Friday, August 01, 2008


NECC Features Ferryway's Saugus Iron Works

If you are interested in technology integration chances are that you know about the annual National Education Computing Conference (NECC). NECC is an extension of the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) effort to provide a forum for sharing ideas on how best to integrate technology into schools. The George Lucas Educational Foundation joined forces with ISTE and HP to underwrite the cost of a professionally produced movie featuring the Ferryway School. We are proud that "Turning on Technology" shows the outcome of the hard work of over a dozen educators working to ensure that urban students have opportunities to use technology. The Ferryway School was featured during a NECC conference session entitled, NETS•S in Action in North American Classrooms. Watch the ten minute long movie on the Edutopia website or here as a streaming video download.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008


GLEF Posts Ferryway Video Preview

Two months ago the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) production team traveled from California to the Ferryway School in Malden, Massachusetts to document technology integration. The GLEF team has been busy editing, Turning On Technology, where it will be premiered at the National Educational Computing Conference in San Antonio on June 30, 2008. Watch a short (1:44) teaser trailer streaming from the Edutopia website.

***Trailer no longer available***

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Ferryway Fifth Graders Shine at Showcase

Student teams eagerly watch as their redesigned waterwheels are tested.
Ferryway fifth graders transformed the school lobby into an extended classroom as they shared their learning with fourth graders, parents, teachers and school administrators. The 2008 Technology Showcase ran from 1 to 3:30 PM on Tuesday, June 3rd. The showcase gave students a unique opportunity to communicate what they learned during the Saugus Iron Works Project-Based Unit (PBU) experience. It featured a total of 11 stations in which students volunteered to present their work in a science fair setting. One highlight was the final competition of student built waterwheels concluding a hands-on study of the engineering design process. Students tested their prototype designs in April, debriefed as a team on how to improve their designs, and then worked to implement the redesigns tested today. A majority of waterwheels lifted heavier loads compared to April. This waterwheel used larger cups to increase the volume of water captured. Students show how they learned to create an efficient waterwheel using Adobe Presenter.At the waterwheel multimedia station students used an HP laptop and projector setup to demonstrate how online interactive learning helped them understand engineering concepts such as torque and efficiency. A new addition to this year's SIW field trip was a photojournalist lesson where students were given the task of using digital cameras to capture images of categories such as engineering, natural resources, and colonial life. The photojournalists showed their photos on a student wiki site using HP tablet computers. SIW photojournalist station The importance of identifying natural resources was one of the more popular activities as fourth graders tested sample minerals using tools such as a tiles, a nail, a magnet and a flash light.
Did our fifth graders succeed in teaching next year's fifth graders? View the online results of the Grade 4 technology showcase survey. Our fourth graders are certainly eager to enter the fifth grade with an eye toward waterwheels. Thanks go out to our entire Ferryway fifth grade team, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Teixeira, Mr. Richmond, and Tufts engineering intern, Andy Chang for making the event a success.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Adobe Posts Case Study on Ferryway Waterwheels

Waterwheels are an important aspect of the Saugus Iron Works project. Understanding that water powered early colonial industry is a critical learning objective of the unit of study called the Saugus Iron Works Great Adventure. Waterwheel screen capture from Adobe case study. If you've been following the SIW blog you know that our focus is to leverage the web to promote an integrated, multi-modal learning experience for fifth graders. You need to be able to merge best teaching practices with new instructional technologies in order to make it happen. Adobe Education Leader (AEL), Robert Simpson, collaborated on an Adobe case study to help explain how an Adobe software program know as Presenter (formerly Breeze) made a major contribution to teaching the engineering concepts that describe waterwheels. As an AEL, Simpson has access to Adobe software solutions experimenting on their use in K-12 classrooms. As the case study clearly points out, the knowledge of content experts can be effectively captured using multimedia solutions such as Presenter. I look forward to implementing this powerful learning strategy in more classrooms.

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