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.
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.
In 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 studios.) 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.
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 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.
EdTech 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.
Computer Science Education Week starts off today (12/5 – 12/11) and PSD students and teachers will be exploring computer science concepts and activities. Finding the right computer science activity for students can be a challenge but thankfully there are many great resources available to get teachers and students coding.
Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and they have been a pioneer in promoting CSEdWeek. Along with all of the tutorials, resources, and lessons that they have at their website, they have also posted several new tutorials on the Hour of Code website as well. These tutorials are a great way to introduce computer science to students at any grade level.
According to Code.org computer science drives innovation throughout the US economy, but only 33 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation. There are currently 517,393 open computing jobs nationwide. Last year, only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce. Let’s work to get our students excited about computer science!
If you are interested in participating in CSEdWeek or would like to do an Hour of Code with your students, check out the resources that we have linked in this post. You can also contact a PSD Ed Tech Facilitator to help with co-planning or co-teaching a fun and exciting lesson for #CSEdWeek!
Code.org – Tutorials, teachers resources and curriculum materials for teaching computer science in the classroom
Hour of Code – Custom made applets and tutorials for teachers and students to participate in the Hour of Code. Tutorials are searchable by grade and ability level.
Scratch – From MIT, Scratch is a block based platform to get students of all ages coding. Some of the coding tutorials on other websites are made with Scratch. Check them out at the source!
Tynker – Another online platform with built in tutorials and applications that will get students excited about coding!
An amazing opportunity to connect, be inspired and inspire others is coming to Denver Colorado this summer! Join many other PSD educators and attend ISTE2016. Choose from over 1,000 sessions to attend, connect with professionals, and ask questions of vendors.
Learn more by checking out the ISTE Conference website and grab the app for your iOS device or Android device here. In my experience the app is much easier to browse sessions and decide which day/sessions to attend.
The PSD Educational Technology department is covering the cost of registration for two representatives from each school to attend 1 day of ISTE! If you are interested in this opportunity, please speak with your principal and ask them to contact Kim Lodge (490-3096) to submit names of those who will be attending ISTE2016. Check Avatar for professional development offerings for attending ISTE and contributing to a collaborative note-taking community.
Teachers, EdTech Facilitators and administrators from across Poudre School District will be presenting unique ideas to the international community at ISTE2016. Look for presentations from Sarah Weeks, Tracey Winey, Kim McMonagle, Mike Foster and Heather Crosser at ISTE2016.
You’ll also want to check out the ISTE Playground which will showcase Colorado schools, including schools from Poudre School District. Contact Kim McMonagle if you are interested in curating a display with students that highlights digital age teaching and learning that is happening in your classroom. The ISTE Playground will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 from 9am-1pm.
As an added benefit to our Colorado attendees, Innovative Educators Colorado (InnEdCO) will be providing tickets to attend the Colorado Rockies vs. Toronto Blue Jays on June 28th, 2016. Check out InnEdCO and follow them on Twitter: @InnEdCO.
As a member of the EdTech team for Poudre School District I am fortunate to attend conferences, learn and connect from some of the best minds in the country. This conference will expose me to an international network of professionals, and I am interested in gaining that perspective.
Many of the sessions I plan to attend will revolve around a few themes. Those themes include Project Based Learning (PBL); the use and creation of virtual reality (VR) as well as science instruction and how technology can enhance instructional strategies and student achievement.
Lastly, I am attending to connect with fellow PSD educators and administrators. I look forward to asking tough questions and challenging our current state of technology integration in classrooms.
Please contact the EdTech facilitator who partners with your school. You can find that information on the contact page at edtech.psdschools.org.
As part of Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, you and your students can participate in the “Hour of Code”. The Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to computer science. It’s designed to make coding feel more accessible to anyone, at any age level, and teach the basics. Learning how to code can be a valuable resource in today’s information economy.
Here are some resources to get you started in participating in an Hour of Code the week of December 8th.
These are just a few resources to get you started. Feel free to contact anyone on the PSD Instructional Technology team to get more information or help setting up your own “Hour of Code”!
During the year, the PSD tech trainers have the pleasure of working with teachers and students in the classroom. We really enjoy spending time building and teaching engaging, tech-embedded lessons. Here is a collection of recent video podcasts, put together by some of the tech trainers, showing the great work they’ve done at some PSD schools.
Click the pictures to view individual videos.
2nd grade students at Tavelli Elementary create their own Realebooks focusing on the relationship between animal adaptations and their habitat using the software program Realewriter.
The 6th grade Lincoln Scholars’ book club at Lincoln IB Middle School connect in a live video conference with Holly Goldberg Sloan who wrote “Counting by Sevens” using Skype and technology tools.
Students in Sarah Keller’s economics class at Fort Collins High School use Popplet to demonstrate their understanding of international marketing.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the technology resources PSD has to offer. In this screencast, we show where some commonly used resources can be found on the Poudre School District website.
#innedco #edtech #copyright
The following post if from guest blogger, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s own Channel 10.
The Center for Social Media has excellent information regarding fair use in the context of the ever-expanding landscape of online media. American University Law Professor, Peter Jaszi says, “Limited but significant use of preexisting copyrighted material in our own information activities and Is protected in copyright doctrine of fair use.” Student projects, media critiques, news reporting, social-oriented journalism, etc. can and must find ways to use copyrighted materials. Video courtesy of Center for Social and Media Impact
The beginning of the school year can be an exciting and busy time! Here are some fun ways to use web-based tech tools to get to know your students.
Use Google presentations to create a student “expo”:
In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how to use Google presentations to create an “Amazing Race“. You can do a similar activity with your students to start off the year. Head to Google Drive and create a new presentation. The Topic could be anything, for example, “what did you do last summer?”, “Where did you go?”, or even better “What are you excited about for the school year?” We do some teacher trainings here at PSD Tech and have created a similar presentation. Check it out here.
You can set the sharing permissions on the presentation by pressing the blue “Share” button in the upper right. It’s often easier to share the presentation’s link (or shorten the URL) with students rather than entering each student’s email address.
Next, create instructions for the students on the first slide. After that, it’s a snap! Students create one or more slides in the presentation and they (or the teacher) can share it out with the class. Students can embed text, pictures, links, and videos!
Not sure about Socrative? Check out our post on using “Laptops as Clickers”
You could also create an editable class wiki using Google Sites (or BlackBoard) to do something similar to the above activities.
Have a great school year!