Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Digital Portfolios in the Elementary Classroom - Seesaw

Elementary school teachers are very excited about the new learning journal app: Seesaw.   Seesaw helps teachers and parents connect with students and keep track of their school work.   Think of Seesaw as a journal for what students learn at school: stories they wrote, math problems they solved or art projects they made.  It is a simple way for young students to independently document what they are learning at school.  It empowers students to take more ownership of their learning.  

Using the Nexus 7 tablet, students scan a QR code, created by Seesaw, to access their class.    Once they are in their class they use the tablet to draw, write and record videos or take pictures of their handwritten work.  Teachers can access Seesaw on a tablet or on their computers to view all of the work the students have created independently. 

Kindergarten teacher Nen Locke has this to say about Seesaw: “The biggest way Seesaw has helped my classroom is with parent communication. Prior to Seesaw, I was writing emails and sending individual pictures to parents.  I would also update my webpage weekly. However parents weren’t getting information in a timely manner.  Now that I use Seesaw, parents have loved getting real-time updates on what their children are working on in class and how they are making progress."  Jennifer Rosenfeld, a parent in Mrs. Locke's  class is impressed with the weekly video newsletter the students create themselves.  The children report on their weekly successes and upload the videos to Seesaw on their own.

Mrs. Locke's students are engaged and invested.  Student involvement means success all around! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Come to the Colonies with Mrs. Vittoria

Over the past two weeks, Mrs. Vittoria's 5th grade class has completed their "RAFT" project, which traditionally has asked groups of students to prepare a class presentation on the American colony the group was assigned. However, this year, students had the option to create a recorded digital presentation rather than a face to face presentation.

After researching the colony, the students had a few options for demonstrating their knowledge. They could create an audio-only podcast, an animated presentation using, or a green-screen video newscast or infomercial. Students found this much more engaging and interesting than a traditional presentation - and by providing a recorded option we enabled students who are not comfortable with in-class presentations to have an opportunity to demonstrate learning in a way that worked for them.

Monday, May 2, 2016

HHS PIT Crew: A Student Tech Support Team

In April 2016, HHS  launched a pilot program of a student tech support team. The team, called the "PIT Crew" (for Panthers Instructional Technology) is comprised of boys and girls, grades 9-12, who have an interest in technology and tech support.

The team meets four days a week, during the Directed Study Block period, to assist students and teachers with tech support issues, such as issues with printers, projectors, and document cameras, help using laptops and student devices, maintenance of computer labs, and repair of desktop PC computers.

The team has also been trained in Chromebook repair, and is working on refurbishing non-functioning Chromebooks from the middle school.

In May, the team will be opening a Help Desk that students can visit, for help with their BYOD technology. This Help Desk will allow HHS students to get peer-to-peer assistance with their computer and smartphone tech.
PIT Crew students receiving training in Chromebook repair

PIT Crew students re-wiring the HHS Library PC Lab
PIT Crew students re-wiring the HHS Library PC Lab