Digital Innovation Pathways | Day 2 PD

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What is the Digital Innovation Pathways?

Digital Innovation Pathways, affectionately known as DIP is a 1-3 year program for educators from Poudre School District. Teachers are engaged in two days of professional development at the Information Technology Center. During this time teacher investigate ways to integrate technology into their classrooms. These two days of PD are high level, big-picture days. Participants can then choose from over 30, more focused PD classes with Educational Technology Facilitators. Check out the classes here, they are open to anyone in PSD. Participants also participate in a school-based study group where they curate digital portfolios and discuss EdTech related topics such as screen time, fringe technologies like virtual reality and tech tools that enhance student learning. Talk with your principal or an EdTech facilitator if you are interested in joining DIP next school year. Thanks to voters who support the EdTech department through mill levy funding.

Day 2 Activities

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Participants choose from 5 options based on frequently asked questions, emails and grumblings that we hear as teachers enhance lessons with technology. Check out the following resources from the sessions here.  The sessions cover social media, screen time, citing sources, basic troubleshooting and how to help students manage devices in a digital world. 

afternoon-challengesVirtual Reality

pam-in-vrIn the afternoon of DIP Day 2 PD teachers choose from 4 different challenges. One of the afternoon problem based learning challenges teachers can choose is a virtual reality/bridge building challenge. Virtual reality is ripe, fresh and fun; yet many teachers are unsure how to use this tech in their classrooms. This session (all materials available here) demonstrates how teachers can use VR to engage students and immerse students in environments we can’t typically or easily visit (think the lungs, Galapagos, Great Wall of China or NBC img_2179studios.)  After learning about bridge design in virtual reality, participants create a bridge out of spaghetti and we use a Vernier Structure and Materials
tester to break the bridge. Check out other science probes available in the district by checking the resources tab on science.psdschools.org.

Robotics Challenges

Participants can also choose to learn about Robotics. EdTech has Cubelets and Moss Robotics kits available for reservation. Participants in this challenge were tasked with rescuing an astronaut from Mars. Through problem solving and creative thinking teachers use robotics kits to save a lego astronaut. Participants also were tasked with creating a press release describing their rescue mission and equipment used. Check out all the resources to recreate this experience with your students here. Below is a video describing the process and challenge in more detail. 

Podcasting

padletPodcasting is more than recording your voice. Podcasting is about the writing process and demonstrating your creativity in order to effectively  engage your listeners. The podcasting session engaged participants in using Audacity, BandLab and WeVideo to create their podcasts. Particpants focused on the danger of telling a single story, a topic very relevant in our evolving media landscape. Examples can be found in padlet, click here to listen to some of the podcasts. Check out all the resources to recreate this experience with students here.

More Information

edtech-team-photo-1EdTech is available for support. Take some time to check out edtech.psdschools.org to see what tech you can reserve and how EdTech Facilitators can support you when trying new tech in your classroom.

Stop Motion Intensive @ Polaris

img_1695In late September, students from Polaris Expeditionary Learning School in grades 6-12 participate in week-long intensives. These intensives take students all over Colorado, the country and the city and involve various themes. One of the themes of the week was “Tinkering with Time” in which students wrote, filmed, and edited a stop motion movie similar to the Lego Movie or as some of us may remember, Gumby.

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What did the students do?

Students spent two days story boarding and designing their sets and setup for capturing images. Students spent Wednesday filming, some students taking almost 2000 pictures using iMotion or Hue HD webcams and Animation Studio.  Thursday was spent editing using district-provided subscriptions to WeVideo, Adobe Premier and iMotion. Most of the materials used were purchased from student fees, direct donations and mill-levy funded devices like iPads and WeVideo subscriptions from the Educational Technology department.

Students describe the experience…

Students culminated the week by watching their videos on the big screen at the Lyric Cinema in old town Fort Collins. Each student was asked to discuss what they learned, what they liked and what they would do differently in the future.

Colton: “proud of doing something different” (than a normal school day)

Damacio: “I enjoyed story boarding and preparing for the project most”

Miller: “if I could change one thing it would be to be more patient, subtle movements would have made a more fluid animation”

Joe Gawronski (Polaris principal) stated he “think(s) the best part is watching a sixth grader work with a sophomore.

Kevin Denton (Polaris science teacher) enjoyed “watching people push themselves. It was a really difficult, slow project and I am proud of everyone’s efforts.”

Where can I watch the final products?

Untitled drawing (22)Student videos were posted to a YouTube playlist that is available here.  Please feel free to leave comments for students.

Please contact an EdTech facilitator if you are interested in recreating this experience with your students.

EcoWeek & EdTech | Science Probes in the Field…

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Fifth grade students from across Poudre School District are using the tools of the professionals. EdTech has purchased kits to use when you attend EcoWeek.  EdTech has 4 kits (2 weather, 1 energy and 1 water) that can be used with students of all ages.

 

Each kit comes with customizable activities designed to reinforce the 5th grade science content standards.

 

 

 

Weather & Water kits address standards such as:

  • Analyze and interpret data identifying ways Earth’s surface is constantly changing through a variety of processes and forces such as plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, solar influences, climate, and human activity

Energy Kit will address standards such as:

  • Show that electricity in circuits requires a complete loop through which current can pass
  • Develop and communicate a scientific explanation addressing a question of local relevance about resources generated by the sun or Earth.

What we can do with students…

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The typical lesson flow is as follows

  1. Planning with EdTech to customize your activities
  2. EdTech will visit your site and set up a GPS/Science probe course in your schoolyard
  3. EdTech will travel to EcoWeek and set up the GPS and Science probe course
  4. EdTech can revisit data with students once back in your classroom, comparing the schoolyard and mountainous data sets.

How to reserve kits

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Follow these simple instructions to reserve using the PSD Curriculum/FOSS library system.

bit.ly/reservestuff