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The American International School of Rotterdam

SHARK 02.03.12

Bulletin...

From the Interim Director and Elementary Principal

This is a very exciting weekend for AISR students, coaches and parents. We are hosting the 2012 N.E.C.I.S. Basketball Tournament. Good luck to everybody who is playing this weekend. A big thank you goes to Mr. Rob Zeilstra and Mrs. Jennifer Lancaster for organizing this very special event. From Tuesday, March 6 through Friday, March 9, several activities have been planned by the AISR COR Ambassadors to take place throughout the school to capture various COR moments with students. In response to questions from parents regarding our new Math Program, Mr. Holcomb has started a blog with information regarding math education here at AISR-- what we are doing, why we are doing it and suggestions for things to do at home. Here is the link: http://mathataisr.tumblr.com/ Our new Director, Mr. Neal Dilk Neal and his family will be visiting the school between March 26 and March 30. He would very much like to meet some of our parent community in an informal setting. In order to do this, there will be a Coffee afternoon, between 2:00 and 3:00 in the cafeteria on Monday March 26. Everyone is invited to attend. This will be a lovely opportunity to meet Neal, his wife and two children. The end of the 3rd. Quarter is Friday March 16. Report Cards will be posted home on Friday March 23. I have also included a little light reading for the weekend, in between watching some of the games! I think this serves again to remind us that balance in everything is very important. “Looking into the proverbial crystal ball, a slew of technology experts weighed in on the Future of the Internet V survey conducted by Pew Research and Elon University, and came up with a predictably mixed scenario: It’s complicated. Asked to consider the future of the Internet-connected world between now and 2020 and to choose from two statements, of the total 1,021 responses, 55% agreed with this optimistic view: “In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the Internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.” But 42% were less enthusiastic about the impact of wired life: These points of view are presented in the context of statistics that show Internet and media use completely permeating young people’s lives. From the Pew Internet Project: “95% of teens ages 12-17 are online, 76% use social networking sites, and 77% have cell phones. Moreover, 96% of those ages 18-29 are internet users, 84% use social networking sites, and 97% have cell phones. Well over half of those in that age cohort have smartphones and 23% own tablet computers like iPads.”

Cont.

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The American International School of Rotterdam

SHARK 02.03.12

Bulletin...

“Their handwriting will be horrendous. Their thumbs will ache. Life will go on.” Focusing the work of educators on shaping students’ use of and attitude towards technology is crucial in paving the way for a more positive outcome, many respondents said. “The changes in behavior and cognition in the future depend heavily upon how we adapt our pre-school-through-college curricula to encompass new techniques of learning and teaching,” wrote Hugh F. Cline, an adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University who was formerly a senior research scientist at a major educational testing company based in Princeton, NJ. “If we simply continue to use technologies to enhance the current structure and functioning of education, our young people will use the technologies to entertain themselves and engage in online socializing and shopping. We will have missed enormous opportunities to produce independent life-long learners.” Some educators who took the survey were critical of the effect of technology on their students “hyper-connected” lives. “I have seen a general decline in higher-order thinking skills in my students over the past decade,” wrote one respondent. “What I generally see is an over-dependence on technology, an emphasis on social technologies as opposed to what I’ll call ‘comprehension technologies,’ and a general disconnect from deeper thinking. I’m not sure that I attribute this to the so-called ‘re-wiring’ of teenage brains, but rather to a deeper intellectual laziness that the Web has also made possible with the rise of more video-based information resources (as opposed to textual resources).” Another respondent who has been a college-level professor for 12 years weighed in: “Students do not know how to frame a problem or challenge. They do not know how to ask questions, and how to provide enough detail to support their answers (from credible sources). Technology is playing a big part in students not only not being able to perform as well in class, but also not having the desire to do so.” But the writers of the survey posed an important question about why educators noted these negative impacts: “Is this at least partially due to the fact that they are still trying to educate these highly connected young people through antiquated approaches? Perhaps those who have argued for education reform would think so.” The need for instant gratification and shallow learning and interactions were the main negative points made about impacts of tech-dependent lives. “Technology is taking our collective consciousness and ability to conduct critical analysis and thinking, and, in effect, individual determinism in modern society,” said cyber-security expert Richard Forno. “My sense is that society is becoming conditioned into dependence on technology in ways that, if that technology suddenly disappears or breaks down, will render people functionally useless. What does that mean for individual and social resiliency?” “How we can help today’s kids to prepare for the world they will actually live in and help to create—instead of the world we are already nostalgic for.” Alexandra Samuel, director of the Social + Media Centre in Vancouver, Canada, offered a less tentative, more proactive approach and thinking about the issues: “If we can stop fretting about what we’re losing we can make room to get excited about what we’re gaining: the ability to multitask, to feel connected to ‘strangers’ as well as neighbors, to create media unselfconsciously, to live in a society of producers rather than consumers,” she said. “The question we face as individuals, organizations, educators and perhaps especially as parents is how we can help today’s kids to prepare for that world—the world they will actually live in and help to create—instead of the world we are already nostalgic for.” Have a lovely weekend,

Anne-Marie Blitz a.blitz@aisr.nl

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The American International School of Rotterdam

SHARK 02.03.12

Bulletin...

From the Secondary Principal and Curriculum Director For the month of March, I will be sharing some food for thought about the current trends in education with regards to E-Learning. There is much discussion and debate about the role of technology in education and this is an issue schools around the world are facing more and more. The excerpts come from Bridget McCrea and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.   Over the last few years, technology implementations in the K-12 sector reached record levels with tablets, laptops, social networking, and other e-learning technologies making their debut in classrooms around the world. The frenzy is expected to continue as schools implement e-learning tools that impact all aspects of the educational and administrative experience. Trend # 1 - Cutting the Wires: More Mobile Learning Some schools believe that mobile phones and tablets in class are nothing more than distractions, but many others are using such tools to better engage their K-12 students. The "leveraging of small, portable devices to facilitate anytime, anywhere, untethered learning," is particularly hot right now. Fueling that fire is a desire to replicate the benefits of successful 1:1 laptop and netbook programs without the high price tag associated with such initiatives. "We're seeing a lot of energy around mobile learning right now," said Evans, "but still some concern over the specific definition of mobile learning and what the device of choice will be for the K-12 sector." At AISR, we believe in the use of mobile devices if they are to help and enhance the learning experience. What do you think? ~ Upcoming Dates: • NECIS MS Basketball: Friday, March 2nd-Sunday, March 4th • Family Science Night: Thursday, March 8th from 5:00-7:00 • MAP reports mailed on Friday, March 9th • Coffee, Croissants and Curriculum for Secondary: Friday, March 30th from 8:15-9:15 We are going ahead with the creation of a Homework Club here at AISR for middle and high school students. If this is something you are interested in for your child, please get in touch with Irene Houlder (i.houlder@aisr.nl). ~ Please don't hesitate to contact me at anytime for further information or if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached at a.lipp@aisr.nl or by calling the school at extension 316. Enjoy the weekend, Regards,

Alison Lipp a.lipp@aisr.nl

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The American International School of Rotterdam

SHARK Bulletin...

02.03.12

Library News Imagine A World Where Everyone Can Read... AISR Elementary Reading Month Upcoming Dates: Our 2nd Annual Reading Month is about to begin! Please mark all these dates on your calendar! • • • • • •

*March 2-6th: Bring in used books from home for the BOOK SWAP. Please see attached info sheet. March 7th: World Read Aloud Day (events scheduled in classroom by teacher) *March 8th Book log are sent home and BEGIN TODAY ;-) March 8th BOOK SWAP *March 13th Book Character Dress Up Day with Dressed-up Student Parade *March 29th Book Log ends. Please hand it in to your teacher

April 5th Reading Log Movie Party 1-3pm. Those who complete their reading logs, will get a ticket to see a movie at our school. There will be separate movies for Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary! *TBA (Date and time): After school Book Carnival. Students come with their parents to this 1st Annual AISR Event! All activities are relevant to a book or have a reading theme with HANDS ON ACTIVITIES! If you would like to supervise an activity or help in any way, please contact …. m.vanringelesteijn@aisr.nl More information to come! *These events require parental help at home. Thank you for your support to make this a memorable experience for your children.

March 8th BOOK SWAP • •

March 2nd and 6th- Students bring in their used books to their classroom teacher. March 8th - WE SWAP/EXCHANGE!

Students are encouraged to bring in up to 5 “in good condition” used books from home to use in the swap. We welcome books of all languages. For each book brought in, one BOOK BUCK will be issued. Book Bucks can then, be exchanged for books. Please send in books that are closest to your child’s interest/reading level. For example, if you child reads high level chapter books, please send in those books to swap. If you child loves Picture Books, please send them in. Please DONATE books to the swap that are well below their reading level. Extra books? Please bring them in. If you bring in more than 5 books, the extra ones will be donated to other students who may not have books to exchange. Many thanks. How do I swap? Find 1 to 5 used books in your home that you would like to trade in? Bring in your books to your classroom teacher from March 2nd to the 6th. You will receive your book buck on March 8th, the day of the swap. Swap your Book Bucks for new Books!

Melissa van Ringelesteijn m.vanringelesteijn@aisr.nl

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2012_03_02 Bulletin  

The weekly AISR bulletin to parents and carers.

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