Posts tagged teaching

Summer Institute for Technology Integration Week in Review

The Summer Institute for Technology Integration (SiTi), sponsored by AVI-SPL and hosted by Florida Southern College in Lakeland July 11-15, welcomed eighty educators from as far away as Taiwan to this residential-based immersive professional development experience. Teachers spent the week creating engaging lessons using SMART Notebook Software, digital cameras, document cameras, and SMART Response Software.

The motivational Keynote address, led by Dr. Jennifer Brown King, professor and author of TechXtraordinary Integration inspired and prepared the audience to be HOT teachers; that’s right, as Dr. King stated, “You will all be smokin’ HOT teachers by end of the week!” She was referring to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which the SiTi instructors used to move attendees from teaching their students Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) to Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) through instructional technology best practices. By the end of the week, there were eighty smokin’ HOT teachers equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement technology effectively in their classrooms!

Sessions were led by eight extraordinary teacher teams (pictured below) from Hillsborough County Schools, who spent not just five days, but the evenings coaching and encouraging their students.

Florida Southern College; AVI-SPL; Summer Institute for Technology Integration; Professional Development for Teachers
L-R: Jenny Simmonds, Ora Tanner, Rachel Motomal, Kelly Derushia, Danny Lott (FSC), Dr. Jennifer Brown King (FSC), Michelle Clinton, Tina Hancock, Lisa Pennington, Lee Collier

Click here to watch an Animoto video of the SiTi week! >>

Florida Southern College staff generously provided beautiful accommodations at Nicholas Hall, with breathtaking views of Lake Hollingsworth. Attendees were also treated to delicious meals and scrumptious desserts in the dining hall and during session breaks. (No dieting that week!)

FSC Tech Buddies, students of Dr. King’s Education Courses, spent the week assisting attendees throughout the day and late into the evening with creating their final Showcase Project which the attendees presented on Friday morning. The closing ceremony on Friday featured Showcase Presentations where a few lucky attendees took home some cool new technology for their classrooms!

The Summer Institute for Technology Integration theme of partnership, friendship, community, education resonated throughout the week as attendees, coaches and tech buddies formed bonds through living and working together that will last long after the event ended.

We are looking forward to a continued partnership with Dr. Jennifer Brown King and Florida Southern College, and to take the Institute “on the road” to replicate in other areas of Florida and beyond!

For more information about Professional Development from AVI-SPL, click here >>

Epson BrightLink Brings Interactive Projection to Walls, Tables

When the Epson BrightLink launched in 2010, it brought interactive content to educators who previously didn’t have the space or budget for an interactive whiteboard. To expand on the BrightLink’s functionality, Epson has introduced an optional table mount, allowing educators to transform a tabletop or desk into an interactive surface. This practical feature enables students of varying size and ability to interact with the projector during the lesson, expanding accessibility of the interactive content. Using the BrightLink on a table also helps to maximize limited space in the classroom.

The Epson BrightLink line of interactive projectors quickly became a favorite among educators looking for an alternative to the traditional interactive whiteboard for their classrooms. Teachers with limited space appreciate the BrightLink’s ultra-short throw (which allows the projector to be mounted as close as 2.8 inches from the wall). And with shrinking budgets, the projector’s budget-friendly pricing appealed to administrators.

Learn more about the features of the Epson BrightLink and how it can bring interactive content to your classroom!

SMART Ideas™ Software Enhances Visual Learning

SMART Ideas softwareSMART Ideas software brings the power of visual learning to your classroom. Students can better analyze and understand complex ideas by building multilevel interactive maps in this fun, colorful software. These exciting presentations take students through concepts one level at a time for greater clarity, with the maps easily converting into multipage Web sites for everyone to share.

SMART Ideas software

With the software’s easy navigation features, you can easily view maps in various formats to help students learn from multiple perspectives. The convenience of the global view feature allows you to show all the map levels at once, while the presentation view option removes toolbars for a large, clear display.

You can also swiftly switch between the diagram view and the text outline view to demonstrate the connection between visual and written ideas. SMART Ideas also allows you to enhance maps with curriculum-specific and interactive clip art to aid learning and make lessons interesting, effortlessly adding multimedia content and links. Click here for product brochure »

Receive a complimentary SMART Ideas software license from SMART Technologies by registering your SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard on SMART’s Web site. Just include your email address with your product registration, and a SMART Ideas software license will be emailed to you.

AV Trends in Higher Education

Sophisticated AV technology for classrooms, especially in higher education, is becoming a standard. With so much AV equipment being marketed to schools, it is easy to get confused by the options. ArchiTech recently published a terrific summary of the newest trends and tools for AV in the classroom.

Click here to read the full article on the ArchiTech site. 

For more information about the educational tools available from AVI-SPL, click here.

VariQuest and Reading in the Science Classroom

KWL Chart

Reading and writing are an active part of any subject, but the transition from reading fiction in an English classroom to reading scientific journals and non-fiction can be difficult for some students. Learning how to write lab reports and papers can be tough too! Here are some ways you can utilize the VariQuest Poster Maker, Awards Maker and Cutout Maker to help smooth the transition.


Try modeling reading a scientific journal article with the class to help them understand how reading in the science classroom is different. Show and explain the purpose of an abstract. Read it together and afterwards, fill out the K (what I know) and W (what I want to know) part of a K-W-L chart poster together as a class. This can help the students set a foundation allowing them check their comprehension before they delve further into the article.

Show the students how to utilize graphs and other tables in the article by enlarging these into a poster. This is an easy task when you take advantage of the scan and print feature on the Poster Maker. You can model how you would stop reading to turn to the visual for additional information. Ask the students to come up to the poster and show the class where what they’ve read is shown on the table, chart or graph. This way, they’ll begin to understand that reading science related news is often more than simply reading text and can take more time.

Finally, use the Cutout Maker or Awards Maker to create large versions of new vocabulary. While reading, stop when you come across a new word. Attach each word to your white board as it is identified in the text. This will help indicate how they would want to write these words down and look them up as they are reading. Give the students dictionaries to look each word up as you run across them and write the definition on your board. You may even want to take a moment to check their comprehension of the definition. Learning the vocabulary immediately, rather than skipping over words they don’t know, is an important skill that will help them throughout their educational career. There is ample opportunity to teach students new words and this skill within science related reading. After the demonstration, you can post the cutout words to a word wall in your classroom and even create lessons out of the uncovered vocabulary.

In addition to vocabulary words, they may encounter unfamiliar symbols. Use the Cutout Maker to decorate a bulletin board to promote their visual vocabulary too! For example, they may not understand the symbols on a weather map, chemical structure diagrams, international symbols of units, etc. You can find many science-related shapes in the Cutout Maker’s library to help create visuals for your classroom!