Thursday, December 20, 2012

PDExpress Assistance

This school year PDExpress has taken on a slightly different look. We have had a number of questions regarding the changes. Well, I am glad to announce we have updated the PDExpress manual.

Add this document to your Google Drive by clicking on the link and  then "add to Drive"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Save the Date! SC Midlands Summit 2013


The South Carolina Midlands Summit is back for 2013!

June 12-13, 2013
Westwood High School

We have a great lineup of featured speakers on hand to share their expertise with us. 
Lodge McCammon, Tammy Worcester, and Greg Tang are all confirmed presenters!

Sneek Peek of Lodge

More information to come starting in January!

Don't forget to check out the SC Midlands Summit Page

Friday, November 30, 2012

App of the Week - Google Drive

Google Drive has been available for a while on Android devices and became available on iOS devices in the late summer. The updates from this summer truly made Google Drive more user friendly on a  mobile device. On both iOS and Android the ability to view presentations with speaker notes. Presentations could also be viewed in full screen mode with the ability to swipe through the slides. The app allowed the creation of folders and the ability to upload pictures and videos directly through the app. Additionally the Android OS allowed adding comments, replying to comments.This really changed the way you could use Google Drive on a mobile device.

Yesterday, Google released an update to the apps for iOS and Android. The main portion of the update is improvement to Google Sheets (aka Spreadsheets). Users can now edit spreadsheets, switch fonts, resize columns, and sort data. All of the edits are a real time in the mobile environment. This gives Google Sheets a very clean user friendly interface on a mobile device.

In Google Drive the update gave better editor functionality as a whole. Now 'Send Link' copy links on to a clipboard as a additional option to other sharing.

"The update also includes a slew of functionality improvements to the Google Docs editor. You can now edit the contents of tables in the Google Docs editor. The updated editor also preserves the formatting of content when copy/pasting content within Google Docs. You can also enter the ‘Edit’ mode in Google Docs by single tapping, instead of having to manually switch between the edit and view modes." - Tech2 Blog

Take a look at the new app today! It's available on iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How can we make professional learning more meaningful?

We want to hear from you! Please take a moment and let us know what kind of learning you are interested in to make the technology professional learning more valuable for you! 

Attention: 3rd Grade teachers! 1TWO1 Boot Camp coming your way!

Attention Third Grade Teachers! 

Are you ready to get a jump start to your 2013-2014 1TWO1 school year? Third grade teachers will explore Google Apps for Education such as Docs, Presentations, Forms and Drawings and learn ways to seamlessly integrate them into your 3rd grade class content. 

Teachers will learn to blog and discover ways students can use blogs in the classroom. Teachers will also be introduced to Google Sites to use for student ePortfolios. This class will allow you to get a head start before the Google Chromebooks are rolled out to third grade classes for the 2013-2014 school year! 

Dates and topics for the class.
17 Overview of class, Explore Google Chrome, Join Edmodo Group, Create Blog, Collaboration Tool
31 Google Apps for Edu Drive overview, Docs & Presentations, Collaboration Tool

14 Google Apps for Edu- Forms & Spreadsheets, Collaboration Tool
28 Google Apps for Edu- Calendar/Email & Drawing, Collaboration Tool

14  Google Site for creation  ePortfolio
28  Google Apps

Time: 4-6pm 
Location: Conder Elementary School
Total 24 hours for renewal credit 

This class is limited to 20 participants. Sign up in PDExpress today! Teachers must check out a Chromebook for class from their ITS for dates listed. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Richland School District Two Technology Integration Team receives SC TIPS award

SC EdTech Awards Luncheon: (L-R) Don Cantrell (SDE), Lisa Knoche, Donna Teuber,
Pam Hanfland, Janine Sears, MaryAnn Sansonetti-Wood, Chuck Holland

Richland School District Two was recognized by the South Carolina Association for Educational Technology (SCAET) at the annual SC Educational Technology Conference (SC EdTech 2012) held in Greenville, October 24-26, 2012.

SCAET recognizes that there are many outstanding programs and activities in the state that showcase innovative uses of technology in education. The SCAET Innovative Programs Award was established in an effort to honor those best practices.

This program acknowledges South Carolina schools or districts as having exhibited excellence in the integration of technology in education. South Carolina schools continue to lead the way in educational technology and high quality work, both of which are exhibited by this year’s winning programs.

The following is a short summary of Richland School District Two’s innovative technology program:

Program Title: “Inquire, Ignite, and Inspire with 1TWO1”
Description: The 1TWO1 computing initiative is an integral part of the Richland TWO Story.
Using technology, students will inquire and explore their world. Transformative technologies
will ignite a joy of learning in our students and inspire them to become 21st century learners.
Students will work collaboratively on authentic problem and project-based activities which
enhance creativity, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving. Through personalized, authentic, and collaborative experiences, our students will develop the skills to prepare them for a future that we can only imagine.

EdTech, South Carolina’s premier educational technology conference, is designed to promote the use of educational technology to enhance student learning. The mission of EdTech is to bring educators, administrators, technology professionals, college faculty and staff, public and academic librarians, business and industry trainers, industry representatives and policy makers together to think, discuss, listen and learn the best strategies to plan for, implement, and use educational technology in our schools.

The South Carolina EdTech conference is planned and delivered by the South Carolina Association for Educational Technology (SCAET), represented by multiple South Carolina partners that include K-12, higher education, state government agencies, and telecommunications business partners. Partner members of SCAET this year include: The South Carolina State Department of Education, South Carolina Partnership for Distance Education, Technology Services, South Carolina Educational Television, Association for Applied Interactive Multimedia (AAIM), South Carolina Association of School Librarians, AT&T, Relational Technology Solutions, South Carolina Budget and Control Board Office – Division of State Information Technology, the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, and College of Charleston School of Education.

TED Talk: Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert and led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and  cultural education. 

What would an educational revolution look like in your classroom, school or district?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Richland Two is a Project RED Signature District

We’re excited to announce that Richland Two has been chosen as one of 20 Project RED Signature Districts nationwide. Project RED conducted a comprehensive national study on the link between instructional technology usage and student achievement. In the study of 1000 schools and districts, the Project RED team found that technology, when properly implemented, does improve student achievement and have a cost savings benefit.

The team identified nine key implementation factors which will lead to improved student achievement. The key factors in rank order of predictive strength are:

  1. Intervention classes: Technology is integrated into every intervention class period.
  2. Change management leadership by principal: Leaders provide time for teacher professional learning and collaboration at least monthly.
  3. Online collaboration: Students use technology daily for online collaboration (games/simulations and social media).
  4. Core subjects: Technology is integrated into core curriculum weekly or more frequently.
  5. Online formative assessments: Assessments are done at least weekly.
  6. Student-computer ratio: Lower ratios improve outcomes.
  7. Virtual field trips: With more frequent use, virtual trips are more powerful. The best schools do these at least monthly.
  8. Search engines: Students use daily.
  9. Principal training: Principals are trained in teacher buy-in, best practices, and technology-transformed learning.

As a Signature District, our 1TWO1 Design Team will be working closely with the Project RED team to develop a detailed project management plan and implement the key factors. Many of our principals and assistant principals are attending monthly professional learning opportunities to learn about the key factors and how to implement them in their schools. Our school instructional technology specialists are also identifying resources and providing professional learning experiences that will assist teachers in implementing the key factors.

With the support of our Getting to Outcomes (GTO) evaluation team from the University of South Carolina and the Project RED team, we know that we will achieve our desired outcome of improved student learning. As surveys, classroom observations, focus group information, and student achievement data is analyzed, we will share the results with our readers.