Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PreK - 2nd Grade Digital Starter Kit is HERE!

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! PreK-2nd grade teachers.... were you looking for resources to integrate technology in your class? Here it is! This list is a great place to start looking. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hour of Code at Westwood High School

On Monday, December 9, the hallways at Westwood High School were filled with students coding for the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code campaign, part of Computer Science Education Week, is an effort to introduce ten million students to computer science. Several schools in Richland Two participated in the week long event.

Information Technology Instructor, Tracy Wilbur, worked with her team to plan the schoolwide event at Westwood. Students watched a short Hour of Code video to introduce them to the topic and then all students went into the hallways to code. Many of the students used a beginner tutorial from http://csedweek.org/learn to get started with coding. Students enrolled in computer science classes at Westwood circulated throughout the hallways to assist students with coding questions.

Some of the students were unsure about coding but said that it was much more fun than they had imagined. One student stated that coding allows him to be creative and make his own decisions about how a program will work. During the event, teachers talked about their experiences with coding and were excited to see all students so willing to learn a new skill. Students were excouraged to sign up for computer programming classes to become more proficient at coding.

Go to http://goo.gl/1n2Swg to see more photos from Westwood High School. View the WACHFOX news report here: http://goo.gl/Qj23lI.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Technology Spotlight - Mary Allen, Summit Parkway Middle School

Recently, Kahoot! has spread across the district as a great formative assessment tool. Kahoot! is a game-based student response system. Mary Allen at Summit Parkway Middle School started using Kahoot! after it was shared but the school-level Technology and Learning Coach, Sally Wilson. 

Ms. Allen's began using the web site with her students and after posting her quiz, Cartoon Science. The co-founder of Kahoot!, Jamie Brooker emailed her letting her know the quiz was added to the feature quiz list on the site.  The quiz was used to introduce Kahoot to her classes. She wanted something fun, yet science related, to get them interested and excited about this new tool. 

Since the introduction, students have used Kahoot! to create their own quizzes about animals. They have played these quizzes as a whole group during each class period. Students get very competitive and all are actively learning and participating. Ms. Allen's newest assignment with Kahoot! is for students to give a presentation about animal adaptations. At the end of presentation, they must give the class a Kahoot! quiz.  This will ensure that all students are paying attention to the information given by their classmates.

What are students saying about Kahoot!?
Jamal says, "I like Kahoot because it is fun and challenging."
Maryah was asked why she likes using Kahoot and she said, "I like Kahoot because it is competitive and you can ask the person with the high score questions about the subject."
Zion  states, "I think Kahoot makes your reflexes faster."
"It's a fun way to take a quiz and it challenges you," says Ethan.
David says, "I like using Kahoot because it is fun and it tests your skills and checks to see if you know the information."

Every time Ms. Allen introduces new technology resources into the classroom, students get excited.  "It's fun to watch students explore with these tools and apply them to gaining science knowledge.  Kahoot allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of information in a non-threatening, risk free environment.  It's both fun and informational and a great way to informally assess student understanding."