Teaching with Tablets and Technology – a Focus at the CAMLE Conference

Is everyone is talking tablets?  

When we get together at our monthly CAMLE Board meetings, it seems we all know a colleague or teacher who is either starting to use or has been using iPads in his classroom. That’s why we have a strong strand of iPad and other mobile device sessions at our upcoming 2012 CAMLE Colorado Schools to Watch Conference held at Stuart Middle School on Saturday, November 3 in Commerce City, Colorado.

Sessions on iPads in the Middle Grades

Among the 35 sessions each attendee will have to choose from throughout the day, several will focus on iPad technology use in the classroom:

  • 15 iOS Apps for Teachers & Leaders in 60 Minutes
  • Launching a 1:1 iPad Program in the Middle Grades
  • Excite, Ignite, & Engage in Science Class Using iPads

Others will integrate the use of technology to support student learning:

  • Using Social Network Sites for Always-On Professional Learning
  • Smart Phones In The Band Room?…Why Not!
  • Inspire, Mangage, Reward Students with YouTopia
  • The Access Center: Providing Dynamic Support in a Least Restrictive Environment
  • Ending Social Promotion with Prevention and Credit Recovery

Kids LOVE tablet technology!

Because of tablets’ intuitive interface and touchscreen capabilities, iPads and other handheld devices are growing in popularity. Given the choice between reading e-books or print books, children prefer e-books, a new, exploratory field study shows. Children who read e-books also retain and comprehend just as much as when they read print books, the study also suggests.

We are looking forward to our Schools to Watch sharing their best practices for technology integration at our conference.

Register now!

Smart Phones in the Band Room? Why Not!

CAMLE Annual Schools to Watch Conference

Stuart Middle School ~ Commerce City
Saturday, November 3


Over 35 Sessions!  Here is Just One Sample!

Session Presenter: Wayne Hoey, Jenkins Middle School

Session Title:  Smart Phones In The Band Room?…Why Not!

Session Description: Is your school struggling with a policy prohibiting students the use of smart phones and iPods and at the same time feeling the push to incorporate technology in your classroom? Why can’t we teach students using the mediums most comfortable to this generation? Many of today’s electronic devices have apps to make life’s chores a little less complicated and a little more fun. Learn some of the ways to incorporate technology in the orchestra, choir, band, and general music classes. You will see the value of students (and teachers) who can use iPhones, iPods, iPads, MacBooks, and other smart devices. We will discover scores of apps like metronomes and digital musical instrument tuners. Then explore the myriad of websites to aid in learning and teaching music. The future is here, let’s embrace it!

School to Watch Directors Plan Summer Conference in DC!

Last week the State Directors of the National School to Watch program, met in Dallas to finalize the plans for the upcoming  National Schools to Watch Conference on June 21-23 in Washington, DC.  This will be the 8th Annual conference and it is shaping up to be an incredible event that centers on best practice sharing between some of the most highly effective middle grades schools in the nation. These schools have all demonstrated an evidence-based, quantitative positive-trend trajectory of student achievement and qualitative criteria-based achievement in the four domains of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structures.

Last year six 2011 Colorado Schools to Watch were recognized for their excellence in middle grades education:

  • Altona Middle School
  • Gypsum Creek Middle School
  • Hotchkiss K-8
  • Jenkins Middle School
  • Russell Middle School
  • Steamboat Springs Middle School

This year the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform expects to showcase presentations from a wide spectrum of its 300+ Schools to Watch from across the country.  Prior to the conference, these schools will Converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their U.S. Representative from their district to share their stories of success in creating outstanding learning communities that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable and strong organizationally. During the conference they will receive their award of distinction at the National Forum’s Gala Evening.

Any school can attend the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, DC.  While 65% of the schools in attendance are currently designated as Schools to Watch, 35% of the attendees represent schools desiring to learn the best practices from the Schools to Watch.  Registration information can be found on the Schools to Watch website.

On March 15, 2012 Colorado will announce its 2012 Trailblazer Schools to Watch.  Our Colorado Association of Middle Level Education members are currently visiting the 2012 school finalists. Keep tuned in for future announcements!

5 “Schools to Watch” Share their Replicable Practices

On Thursday, July 28, 5 Colorado Trailblazer “Schools to Watch” presented replicable, high performance practices to their colleagues and peers at the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) Annual Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado.  The five Trailblazer “Schools to Watch” that presented were:

  • Altona Middle – Longmont
  • Jenkins Middle – Colorado Springs
  • Hotchkiss K-8 – Hotchkiss
  • Mead Middle – Mead
  • Russell Middle – Colorado Springs

Each of these schools been recognized for demonstrating a trajectory of success in the areas of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and strong organizational structures.

During the session, each school shared 2-3 replicable practices and their case studies during the round-robin share session.  The following slide show kicked off the event:

Case Studies

Hotchkiss K-8




Information was also presented on how to become a Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch”.  It was explained that the application is a three part process:

  • the application itself – to report student achievement and discipline data
  • the school self-rating – using the National Forum’s criteria of high performing middle grades practices
  • the evidence of criteria – to list the practices in place within the applying school aligned with each criteria.
A copy of the School Self Rating was shared with the participants.
Finally, all attendees were invited to SAVE the DATE for our upcoming Colorado “Schools to Watch” Conference to be held on September 17 at Otho Stuart Middle School in Commerce City (Brighton School District)