Posted on March 10, 2013
This past Monday we welcomed 14 colleagues from Kamehameha School, Big Island, elementary division, into our classrooms to learn how Mid-Pacific students and teachers have been integrating iPads into teaching and learning. Our understanding is that their school would like to initiate a one-to-one program using iPads. Administrators, teachers, a librarian, technology staff, curriculum specialists -- all visited six different classrooms for nearly three hours. In first through fifth grade classrooms, our visitors observed students manipulating geometric angles, documenting artifacts for portfolios, collaborating on vocabulary terms using a Google Doc, writing reflections on recent projects in social studies and in art, and revising a piece of writing. Classroom visits were followed by meetings with teachers of the classrooms observed and staff from MPI's IT/ET departments. I've learned that our Kamehameha colleagues felt it was the best professional development they have experienced about iPad usage by seeing first-hand how these devices are being integrated in classrooms. While it would have been beneficial for us to have visited other schools implementing iPads in their instructional program, it is gratifying to reflect on the progress we have made relying on our own expertise and resources. Pioneers and risk-takers, we are.
I've written before about the lunch meetings my faculty and I continue to have (our third year) when we informally discuss inquiry strategies, books we've read together, etc. Teachers enjoy the easy conversation about what we love best -- teaching and learning! This past week, the faculty sat back and our student teachers stepped forward to share student work they had assigned during the week of their solo teaching (note: during the last semester of their teaching internship, the student teachers typically do three weeks of solo teaching, which is evaluated by their university supervisor and closely observed by their MPI mentor teacher). I was quite impressed with the growing confidence of our student teachers who spoke intelligently about their students' work. And how genuinely excited they were about the quality of their students' questions, observations, and explanations. We take great pride in the efforts of our student teachers who will one day be making a difference in their own students' lives.
We look forward to seeing you at the annual Ho`olaule`a, an MPI tradition to celebrate our school community, on Friday, March 15, beginning at noon for the general public.
A perfect way to usher in Spring break.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey