Medicine Hat School District Technology Newsletter November 2011 Have Questions?
Movember is coming to and end and the staches will soon
An informational parent night was recently held in the
be disappearing. It is amazing how technology has played a role in helping spread the word to support many worthwhile causes.
District titled “Raising Kids in our Digital World.” One question arose in how our students are being supported in learning more about using technology appropriately and responsibly. Being out of the classroom for a few years, I responded with the “teachable moment” answer, as well as embedded in teacher pedagogy. Do you have specific ways in addressing Digital Citizenship in your classroom? Please add to the dialogue by participating in the brief poll createdusing Google forms. Digital Citizenship Poll. Learn Alberta has released a new resource for Grades 9-12 students called My World. Click on the image below which will direct you to the site.
Reminder to all District staff that password changes are happening Dec. 1 upon login. Please refer to the email sent regarding password policy and guidelines for District employees.
Google Apps PD will soon be available. If you have any inquiries, please email Terry Freeman or Tim Johnson.
you have any curricular, pedagogical or educational technology topics of interest that you would like to learn more about, email Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com or give me a call at extension 6988.
49 Minutes to Technology
December is a full month of opportunities to learn more about educational technology via drop in after school sessions.
An online schedule for the year can be found here. Digital Storytelling will be explained on December 1. Dr. Jason Ohler presented a session on Digital storytelling to advance literacy. His information can be found by linking here. Digital Storytelling is something that can be used at any Grade to improve learning. Resources will be provided during this session in helping students create digital stories. December 8th will offer resources on using SMART Notebook for Christmas activities. Koosh Ball, SMART Teams Games Tournament and other interactive games will be demonstrated, along with where to find great Notebook resources. More District Staff are learning how to use Twitter for their personal learning needs. If you are using Twitter and want to share with the District, use the hashtag #sd76. If you are interested in learning more about Twitter, there will be a session held at Central Office on December 15th. If you have any further requests that you or members of your team would like to learn about, contact me and we can set up different times specific to your needs.
Learn Alberta provides direct access to students through the District license. Teachers can access the teacher username and passwords from your administration, or email me. Commonsensemedia.org is a fantastic site for teachers in all grades who are looking for resources age specific. Lesson plans, videos, parent support and online training highlight this site. Commonsensemedia.org has a YouTube channel that supports teachers in teaching about internet safety and appropriate technology use.
Blogging to Improve Student Writing Students are writing more than ever, well maybe not so much in school as they are via text messaging or Facebook. How can we as teachers tap into the student world and make them better writers? Begin a classroom blog. What is a blog? A good reference is the video, “Blogs in Plain English.” Students can journal, work on writing traits assigned by the teacher or just communicate with each other and the teacher through a safe and secure environment. Students can provide feedback to each other, allowing for peer assessment which is very helpful to teachers. Check out this link that provides 10 educational reasons why students should blog. Kidblogs.org is designed for elementary and middle school students and allows the teacher teachers to monitor and control all publishing activity within the classroom blogging community.
Edublogs also allows the teacher to create a classroom account under a safe and secure environment. Blogger is a Google owned platform and can be accessed through the sd76 Google domain. Edmodo and Wordpress are other blogging platforms. Andy Cunningham, a former Educational Technologist and now VP and teacher, shared his blogging presentation and experience at our District PD day. His presentation can be viewed here, and presents great ways to get started as well as tips and tricks. A Grade 1/2 blog I follow frequently is from Aviva Dunsiger from Ancaster, Ontario. I followed her on Twitter and learned wonderful things she has done with her classroom blog. Learning is truly global. A couple great examples of school and classroom blogs from our District can be viewed here: http://whatilearnedtodayatelmstreetschool.blogspot.com/ and http://playplusfun.blogspot.com/ Keep on blogging! Many schools are implementing 6 + 1 writing traits and using a blog can really benefit this approach. If you are interested in learning more about blogging, or want to set up a classroom blog but do not know how, please contact me and I will come in and work with you and your classroom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites of the Month
In this newsletter I want to share some sites that teachers have shared with me. Khan Academy is a student centered site, (even though American based) with over 2700 videos covering mainly math and science at the secondary levels. This is a great site for reinforcement for students, where they can work at their own pace to practice and catch up on concepts. Issuu is a great site to publish articles that are easily shared through the web. Whether the format is Word, Pdf or Powerpoint, simply upload your documents to the site and you will have a free good looking online publication. You can embed the publication into your own website if you have one. This article is shared with you through this web service. Curriculum21 was a great site shared by an administrator with at plethora of links to all curricular areas and then some. Gapminder is a data base that shows the world’s most important trends over the years and would be very useful in a Social Studies classroom. Check out this graph on how countries have developed since 1800.