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Volume 11, Issue 2

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Khan Academy Partners With iTunes U

Khan Academy LogoThe Khan Academy is on a mission with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. Their library of videos covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with videos on finance and history. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer. And they are available for download on iTunes U.

Part of the Apple iTunes Store, iTunes U was created to manage, distribute, and control access to educational audio and video content and PDF files for students. The Khan Academy has its own iTunes U site. Click here to view a sample Khan Academy instructional video.

Click here to find Khan Academy on iTunes U.



APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings.

The Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) program was created to recognize K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with technology in and out of the classroom. That includes working together and with Apple to help bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere. Click here to visit APPitic.

Submitted by Mrs. Jannell Tite, Teacher, Fossum Middle School



Using Blooms Taxonomy in education is a highly effective way to scaffold learning for the students. With the recent popularity and pervasive nature of iOS devices in school districts it is essential for educators to understand how to implement Blooms in the classroom using the apps that are available.

While this list is by no means fully comprehensive, it will assist educators in getting started when implementing iOS devices in the classroom.

This site will change almost daily as it will be updated with new and exciting apps! Click here to visit bloomsapps.

Click here for the Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Pyramid

Learning Without Limits Project

iPad Boosts EfficiencyThe "Learning Without Limits" project is a pilot program that the Special Education department is implementing for the 2011-2012 school year. This project was designed to provide the Special Education teachers and students with an iPad 2 to support student learning through the use of technology.

The "Learning Without Limits" project rolled out over 500 iPad 2s to students in 20 elementary schools and 7 middle schools. These mobile devices are the ideal teaching and learning tool for special needs children. It offers interactive applications for every subject, on the go online access, universal access features, and limitless educational opportunities for students of varying disabilities. Click to see the video.

A special thanks to the Director of Special Education, Sherry Mayes and Yelithza Gonzalez from Seguin Elementary for giving us the opportunity to visit her classroom.

TLC3 News and Information

"Transforming Learning in the Classroom, Campus and Community"

TLC<sup>3</sup>McAllen ISD launches TLC3! TLC3 combines Challenge Based Learning and Mobile Learning to increase student achievement and prepare our student to be college and career ready. Challenge Based Learning encourages students to work collaboratively to identify, research propose, and implement a solution to a relevant issue. Mobile Learning empowers our students to master the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Mobile devices will be issued to students to allow for increased access to information and electronic resources, creating digital content, and access to communication and collaboration tools. Learning is extended from school to home and students have the opportunity learn anywhere anytime. For more information please read below:

      • To access the TLC3 website: go to the District website or any campus website, select District Resources For, Staff, TLC3
      • TLC3 training will be offered to all teachers beginning January 2012. A training schedule will be provided via email.
      • TLC3 FAQs – answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding TLC3.
      • TLC3 Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il6XB1wGEiU

Adobe to Stop Developing Flash for Mobile Devices

On November 9, 2011, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that Adobe will no longer develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile devices. Adobe acknowledged that HTML5 is the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. They have shifted their focus to work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers. HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. 

While Adobe will continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations, they are abandoning further development of their Flash Player for such platforms as Android and Blackberry. Their upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook will be the last version Adobe will distribute.

To read Adobe's entire announcement, click here.

Teaching American History with iPad2s

Social Studies Technology Cadre

Teaching American History with iPad2sMcAllen ISD's Social Studies Department, along with Federal Programs, is excited to offer their Teaching American History Grant (TAH Grant) members an opportunity to be part of a new Social Studies Technology Cadre. Every TAH Grant member has received an iPad 2 for use in their class to enhance instruction in social studies.

The TAH Grant is a professional development federal program that strives to expand teachers' knowledge in their subject and assist teachers as they integrate engaging strategies in their class. This is the third year of the TAH Grant and it is made up of 45 elementary, middle school and high school teachers led by Project Director/Social Studies Coordinator Mr. Mick West and Mrs. Clarissa Abbott -TAH Grant Coach. Click for more.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Department
Enhances Teaching & Learning

Aisha Gonzalez, Business CTE Teacher, McAllen High SchoolMcAllen ISD's bold TLC3 initiative benefits the CTE Program by providing Apple iPad 2s to the CTE teachers and eventually their students. This semester 67 CTE high school teachers will each receive an iPad 2 for use in their classrooms during the first phase of this initiative.

According to Ms. Lilia Sandoval-Silva, CTE Director, this technology would be used during career fairs, job shadowing, and to video record guest speakers. She anticipates that an ever-increasing amount of curriculum will be available to students online. Also, communication with employers, and other students via Skype and FaceTime will be facilitated. She also notes that curriculum found on the Internet is usually up to date and there is no need to wait 10 years for a new textbook.

An abundance of "Apps" are also available to aid students in all areas of study. TLC3 gives the students and teachers the tools that enable and inspire them to produce challenged based learning projects. Learning and teaching is no longer limited to the walls of a classroom. Click to see the video.

Digital Learning for Bilingual Students

iPads for the Bilingual Students

The Bilingual Department at McAllen ISD recently purchased about 90 iPads for their students at each of the three high schools. These iPads were purchased specifically for the recent immigrant students through a federal grant. Each High Intensity Language Development (HILD) teacher at the three high schools received a class set of iPads at the beginning of November of this year, as well as one iPad for each English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher.

      • McHi: Leticia Rivera (HILD) and Melissa Garza (ESOL)
      • Memorial: Lupita Leal (HILD) and Doraelia Lazos (ESOL)
      • Rowe: Laura Perez (HILD) and Pedro Torres (ESOL)

Teachers received training on how to utilize the iPads to accelerate language development by their students.  Several applications, most of them free, can be used for students to transition in a more engaging and effective manner into English.  Other apps and online courses continue to support conceptual development in their native language. Moreover, students have easy access to dictionaries, translators, visuals, and videos that help make English content comprehensible for English Language Learners.  These devices make rigorous second language learning more motivating for this new generation of students. We had an opportunity to interview Ms. Karina Chapa, Bilingual Program Director, and Leticia Rivera, classroom teacher to learn more about this initiative. Click to see the video.

From the Director's Desk

Carmen Garcia, Director for Instructional Technology, cgarcia@mcallenisd.netNEW Technology Application (TA) TEKS!

The NEW TA-TEKS will go into effect beginning the 2012-2013 school year.

The first TA-TEKS were adopted in 1997, but many things have changed in technology since then. The TA-TEKS are the standards that our students will be held accountable for in technology literacy. They describe what students should know and be able to do using technology. The NEW TA-TEKS includes six major strands:

  1. technology operations and concepts
  2. digital citizenship
  3. research and information acquisition
  4. critical thinking, problem solving problems, and decision making
  5. communication and collaboration
  6. creativity and innovation.

NEW high school TA-TEKS courses include:

      • Digital Forensics
      • Game Programming and Design
      • Mobile Application Development
      • Digital Communications in the 21st Century
      • Digital Video and Audio Design
      • Robotics Programming and Design.

To view the NEW TA-TEKS for grades K-8 and a complete list of NEW high school TA-TEKS courses click here.

The District TLC3 (Transforming Learning in the Classroom, Campus, and Community) framework supports the integration of the TA-TEKS into all curriculum areas at all grade levels. The TLC3 framework provides students access to relevant technologies, tools, resources and services for individualized instruction 24/7 and students are encouraged to use information and communication technologies to collaborate, construct knowledge and provide solutions to real-world problems.

The integration of the Technology Applications TEKS (Chapter 126, Subchapters A – D) is required by Texas law. The TA-should be added to your written curriculum and included in best instructional practices.

Carmen G. Garcia, Director Instructional Technology

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