Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sinarmas Team

We are delighted to welcome Jane and Daniela!  They are two teachers from Sinarmas Academy.  Following are their bios.  Please check out the link to the blog below:}  

Dear Alison and Darlene,

The Grade 1 read your Winthrop A-Z book and loved it. I made a short film of them reading it. I put it on the school iPads.

You asked if you could share about Daniela and I on your blog. Here is a short bio about us:

Daniela Catta
Daniela is currently a Grade 1 teacher and Grades 1-3 Team Leader at Sinarmas World Academy.  She graduated from the University of Melbourne in Australia with a major in Linguistics.  Daniela has worked as a teacher in Australia, Italy, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.  Emotional Intelligence is Daniela's interest in the field of education.  Her teaching philosophy centers around multiple intelligences for both the teacher and the student.  Daniela has taught in the I.B. program for 4 years and believes passionately in what the program advocates.  Her favourite food is ice-cream and she has a pet dog called Hotaru.

Jane Ross
Jane is a Grade 5 teacher and Technology Coach at Sinarmas World Academy in Indonesia. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2008, an Apple Professional Development Consultant and currently on the ADE  Asia Advisory board. Jane holds a Masters in Education Technology from Australia. She loves inquiry learning through a muti-sensory approach so that the key concepts can be better understood by the learners. Jane utilizes technology in her teaching to personalize the learning and help the students to collaborate and reflect. Jane regularly posts to her blog and you can find her on Twitter: @janeinjava

We are thinking of making something about tropical fruit to send to you. We will do this in a couple of weeks after the student-led conferences have finished. The kids here really liked reading your book so perhaps we might make a book for the iPad. Do you have iPads at your school?



Update from Alison's First Grade

   Alison has been a part of the Literacy and Technology Team for 3 years.  During that time, she has been instrumental in piloting technology at the elementary level.  Following is her account of her experience with Sinarmas so far.  Congratulations Alison and thank you for all you do.

     I was very excited and honored that I was asked to partner up with Sinarmas School Academy in Jakarta, Indonesia this fall as part of a literacy and technology piece with Darlene.  I began planning what I thought would be great areas for the kids to cover… weather, plants, goods, and services… with a focus on how we are alike and how we are different.   
     My goal was that in learning about SSA, the students would also discover that we are more alike than we are different… even though we live on opposite sides of the earth!  We got a “hello” book together to send to the first grade class we were working with.  It was modeled after Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.  We titled it Winthrop, Winthrop, What Can Be Found?  The students had taken a field trip around our neighborhood and through the school snapping pictures on the digital camera… they are just so at ease working with this kind of equipment… there was not much to it!  We came up with an alphabet idea and decided to pick out the things that we could use in the book to go with each letter.  We then typed the words in Max Write… making sure to highlight and change the colors representing each letter… (And yes they did this on their own!)  We put it all together, sent it along, and waited to see what we would get back from our new friends!
      We received a video that the students in Jakarta had made.  It told us their names, ages, favorite food and what they did on the weekend!  Oh the JOY!  (Now this is where my ideas, and what happen, totally take a different path).  The conversations that we had during the video were so enlightening for me as a teacher… (How many years had I been doing this?).  The kids talked about celebrations, how they eat, whether they use the same sauce on spaghetti as we do, and what some of the things were that they said they did… like “squishies”.  The higher-level thinking that was going on while we discussed the video was amazing.  Learning how to question and how to format a question was not as easy as one might think… but because it was an authentic task and their was an audience, the kids worked incredible hard and didn’t even realize it… they were having so much FUN!  We took the video and the technology specialist, Kim Morin, sat with the kids while they created a voice thread around the content of the video.  Now the kids in Jakarta could actually just add a note to the video and all the questions could be answered! 
     We received another video about planting rice, catching fish and washing buffalo, which really excited us and got us curious about what we should share with them.  Well, we think we will create a Comic Life book using video and pictures from spring, summer, winter and fall in Winthrop.  We are having a great time and the learning is unmatched!  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gates Foundation - Notes from Bill Gates

For the first time in history, we're preparing kids for a future that we cannot clearly describe.

 As we move ahead on our project here in Maine, the technology-education piece is beginning to build momentum nationally.

 Here is a link to a article by Bill Gates posted earlier this week.

 It is well worth the read - validating much of the work we have done.