Mr. Ackerman's Blog

Entries Tagged as 'technology'

Collaboration- 21st century style

October 13th, 2010 · No Comments

One of district goals is to get our students to collaborate more with their peers. Collaboration is one of the 4 C’s being emphasized by organizations and schools to help prepare our students for their future.  Ms Zavalick’s class has started to use Google Docs as a tool for having students do collaborative research. Below is a short clip (the quality is very average- sorry!) to give you an idea of what we are doing here at Lane.

October08 0315

Tags: science · technology


September 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

Tags: education · math · recess · science · technology

My Learning this Week

July 16th, 2010 · 1 Comment

For me summertime is a valuable time to learn from colleagues across the world. This summer I attended the November Learning Conference in Boston. Educators from all over the world came to learn about the future of education and the way technology can be integrated as a powerful tool to enhance students’ learning. One of the keynote speakers was Rahaf Harfoush, a media expert behind President Obama’s election campaign. She talked about the need for schools to teach digital citizenship and new literacies to today’s students.  Earlier in the conference Michael Wesch, a university anthropologist, discussed how societies change when new technology is introduced. Both of these speakers offered very thought-provoking takes on today’s world.

One of the main themes that resonated  with me was our need to get students collaborating more, as well as educators too.  The other message that was received loud and clear, is that the world is changing fast. . .and opting out is not a choice. Technology is everywhere.  Thankfully at Lane we continue to do great things with technology and our tech teacher Janet Tortora.  Preparing today’s kids for tomorrow’s world.

Tags: 21st Century Learning · technology

Adult Learners 2.0

July 6th, 2010 · No Comments

Although summer is  a great time for rest and relaxation, here at Lane many of our staff members are spending time on their own learning.  One of the many professional development courses running this summer is the Lane Schoogle Course.  This multi-day offering is aimed at introducing our staff to Google Docs.  The Google Docs platform is a terrific way for our staff to collaborate with each other to model and practice the skills they we want our students to develop at Lane.

Lane teachers enter the world of Google Docs

Lane teachers enter the world of Google Docs

Tags: 21st Century Learning · technology

Croatia to Bedford

May 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Mrs Dick’s grade 5 class Skyped today with a class from Croatia.  What a thrill for our students (and theirs, I hope) to connect with kids across the Globe.  Our students asked lots of questions, and I think, found out that kids are very similar whether in Croatia or Bedford, MA.

some students talk with their peers in Croatia

some students talk with their peers in Croatia

Tags: 21st Century Learning · social studies · technology

Results of Parent Survey

January 21st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Below are the results for our Lane Parent Survey.  I think of it as a “State of the Union” update for how we are doing.  Feedback (good or bad) is helpful as we try and make sure we are excellent in all areas.  One of the noticeable areas where we need to do some work is bus safety.  Too many students don’t feel 100% safe riding the bus.  This will be addressed immediately.  But overall I was pleased with the results.  95% of the parents rated “the overall performance of Lane School” either “excellent” or “good.” We’ll shoot for 100% as we move forward.

Tags: Uncategorized · safety · technology

Global Communication

November 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Many of our classrooms have started communicating with peers across the Globe as part of our Epals program.  This is one of our ongoing goals, to get students thinking globally.  In the last few days I have observed students emailing kids in Australia and the UK, as well as Croatia.  The great thing about the Epals program is that it is very safe since teachers get to “ok” each message before students send or receive.  Below  students from Mrs Dick’s class corresponds with a peer in Croatia.

Communicating with Croatia

Communicating with Croatia

Tags: 21st Century Learning · technology

Scratch: Kids and Programming

November 4th, 2009 · No Comments

When I was in High School I didn’t like the computer class we had to take.  I remember trying to figure out how to make a computer turtle move on my screen.  How times have changed.  We have some fourth graders working with the MIT designed Scratch program, as described below.  Its pretty cool.  . .and educational!!!

From the developers. . .

That’s what we were hoping for when we set out to develop Scratch six years ago. We wanted to develop an approach to programming that would appeal to people who hadn’t previously imagined themselves as programmers. We wanted to make it easy for everyone, of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, to program their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and share their creations with one another.
Since the public launch in May 2007, the Scratch Web site ( has become a vibrant online community, with people sharing, discussing, and remixing one another’s projects. Scratch has been called “the YouTube of interactive media.” Each day, Scratchers from around the world upload more than 1,500 new projects to the site, with source code freely available for sharing and remixing. The site’s collection of projects is wildly diverse, including video games, interactive newsletters, science simulations, virtual tours, birthday cards, animated dance contests, and interactive tutorials, all programmed in Scratch.
The core audience on the site is between the ages of eight and 16 (peaking at 12), though a sizeable group of adults participates as well. As Scratchers program and share interactive projects, they learn important mathematical and computational concepts, as well as how to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively: all essential skills for the 21st century. Indeed, our primary goal is not to prepare people for careers as professional programmers but to nurture a new generation of creative, systematic thinkers comfortable using programming to express their ideas.
via Scratch: Programming for All | November 2009 | Communications of the ACM.

Tags: 21st Century Learning · math · technology