D211 Post: Anatomage Table Provides New Resource for Biology Students

Students at Palatine High School study the bones of the skull on the new Anatomage Table.

            Students at Palatine High School now have a new way to study biology thanks to a device called an Anatomage table.  The table allows students to explore 3-dimensional images of various aspects of human anatomy.

            “The biggest advantage is just application, and the amount of different things you can do with this,” said Christian Keller, a biology teacher at Palatine High School. 

            The table uses images of actual cadavers to provide students with a real-life view of the human body.  Students have the ability to view the body at every level.  The latest update to the table included a variety of injuries, which allows students to see the impact beyond the surface.

            Keller said the table allows the students to cut into various sections while allowing them to manipulate the view.

            Senior Sarah Jasonowicz said the table is a great asset when she and fellow students are doing practical exercises. 

            “You’re able to see [the body] in a life size form,” she said.  “It has helped me with practicals and tests.  You can ask the table a question by tapping on the bones or muscles and it will name it for you.”

            The interactive images of actual cadavers were one aspect which has helped senior Stephanie Bender in studying for tests.

            “Seeing it in life makes it easier to picture on yourself,” Bender said.  “It’s like math, you don’t know what you’re doing until you connect it to something real world.”

            Bender and Jasonowicz both plan to pursue medical careers after college.  They both feel having this table in high school helps them prepare for college classes.

Students at Palatine High School quiz each other on the bones of the skull during a biology class. Students are using the school’s new Anatomage table to verify their answers.

            “This is definitely what I am going to see later in life,” said Bender.  “I am going to have a head start.”

            Jasonowich plans to eventually become a bio-medical engineer.  She said this table gives her a taste of what she will need to know later.

            “My ideal job would be doing prosthetics,” she said.  Seeing bones and how they attach and all the muscles I will need to learn later is great.”

            The school purchased the table shortly before the beginning of the school year, and Keller said he exploring more options to implement it into future classes.

            “This first year I got it into the bones and muscles where it can be an additional resource,” he said.  “But, just thinking about next year, and how can we build in case studies?  How can we make it so it can be part of discussions?  The possibilities going forward are very exciting.”

FHS Featured in ‘EdTech Magazine’ For Helping Students Use Tech to Advance

Fremd High School was recently featured in EdTech Magazine. The article explores how innovative technology is helping students become career ready. Read an excerpt below:

In the past, students in Steve Elza’s automotive classes at William Fremd High School in Palatine, Ill., had to take turns using a diagnostic scanning tool that cost the school up to $8,000. Today, the teens use an inexpensive device that connects via Bluetooth to the ­tablets they all carry.

“Today’s cars have 100 or more computers in them,” says Elza. “We have to have computers to work on them.” That’s just one of the ways technology is transforming automotive education at Fremd.

When the district deployed tablets, students in career and technical tracks were among the most enthusiastic adopters, says Fremd’s Technology Coordinator Keith Sorensen.

“Devices changed the automotive program the most,” he says. “Students film or take photos each step of the way. They are really good at documenting their work and explaining it.”

Elza, who also coaches the school’s Hot Rodders of Tomorrow team and was named the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year, says all the software the students use is online.

“When they look up a torque spec for a brake system, they use our online software and find that information right on their tablets,” he says. “They also use computers to do 3D modeling of parts.”

In addition to automotive classes, Fremd offers students the chance to learn about building construction, engineering, electronics and woodworking. This sort of applied technology instruction was once called “vocational,” and it was seen by many as a place to put students with limited academic skills.

But today, career and technical education programs prepare students for both college and the workplace. (Some of Elza’s students go to $18-an-hour jobs after graduation, while others pursue four-year degrees.) And, as many of these career paths become more technical in nature, school districts are investing in technology to help their students keep pace with career demands.

To read the full article, click here: https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/07/career-focused-schools-use-technology-help-students-advance

District 211 Student Committee Preps to Introduce ‘Digital Democracy’ to Peers

HEHS Seniors and Digital Democracy Committee Members Nathalie Castro (left) and Thalia Espinoza (right) present the Digital Democracy Declarative Statements poster to Assistant Principal Joshua Schumacher (center).

HEHS Seniors and Digital Democracy Committee Members Nathalie Castro (left) and Thalia Espinoza (right) present the Digital Democracy Declarative Statements poster to Assistant Principal Joshua Schumacher (center).

Several District 211 students from each high school collaborated on a Digital Democracy Committee, a student-led group to discuss, create awareness, and develop expectations for best practices and behavior while using technology both in and outside of the classroom. Students in District 211 will introduce these guidelines in a presentation on Sept. 11.

The group designed the follow declarative statements to encourage positive behaviors while using technology:

  1. Think before posting.
  2. Abide by classroom technology expectations.
  3. Use personal social apps and games outside of class time.
  4. Ask before you share pictures, take video or record another person.
  5. Be original, be honest, avoid cheating.
  6. Remember, your iPad is school issued. Keep it clean.

District 211 Publications Assistant Becky Rolph designs the Digital Democracy poster, which will be introduced on Sept. 11.

District 211 Publications Assistant Becky Rolph designs the Digital Democracy poster, which will be introduced on Sept. 11.


District 211 will present Digital Democracy on Sept. 11.



Please watch the Digital Democracy trailer below created by the committee. Make sure to check the D211 Post for Digital Democracy updates.



District 211 Presents Updated Instructional Vision and Direction Plan

college and career readiness graphicIn 2011, Township High School District 211 created a plan and vision that would ensure all of its students are college and career ready when they graduate. Since implementing that plan and making significant progress with student learning, the District has revisited its instructional vision and direction, and has developed new categories to work toward student success.

The Instructional Vision and Direction plan was presented to the Board of Education at its meeting on Nov. 14. The plan outlines goals and ways of meeting college and career readiness goals for the future in five different areas: Critical Learning Standards (CLSs); Global Competitive Skills; Non-Stop Learning; Community and Collaboration; and Active Student Citizenship.

“The District’s Instructional Vision drives all that we do,” said Dan Cates, superintendent-elect in District 211. “Our calling is to make sure that every student from every community and background has the skills and opportunities to compete with anyone in the world. Our teachers, coaches, and administrators create these opportunities every day.”

Since the Instructional Vision was presented to the Board two years ago, individuals throughout the District have contributed to solidifying the District’s CLSs and increasing the rigor of instruction, infusing technology in the classroom and beyond, and creating more pathways for dual credit and career certifications.

“All this has occurred while responding to a growing number of students who commonly enter our doors with significant challenges in their own lives outside of school,” Cates said. “It is the care, support and high expectations of our staff that make all the difference.”

Cates said with the combined input of principals and their leadership teams, the updated instructional vision sets a strong course for the coming years. The District will continue to focus its work around the CLSs and helping students develop skills to be competitive in any workforce or college. Though these are many, they include skills such as collaboration and creative, critical problem-solving. Drawing largely upon technology, the District will look for any ways possible to help create non-stop learning opportunities and will continue the expansion of technology throughout District 211 schools and for the entire student-body.

“Our own collaboration – both in our PLTs and with our local communities – will be essential to continue our progress,” Cates said. “We recognize that professional development will be a critical foundation. Our past is bright and future will only continue to grow brighter if we build upon our current course.”

For more information and specifics about the Instructional Vision and Plan, please read the report in BoardDocs here.

District 211 Awarded Motorola Innovation Grant for STEM Programs

District 211 logoSeveral students in High School District 211’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs (STEM) will see increased opportunities due to a recent grant that was awarded to the District.

District 211 was the recipient of a $40,000 grant for Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), and the Biomedical Engineering: an integrated approach to foundational learning in the twenty first century. The grant is part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Through the grant, District 211 will provide more than 200 students in Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), and the Biomedical Engineering Programs, with enhanced learning opportunities, including career exploration. The Innovation Generation Local Impact grant will support three new courses in the Applied Technology Department:  Advanced Manufacturing Technology Level 1, PLTW (Project Lead the Way) Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and PLTW Biotechnical Engineering.

“The Motorola Solutions Foundation supports innovative, hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math education programs,” said Terri Busch, assistant superintendent for instruction in District 211.  “The curricular goals of all three courses include providing educational pathways that allow our students to learn more about career opportunities in STEM-related fields through hands-on, interactive experiences.”

Since 2007, the Motorola program has provided $3.4 million in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs, supporting more than 400 school, museum and nonprofit programs across the United States and Canada. The Innovation Generation program awards funds to organizations such as District 211 that foster and support STEM initiatives for teachers and U.S. preschool through university students – especially girls and underrepresented minorities.

“We are so honored to partner with organizations like District 211 who are helping to create the world’s future innovators and technology professionals,” said Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “As a company dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, Motorola Solutions could not be more honored to support programs such as District 211.”

Beyond funding, District 211 will receive ongoing support from Motorola Solutions employee volunteers, who will act as mentors, tutors, and experts in STEM careers.

For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants programs visit the website.

VIDEO: One-to-One Pilot Program Update

As the world advances at an incredible pace, District 211 is determined to prepare students for their future and to stay ahead of the curve through an education that utilizes cutting-edge technology. The One-to-One Electronic Device pilot program will allow 1,500 District 211 students to have their own personal electronic device to enhance classroom interaction and collaboration throughout the semester.

Students received their devices during the first two days of school and started using them immediately in the classroom and also for homework. The overall goal of the program is to help students learn about better methods of accessing information and collaborating with their peers and teachers in an innovative way.

For more information on the One-to-One Program, read the article here.