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New Zealand Educators visit Escondido

posted May 2, 2014, 8:38 AM by Krystle Miller   [ updated May 18, 2014, 9:34 AM by Tom Borer ]
Mrs. Jerotz, a fifth grade teacher at Central Elementary, greeted her 5th grade students as they shuffled in after recess and hurried to their assigned seats. Fifteen international visitors also shuffled in, with enthusiasm matching that of the students. The self-proclaimed “edutourist” group, consisting of teachers and principals from New Zealand, stood along the perimeter of the classroom hoping to learn about and replicate the success of Escondido’s technology programs. “iREAD is famous in New Zealand,” said group leader Innes Kennard.

The students listened as their teacher spoke to their classroom visitors. She outlined the class’ iPod to iPad journey, with particular emphasis on how the technology tools are used in class to accelerate and enhance learning. Then, students demonstrated their most innovative iPad learning routines, as their visitors moved around the room and spoke to the kids. At one point, one of the New Zealand principals was using his own iPad to pinpoint the location of his school on Google Earth for a student who inquired.

The New Zealand team makes a yearly trek to Escondido and visited 3 classrooms at Reidy Creek Elementary and 4 classrooms at Central Elementary on Monday. They noted that evidence of student engagement with technology tools is apparent in every EUSD classroom they observed. Highlights included watching Kindergarteners writing code, observing 5th graders showing off student-made movies and digital state reports, and sharing history and experiences with EUSD students and teachers.