The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s professional exchange program. We were chosen as one of the schools for visiting Technology Educators representing seven different countries.
We were selected specifically because of the technology we are integrating into the classroom. The countries represented were: Armenia, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mexico, Morocco, and The Ukraine.
When the Head of School informed me that we were going to have these visitors, I was very surprised. I mostly wondered how they found us. For a small private elementary school we really do have leading edge technology in our curriculum. BYOD, 3D Printing and 1:1 iPad use are some of the specific things they were very interested in.
As the Science and Technology Teacher, my 6th Grade Science class was first on their tour. I use technology as a matter of course and do not think about it much, but now we were hosting International EdTech leaders!
In 6th Grade we use iPads 1:1 frequently and I really like using Nearpod. Being able to push out a lesson to the class and monitor the participation is a tremendous benefit when integrating tablets into a classroom. In the photo above I am showing our IVLP guests the interface and metrics that are provided for the teacher. This particular lesson plan was Photosynthesis.
I have often been asked how 3D Printing integrates into a curriculum, and this was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate. The module we are studying for the quarter in 6th Grade Science is Cellular Biology. In addition to many excellent Apps, Khan Academy lectures and Nearpod content, there are Creative Commons 3D Files for Cell organelles. What better way to show what a mitochondrion looks like than to make a 3D Print of one?!
Our guests were very gracious and honoring of our time to share with them. They were very impressed with what we were doing and very complimentary of our school. At lunch many of them shared their perspectives and challenges they face in their environments. Several of them specialized in virtual content delivery out of logistical or geographic necessity. Some were from secondary and higher education and were very impressed with what we were doing at the primary level. The students, teachers and administration felt very special and fortunate to be selected by IVLP for the visit!