May Newsletter

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ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

May 2013

Monthly Megabite Teachers Integrate Methods Learned From INSPIRS

May 10th LilyPad Training, Christ Church, New Zealand & 11th May 15th Interactions with Colleges -21st & Schools for HP Scratch Expansion in Waverley, Sydney, Lindfield & Westmead, Australia

This Spring, STEM Specialist, Stephanie Playton, has conducted several observations of teacher’s classrooms that participated in INSPIRS. Recently, Playton was able to visit Lunenburg Middle School to observe collaborating teachers, Tara Dunbar and Juanita Sims.

May 18th INSPIRS Showcase, Longwood University

Dunbar and Sims did an inquiry based lesson on making a light bulb. Although they were Above: Students at Lunenburg given directions in small groups on how to Middle School work in small groups create their light bulbs, the students to put various numbers of batteries changed the variables to make the best light together to try to make a homebulb. Some of them changed the number of made light bulb. batteries used, others changed the type of pencil lead they used with their experiment. Students collaborated on their ideas in groups and later shared them with the entire class.

Above: A student made light bulb.

Up-Coming Events

You could tell the students really enjoyed this activity as they all worked together to make the best light bulb. Although Playton was only able to observe this one lesson, the teachers explained how they began their unit and how Continued on page 3


May 18th VA STEM CoNNECT Showcase, Longwood University

What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 INSPIRS Observations Page 2 HP Catalyst Academy Fellow Page 3 ITTIP Conferences

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

May 2013

HP Catalyst Academy Fellow In April, Dr. Manorama Talaiver, Director of Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP), visited Sao Paulo, Brazil for the HP’s Catalyst Summit. While she was there, HP announced the first inaugural of HP catalyst fellows selected across the globe including Dr. Talaiver. Beginning in June 2013, the HP Catalyst Academy will offer its first set of online mini-courses, covering a wide range of topics such as digital fabrication, computational thinking, remote labs, game design and social media. The mini-course leaders, known as HP Catalyst Fellows, are working with HP’s education partners, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the New Media Consortium Above: Dr. Mano Talaiver, (NMC), to develop these innovative online professional learning experiences. Through a Director of ITTIP grant process, HP Catalyst identified this group of STEMx trailblazers who have experience and excellent track records in developing and launching large-scale projects that positively impact thousands of teachers and students. To explore the HP Catalyst Academy’s professional learning opportunities, visit http:// On April 15, 2013, an unprecedented global collaboration designed to accelerate STEMx education was announced by ISTE and NMC. The 2013 HP Catalyst Summit attended by Talaiver and more than 120 educators and policy leaders from 15 countries, marked the launch of the HP Catalyst Academy, designed to accelerate STEMx education, transform teaching practices and continue to close the global skills gap.

Digital Tools for ITTIP takes Technology AroundVocabulary the World The Common Core Standards emphasizes the instructional needs in the teaching of academic vocabulary. In order for students to have a deeper understanding of vocabulary words (such as that bolded in textbooks and featured in glossaries), they need to dig deeper and support the acquisition of those words . These vocabulary words are sometimes found across other subject areas. Here are three digital online tools that can help support the need to dig deeper into academic vocabulary: 

VocabGrabber is used to copy and paste text to analyze. It will sort words into categories, provide definitions, create a visual word map and show how words are used in context. With a login, it will even create lists!

Word Sift is used to copy and paste text and create a word cloud. The words can then be sorted by subject are or by a word list. If you click on specific words it will access related images and videos. You can also examine word relationships.

instaGrok is a visual search engine that collects educational content and displays it in the form of a web of related words. It also has an integrated journal feature that users can take notes on that can be emailed or printed. 2

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

May 2013

INSPIRS (continued)

ITTIP Showcases at Multiple Locations

they planned to extend it. In addition to visiting the Lunenburg teachers, Playton also visited Science Teacher, Melinda Wallace at O.T. Bonner Middle School in Danville. Wallace modeled a Physics lesson using probe ware and online simulations.

April 11th & 12th was a busy day for ITTIP staff. While some of us were in Danville, Virginia showcasing ITTIP’s outreach and grant projects, other staff were in San Antonio, Texas showcasing e-textiles. Who says you can’t be in two places at once?

Her lesson began with her students in pairs using a PHET simulation and a modified handout. They first had to tinker with the simulation, then predict what it would look like when asked to move the man a certain distance, direction, and speed. There data was collected in forms of graphs, diagrams, and text.

The Southern Virginia STEM-H conference was hosted in Danville. This event was at no cost to participants and took place April 11th & 12th. During the two day event, the conference had various speakers, workshops, and even discussion Above: ITTIP’s booth at the panels. ITTIP staff was honSTEM-H conference in Danored to set up a booth for parville, Virginia. ticipants to ask questions and learn about opportunities for their districts.

After students had a chance to understand and interpret how distance, direction, and speed were recorded on a graph, they then got to demonstrate their knowledge and put it to practice by using a motion detector. Wallace used the Logger Lite software to display various graph examples the students had to try to interpret with movement. Each of the students took turns while their classmates gave them suggestions on how to recreate the graph with their motion. Above: Students work in pairs with the Moving Man simulation.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2013 annual conference was held April 11th -14th in San Antonia, Texas. This conference featured several types of events and formats varying from featured speakers, to workshops and ticketed short courses. ITTIP was able to showcase some of their understandings by displaying data and findings from working with students using e-textiles with the LilyPad Ardunio board. Above: One of the e-textile projects

Both opportunities gave ITTIP a great showcased at the chance to network and learn. We look NSTA conference in forward to future opportunities to San Antonio, Texas. expand ITTIP’s knowledge, outreach and global partnerships.


ITTIP staff has been excited to observe and see their teacher participants of ITTIP professional development integrating pedagogical methods they learned during workshops and online classes. ITTIP hopes to see and Above: Students try to showcase a few more bemimic the lines on the graph fore this school year is using a motion detector with Mrs. Wallace. over.