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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Selfies at the Bio Fair

The 5th graders at DBS put on an incredible biography fair on Tuesday. The 2nd grade visited the fair and got to meet the famous characters. After interviewing the characters they were asked to pick their favorite and take a selfie to use in their writing assignment later that day. Check out the project.

                       

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Upcoming #TechPD Opportunities

May 15-16, 2014 Dynamic Landscapes


July 14-18, 2014 CREATE MAKE & LEARN Summer Institute

A week long professional development opportunity where educators will create, make, and learn alongside each other with some amazing mentors practitioners.  

TAKE away a product that YOU MAKE 
TAKE away skills and confidence to design learning experiences  around a culture of DO where students use their devices to CREATE and MAKE and become active contributors to the world around them.
TAKE away tools you need to setup a CREATE & MAKE STATION in your school
Take away a 3D printer, Green Screen, fun programmable circuits, mobile movie production station, CNC mill, or custom designed kit, to help bring the spirit  of create, make, and learn to your school or organization. 


July 28-August 1, 2014 Emerging Technologies Summer Institute

Join us for a week-long exploration of how iPads are being used to help educators:
  • increase efficiency, organization and productivity to make the non-essential more routine
  • create more student-centered, personalized, and/or self-paced learning opportunities
  • differentiate both assessment and instruction more efficiently
  • give more frequent, timely and effective feedback to students
  • increase student engagement by delivering content in unique new ways
  • teach students how to create and critique media messages and be good digital citizens
  • provide learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls by increasing community collaboration
  • develop more authentic, challenging and inquiry-based learning opportunities for all students
Whole-group morning sessions will focus on iPad functions and essential apps that align with NETS standards of Creativity & Innovation, Communication & Collaboration, Research & Information Fluency, and Critical Thinking & Problem Solving & Decision-Making. Our afternoon sessions will be spent in smaller groups based on the individual needs of the teacher.  Time will be provided for you to identify opportunities for effective technology integration you can embed into your current practice and to build activities and lessons that can be implemented in your classrooms.

Registration Deadline is June 30th!

July 28-August 1, 2014
Harwood Union High School
Instructors:  Susan Hennessey (Tarrant Institute/UVM & Middle Grades Institute ), Meg Allison (Moretown Elementary School), Matt Henchen (Harwood Union High School)

Costs: $675 0r $995 for 3 Grad Credits
Cost With iPad Air:   $1200 or $1520 for 3 Grad Credits
Cost With iPad Mini:   $1000 or $1320 for 3 Grad Credits

*Participants must purchase or bring an iPad to use in the course

Registration is on a first come- first serve basis– Register Now!

August 4-8, 2014 Code Camp

Are you an educator looking to get started with code? Are your students looking to learn to code mobile apps, games and website? Tarrant Code Camp is the answer!

Join us August 4-8 at UVM in Burlington! Choose one of our five strands:

—iOS development
—Game development
—Web app development
—Robotics
—Computer Art

Find out more: http://codecamp.tarrantinstitute.org

Come like us on Facebook and share our posts: https://www.facebook.com/tarrantcodecamp
and forward this email to other folks at your school who might be interested.



Monday, March 17, 2014

HSD BYOD Procedures

We have opened up BYOD in the high school and middle school this year.  You can find our BYOD Procedures below.  I will post trainings and feedback as we go further into this process.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tech Tools for Parents

I often hear parents say, “well my child knows more about technology than I do”, which is usually followed by a laugh and a shrug of the shoulders and a nod of agreement from others.  While this may be true that your child knows how to set up your iPhone and knows the newest apps, this might not mean they know how to be safe, responsible, and efficient with technology.  Assuming that just because your student or child knows how to use their mobile device, means that they are being safe and responsible, or know how to best use their computers or mobile devices to help them stay organized and do well in school is a missed opportunity on your part.  As parents we must engage our children in consistent conversation about internet safety, digital citizenship, and how their mobile devices can help them become more independent learners.  Here are some ways you can start engaging them about their mobile devices.

Help your child become more independent in school:
Having a personal mobile device now means that we all have access to a digital calendar.  These calendars can be used to keep track of assignments, due dates, appointments, help with goal setting, and as a way for families to share important information and events with each other.  Most calendar apps also allow students to keep track of information through text, video, voice, and even add links to materials related to their event.  For example a student might add that they have a vocabulary test at 1pm on Friday to their calendar.  They can then add a link to the vocab words so they have a quick and easy reference as they plan ahead to study for that test.  Many calendars make it easy to share with others, so parents can help students keep track of important events, or share family events directly with their child.

Using camera apps is a great way for your child to take quick notes or visual cues.  If your child struggles to remember to write down homework, encourage them to take a picture of the homework on the board to reference later, or better yet, add it to their calendar.  Cameras can also be used to take pictures of progress during an assignment or a lab for reference for homework or the next class.  If it is allowed, you may even encourage your child or your child’s teacher to film important aspects of directions or lessons so your child can revisit for clarification or to reference when they get home.

Stay on top of what’s new in tech world:
Many of my friends who are parents often hear about an app or a website that their son or daughter are using and want me to explain what it is and how it’s being used.  Often parents are late to the game in hearing about what is the next new thing, and miss an opportunity to talk with their child about whether they should be using this app or website, or even just engaging them in a conversation about why they enjoy using that particular app.  It is challenging to stay on top of the tech world, but parents and teachers can harness social media to help them get ahead of the tech curve.  The first step is to get on Twitter.  Once you create an account on Twitter, be thoughtful about who you follow, or you can get bogged down in tedium.

Here are some of my favorites:
Mashable @mashable
Steven W. Anderson @web20classroom
Edutopia @edutopia
TED-Ed @TED_ED
Richard Byrne @rmbyrne

Organizing your family:
Many of my parent friends give their children cellphones when they reach middle school as a way to help stay in touch and keep track of their child.  Some great features that parents sometimes miss are sharing locations with each other.  Using Google Maps you can easily share your location for quick navigation.  Follow these great directions on how to find one another using your mobile devices: Dropping pins-location  This feature is great for sharing locations for games or events, or picking up from new friends’ houses.

Another time saver is using shared shopping lists.  I know I often ask my family for their suggestions before I do our grocery shopping and they have a hard time coming up with ideas on the spot, but it never fails that as soon as I get home they remember all of the things I was ‘supposed’ to get.  Using an app where you can share a shopping list will help everyone in your family contribute and cut down on confusion about what you were supposed to buy.  Some great apps can be found here: shared shopping list apps

Teaching your child to be safe and responsible with technology:
Teaching and guiding your child to be safe and responsible with technology is something that should be tackled at school and at home and with consistency.  As children transition through grades their questions, concerns and interests about technology will shift and assuming because you ‘had the talk’ once and now you are covered, is such a missed opportunity, and frankly not fair to your child. Luckily there are fantastic resources available to help guide you through these conversations.  Check out my favorite, Common Sense Media.  Common Sense Media provides engaging lessons for teachers and parents to use to teach and facilitate discussion, as well as interactives to further encourage your child or student to think about safe and responsible use of technology.  

Many parents aren’t aware of their ability to monitor or place restrictions on their child’s mobile devices.  While these aren’t foolproof, they are a great place to start.  Check out Apple’s resources on enabling restrictions on their devices.

These are just a few places to start in understanding some ways to get the most out of the mobile devices in your family.  

New Activity Feed in Google Drive

Google Drive added an activity feed where you can now get a quick glimpse of the most recently updated documents in your Drive.

If it is not currently turned on for you, click on the i in your drive (see image below) and it will give you preview of your most recently updated docs.  This is a great feature because it can help you easily locate documents you were just working on, or see when others are adding to shared documents.