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A Unique Five Day Marathon in Hardware, Software and Humanware

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Summercore 2.012

Summercore 2.012 meets Web 2.0. Do you want your faculty excited about blogs, wikis, and RSS? Or working on digital storytelling with bubbleshare, flickr, and jaycut? Or using Voicethread for a classroom project? What about creating a journey in Google Earth or acquiring strategies for incorporating YouTube into the curriculum?

Summercore 2.012 will include all these Web 2.0 skills, plus strategies for using the Smartboard and the notebook software, laptops in the classroom, and searching for the best web sites available. The key theme for Summercore 2012 is how to create a Classroom 2.0. Our focus will be on revolutionizing the dynamics of the use of technology. There is nothing more fun or more exciting than integrating the world of Web 2.0 into every grade level!

Summercore: What Is It?

Summercore is a unique 5 day 33 hour computer workshop conducted by Lynne Schalman and Steve Bergen to energize teachers into becoming far more involved in integrating technology into the classroom. Offered since 1985, Summercore has educated over 2770 teachers and administrators (mostly from independent schools); Summercore focuses on both skills and issues. Because we divide the skill sessions into JV and Varsity groups, Summercore works for both novices and tech coordinators (and everyone in between). In the spirit of independent school philosophy and best practices, each Summercore session stays fairly small (around 25 people) so that we can address the computer needs of each participant in a meaningful way. Through lectures, round-table philosophical discussions, numerous hands-on skill sessions and experienced teaching, Summercore has empowered each and every participant to want to return to her/his school to be part of the essential humanware needed to achieve meaningful integration.

The essence of our Summercore philosophy is that every teacher today has a role and responsibility in the technological evolution/revolution going on. Most of our schools have more than enough hardware and software but not enough computer-using teachers. SummerCORE (conference on reforming education) focuses on the one component not sold by Apple and Dell -- people -- with a goal of increasing the humanware component in Independent Schools. The total cost of Summercore is $1166, with $333 being the deposit at time of application and the balance of $800 due by June 1. More details in the application form.

Summercore will increase your skills in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Inspiration, integrating Smartboards, working with multimedia, creating web pages, adding laptops to your curriculum, searching the web effectively, discovering curriculum-perfect web sites, working with blogs, wikis, podcasts, and videoconferencing, and creating lesson plans to effectively integrate technology into your teaching strategies.

Over 2682 independent school people (teachers, administrators, tech coordinators) have attended Summercore since it began in 1985. Summercore is probably for you!

But fundamentally, Summercore is about humanware and helping to move all teachers and administrators along. We pride ourselves in helping teachers with practical strategies for classroom usage, dealing with laptops and in providing insights into the big picture issues (gender equity, plagiarism, honesty) that are never about hardware and software, but always about teachers, students, curriculum and faculty training.

Because the best way to evaluate a training program to hear from colleagues, we have posted 33 reviews (short version or long version) from some participants. By the way, Summercore is featured in the excellent book "Oh What a Web Weave, Computer Technology in Secondary Schools" by Tim Hilman and Craig Thorn IV, published by Avocus Publishing.

S U M M E R C O R E ?

Read this note shared by Alisa Eng, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support at Annunication Orthodox School (Houston TX) after Summercore 2013 for 18 of her teachers:
"The Summercore workshop exceeded my expectations of what I had envisioned. I have never seen my teachers so engaged and all on the same page where technology is concerned. We are starting our technology initiative in the right direction thanks to you all!"
Read this note shared by Bob Vitalo, head of Berkeley Carroll School (Brooklyn NYC) and Summercore '91 and '08 alum who then brought Summercore to his school in 2009:
"Steve and Lynne at Summercore do an incredible job of addressing the different levels of all participants. At my session we had individuals ranging from very reluctant, very occasional users to someone who was the head of IT for a university. At the end of the week each person said it was the best workshop they had ever attended. Of even greater value is to see Steve and Lynne in action. Yes the week is about technology integration, and you learn tons about that, but you also get to see two master teachers at work and everyone sees how to be an even more effective teacher."
Read this note shared by Sandra Lipkind, Technology Integrator Middle and High School from UNIS in NYC who attended Summercore 2012:
"I loved that the groups went at different paces. I often find that professional development classes don't move fast enough for me and then I get bored and start multitasking. Then, I miss something important. The varsity room, where I spent most of the week, moved at a great pace and allowed us lots of time for hands-on. Overall reaction to Summercore? I loved it! This was an amazing experience and I made so many wonderful contacts. It was, by far, the best PD I have ever attended. I am so excited about bringing more web 2.0 to my school. I already used Twitter as a PD tool for myself but I only viewed other people's tweets. Being at Summercore has allowed me to build my PLN (personal learning network) and have people to follow me. Now that I have a following, I have started sending my own tweets! "
Read this note shared by Douglas Brophy, Academic Dean and History Teacher from The Spence School in NYC who attended Summercore 2012:
"One of the best professional experiences in which I have engaged. All participants are leaving feeling empowered, challenged and excited, and are set to bring these feelings to their own teaching as well as that of their colleagues. The JV/Varsity splits created a safe place for us to orient and learn, and then build as we went forward on the specific learning task. The Summercore Primer was a terrific blend of content, organization and healthy irreverence. The categories are well constructed, it is all easy on the eye, and the overall impact is empowering. I will return to the Primer regularly. By focusing on how to teach a topic, we were compelled to learn the relevant skills even more deeply. This process resulted in an engaging Carnival. The Carnival was fantastic: faculty felt empowered both in their teaching and learning new material, the sharing amplified the group's sense of community, and we are ready to now go forward."
Read this note posted on the Internet by Marti Weston, Lower/Middle School Computer Coordinator at Georgetown Day School and Summercore '86 alum:
"Over the last five years I have concluded that the only practical way to train people is one-on-one. In a pinch, it can be one trainer with a couple of people. The one really successful group training situation that I have been to is run by Steve Bergen and Lynne Schalman who work wonders with almost every person who attends their training, no matter what their background."

Read this quote by George Ellis Jr., Computer Coordinator, St. John the Baptist School, Silver Spring, MD and Summercore '98 alum:
"I am a 1998 Summercore grad and I always rave about the program. I tell every educator I meet that Summercore was the single most worthwhile computer related course I have ever taken. That might seem strange coming from a person who has worked with computers since 1991 but it is true. I have greatly benefitted from Summercore and I am happy that you still offer it. "
Read this quote by Connie Tobolsky, Humanware Development/Admissions, Horace Mann School, Riverdale, NY posted on a listserv in response to a general inquiry for "Summer tech course ideas":
"No question - the best of the best is Summercore run by Steve Bergen and Lynne Schalman. Steve was just hired as tech director for Chapin School so will be holding 2 of his 5 day sessions there. I've gone twice. It IS AWESOME. "
Read this quote by Jill Koch, Technology Coordinator Crystal Springs Uplands School, Hillsborough, CA posted on a listserv in Spring 2002:
"As I've told my headmaster and all the teachers at my school, if you have just enough money to spend it on one workshop or conference or something for staff development, you should look into a workshop called SUMMERCORE by Lynne Schalman and Steve Bergen. There is a little bit of something for everyone. This week long workshop was very well organized, very productive, appropriate for all needs, backgrounds, technology levels and most importantly, informative and highly fun! It's hard to know where to spend your money so this is just a suggestion. I am writing this because I was recently asked by 3 different people about workshops that I would recommend and this is the one -- hands down -- that I think is well worth the money, time and energy! "
Read this quote by Peter Gow, Academic Dean, Beaver Country Day School, MA posted on a listserv in Spring 2003:
" Also popular is the Summercore program, with 2 sessions in July in NYC and 1 in August in Florida. It's a comprehensive exposure to everything, and the text/resource book alone is worth the price of admission. My spouse did this a few years ago and became a fierce techie! "
Read this quote by Julie Nemser, Math Dept Head, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth TX:
"Summercore will always remain one of the great experiences in my professional life."
Read this quote by Carol Stefany, Technology Director, St. Mary's Episcopal Day School, Tampa FL, Spring 2006:
"I attended Summercore several years ago up in Boston. I was fairly new to teaching technology at the time and had just assumed the job of technology director of our school. Right off the bat, the first day, we were given ideas to take straight back into the classroom! One of the more pleasant surprises was that they took software that we already had and showed how we could use it in more creative ways. As a technology director, I was also given ideas as to how we could help our other subject teachers enhance their curriculums with this same software. I learned about new software, new websites, new webquests (they were a new phenomenon at the time), and new computer terms ... a true marathon of learning ... but in a relaxed, humorous, and non-stressful atmosphere. As a side note, Steve and Lynne, are two of the wittiest and funniest people that I have ever met. They make the workshop so much fun with their antidotes, their comments about their favorites Boston teams, and their passion for their favorite group of people at "The Boston Home" (a living facility for adults with physical disabilities).

I am returning to Summercore this summer because I feel that I have "become a bit stale" as a technology director. My days are mostly filled with "fixing" and I have not kept up with some of the latest and greatest resources for our computer and classroom teachers. St. Mary's has sent at least 4 teachers to Summercore every year for the past 3 years and will be sending 4 more this year. It is, bar none, the best computer workshop in the country. We are very fortunate here at St. Mary's here in St. Petersburg and Tampa ... that it is right here in our own backyard!"

Read this July 2005 quote by Bert Harrell, Theology Dept Chair & English Faculty, Episcopal High School, Jacksonville FL:
"I have been to various and sundry kinds of training, both technology and other. This is far and away the VERY BEST training session I have attended. It is obvious that Steve and Lynne are passionate about this work. It is also obvious that the pace and content of the week has been fine-tuned to a considerable degree. While it is a large amount of content to cover, we really did it in a way that has engaged my interest and allowed me to actually learn how to do some things I had never done before. The hands-on emphasis makes the lessons sink in and come alive."
Read this July 2005 quote by Amy Brill, Grade 8 English Teacher, Shorecrest, St. Petersburg FL:
"Summercore ROCKS! I think this course is not only great for teachers and administrators to take, but it would be awesome for the general public as well. The courses made technology fun and basically took the scary part out of learning new technology. I will take so much back to the classroom and to my life from this course especially how to format margins correctly in Microsoft Word! I also won't copy cds from my friends anymore. Steve and Lynne, you made this course so much fun."
Read this July 2005 quote by Nancy Prendergast, Grades 7-12 Latin Teacher, Episcopal High School, Jacksonville FL:
"This was, perhaps, one of the best computer training programs I have ever been to. Having to do assignments forced me to try programs I hadn't used before, and also helped me learn even more about programs I use every day. I really liked Lynne's quote that it is okay to look stupid sometimes. This is the first time I have left a computer workshop with the intention to enthusiastically use the skills learned. Thank you, Steve and Lynne!"
Read this July 2005 quote by Kim Cady, Middle School Math, The Canterbury School of Florda, St. Petersbury FL:
"This was an excellent course that I would recommend to anyone. I have been self taught so I learned a great deal about programs I thought I already had mastered! I also liked being exposed to a MAC which I have never used. The hands on experience is invaluable. My suggestion would be to allow work to be done in groups or alone in some programs. I would have learned some programs better, such as Word, if I could have done the exercises alone."
Read this July 2005 quote by Kristi Hewitt, Middle School Math Teacher, St. Mary's Episcopal Day School, Tampa FL:
"I absolutely loved the teaching style of Steve and Lynne. They made it interesting and never made you feel scared or intimidated. I loved learning about the practical aspects and how they apply to your classroom."
Read this July 2005 quote by Rachel Rankin, Grade 4 Teacher, Shorecrest, St. Petersburg FL:
"I had an intense and wonderful learning experience at Summercore. I think the "core" part is taken directly from "hardcore" because it was a rigorous program. The material was presented in a very interesting, engaging way, and I feel truly changed by the experience. I plan on getting much more adventurous with my computer in the future. Thanks, Lynne and Steve, for everything."
Read this August 2005 quote by Molly Burns, Kinkaid School, Houston TX:
"What a great week! I came feeling doubtful as to how well I'd fare and am leaving feeling not necessarily competent, but confident. Steve and Lynne were a great team - how they have the energy to do this week after week is beyond me, but I'm glad that they do! "
Read this August 2005 quote by Kathryn Wade, Kinkaid School, Houston TX:
"Overall, it was simply a wonderful experience. I was impressed with the presentation and support. The LONG hours flew by. I liked having it at our school so that we now have in house support. As I wrote on a pink card, but will repeat, in 42 years of teaching, I've attended lots of workshops but was always application and product focused and overwhelemed. Here I was well aware of process process process. I learned some teaching skills just by having it modeled, rather than being told. At first I was oppositionally defiant ... what can I learn at MY age, WHY should I learn it so close to retirement. Two of my faculty evaluation goals last year were to improve learning differences techniques and technology improvement. This course helped me to continue those goals with a winsome outcome. I appreciate the staff, tech, and support. I feel more confident to try to take risk and learn some new things. I liked the pink card idea and will use it with 9th graders, the ask three, and the interactive environment. I appreciate the energy of Steve and Lynne. Great job y'all. Feel a hug! "
Read this August 2005 quote by Elaine Calaway, Kinkaid School, Houston TX:
"I have learned so much over the course of this week. There's much I can't yet do, but I have a sense now of my own ability to "be a 12 year old" and a sense of how possible -- even relatively simple -- most of the skills are. Steve and Lynne, your teamwork is a treat to behold! The eternal student in me has been well nourished. "
Read this August 2005 quote by Sandra Derby, Kinkaid School, Houston TX:
"What a terrific week! I really enjoyed every aspect of this. I am leaving with lots of new information, lots of new skills, but mostly, a renewed sense of boldness to try new things, to experiement with new things, and to ask my own students to guide me through some of my learning. I really enjoyed being with my colleagues. I was particularly impressed with our student teachers -- they were terrific!!! Knowledgeable, of good humor, and really, very good teachers! I have always respected and appreciated the work of our Net Ops folks -- but I have to tell you, I am so grateful for their interest, their care, their knowlege, and their real commitement to all of us, our students, and our teaching. I feel lucky to know them and to have them as such incredible resources."
Read this August 2005 quote by Dana Brown, Kinkaid School, Houston TX:
"This week has been a wonderful experience. I did not approach the course with the fear and trepedation I would have because friends who have come before me dispelled those fears. Your reputation preceded you and includes the fact that anyone at any experience level can participate in Summercore and leave fortified with dozens of new computer skills. This week has been life changing for me. My mantra has become "The computer is my friend!" I loved the concept of JV vs Varsity. That certainly enabled me to progress by leaps and bounds. This is how all teaching / learning should be structured!!! What also worked for me was the fact that you came to our school site. For personal reasons, I would not have gotten on a plane and come to NY. The other important fact is that MORE of us got the training because of the travel / lodging savings. I enjoyed the lectures, the nightly readings, and the fact that so much ground was covered. You honored our preferences for carnival and the PROCESS of preparing was invaluable. I loved getting to work with the other divisions! "
Read this August 2005 quote by Connie Alexandre, Middle School French Teacher, Hockaday School, Dallas TX:
"Summercore is a state of mind, as well as an unforgetable, hands-on learning experience run by two stellar leaders. It requires embracing the unknown with a willingness to risk, as well as enough endurance to continue on even if one is have a "bad techie day." There is no doubt that thanks to Steve and Lynne's patience, my fear of making a mistake has diminished, but my eagerness to try and push myself technically has increased. You will never again fear the computer if you have the opportunity to "graduate" from a Summercore experience. Thank you so much, Lynne and Steve. You are incredibly gifted. Your contributions will remain long after you leave our campus!"
Read this August 2005 quote by "Diane Glaser, English 8 Teacher, Hockaday School, Dallas TX:
"I loved your organization, energy, good humor, and professionalism. Your personalities and teaching styles certainly complimented one another and made it more fun for us. Once again, a big thank you; I learned an incredible amount of great "stuff" while at the same time having fun!!"
Read this August 2005 quote by Norm Dumaine, English Teacher, Hockaday School, Dallas TX:
"I especially appreciated the "teacher modelling" that occurred during the workshops. This helped me better understand how to put the use of computers in the classroom into perspective with it being an educational tool rather than a distraction from the important job of teaching/learning. The many helpful hints about gaining student attention were extremely valuable. Much was introduced during the week -- smartboard, inspiration, webquest, powerpoint, etc., but we were always given some practice time after a new concept was introduced. The openness to questions of all types, a willingness to review concepts, and a focused, organized approach to the week made this a wonderfully worthwhile experience for me."

Read this August 2006 entry from the blog of Bob Irving, Middle School Technology Coordinator, Lancaster Country Day School, PA.

Read this June 2006 entry from the blog of Andrew Gardner who is on the tech staff of The School (associated with Columbia University) in NYC.