each student will be partnered with a seasoned mentor to support him or her in day­-to-­day work and with monthly assignments. The program culminates in April 2017 in Los Angeles where the torch will be passed to the next cohort.
 
“It was an honor to host this transformational, leadership ­driven gathering at our Pebble Beach Campus,” added Wenzel. “I look forward to further developing the professional relationships forged and building upon the learning shared.”

Thus far it, has been an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with fellow Educational Technology leaders at other top independent schools to share best practices. We are working together to refine the tools, systems and methodologies that will ensure our students are prepared to be successful and responsible citizens & thought leaders in the technologically-infused world that awaits them upon graduation.

BlendEd Teacher Show & Tell

posted Dec 11, 2015, 10:57 AM by lori@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 10:59 AM ]


Thank you to the lovely crew who joined Jack and me to learn more about the BlendEd course development process and teacher experience! For those of you who expressed interest in attending, but were unable to do so, I recorded an abridged version for you to view here: BlendEd Teacher Show & Tell

Storyboard That Demo Highlights

posted Dec 11, 2015, 10:35 AM by lori@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ updated Aug 14, 2016, 2:10 PM by Tatyana Griffin ]

If you missed Katherine's excellent Storyboard That demo, here is a video with some highlights. THANKS Katherine!

Wondering how this tool might be used for World Language, English, or other disciplines? Here are some helpful teacher resources and lesson examples to check out.

Ready to login to Storyboard That for the 1st time? Use the following 3-step method:
  1. Go to Storyboard That Educational edition.
  2. Select "I'm a New User".
  3. Select the Google option under "Social Login" (on the right).​
After that you will always be able to login using your Google credentials instead of having to recall yet another username/password. At first your account will default to that of a student, so please let the Tech Department folks know when you are ready for your account to be transformed from student to teacher. Then you will be able to create classes, make some example storyboards, and set up assignments. 

As for collaboration, the College Prep domain is set to Default To Private but Allow Internal Sharing. By default all storyboards will be private to the student who created them. Students will be able to mark their storyboards to be shared within the class or assignment. 

An easy iBook project

posted Dec 7, 2015, 1:18 PM by Annie Knudsen

I went to Jeff Peterson's and Mia's lunch talk about iBooks and was inspired to try a similar project in French II. The project worked really well. I asked my students to write a 12 page story. Each page had to include an image, written text and spoken text. We did the entire project within a week. Attached is an example.
Here is a link to the Google Doc with the instructions I gave my students (in English).

Othermill Desktop CNC Demo in the Xlab

posted Feb 5, 2015, 8:41 AM by lori@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ 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@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org

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@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ 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@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ 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@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ 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@thecollegepreparatoryschool.org   [ 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:

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