Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School! (And an new, technology-driven Engaged Learning Initiative)

Who remembers starting school after Labor Day?

I do! And because I'm feeling nostalgic, I thought it would be a good time to resurrect my blog about education. Specifically, education at Hoover High School. 

I took the summer off from blogging... and since then, I decided I will continue to write blog posts next summer because I'm asked all the time, "What do administrators do in the summer?"  Hopefully I'll be able to put the mystery to rest. :)

We've got some really exciting things going on at Hoover High School this year! Our school district has launched what it calls the Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI). We call it the iPad Initiative... starting on Tuesday after Labor Day, seniors whose parents have signed the agreement form will receive an iPad for their use this year. Early in 2013, juniors will receive an iPad. If all goes well, freshmen and sophomores will join them next fall and all 2600+ students will be using iPads for their learning.

Our teachers got their iPads a couple of weeks before school started, and our professional learning days on those days prior to students returning was focused on integrating technology in the classroom, the iPads and apps, and social media. The excitement in the building has been incredible, the teachers have been sharing their knowledge with each other and with students, and they have also been learning from students. 

The 12th grade principal, Holly Sutherland, and I have been visiting classrooms almost everyday and tweeting about what we are seeing. Now teachers are sending us emails inviting us to see the wonderful things that they are doing each day! 

While the iPads are a tool for increasing student engagement, we are seeing that teachers are also more engaged (some rejuvenated!), which has the trickle-down effect for students and colleagues. This year is proving to be one of the most exciting and transformational yet. 

Stay with me through my posts this year so that you can follow our journey....