Edweek Highlights Burlington’s EdTech Efforts

The video above appeared on Education Week’s Digital Directions Website back at the beginning of February.  We are certainly fortunate to be gaining this type of recognition nationally for the phenomenal efforts that staff members have made to integrate technological resources into their classrooms.

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A Touching Gesture By BHS Wrestler Steven Giampapa Making News

http://WFXT.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=871461;hostDomain=www.myfoxboston.com;playerWidth=550;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=8299497;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlayBoston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

I am glad that the feel-good story of the week is coming from Burlington!

BHS junior Steven Giampapa has been making news this week for his kindness towards a fellow wrestler from Wakefield. Steven went up against Danny Gill, a sophomore who was wrestling in his first career match (and also happens to have Down’s Syndrome).

While I enjoyed seeing Steven win a State Championship as a junior last year, I am much more excited that so many people have gotten to see the type of person he is through this story.

 The clip above ran on Fox News last night and you can check out the clip that ran on WBZ on Wednesday night here.

We Can Learn A Lot From First Graders In Ethiopia About Tech Integration!

I have been using the picture and text above in a couple of recent presentations to educators surrounding the way we support learners (teachers and students) in accessing digital tools.  The picture and text come from a post on Technology Digital a couple of weeks regarding the One Laptop Per Child program.
Shouldn’t the highlighted text cause us to rethink some of our overly structured ways? I’ll cite it again below in case the text from the slide above is too hard to decipher:

OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets with no instruction. “I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said. “Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.”

In my mind, we spend way too much time walking people through tedious lessons on how to do very basic things with technology in our schools. In many cases we would be better throwing the unopened boxes out to our staff and or students and let them figure it out on their own. But if we can escape our traditional upbringings here and look at the evidence here and the similar finding of Sugata Mitra with his Hole in the Wall Project, I believe we can move much faster.

We are the only ones holding us back!

What Can BHS Student Help Desk Do For You?

Originally posted on the BPSEdtech Website:

Do you need instant tech support? Have a quick question about something related to Google Apps? Need a quick fix? Look no further than the BHS Student Help Desk Blog. This blog is quickly evolving into the preeminent resource for all your education technology needs in the Burlington community. And, while we are still building our database of resources, the help desk students will be updating the site daily and continually looking for ways to accommodate all of your education technology needs.

This blog is not strictly limited to education technology resources either. The BHS student help desk is finding and researching current trends in technology. So far students have covered the release of the iPhone 5, iOS 6, Chrome plugins for Math, a Windows 8 preview and Google Underwater Maps. While most travel to sites like TechCrunch and Mashable, the real hard reporting and latest trending topics can simply be found at the BHS Student Help Desk.

The BHS Student Help Desk would also like to hear from you as well. We are seeking out topics to cover and want to continue to build our database with topics generated by teachers and students in the district.  Even if you are outside of the district and just want our help desk to cover something for you, please ask and submit! Anyone can post a suggestion for students to cover below. Please continue to send us topics throughout the year and as they arise. And remember, no topic is too simple to cover. Let us know how we can help you.

At Burlington Public Schools we have the technology and resources to create a shared culture of learning. We can all learn from each other and the student help desk hopes to energize this initiative and share our expertise and make working with technology a painless experience.

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