Sunday, December 9, 2012

CoETaIL Final Project

Students have finished their Maasai Culture iMovies, we have received feedback via email from our Maasai representative and from Jakarta International School, the sixth grade class that collaborated with us.  It’s been a great experience for students and teachers and all of us have taken the time to reflect on the process in a number of ways.  Through the use of Google Forms, students reflected about the role of technology in the unit and how it helped their learning.  They also reflected about team work and the general set up of the project.  Teachers, in turn, reflected about the use of technology, the integration of curricular outcomes, the collaboration process, grading, and the general design of the unit.  Important ideas were discussed and revisions have been discussed and noted for next year’s implementation.
We are happy and excited because we believe that this unit was truly an “upgrade” from what we had done with Maasai research in the past.  Over the past two years, our team has been redefining the unit, in terms of outcomes, process, and evaluation.  The key factor in improvement this year, was the target audience.  Having an audience composed of sixth graders outside of our school was a huge motivator for the students.  It prompted them to do their best work and problem solve together to find the most interesting ways to present their information.
The goal of the project:
“collaboratively create a multimedia presentation which highlights an element of culture as it relates to the Maasai people with the purpose of teaching the information to an audience of sixth graders.”
Students were introduced to the project following an introductory mini-unit which examined the universal elements of culture through the lens of the Dani of Irian Jaya, Indonesia.   Following , students began reading Countdown, by Ben Mikaelsen, a book that we use as a class novel study, which compares the culture of an American middle school boy to that of a Maasai boy of a similar age.  Students were excited at the prospect of learning about yet another culture that was so different from their own.
In culture teams of four or five, students collaborated on a research plan, carried it out, shared their research, composed narrations, and completed a film clip of their research which was then edited together to create one iMovie which focused on one element of culture as related to the Maasai.  We had a total of five culture teams.
Students used the following tools to research, plan, write, create, and share:
We initially began to use Keynote as the mode of presentation, but made the decision to switch to iMovie for the final products, although students had the choice of importing Keynote slides into their iMovies.  The decision was made because, while Keynote would meet the requirements for presentation, iMovie seemed to be the best fit for what the students needed in completing their final creations.
The students worked hard, collaborated effectively, problem-solved thoughtfully, negotiated frequently, and produced final products which met requirements and achieved the goal.  We shared the projects with a sixth grade class at JIS via edublog which included a reflection template for collecting feedback.
This project, without a doubt, enhances the learning of the culture unit.  Following are areas that we feel were very strong:
  • Collaboration with a class outside of our school
  • Collaboration with an expert in Maasai culture
  • Student choice based on interest
  • Digital citizenship built into lessons
  • Effective integration of reading, writing, and social studies outcomes
Next year, we would like to keep in mind the following:
  • Front-loading lessons regarding paraphrasing and research citation
  • Transparency and communication of the different phases of the unit with student reflections built in after each one
  • Additional topics offered for each element of culture to allow for even more student choice
  • Strive to maintain an authentic connection with the Maasai and refine an effective feedback process with them
Flickr by ianguest
I’ve learned a lot in this fifth course with the implementation of the final project.  Technology can be effective, but it’s clear that it is only as effective as the carefully planned learning activities that it supports.  This unit is an example.  In considering the SAMR model, some augmentation and modification are evidenced in this unit, but technology enabled us to raise the stakes and move this project towards redefinition.  The creative capabilities that iMovie allowed and the global sharing aspect and “connectedness” that Edublog made possible, without a doubt, created meaningful activities that could not have been accomplished without technology.
Thanks to CoETaIL, I have gained more confidence as an educator.  I understand the importance of collaboration now more than ever before.  I have gained knowledge and skills that will enable me to plan effective learning events that utilize technology in ways that challenge and interest my students, while enabling them to become the best digital citizens, collaborators, problem solvers, and future innovators that they can be.
Read more at:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Register for the Google Apps Summit

The Professional Learning Council has agreed to fund teachers from ASIJ to attend the Google App Summit. If you want to register - you must commit to attending both days of the event.

After the event we would hope that you will share with your colleagues in this blog what you learned and how you might apply it in your classroom.

To register for the Google App Summit  - simply add a comment to this post and tell us in less than 300 words:

1. What Google Apps you currently use - and for what learning purpose?
2. What Google Apps do you hope to learn about?
3. How are you hoping the Google Summit can impact your classroom?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

COETAIL - Graduate Program - Sign up

COETAIL and SUNY are proud to once again offer a fully online 15 credit graduate program for International Educators.

"The course surpassed all of my original expectations. COETAIL has helped propel me into a new level of teaching." ~ COETAIL Graduate

The Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy program (COETAIL) consists of five - 3 credit classes that takes three semesters to complete. All course work is done online with no travel needed!
  • No Summer Classes
  • No Travel
  • No Papers, only blog posts, projects and lesson plans
  • Created specifically for International Educators
  • Student and Teacher focused projects that affect teaching and learning now!
  • Taught by International Educators just like you!

93% of COETAIL graduates say that 6 months after finishing the program, what they learned is impacting their teaching and learning on a daily basis.

"The COETAIL community is a great resource of teachers who are all willing to share, learn, and question technology use in the classroom." ~ COETAIL Graduate

The next online cohort starts February 4th with a registration deadline of January 27th. For more information visit To see what you will be learning and reflecting on visit

If online learning is not your thing, find one of our local cohorts that will be starting soon as well at

"The greatest benefit for me was learning so much about current technology and its application to my teaching. The cohort had so much to offer and we all learned tons from each other. It seemed that everything I read or discussed in the cohort meetings was immediately applicable in my classroom." ~ COETAIL Graduate

For questions or more information please e-mail

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Social Intrapreneurs Are Just As Important As Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Online Holdouts no more

As online learning has been incorporated into nearly every aspect of U.S. education—from prestigious universities to struggling public systems—one type of school has largely resisted the trend: elite private academies.
But now, some of the top independent schools are offering full-credit online classes to their students through a nonprofit venture called Global Online Academy.
Mike Kane for The Wall Street Journal
Global Online Academy Director Michael Nachbar, center, with Jake Clapp, the venture's academic dean, right, and Bernie Noe, Lakeside School head.

Read more........
After a test run last year, 23 schools are participating this fall, including Dalton School in New York, Lakeside School in Seattle and Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C., as well as academies in Jordan, Indonesia, Tokyo and Beijing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Professional Learning at Global Online Academy

Professional Learning opportunity that can be accessed through Global Online Academy. We are a member school. For more information see.......

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EARCOS: Calling Presenters

Dear Colleagues, 

This year EARCOS will be held at Concordia International School in Shanghai, March 28-30. 

The strands or focuses this year include:
  • Physical Education
  • Visual & Performing Arts (chorus, vocal, music, dance, drama, strings, band)
  • Counselling
  • Chinese Language
  • (General Education / Tech)
(See attached flyers for more info on the performing and visual arts strands)

Presenting is great PD!  Share your knowledge, raise the prestige of ASIJ, and save on your costs of attending! 

ASIJ is eligible to send up to 3 presenters, though more often we're chosen to send two. Presentations are chosen on the basis of both their strength, the schools represented, and the differentiation from other presentations similar in nature.  

Should you be chosen as a presenter, the school will reimburse you the cost of:

  • Full Conference fees will be paid by the school
  • Full hotel accommodation for up to 4 nights will be paid by the school
  • Airfare as per regular delegates
  • Visa fees for presenter(s)
  • In the case of two or more faculty members making a joint presentation, the accommodation allowance will be split between the number of presenters (ie. two presenters – each get 50% of a room)

There is no other per diem or allowance. 
You are responsible for booking your hotel and flight, as well as for seeking your visa. 
Ensure you apply for a tourist visa to enter China. Do not indicate you're attending a conference or meeting etc., as this requires a different, more difficult to obtain visa. Additionally, there is a cost for the visa for entry into China, so please keep your receipt.

There are four hotels to choose from (see video in link) at varying prices. ASIJ will reimburse the cost of a standard room at any of the conference hotels. You may choose to upgrade at your own expense.  Many hotels offer a limousine service to the hotel for about 500RMB; note that a taxi costs about 150RMB.

Q: I'm keen! What do I do?

A: Drop me a quick email by October 1st. Please see Guidelines for Teacher Workshop Presenters (attached)  start working out your presentation. Presenters are provided 60 minutes. Please let me know how I can be of help; I'll do my best to be of assistance. 

You will present in-house at ASIJ (to invited colleagues, the EARCOS rep, PD coordinator on or before Oct. 26, as the deadline for our submission of proposals is on or by November 1st. We'll arrange after school etc. as best fits.

Presenting in-house is an excellent opportunity to get valuable feedback. To that end, it is important that this be as close as possible to your proposed final presentation, though given the tight deadline, I understand you may yet make changes. Please see the Teacher Workshop Evaluation Sheet attached for what EARCOS is seeking.
Thank you to all who are thinking about presenting! More for attendees soon!


Jeff Leppard

MacXpress Goes Google

How to link your iCal & Google Cal

Google Power Searching with Google - online course starts Sept 24 (finishes Oct 10)
Google Apps Training - We will be forming a study group/s for this activity
Google Summit - ASIJ will be hosting this event & we are forming a Planning Team
Google Teacher Academy - check out the application process. (For some tips and inspiration you can check out a recent Google Hangout conversation here.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Digital Storytelling
an EARCOS weekend workshop

Finding the Digital Storyteller Within:
Creating New Media That Works

Presenter: Jason OhlerDate: Saturday November 17 2012Venue: The American School in Japan Tokyo Time: 10.00 - 4.00

Cost: 8000 Yen - $100 US - lunch included

Note: ASIJ Teachers funded through the school

Following his keynote New Media, New Literacies, New Students, New Citizens, Jason will demonstrate practical tools and processes for implementing new media narrative projects in classroom activities in exciting, creative ways.
He addresses a number of topics, including media assessment, media grammar and the role of research-based digital stories and media development in the curriculum. This presentation features examples of student and teacher media production, and offers practical and conceptual ways for students to participate in the world of Web 2.0 using new media narratives they create for school projects.
This presentation is based on Jason’s book, Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning and Creativity (Corwin Press, 2008).
For more information see:

Who should attend: This workshop is adaptable for many grade levels and so is worthwhile for any teacher regardless of technical skill level. If you would like to incorporate digital media production into your curriculum, instruction and assessment, you will benefit from this workshop.

Time and materials: The day will be broken up into sections with time for listening, observing and interacting and for a 60-90 minutes hands on workshop. Having an internet-connected laptop (smart phone, pad, or whatever you like to use) is very desirable.


To Register for this event sign up hereFor enquiries please contact:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Google Apps for Education Tokyo Summit

We invite you to join us for the first annual Google Apps for Education Tokyo Summit to be held at The American School in Japan on February 9 & 10, 2013.  This high intensity two day event focuses on deploying, integrating and using Google Apps for Education to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education. The program features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, solution providers, Google engineers, and representatives from ...
Google Apps for Education Tokyo Summit
The Google Apps for Education Tokyo Summit is a regional users summit at The American School in Japan on February 9 & 10, 2013.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why the University System, as We Know It, Won’t Last …. and What’s Coming Next

Watch Video from NY Times

This weekend, The New York Times took a good look at the financing of a college education and highlighted a few staggering data points.

  • The U.S. has racked up more than $1 trillion in student loans.
  • Today 94 percent of students earning a bachelor’s degree take out loans — up from 45 percent in 1993.
  • It’s estimated that the “average debt [per student] in 2011 was $23,300, with 10 percent owing more than $54,000 and 3 percent more than $100,000.”
  • “Payments are being made on just 38 percent of the balance of federal student loans, down from 46 percent five years ago.”
  • Finally, state funding of education is going down, and tuition is going up, which means that the figures above will just get worse.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Harvard and M.I.T. Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses 

By  Published: May 2, 2012

In what is shaping up as an academic Battle of the Titans — one that offers vast new learning opportunities for students around the world — Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday announced a new nonprofit partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities.

Harvard’s involvement follows M.I.T.’s announcement in December that it was starting an open online learning project, MITx. Its first course, Circuits and Electronics, began in March, enrolling about 120,000 students, some 10,000 of whom made it through the recent midterm exam. Those who complete the course will get a certificate of mastery and a grade, but no official credit. Similarly, edX courses will offer a certificate but not credit

Monday, April 30, 2012


The Global Online Academy is launching its first professional development courses to be offered this summer! By tapping into the vast expertise and experience at our schools we plan to offer a full catalog of professional development courses to our member schools and the wider educational community. 
Dates: Friday, July 13 - Friday, August 10
Cost: $400 for member school faculty / $475 for non-member schools 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ISTE Learn and Lead

See the May 2012 edition of the ISTE Learning and Leading online journal. A new page in the blog has been created for linking to these as they are published.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

EARCOS 2012 Reflections

Over Spring break ASIJ supported attendance at the EARCOS Bangkok Conference of over  35 faculty. In finalizing the reimbursements for the conference expenses there are some valuable reflections and feedback from those that attended. Please take the time to share your reflections and comments on the conference workshops here. 

What do you plan to do with this new knowledge? 

What new ideas has this conference generated for you? 

Share your ideas here by commenting on this post.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fun Failure: How to make learning irresistable

By Anne Collier
Failure is a positive act of creativity,” Katie Salen said. Scientists, artists, engineers, and even entrepreneurs know this as adults. But in schools, the notion of failure is complicated.
Salen, executive director of the Institute of Play and founder of Quest to Learn, the first public school based on the principles of game design in the U.S., explained how failure can be a motivating agent for learning in her presentation at SXSW.
Any practice – athletic, artistic, even social – involves repeatedly failing till one gets the experience or activity right. We need to “keep the challenge constant so players are able to fail and try again,” she said. “It’s hard and it leads to something rewarding.”
Game designer Jane McGonigal makes a similar point. She dedicates an entire chapter in her book Reality Is Broken to “fun failure” and why it makes us happy. When we’re playing a well-designed game, failure doesn’t disappoint us. It makes us happy in a very particular way; excited, interested, and most of all optimistic, Salen said. “Fun failure” even makes us more resilient, which keeps us emotionally safe.
The HS Library has a copy of Jane McGonical's book - REALITY IS BROKEN

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Changing how we learn: 10 disruptive tools for every generation

Changing how we learn: 10 disruptive tools for every generation

As the web rapidly transforms the way we consume knowledge, here’s a quick look at innovative tools, programs, and startups that are rapidly changing how we learn. See more

Monday, April 2, 2012

MacXpress - Preview Part 2

Due to school closing early on Tuesday April 3 we will offer the Preview Part B session 
on April 10 instead.

All divisions welcome.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MS MacXpress - Thursday, March 15

Meet us in the Middle School TRC @ 2:55 for the first iMovie session!

Monday, March 12, 2012


March 13 - HS Library Lab - using the Preview application

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MS MacXpress on Thursday

Today's MacXpress session in the TRC will be on Tips and Tricks on the Mac. We will cover a bunch of areas that will help you use your Mac more effectively and productively! Come here what we have to offer in the following areas AND be ready to share some of your own Tips and Tricks!

  • Modifying your Dock
  • Different views for Finder windows
  • Various System Preferences settings that are useful
  • Grabbing screen shots in different ways
  • Trackpad navigation tips
  • Searching for stuff on your Mac
  • How to modify your Dashboard
  • and more!!
All divisions welcome. Hope to see you from 2:55-3:15!

Thanks - Jim

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today's second session on Pages.
Tech @ASIJ :
Apple site Pages Tutorials :

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What does it mean to be literate in the C21st?

In Intelligence Reframed Howard Gardner contends that "literacies, skills, and disciplines ought to be pursued as tools that allow us to enhance our understanding of important questions, topics, and themes." Today's readers become literate by learning to read the words and symbols in today's world and its antecedents. They analyze, compare, evaluate and interpret multiple representations from a variety of disciplines and subjects, including texts, photographs, artwork, and data. They learn tochoose and modify their own communication based on the rhetorical situation. Point of view is created by the reader, the audience and the medium.

21st Century LIteracies -  do we explicitly teach these as skills?  What role does the library play in supporting these literacies? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

MacXpress - Pages

Today's session is about Pages. 
All faculty have access to the Tech@ASIJ Blackboard course.

Tech @ASIJ :