ActivInspire Summer Institute


One of the projects my team and I have been working during this Summer of Learning is the ActivInspire Summer Institute.  Currently, we have around 600 Promethean Interactive Whiteboards in the district.  Last year Promethean released the newest version of their software, ActivInspire.  Since the switch from ActivStudio (the previous version) to ActivInspire is a fairly large jump, we’ve waited until this summer to make our migration.  Starting tomorrow teachers from across the district will attend a week-long institute to learn all the ins-and-outs of ActivInspire.  Since we have an engaged and interested audience we also plan to spend some time discussing multimedia instruction and for me, this is where things get really exciting.

Last school year my team worked with a group of teachers and administrators from four different school sites, representing elementary through high school, and Dr. Debra Pickering from the Marzano Research Laboratory.  The focus of our work targeted the creation of a language of instruction for the effective use of IWBs (and eventually other technology) in the classroom.  Using texts, such as Multimedia Learning, Presentation Zen and Slide:ology, combined with study findings from Marzano Research Laboratory our group created a rubric affectionately known as “Its Not About the Bling” where the first letter of each word stands for a section of the rubric.

  • I: Interactions with knowledge and people
  • N: Non-Linguistic Representations complementing the text
  • A: Assessments to measure and improve learning
  • T: Thinking Skills for deepening, and meaningful use of, knowledge
  • B: Build understanding and proficiency

Before any of you dismiss this work as not being applicable because you don’t use an interactive whiteboard I suggest reviewing the rubric.  Go ahead, click on the link.  I’ll wait.  As you can see, if you currently use PowerPoint, Keynote, or any other presentation software the information in this rubric can help you and your teachers create more effective and powerful multimedia lessons.  The document is a work in progress, however over the next few days we’ll be honing in on the Non Linguistic Representations portion.  Take a moment to look over the handout for this week’s institute to learn more.  There you will also find some nice summary documents for Multimedia Learning, Presentation Zen, Slide:ology, and the Non-Designer’s Presentation Book.


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