Showing posts from August, 2018

Digital portfolios for learning

All teachers would agree with the statement test scores don’t tell the whole story of a child.  It doesn’t matter if we’re referring to teacher made assessments or state made assessments, there is so much more to our students that could be shared.  But how can teachers allow for that process?  Portfolios.  Portfolios are also a great opportunity to apply the concepts from our Think Before You Post blog in the classroom. Portfolios to demonstrate the learning process of a topic are certainly not new to education, especially when it comes to assessment in the arts.  This style of assessment tool has long been appreciated to allow an opportunity to show progress in a student’s growth over time and provides a greater context for the student’s learning.  With the prevalence of devices such as Chromebooks equipped with cameras and microphones, virtually any subject can now be documented in a portfolio method which can be highly engaging and full of reflection for students. Teachers have

Google Classroom 2018 updates

Google does a great job of responding to feedback on its apps and regularly updating platforms to reflect user requests.  This fall, Google redesigned some key features of Google Classroom, a commonly used learning management tool in our district.  This blog post will provide the reader with some resources highlighting the major changes to Google Classroom as well as highlight some tried and true tips for distributing and collecting work using the tool.   Key feature updates, as outlined in Google’s blog , are as follows: New Classwork page —Teachers and students have a new Classwork page. Teachers can post assignments and questions on the page, as well as group them into modules with the topics feature.  This means that the stream page is the best place for announcements and posts that are not related to a specific assignment. Teachers and students will likely spend most of their time in the classwork tab. New grading tool in Classroom —Teachers have a new grading

Do you know DyKnow?

Tim Swick, technology and learning coach at Jackson Creek Elementary School, contributed the following content regarding DyKnow, the district's newest tool for monitoring student activity on Chromebooks.  Tim blogs at   and can be found on Twitter at @itecswick .  Thanks Tim! Last year, one of the biggest requests teacher made across the school as well as the district was to have some sort of digital classroom management software. Prior to last year, our district used a system called Hapara, however, due to escalating costs and some other concerns regarding to actual classroom use this system was abandoned. I am happy to report that this year, our district has made the decision to once again offer a digital classroom management system called DyKnow. Dyknow is designed to be a simple device monitoring platform that will assist in keeping students on task. At a basic level, it is designed to record classes and create usage

"THINK" Before You Post

Are you aware of the digital footprint you are leaving when you go online? Think about the last thing you did on the internet. Was it a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Were you shopping on Amazon or another online store? Maybe you were searching for a recent news story that you had heard about on your way to work/school this morning. Whatever the action was, it left a digital footprint that can be traced, searched, copied and shared by anyone. So why is knowing your digital footprint critical? Because it can impact your future no matter your age. The content you post or share online can potentially change a person’s perception of you. Students who apply to join school clubs, athletic teams or even moving onto college could lose an opportunity if a digital footprint was misconstrued or misrepresented their personal image. It can impact a new job whether you are trying to advance in your current career or change careers altogether. Future employers can search your name and lear

6 reasons you need a technology coach

Recently we read a blog post from Corwin Connect entitled “Six Reasons Why You Need an Instructional Coach .” We thought the article was great and began applying the concepts to our teachers. As we thought through the value of our technology coaches, we developed our own reasons why we believe you need your technology coach (TLC). Technology, including updates to current apps and newly released apps, increases at an amazing rate. With all your time spent on the work of teaching, it is hard to stay on top of the latest technological possibilities. Your TLC may know of just the perfect app to meet your instructional needs. Coaches are in and out of classrooms all the time. They know the amazing work of your colleagues and can help you imagine the possibilities by looking to your own colleagues for inspiration. Teaching can be an isolated profession and it is hard for teachers to observe one another but coaches have the great privilege of seeing many teachers work to provide le

Talk to Your Kids about Internet Safety

This post is going to be a bit more personal than other ones we have written because of the topic-internet safety. I am a mother of 2 children, a   daughter and a 10-year-old son who LOVES to play on his PS4. At first, the notion that my child can be playing games with anyone in the world, at any time, freaked me out and I work in the world of technology. In the classroom, I always embraced the idea of seeing my students have opportunities to connect with like-minded people who could challenge their thinking, dig deeper into their thought process and have a more meaningful authentic learning experience. I truly believe the best ways for our students, and even my own children, to learn internet/online safety is to give them opportunities. While we set up my son’s account, and you better believe we did this together, I talked through and modeled the process of setting up his account. We used a fun screen name... not his real name . We used his personal email that is attached to mine so