iPads in HS English: 10th Grade Literary Analysis Visual Project

Ms. Mazarakis’ Grade 10 students integrated iPads as a wonderful tool for enhancing their literacy analysis visual project. I snapped a few photos of the works in progress, but I recommend viewing the final student work below. Check out the full project via this link. 

Ms. Mazarakis’ introduction to the project:

10th Grade Literary Analysis Visual Project:

“Students created Google presentations to practice their skills of literary analysis.  Each slide in the presentation has three components: a rich excerpt taken from a short story, analysis of a literary element within the excerpt, and a visual representation created using Paper 53 on the iPads.  Students worked collaboratively to create the presentation in class, taking turns typing the text on laptops and working with the iPads to create images.  The novelty of the iPads definitely increased their enthusiasm for the assignment.  We were all impressed with the professional quality and originality of the artwork that resulted from using this app!

Many thanks to the 10th grade English team who collaboratively created this project—my contribution was simply to add iPads into the mix!”

Welcome to the HS Student Portal

To make learning and communication as easy as possible for HS students, I and David Collett developed the “HS Student Portal“. It serves as a one-stop location for viewing their teachers’ websites, teachers’ calendars they subscribe to, their Google Docs, and important information from the HS Office, CAS, ATAC and ISSBA – all in one location.

Additionally, we built in the functionality to view the ISM Portal, library resources, and even Powerschool.

Simple, effective, fun.

Below you can view the screencast that I created for students and teachers.


Most active MS and HS ISM blogs in 2010

Photo by Stefan

Image by Stefan

Twenty ten is only 5 weeks in, and yet there’s been a flurry of activity on some of the MS and HS WordPress blogs here at ISM. It’s wonderful to see so many teachers utilizing this tool for communication and collaboration. Here’s a quick list for some of the most active blogs thus far in 2010:

High School

Middle School

Lab and Cart Bookings

When you book the labs or carts remember to put the following information:

BiggarF – Grade 9 –  1091 (12 laptops) – Using word to make posters.

(When booking a lab, you don’t need to include the lab number, and no, the colour coding isn’t necessary 🙂

Aside from helping us locate the laptops, this will help us plan future acquisitions of both hardware and software and give us a realistic picture of how we are using technology at ISM.


WordPress Warriors in High School!

Browsing wading through the sea of newly created WordPress blogs throughout the High School, it’s evident some wonderful work is taking shape. I’ve just set up an RSS feed of all the WP blogs in High School for quick and easy viewing of what’s happening around the blogosphere at ISM. More about that later. (and Middle School – I’ll get to you very soon!)

ISM Netvibes RSS Feed

A few blogs caught my eye as examples of what is possible, even in these early stages. Whether they’ve incorporated images and videos, or a plethora of documents and presentations, or perhaps the regular posting and sheer volume of information provided, these teachers have already demonstrated proficiency with utilizing WordPress as an online learning tool.

And to reiterate, WordPress is not a mandatory tool for a class website. These are simply examples of how WP may be used as an option.

I recommend that you take a moment to view their efforts and perhaps gain inspiration and ideas from the various formats and media these teachers have presented through their blogs. (and these are by no means the only blogs that stand out!)

In no particular order:

Great work everyone. Hopefully this sharing of information will positively support and enhance the learning of ISM students school-wide!

HIGH SCHOOL: WordPress Wednesday

Hey there High School teachers:

There have been some room changes tomorrow, those listed below are correct. Head to one for a 7.20 start.

(Make sure you sign the sheet.)

3030 & 2067

Level 1 –  Blogging Core Competencies.

This session will be aimed at those who have yet to undergo any training from myself or Brandon and who have no experience with WordPress. As this is likely to be the largest group, we will be splitting into two Labs 3030 & 2067.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the dashboard
  • How to change your password
  • How to add a title and tagline
  • How to add post and pages and understand the difference between posts and pages
  • How to monitor comments
  • How to navigate blogs and understand the structure
  • How to add content (text, pictures, videos, & widgets)


Level 2 – Towards Blog Literacy

This session is for people who feel comfortable with the basics covered in Level 1 and want to start using the blog more effectively. It will take place in Lab 1086.

Topics covered:

  • How to add content (text, pictures, videos, & widgets)
  • Plugins, Widgets & Themes –  What are they and how will they work
  • More on categories and tags, pages and posts.
  • How to add users to a blog (multi-user blogs)


Level 3 – Teaching with Blogs

This session is for individuals or teams who have spent some time setting up their own blogs already and want to get some more good ideas and see what other teachers are doing. Only those who have attended a Level 1 or 2 session may attend this session. It will take place in Lab 1082 but may well move on from there. If you intend on choosing this option, could you must email me and let me know what you are planning.

Topics Covered:

  • This is what would be called a “job alike” session at a conference. See what your peers are up to and what you can do next!
  • If you are creating a multi-user blog, use this time to add users and set up your navigation structure.

How to Use the Laptop Carts

•    Carts must be managed by teachers and teachers only, no student may push the cart.

•    Keys for the cart can be picked up from the previous user or the HS Office.

•    Keys for the cart will be kept at all times around the teachers neck.

•    Once the computers have been distributed, the remaining machines, if any, should be locked inside the cart.

•    Carts will be picked up by the teacher at the start of their lesson, either from the previous user or from the faculty tower. Cart #1 will be kept on the 4th floor and Cart #2 on the 3rd.

•    When picking up the cart, the borrowing teacher should check to see that everything is present before leaving the faculty tower or the previous user’s room.

•    At the end of the lesson, the laptops should be returned to their correct slot in the cart and plugged in.

•    If, at the end of the lesson, no teacher comes to collect the cart, it is to be returned to the faculty tower, locked in the appropriate place and plugged-in so that the machines may charge. The keys should be returned directly to the HS Office.

•    Carts can be booked online in the same manner as the computer labs, please mention your name, where the laptops will be used and finally what they wil be used for, the same as on the sign in sheet. eg biggarf 2067 google earth.

•    When collecting the cart, the teacher will complete the sign-out sheet so that we can track usage and keep the machines in a good working order.

•    The borrowing teacher is responsible for all items contained in the cart, including wires, routers etc.