Tech Tuesday 3.26.13

What is Pinterest?

Over the past few years visual pinboards have been developed to help people stay organized. Before virtual pinboards existed I would download images to folders on my desktop that I would promptly lose or forget about. I tried different naming conventions but I could never find a reference, visual, or video when I needed it most. Pinterest does not only help me stay organized but it is a social site. I can find links and resources from other teachers in my discipline, lessons, apps, and classroom tips. Edutopia even recently wrote an article on the benefits of Pinterest in education called, Pinterest for Teachers? There are other pinboard services out there that function similarly to Pinterest that I would recommend looking at before settling on one.

Check out some of our favorite educational resources from Pinterest below:


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And now introducing the Allendale Columbia School Pinterest. Inspired by guest blogger Heather Lambie on Brendan Schneider’s blog, How I Used Pinterest to Create Our School’s Virtual, Viral Viewbook.

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Amy Oliveri Receives Early Career Award in Art Education

On February 1st, 2013, Allendale Columbia Middle School Art Teacher, Amy Oliveri, was awarded with the Early Career Award by the RIT School of Art for her excellence in teaching.

This is short video of Amy working on a self portrait using colored pencils.

When I was first introduced to Amy, she was described as being techy. And she was! We hit it off right away. However, Amy is far more than just a techy, art teacher. She is an excellent planner, facilitator, teacher and artist. I have seen her teach and interact with students. There is a tremendous amount of mutual respect in her classroom. Her students are engaged and well behaved. Students ask questions and work to push themselves to impress her. Amy is the type of teacher that expects her students to work hard and do well. From my perspective as a colleague, I feel the same way when I work with her.  I want whatever I am working on to be that much better because I know she has such high expectations. I know that I have learned far more from her than she has learned from me. Amy is in her third year at AC and she has an incredibly bright future. The Allendale Columbia School students, faculty and community are very lucky to have Mrs. Oliveri as a teacher, friend and mentor!

To get a better understanding of Amy’s passion for art and education, please check out her social media links.


Our new STEM program at Allendale Columbia School

I started Tech Tuesday’s last year at Allendale Columbia School as a way to share and learn how teachers are using technology in the classroom and connect our school community. We had our first Tech. Tuesday of this school year on September 27th (It was actually a Thursday due to some scheduling issues). Our first session featured a group that is new to our school. We have been calling them the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) team.

Our long time lower school science teacher retired late this summer. Lower School Head, John Sullivan decided to hire a group called Vista Teach to take over the science program. They had been doing robotics summer camps at our school this year. Their camp attendance was outstanding and the program was innovative and fun. They incorporate robotics at all levels but will continue to cover life sciences that have been traditionally taught in our science program.

This Tech. Tuesday took a fieldtrip to the STEM classroom to see firsthand what our students in grades 1st through 5th will learn about in science this year.

Click here for a 360 tour of the classroom space and here for the other side of the classroom.

They have simple robots for our youngest students to use. They look like bees (beebots).

The students are asked to program these simple robots to do a variety of tasks. It’s amazing that kids as young as 1st grade can get involved in that type of thinking, planning and programming.

The other side of the classroom is set up with a full lego robotics competition table.

Click here for a 360 tour

There are laptops set up for students to use as they program their robots to do a variety of tasks. Students are given goals, not templates in order to complete the assignments. This kind of open ended activity emphasizes divergent thinking. All in all it was a great overview of how robotics fits into their program. It’s awesome that we now get to offer these opportunities to our students as part of their everyday science curriculum!

My Favorite Talk From Tedx Rochester

This year I attended Tedx Rochester and it was amazing! I know that in the past I have taken for granted all of the awesome happenings that go on, in and around Rochester, NY. However, the TEDx Rochester event was eye opening for me. Dr. Mark Noble’s talk was, in my opinion, the most inspiring. Dr. Noble is a Professor of Genetics and of Neurobiology and Anatomy  at the University of Rochester. In his talk he discuses the research his lab is conducting on stem cells and the potential breakthroughs with implications in all areas of epidemiology. Thanks to TEDxRochester publishing all of the videos from the conference I now have a chance to share it with as many people as I can. Clear your schedule, sit down, and take the time to watch his 17 minute presentation. You will not regret it.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.