And we are off...

This past Thursday marked our first day of the new school year. I am very excited to see what the year brings.

On the technology front, we are pretty much 1:1 with Chromebooks in grades 3-5. It has been nice to see our grade level teams begin to collaborate and discuss instructional strategies for use of the technology, and to share and learn from one another.

Also several more classrooms and staff members have created Twitter accounts to share and document their work. Am looking forward to following those posts. To help with that we have created a Twitter list composed of all the Lewis Twitter accounts. You can follow along at the link below.

Playing Around with Status Board 2

A local Portland software company, Panic, has a nice little iPad app called Status Board. The app allows you create a message board type of display that can include various elements, including  calendar items, Twitter feeds, images, local weather info, and other types of information that can be displayed on an LCD TV. 

At Lewis we have a large LCD monitor mounted near our main office. We have been using it in conjunction with an AppleTV to display school photos. When we originally set it up, it was connected to an old laptop and displayed various widgets in addition to recent photos from our school Flickr feed. The laptop eventually gave out and was replaced with an AppleTV. This allowed us to show the photos, but nothing else.  I have been looking for a tool that would allow me to continue to display images, but also display other school based information along with the images. Status Board does this quite well.

Status Board comes with several built in modules, and with a little coding, allows you to display other types of information such as charts and tables, even local transit information. I am thinking of doing some work to display information such as the school lunch menu, and our average daily attendance. All in all a very visually appealing tools for displaying information. 


Camp Chromebook...

On Friday, June 19th, Lewis hosted Camp Chromebook. Camp Chromebook is a professional development opportunity organized around the use of technology, specifically Chromebooks and ChromeOS in schools. We had over 55 participants and the presentations and sessions were well received. Lunch was pretty good too!

Another Camp Chromebook is scheduled for August 14, 2015, and again Lewis Elementary will host. Registration is now open. Lunch is provided. Hope to see you there.

Art Night 2015

On Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Lewis we celebrated our 27th annual Art Night. This tradition involves turning our hallways into galleries of student art work collected from throughout of the year, and also performances by our musical groups. Students act as docents, standing near their work and explaining the processes used to create the work. It is a highlight of our school year and something I always look forward to.

Art Night at Lewis  

Art Night at Lewis  

Plum Trees at Lewis...

Friday was one of those warm and sunny spring days that brings a smile to just about everyone. From my office I heard voices through my open window and looked out to see Mr. Hansen's students out on the front lawn reading, and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. The front lawn of our school, Lewis Elementary, enjoys the shade and beauty of seven plum trees. Last week Mr. Hansen and I were talking and he asked about the history of those trees. Ms. Heinlein, a retired Lewis teacher who occasionally subs in our building, was in the building working and she gave us a bit of background on the trees. They were planted in 1987 as part of a project by a teacher, Mr. Light, and his students. Planted at the base of each of those trees are daffodils, that were planted by Ms. Heinlein and her students.

It is nice to reflect a bit and think of  those that came before us and the work they did to make the school we have today. 

Playing around with Meerkat

Using Meerkat to live stream our recent drama production...

Using Meerkat to live stream our recent drama production...

Meerkat is a smartphone app that allows anyone to publish live video from their phone to the web via their Twitter account. When a session is initiated in Meerkat, a tweet is sent from your Twitter account to your twitter followers announcing the live stream session, along with a link to the live stream. A stream of tweets associated with your live stream is then superimposed on your broadcast screen, allow the broadcaster to interact with her audience via twitter posts.

On Thursday night we used Meerkat to live stream our Lewis Elementary School Drama Club production. The purpose was two fold. First we wanted to experiment a bit with this technology, and secondly, Mr. Colvin, who helps with our Drama Club, was unable to attend the performance because he was visiting his ailing father. He was able to sit at his mom’s kitchen table and watch his students perform. We also had another 10 Twitter users following along. 

We plan to use Meerkat to live stream future school events. Also am thinking it could be used for just in time professional development. For example, one of our teachers, Pamela Kennedy, has a lot of requests from teachers and schools, asking her to come and talk about classroom design. I'm thinking this might be a nice, low friction, method of having her share her room with others, and answer questions about her classroom set up. Maybe we will plan for one of these after we return from spring break.