Category Archives: Promethean

HAIS Schools of the Future: IAAK presentations

The Fourth Annual Schools of the Future Conference marks an exciting venture in which the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and the Hawaii Community Foundation will partner with the Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii Society for Technology in Education to offer a not-to-be-missed two-day conference, convening October 23-24, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center. This is by far, one of our favorite events of the year! Join us for our Like-Minded session on October 23rd, an informative Q&A lunchtime session around Promethean ActivClassrooms and for our featured presentations:

The ActivClassroom: Effective Teaching with Technology for College and Career Readiness
Presenters: Cheryl Estabillo and Candice Frontiera, It’s All About Kids (Oct 23rd, 1:30-3:00 pm)

Learn to leverage the use of the Promethean ActivClassroom to foster communication, collaboration, inquiry and student centered learning in your classroom. Teachers will learn various strategies to plan interactive lessons and implement authentic assessments that meet the new levels of rigor required with Common Core Standards.

Developing 21st Century Skills in Students and Teachers
Presenter: Karen Talbert, (Oct 23rd, 3:30-5:00 pm)

Whether you’re a novice or a tech expert, learn how easy it is to integrate 21st century skill building into your teaching. EasyTech helps students (and teachers!) efficiently learn technology skills, digital literacy, and higher-order thinking as they study and learn in a manner which is exciting, engaging, and cross curricular. Make sure your students and teachers have the tech and 21st century skills they need to prepare them for the coming adoption of the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Assessments.

The Role of Interactive Technologies in Teaching and Learning
Presenter: Mr. Ginno Kelly, Promethean (Oct 23rd, 10:30-12:00 pm)

As interactive technologies become more ubiquitous in classrooms across the US, the need for the successful integration of these tools is imperative. The words “interactive” and “engaging” have become buzzwords that are sometimes hard to understand. In this session, using examples from the classroom, we will explore what to look for when you hear “interactive” and “engaging” within the context of interactive technologies.

Marzano Research Laboratory’s Enhancing the Art and Science of Teaching with Technology
Presenter: Sonny Magaña, M.Ed (Oct 24th, 10:30-12:00 pm)
The Marzano Research Laboratory (MRL) has benefitted educators and leaders across the country by developing practical research-based strategies on how to improve teaching and learning. In this session, Marzano Research Associate Sonny Magaña will discuss new research-based professional development offerings for education systems to effectively wield technologies to measurably improve pedagogy, academic achievement and student engagement. Dr. Marzano’s Enhancing the Art and Science of Teaching with Technology professional development services for teachers and administrators is designed to help school systems harness the potential of their existing technologies to transform their instructional and evaluation models and better prepare their students for the rigors of 21st Century work and life.

Early bird registration is now available.


Good Idea Grant

With today’s budget constraints, teachers are getting more creative in finding ways to support innovation in their classrooms. A Hawaii teacher we work with was awarded a Good Idea Grant last year and used the funds to integrate technology into her middle school math classroom. We were inspired by her dedication and creativity, and excited about the impact her “good idea” had upon her students.

If you have an exciting curriculum idea that involves your IAAK supported software or hardware solution(s), we want to hear about it! Consider applying for a Good Idea Grant and use our team as a resource to help brainstorm ideas, assist in the application process, and if you achieve success, to support the implementation of your idea!

As stated in the application, “Good Idea Grants are designed to support K-12 teachers and schools in their efforts to encourage a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and requires students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution. Students, therefore, become creative, innovative, and critical thinkers”.

Grants up to $3,000 each will be awarded to support innovative programs that strive to increase student interest and academic achievement.

Grants up to $7,500 each will be awarded for the development, improvement or expansion of innovative instructional programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as programs that integrate and apply STEM learning across other disciplines.

Have a good idea? Go for it and let us know how we can help!

ActivExpression users invited to participate in Marzano study…

Over the last 5 years, Dr. Robert Marzano, noted author of; Designing & Teaching Learning Goals & Objectives, The Highly Engaged Classroom, Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading, On Excellence in Teaching, District Leadership That Works, and The Art and Science of Teaching, has worked with Promethean to conduct an independent study on the effects of the Promethean ActivClassroom on teaching methodology, student engagement, and performance.  Phase III of this study was recently announced, focusing on the integration of the ActivExpression learner responses systems into the classroom. 

Hawaii Promethean ActivExpression users are invited to participate in this exciting nationwide study to address the following research question: “What is the impact of Promethean ActivExpressions on student engagement and academic achievement?”

Below is a quick breakdown of the research methodology:

1.      Teacher participants will complete the free online ActivExpression course and take part in a free 2-hour workshop on the InterActiv Engagement Method (conducted by IAAK);

2.      Teachers will choose a 1-day lesson within a unit of study in their curriculum for the purposes of the study;

3.      Teachers will design a pre/post assessment and administer the assessment to a class that they’ve chosen for the study;

4.      Teachers will then randomly assign half of the class to the “Control Group,” and half of the class to the “Treatment Group;”

5.      Teachers will send the “Treatment Group” to the library/computer lab (or another area of the school) and then teach the “Control Group” the lesson without ActivExpressions and administer the “Post Test”  to this group at the conclusion of the lesson (teachers will also be asked to video tape this lesson);

6.      The next day teachers will send the “Control Group” to the library/computer lab (or another area of the school) and teach the “Treatment Group” the lesson with ActivExpressions and administer the “Post Test” at the conclusion of the lesson to this group (teachers will also be asked to video tape this lesson);

7.      Teachers will then send the data gathered from both groups, along with the video tapes of both classes to Marzano Research Laboratory for analysis.

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact Craig Crisler at (808) 457-6745 or at   Deadline to sign up is March 7, 2012 and study training will take place on March 12, 2012 (if unable to attend this training, we would be happy to schedule a training at your convenience).  Mahalo for your consideration!

Promethean Planet – Best of 2011

I love the end of the year/new year “best of” features.  It’s nice to look back, review, recognize growth and progress, and spotlight the best of the best.  In 2011, Promethean Planet started with 26,000 resources and ended the year with over 50,000 interactive resources.  Also worth noting is the million member milestone achieved in July.  All good signs that the Planet is thriving as a useful, valuable community.  To see the top 10 most downloaded flipcharts and resource packs, click here.  You know these must be high-quality! 

And, not to be missed is the 2011 top 10 Edublog articles.  Here you’ll find tips and strategies pertaining to using iPads in the ActivClassroom, QR codes, comic strips, and more.  Take advantage of these great “summaries” to kick start new thinking in 2012!

December Power User Workshop Recap

On Monday, December 19th, 64 dedicated teachers spent their day at Waipahu High School learning more about the Promethean ActivClassroom. Teachers were treated to presentations created by IAAK specialists as well as teachers from various schools around the island.  The Power User Workshop offered teachers of all skill levels something of value – from learning the basics to discovering new ways to add interactivity and engagement to lessons.  Many thanks to our wonderful teacher presenters, Heather Byrne, Danice Mineshima, Ann Tanaka, Cindy Wong, Judy Tateyama, Liz Castillo, and Midori Burton, who graciously volunteered to share their expertise with others.

Click on the links below to explore the excellent resources shared during the workshop.

Affordances of the IWB

Much of my work within the last few months has been dedicated to better understanding how the affordances of the interactive whiteboard can be leveraged to enhance teaching and learning in innovative ways.  So, really getting beyond the IWB as a fancy presentation tool and exploring ways the technology can support deep, rich collaboration and interaction.  Just to clarify – when I refer to “interaction”, I’m not just thinking about how a student interacts with the board or content at the board but rather interaction among students around content.  There is so much to discuss (and I will continue this thread in future blogs) but today I will share a research article that describes how IWBs can be used to orchestrate classroom dialogue.  After all, an active, noisy classroom filled with dialogue, argument and discussion support learning and engagement.

The article, “Using interactive whiteboards to orchestrate classroom dialogue”, written by Neil Mercer, Sara Hennessy, and Paul Warwick (faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK) was published in Technology, Pedagogy, and Education in July 2010.  The study investigated how teachers could leverage the technical interactivity of the IWB to support dialogic interactivity.  “Dialogic pedagogy” is defined as “… [pedagogy] that actively builds on learners’ contributions, engages both teachers and students in generating and critically evaluating ideas, and encourages explicit reasoning and the joint construction of knowledge.”  Sounds very constructivist, right?  In the study, three teachers (elementary, middle, and secondary) with a level of expertise in IWB use and dialogic teaching participated in training, designed lessons, and then were observed in the classroom.

The authors highlight the technical interactivity of the IWB:

  • Drag and drop
  • Hide and reveal
  • Highlighting
  • Spotlighting
  • Animation (shapes can be rotated, flipped, etc.)
  • Annotation (text and graphical)
  • Storage of all material
  • Feedback
  • Automatic handwriting recognition and text formatting

The connection is then made between the technical interactivity and affordances for learning based on the teachers’ common belief that “…dialogue should make reasoning explicit and support the cumulative co-construction of knowledge and understanding.”  The study findings show that the IWB helped teachers carry out the following pedagogic intentions:

  • Scaffold learning
  • Support the temporal development of learning = reduce the cognitive load of students by focusing attention on key content
  • Involve pupils in the co-construction of knowledge
  • Encourage evaluation and synthesis
  • Develop a learning community
  • Develop pupil-pupil dialogue
  • Support provisionality of students’ evolving ideas
  • Guide lesson flow = pace
  • Develop pupil questioning

The teachers and researchers found that the IWB supported the widening conception of “dialogue” to include the use of “non-verbal dialogue” – the concept that new digital artifacts were created though annotation, drawing, manipulation, linking, sorting, etc. in conjunction with talk.  And, that these digital artifacts capture students’ developing understanding, becoming powerful assessment measures.  This quote captures it all, “Individual and collective thinking was embodied within a series of evolving digital representations that were purposefully manipulated, reformulated, annotated, saved and/or revisited so that meanings were created cumulatively over time through sustained, responsive dialogue.”  Powerful and inspiring findings that highlight the need to go beyond skills-training and pair instructional practice (in this case “dialogic pedagogy”) with the strategic use of the features and functions of the IWB.

November User Group Recap

November’s user group took us to Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Pearl City. The session started off with a fun, getting-to-know-you icebreaker with the use of the ActivExpressions. Then attendees gained invaluable ActivInspire skills from our four teacher presenters – Tori Bautista, Daisy Espiritu, Michael Pa’ekukui, and Teresa Pang! Teachers learned that flipcharts can be:

  1. made on the spot, which in doing so, includes students in the teaching and learning process;
  2. easily downloaded and modified from Promethean Planet; and
  3. created using many of the resources available on the ActivInspire Resource Browser.

Check out two of the flipcharts that were shared:

Creative ways to use ActivExpressions

Check out this cool video about how the Ron Clark Academy makes use of Promethean’s ActivExpressions to differentiate instruction.  The very passionate and energetic founder, Ron Clark, highlights ten ways to creatively use the ActivExpressions.  What struck me?  The pace of learning and the integration of movement.  Powerful stuff.

Free Promethean ActivInspire Webinars

We are pleased to share the release of some exciting Promethean ActivInspire webinars designed to meet the needs of teachers at all levels.  Register to attend any or all of the webinars to refine your ActivInspire skills.  All times are Eastern Standard Time but a recording of the webinar will be sent regardless of actual attendance in the live session.  October offerings are listed below.  To review the full list of sessions, click here.

Wednesday, October 5

8am, Resources Galore, take a Planet tour – Promethean Planet is a great one-stop-shop of resources for educators with over 30,000 ready-made resources. Explore the resources and all the amenities of Promethean Planet from support to professional development. This session is great for new users and experienced users looking to expand their teacher toolboxes.  Click here to register.

11am, Shape Up: 21 ways to use the shape tool – ActivInspire’s shape tool offers a variety of ways to enhance instruction and save time when it comes to flipchart creation. This session will take a closer look at the shape tool by examining 21 ways in which the shape tool can be used in the ActivClassroom. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get “in shape” with ActivInspire!  Click here to register.

1pm, BrainPop & Channel One News InterActiv – If your school has a subscription to BrainPOP, this session will feature ways in which BrainPOP  can enhance instruction using the ActivBoard and Learning Response Devices.


  • Discover the power of BrainPOP & Channel One News InterActiv
  • Utilize the tools in ActivInspire to make interactive lessons that incorporate BrainPop movies
  • Find out how to save time and effort with the readymade resources from Channel One
  • Use the ActiVotes or ActivExpressions along with BrainPOP and Channel One News InterActiv

Click here to register.

4pm, Educate & Elevate – Did you know that you can save time and effort by using assessment in your classroom? In this session, discover the power of formative assessment and learn how to differentiate instruction using learning response devices.


  • Define formative and summative assessment
  • Identify the benefits of assessment
  • Describe best practices of formative assessment
  • Explore good examples of formative assessment using LRS devices

Click here to register.

Wednesday, October 12 

10am, Swing into Action!  Want to make your flipcharts more action packed? This session will explore the action browser and how actions add interactivity and excitement to your flipcharts. Participants will look at some of the most common actions and their educational/curricular applications.


  • Identify and explore the action browser
  • Discover ways to use common actions in your lessons
  • Explore the drag and drop actions

Click here to register.

12pm, Browsers 101 – Have you been using ActivInspire, but find yourself lost? This session will provide you a clear overview of each of the browsers and how to navigate through the program.


  • Identify and explore the browsers in ActivInspire
  • Discover how to effectively use the features of each browser

Click here to register.

3pm, The power of Multimedia – Kids watch on average 3 hours of TV, 2 hours of online content, and 1 hour of video games every day!  Tapping into multiple learning styles via multimedia helps bring learning alive! Explore what brain research tells us about multimedia instruction, and learn how to reach your 21st century learners through the proper use of images, sound, and video.


  • Define multimedia learning and discuss the research
  • Discover how to effectively integrate multimedia in the K-‐12 classroom
  • Recognize how to engage students in the learning process with multimedia

Click here to register.

5pm, Wake Up Your Readers – Tired of the same old, same old? This session will feature tips and tricks to make reading lessons come alive using the ActivBoard.


  • Outline best practices in reading
  • Discuss the research behind using interactive whiteboards in literacy education
  • Discover new ways of using ActivInspire in your reading class
  • Explore online reading resources to use on your ActivBoard

Click here to register.

Monday, October 31

8am, Introduction to ActivInspire – This session is for the teacher that has never used ActivInspire or is transitioning from ActivStudio to ActivInspire for the first time. Participants will learn the main features of ActivInspire including the basic skills to create simple flipcharts.


  • Review the features of the ActivBoard – pens, calibration
  • Become familiar with the ActivInspire interface: Browsers, Menu, Toolbar
  • Learn the basic tools
  • Work with objects and using the object toolbar
  • Add and formatting text
  • Explore Promethean Planet

Click here to register.

10 am, Basic Skills – This session goes beyond the main features of ActivInspire and is for teachers who are familiar with the layout of ActivInspire and the basic tools. Participants will learn about the desktop tools, resource browser and the settings.


  • Review the features of the ActivBoard – dual pens, calibration
  • Use the desktop tools to capture video, images, etc.
  • Explore the resource browser and customize your resources
  • Find & import resources packs from Promethean Planet
  • Identify and utilize the notes browser
  • Import pdf files
  • Explore settings and profiles
  • Modify toolbar by adding/deleting tools

Click here to register.

12pm, Beyond the Basics – This session is for the teacher who is ready to learn more than the basics. Participants will explore the browsers and how to incorporate more interactivity and media into flipcharts.


  • Explore the advanced tools (hammer/wrench functions)
  • Use the on screen recorder
  • Use the object browser- layer objects and use magic ink.
  • Introduce the features of the property browser
  • Assign actions and use the drag and drop action feature
  • Import media and use Zamzar
  • Explore resources on the internet and create web links

Click here to register.

2pm, Advanced Skills – This session is designed for the advanced user. Participants will learn what makes an interactive flipchart and how to incorporate advanced flipchart objects such as containers, restrictors, and actions.


  • Explore the features of the property browser in depth
  • Incorporate advanced skills including containers, restrictors and actions
  • Explore grids and page properties
  • Use gradation with backgrounds and shapes

Click here to register.

Promethean User Group Recaps

Our free Promethean user groups offer teachers an informal opportunity to exchange ideas and share tips and tricks.  I’ll be blogging more about the ideas shared so that more folks will be able to learn and continue to explore.  Here are recaps from August and September:

In August, Honowai teacher, Danice Mineshima, shared the many ways she uses the camera tool in ActivInspire.  Danice showed how she easily creates flipchart lessons by using the camera tool to take pictures of images on the Internet, online worksheets – essentially using it as a screen capture tool to easily integrate images.  With the assistance of other Honowai teachers, our participants were given hands-on time to help master the use of the camera tool.  Thanks to the talented teachers at Honowai!

This month’s user group was held at Mililani Mauka Elementary where folks were treated to not just one but four teacher presenters! Thank you Dave Morishige, Carita Inoue, Gayle Horie, and Johnna Jacobson for sharing your knowledge of ActivInspire. From learning how to import sound and videos to using the ActivBoard with other software programs and hardware peripherals, teachers walked away with lots of useful information to take back to their classrooms. For those of you that were unable to attend, you can download a flipchart example shared in the session.

Join us for our next user group on Wednesday, November 18, 2011 at Our Lady of Good Counsel School from 3:30-5:30 pm.