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Douglas County’s only Apple Distinguished Educator opens iBooks for students

2012 Apple Global Institute participants at Blarney Castle in Ireland. Photo by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Bill Frakes.
 
HIGHLANDS RANCH – If you love to read the latest romance novel, self-help book or those old classics on your Nook or perhaps your iPad, you know that the old paperback book is quickly being replaced. What you may not know is that Douglas County kids are learning how to create the cool, interactive books which are taking their place.
 
At Trailblazer Elementary, Sherri Clemens guides kids through the process of creating iBooks, digital books built with Apple software.
 
“The kids are creating this video media, pictures and [integrating] their voices. They can put it all together in their books,” Clemens said.
 
She believes the iBooks has been a more authentic learning experience for students, compared to the reports and dioramas of the past. The books can be shared and viewed on iPads and even sold through the Apple iTunes store, which gives the project a “real world” feel for students.
 
“You’re not just having kids create things to create things. They’re creating it for something they know is out there. It’s amazing,” Clemens said.
 
In most cases the students’ work is only shared within the classroom and with their families.
 
Over the summer, Clemens had the opportunity to learn about the latest features of iBooks directly from the source—Apple. She was one of only about 200 educators from 22 different countries selected to attend the company’s annual Global Institute in Cork, Ireland.
 
“It’s the most amazing thing you can imagine. You come in and the energy in the group and you can feel everyone is so excited. It’s about technology and education,” Clemens said.
 
All of the attendees were Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE), an elite group of teachers who are working to transform teaching and learning, using Apple products.
 
“It’s a very humbling experience, because you walk in and think, ‘I can’t believe I’m a part of this group.’ I’m a part of working with these people that are amazing. Some of these people are people that you see in the resources we share in our classes. The guy who does Google Lit Trips is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Kathy Schrock, Jason Ohler—who is a huge digital storyteller guru—these big names,” Clemens said. “It’s a very driven group and a very motivating group.”
 
In addition to a little sightseeing, some lessons and a lot of networking, Clemens and the group got to work. She was teamed up with educators from Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia to create resources for teachers on how to use iBooks in their classrooms. The team is hoping to have their work done and available to educators around the world by October.
 
This is Clemens’ fourth institute, but the first that she has attended overseas. Only ADEs were invited to this Global Institute and they had to apply for the privilege, submitting a one minute video and other materials that prove that they have continued their work in the four ADE roles: advocate, advisor, author and ambassador.
 
Clemens is the only ADE in the Douglas County School District and represents the ADE program well, sharing her knowledge and expertise not only at Trailblazer Elementary, but throughout the District.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.