Innovation @477 - Hour of Code & Computer Science Education Week 2017

Hour of Code 2017



December 4-10 is Computer Science Education week, also known as the Hour of Code. The focus of this week is to promote computer science opportunities for all students. I've compiled a list of resources and ideas in this week's blog for you to introduce coding into your classroom. Additionally, I have blocked out my schedule to be available to help with coding activities in classrooms. If you would like to work together on teacher your students coding, email the days and times that work best for your class. I will do what I can to accommodate all requests.  😀

The goal of Hour of Code is for EVERY student to get at least one hour of coding completed during the week. ALL students, preschool-high school, can learn some form of coding. See below for just a few of the reasons why introducing all students to coding is important and strides made in our own state to put more value into computer science education. 

Why should all students learn about coding?


Computer Science Education in Minnesota

MN currently has 11,888 open computing jobs 

The average salary for a computing occupation in MN is $90,134. The existing open jobs alone represent
$1, 071, 512, 992 in terms of annual salaries.

Minnesota only had 895 computer science graduates in 2015, only 15% were female.

Only 694 high school student sin MN took the AP Computer science exam in 2016.

Only 39 schools in MN (12% of MN schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2015-16. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.

Universities in Minnesota did not graduate a single teacher 
prepared to teach computer science in 2016. 

What is already planned in 477 for Hour of Code week?


Primary School - during technology class with Mrs. Anderson
Students will be focusing on code.org plugged and unplugged activities

Intermediate School during tech specialist with Mrs. Baird
Students will complete the Moana, Minecraft or Google Doodle challenge activities on code.org

Middle School during Computer Apps with Mrs. Arens
6th Grade students will use Scratch to practice coding

High School during lunch/advisory
Our Nerd Herd students will be available to teach any interested staff and students how to start
coding right away! This opportunity will be available all month. 

Resources


Hour of Code Classroom Activities - offline, online, pre-readers through high school seniors. There is something for everyone here! 

Hour of Code with Kodable
This app is already available on all iPads at PS, and it can be accessed through chrome on iPads or chromebooks at the IS. Everything you need to help your students complete their Hour of Code. This resource includes plugged and unplugged (no devices needed) activities. 

Hour of Code with Disney
Activites and videos to get your students coding right away. Featuring Moana, Anna & Elsa, Big Hero 5 and Star Wars!

#SeesawCoders
Seesaw is offering several live webinars (K-12) during Computer Science Week that you can watch with your students. They include How Do You Build an App, Product Design,  Jobs in Coding and more! Click the #Seesaw Coders link below to see which webinar is perfect for your class. These are much like virtual field trips where your class will watch live and possibly have the chance to interact with the content. 








Innovation @477 - Flash and Notebook Software


As Flash Functionality is no longer supported in cyber world, you may see some interactive pieces (widgets) in your Notebook Files stop working. Instead of the interactive dice, name generator, spinner, etc. 
You will get an error message like this: 

Inline image 2 

All is not lost friends! You will not lose any other part of Notebook files, so if you never use the interactive pieces (widgets) - nothing is changing for you!

And if you DO use widgets, everything is still OK! You just need to replace the widget with one that works. And the good news is that all widgets in Notebook version 16 or higher have been made with HTML5 (I don't really know what that means, but I know it's better than Flash!) and will work for you!

To find your replacement widgets you can search here: 
You can use the search bar, gallery essentials, or toolkit to find widgets. 
If you can't find what you are looking for, click on the SMART Exchange, this will bring you to the SMART Exchange website filled with widgets that are easy to download and will work!


While researching what works and what doesn't, I explored some in the SMART lab and Trimble 3D Warehouse. There is some pretty neat stuff in there you might want to check out!

As always, ask myself, a tech coach or a tech team member if you have any questions. 

Innovation @477 - littleBits


Last year, thank you to a grant from Century Link, I was able to purchase a class set of littleBits along with some other amazing tools that allow teachers to integrate 21st Century Skills into the curriculum through hands-on, minds-on tools!
What is littleBits? 
littleBits makes a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. Electronic building blocks are color-coded, magnetic, and reusable.




To help teachers integrate this kit in their classrooms, I spent time during the month of November training 2-3 kids in each class how to use the littleBits. During these lunch bunch sessions they worked as innovators to discover how the bits work, connect and create. Wit these innovators "certified" I've begun going into classes to do full class lessons. Our certified innovators are able to help classmates and their teacher use the bits. 



This last week Brenna Nyboer, 4th grade, decided to shake things up in science class. We began the week with a full class lesson going over the all the bits, how they connect and what they do. The rest of the week she worked with the class, using the curriculum provided, to guide them to dig deeper and find ways to build real working objects. Today I swung in and was beyond impressed by what the kids have created! Check it out in the images and video below. 



 

            

 
 





Innovation @477 - EdTech Wins

Last week's blog I introduced a new contest to encourage staff to share the great EdTech things they are already doing in class. There has been a great response and I want to thank you everyone who contributed! Congratulations to Susan Jennings, Tracy Pidde and Nikki Walerius for winning the first week's contest. Keep your entries coming as new winners will be selected each week!

A Few Highlights From This Week's Entries:
  • Using Class Dojo for behavior 
  • I used FlipGrid to have the students introduce themselves (first and last name) and tell me their favorite thing about science. When my old brain is trying to learn a 28th year of 130 new names and faces it helped!!!
  • I made a flippity for every different class I teach to make random groups or to make a lineup for AR store so it’s fair who goes first, or if I go on a field trip & need groups. If I don’t like the grouping, I just click until I do.
  • Voice Thread - Students created a slideshow on Google Slides, then they saved it as a PDF, and brought the project into VoiceThread (which they had to set up) Students then recorded their voice on each slide, saved it and attached it to their original slideshow and turned it in through Google Classroom!
  • Using MyMaps to have students plot landforms and also plan a trip across a continent to learn about a geography.
  • I needed to throw in a one day lesson between units with my fourth graders, so I found a fun HTML coding game for them to just be exposed to it. As they worked through the activities, they earned kitten GIFs to watch. :)
  • Using Google Forms for quizzes means I can send the correct version of the quiz to students (modified/unmodified) and no one knows who has what. Additionally, with the grading feature, I don't have to spend any time grading and can transfer grades right into Skyward after the quizzes are done. 

EdTech Wins in 477 for 2017





Innovation @ 477 - What I Know

Here's what I know about instructional technology use in 477 - it's everywhere! And teachers often don't give themselves enough credit for the work they are doing. What's even more impressive is the amount of work teachers ARE NOT doing because of the digital solutions they have put in place.

You likely have one, two or several EdTech wins - those things you have found that make your job that much easier. Maybe it's using ClassDojo to track Tiger Pride behavior, maybe it's using Google Classroom to help you go paperless in your classroom, maybe you use Flippity on a regular basis for organizing students for learning. Whatever it is, it is an EdTech win and it needs to be shared!

When we share our ideas with each other,  amazing things happen. You might think what you are doing is "no big deal" or "everyone is doing it" but it IS a big deal and NOT everyone is using it.

Here's what else I know, teachers are just as motivated by students with prizes. No matter the prize, winning is fun.  So let's share those EdTech wins with one another. The more you share, the more chances you have to win a prize from Jodi's Swag Drawer of Awesome and Random Prizes.

Have an EdTech Win? Share it here in this Google Form. You can share as many times as you like! The link to the form will be available in my email signature and on the Tiger Tech Tips website.

The EdTech Challenge will run through the end of December, with prizes drawn weekly!

Prize drawer sneak peek (water bottles will be filled with candy!)



Flash Player Not Working?


For those of you getting notices that Flash Player is not working on a site or that it needs to be updated, please see the attached image for the workaround.

Simply click on the padlock (or icon in your address bar) and you will see options appear.  Scroll down to the flash option and select "always allow on this site."


Innovation @477 - Up Your Google Game

Being a GAFE (Google Apps For Education) school district gives us access to myriad of educational tools. These tools directly support the teaching and refining of vital communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills. If you are feeling like you need some more training with these tools or are just looking dig deeper with google tools, check out these resources from the Google Training Center!


Topics include: Make Fewer Class Copies, Assign Work More Easily, Give and Receive Feedback, Create Beautiful Learning Materials and more

 Topics Include: Share Chrome Apps and Extensions with Your Students, Use Chrome to Explore the Web with Your Class, Promote a Safe and Responsible Online Presence

Topics include: Using Chromebooks with G Suite for Education, Getting Started with Your Chromebooks, Your Devices in the Classroom

Topics include: Bring Your Quizzes Online Using Google Forms, Measure Student Progress, More Ways to Add Interaction to Instruction, Get Inspired by Alternate Learning Models and more

Innovation @477 - What's My Password?

                

Have you ever had to press "forgot password" or had to call tech support because you got yourself locked out of your account? Maybe more than once....a week 😉 . No worries dear colleagues, I have THE perfect extension for you - Last Pass! Last Pass is a chrome extension that saves all your logins and passwords making it much easier for you to login into to the many different websites and apps you use as an educator!

How it works - add Last Pass as a chrome extension and sign up for an account and set one Master Password - the last password you ever have to remember!

You will see you now have this icon in your extensions lists .  As long as it is red, whenever you login to a new website you will get a popup asking if you would like Last Pass to save your login and password. The next time you go to that website's login page you will see this in the login and password box  and you should see your login and password (encrypted) already filled in.

If you ever need to change a password, check on a password or adjust your account settings, click on the extension image  to access your settings menu.


Last pass can also help you generate secure passwords and let you know when you've used the same password on multiple sites.

I've used Last Pass since I started in this position and now I can't really imagine not using some type of password protected password keeper.

For more help with logins and passwords for accounts managed by our district, don't forget to refer to the District Managed Software, Apps and Websites.


Jodi

This Week in Innovation @477 - Creation

In the world of EdTech we often hear we want to move students from consumption to production. The idea being the device should not just be a replacement of paper, it should be a tool that allows our students to produce and create their own learning.
 But a shift you’ll see down the road is that tech will be used less for presenting content and more as a tool to design and create and explore and connect to other learners, to experts around the world. It will be much more of a tool to enable new types of learning than it will be a tool for distributing content. -Ricchard Calcutta in EdWeek
This is the direction many of our classrooms are heading. Growing access to 1:1 technology in our buildings is supporting this change. Tools like Seesaw, Flipgrid, Google Slides, and more give students an avenue for creating and producing their own, individual products to demonstrate their learning.

Staff Highlight:
Melissa Kisch, 4th grade teacher, took the common back to school practice of sharing classroom rules and expectations with her class and allowed her students to teach one another. Students responded to the Flipgrid question: What Does Tiger Pride look like in each of these areas?

Kisch Flipgrid - Showing Tiger Pride

Tool Highlight:
Flipgrid is a tool that allows students to record up to a 1min 30 second response to any question. Many of our teachers who attend Digital Bootcamp, and were introduced to Flipgrid, are now using it in their classrooms.
Here's a great list of ways to use Flipgrid in your classroom.

Share your creation projects below or send them to Jodi! 
You never know when a shared idea will be inspiration for another teacher. 

Innovation @477 Get To Know You with Technology

Welcome back to another great year in Princeton Public Schools. This year our 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th graders will all have 1:1 devices with increased access for all other grades. With more technology at hand, it's time to see how those tried and true back to school activities can be done using technology!

Erin Franson, 5th grade teacher at our Intermediate School created this great activity that could be used in just about any classroom! It's the tech turn on Two Truths and a Lie where you each student tells two truths and one like about themselves, the class has to guess the lie. Erin has put this activity into a Google Slides format. She will share the slides with her class, giving each students the ability to edit the document. This could also be shared using Google Classroom quite easily!

Once the students open the document, they will find the slide with their name and work on entering their two truths and a lie. Putting student names in the document ahead of time makes it easier for students to find their workspace without accidental writing on or deleting information on on a classmate's slide.
A couple of options for how to use the completed document:
  • Project it on the smart board and go through each slide as a class, taking guesses together. 
  • Share it on Seesaw (it will share as a pdf) and have students share their guesses using comments. 
  • Have students access the document and go to each slide, using the comments feature in Google Slides they can give their guesses. 

Other ideas? Share below in the comments!

Here's the link to the Two Truths and a Lie document for you to use!
Make a Copy, Rename it and put in your own student's names and you are ready to go!

Thank you to Erin Franson (@eefranson on Twitter) for sharing her great idea!





21st Century Skills in the Workplace

In the last few years, teaching 21st Century Skills has become a primary focus in education. Also known as the four Cs, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are becoming more and more integrated into our daily teaching routines. Activities like BreakoutEDU, Hour of Code, Mystery Skype and MakerSpace have grown in popularity as our profession searches for innovative ways to incorporate the 21st Century Skills into the classroom.

In attending the Best Prep Technology Integration Workshop this week I was able to hear and see first hand how valuable these skills are to business leaders. Our day started with a panel discussion with business leaders from four large cooperations. Through this discussion we learned what employers are looking for, what young people bring to the workforce, and what skills we should focus on to best prepare our learners for success in the real world.

Employers are looking for employees who can participate in face to face communications, able to handle personal conflicts effectively and respectfully, accept and grow from all feedback, able to share the how of what they learned and accomplished not just the what, and the ability to collaborate with teams. The panel shared they find students today come to them with a willingness to be challenged, ability to flexible and agile when it's time to move on or make a change, able to quickly adapt to new platforms for communication, and a willingness to change paradigms.

Aside from today's panel discussion, all participants in the Technology Integration Workshop participated in a job shadow experience. I was able to spend the afternoon shadowing the Director of Technology at Anchor Bank. Through team meetings and a tour of the office areas, I was able to see collaboration among team members that involved critical thinking and purposeful and respectful communication. The variety in their workspaces showed how collaboration and creativity is valued when working on projects. The department I was in had a SCRUM room that is used for project planning and management. This room had whiteboard paint on the walls which were covered in writing, diagrams and post-its. The writing and post-its also covered the large windows of the room.

The panel and job shadow experience was an incredibly validating experience. I was able to see how these skills are truly valued and necessary for success in today's workforce. In addition to attending keynotes, discussion panels and participating the job shadow opportunity, we  are given time to create a lesson with support from technology integration specialist. The 21st Century Skills Project is my focus during this time. My goal for this year is to help provide all teachers with innovative ways they can truly integrate (not add) 21st Century Skills into their current teaching plan. During this week I am working on enhancing and refining the project in order to provide a comprehensive and valuable resource for our district.

For  more information about BestPrep and Technology Integration Worskhop (open to all educators) please see links below:
BestPrep
Technology Integration Workshop

-Jodi Burling



Innovation @477 This Year in Tech Integration

My first year as your technology integration specialist has been an incredible ride. I truly never imagined I would have left the classroom, but I am beyond grateful to those who suggested and supported me taking on this new role. My stepson explained it best when he explained my new job to family "she gets to do all the cool technology things she loves and help other teacher even more because she doesn't have to teach a class at the same time." I love getting to work with all of you and am really looking forward to another year of technology integration awesomeness in our district. This last post of the school year features many of the projects we have worked on together this year. Thank you for inviting me into your classrooms, PLCs and planning time.
Jodi Burling



1:1 Access

Our four year implementation of 1:1 device access for all students in grade 3 -12 started this year. The first year of implementation started with iPads for all 3rd graders and chromebooks for all students in 6th, 7th and 9th grades. For 2017-18 our 3rd graders will continue with iPads and we will add chromebooks for all students in 8th and 10th grades. Additionally, we are increasing technology access in our Early Childhood and Primary buildings with classroom carts of iPads for each grade level. Having 1:1 access has allowed our students to take  more ownership of their learning while growing their 21st Century Skills set.
     


BreakoutEDU

Several teachers jumped on the Breakout bandwagon, finding ways to review and introduce material while helping students to refine their 4 Cs (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication & Creativity). We were able to grow our materials from 2 boxes to 7, allowing for teachers to have smaller groups of students working together and racing against other teams to solve break in to their boxes. This summer I will continue to update our 21st Century Skills website with a list of games that are prepped and ready to play in your classrooms.
 

 




Makerspaces

Through grants from the EdCamp Foundation and Century Link MN the Intermediate School was provided with a mobile maker space cart. This cart includes various items for students to explore, create and learn through play. With the Century Link grant, there are now class sets of Bloxels, littleBits and Lego WeDo 2.0. Class sets will allow teachers to teach their entire class how to use these sets for truly creative, innovative learning. Most importantly students will discover their learning style and new passions and interests while finding innovative ways to demonstrate learning.

The primary school has their own mobile creator space and Lego Lab. This cart includes Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Kinex and other creative products that promote learning and refining the 4Cs through play!

Makerspaces have proved to be a vital asset in districts across the county and across grade levels, which is why we will be looking at expanding makerspaces into our middle and high school media centers in the next few school years, while continuing to grow our spaces at PS and IS.
 



Co-Teaching Technology

One of the biggest parts of my job this year as been co-teaching technology with classroom teachers. Co-teaching allows for teachers to learn new apps, websites or innovative teaching ideas with their students. Several teachers had me in their classrooms this year to co-teach this school year and I look forward to continuing this practice in our next school year! A small sampling of lessons I co-taught with teachers this year include: Seesaw Introduction and Seesaw lessons, iPad apps and challenges, BreakoutEDU, Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Google Classroom, Assistive Technology options on Chromebooks and iPads, Standards Tracker, Virtual Fieldtrips, Google Hangouts with other classrooms in and out of our district and more! Samantha Heitke and I also teamed up to teach Genius Hour with many Kindergarten teachers and research skills with 2nd grade! I'm looking forward to helping teachers integrate more technology in their classrooms next year through co-teaching experiences!



Have an amazing summer!




Join me on edCommunities!

What is edCommunities? It is a professional practice community free and open to ALL who care about improving education and student success! Which means YOU! edCommunities is an online platform from the NEA that allows teachers to connect, collaborate and engage in meaningful discussions and groups.

Similar to other social media platforms, however edCommunities allows in depth topic conversations, file sharing and connections with dedicated and talented educators you don't always find consistently on social media.  As edCommunities grows you will also have the opportunity to take online courses for re-licensure requirements. Many groups are available to you on just about any content or professional topic you can imagine. And if you can't find the group you want, you can create it!

Once you sign up for edCommuites (see the flyer below) I encourage you to join my group, Technology Integration K-12. This summer my group is sponsoring a fun and interactive edtech contest for the summer with a chance to win gift cards and other prizes! The challenge is filled with many of the fun things you are already doing on social media and elsewhere to get ready for the next year, so check it out!

If you already joined edCommunities last fall, consider checking it out again. The summer is the perfect time to connect, collaborate and engage with fellow teachers!

If you have any questions about edCommunities, let me know!
Jodi Burling