Tech Talk

September 2016

(Inspiring ideas in education, media, and technology shared by and for the staff of Bonner Elementary School!)

Table of Contents

* Education Galaxy

* The Mailbox Magazine* Super Teacher Worksheets* Brain Pop Jr.

* Osmo Coding

* Did you know...

Out of This World w/ Education Galaxy!

Last school year, fourth grade teacher Jenni Campbell started using Education Galaxy with her students and discovered that not only did she see results with student comprehension for a particular subject matter, but the kids were also motivated and enjoyed using the program.

Students are provided with their own log-in and begin by taking a 38-40 question diagnostic test to assess their individual level of understanding. A unique feature is that the test detects if a student is answering too quickly and provides a measure for stopping the behavior. Jenni Campbell stated that "Education Galaxy is a Texas-based company and provides a comprehensive means to assist students with strengthening their skills in reading, math, writing, and science."

Once students complete the diagnostic test, teachers can see how well particular skills were mastered. At future log-ins, students will be given practice that is specific to his or her needs for mastery. As a result, no more boring repetitive practice that can be done with eyes blind-folded and one hand tied behind the back. In addition, if a student misses a question, Immediate feedback is provided in the form of a teacher-led mini instructional video that reteaches that particular skill. And the best part? (for student gratification that is)... the program provides fun games to play as skills are mastered. It's a dangling carrot that creates an enjoyable learning environment for the student!

Education Galaxy
Last year, The Mailbox went 100% digital and we have subscriptions for The Mailbox Grades 2-3 and the Mailbox Intermediate for your use. Some of The Mailbox Gold features include: Eight new activity packets each month, unlimited printing and downloads (over 30,000 ideas and worksheets), make and print tools such as flash cards, bingo boards, and spelling lists, a handy online calendar, and many, many more ideas and items.

And don't forget about Brain Pop Jr. and Super Teacher Worksheets! Each provide extensive support for your lessons in digital and video formats.

As a follow-up, you will receive a campus-wide email for the username and password for all three of these programs.

Osmo-- Legos for Coding

Looking for an easy way to introduce coding to your students? Osmo is an iPad/ iPad Mini compatible software and hardware device that merges lego-type blocks with an interactive screen to make coding an entertaining learning activity. Third grade math teacher, Brook Durham, began using Osmo with her own kids at home and then moved the concept into her classroom.

According to Brook, "Osmo provides hands-on problem solving, monitors student progress, and moves to more advanced levels as the student is ready." It provides a more three dimensional way of teaching the coding process than simply using the click of a mouse with, for example. "It can definitely be addictive," she says, "they don't want to stop playing it!" In addition, Brook says she notices how the program emphasizes problem-solving and logical thinking skills as well as helping them see the "big-picture"

The software is an app that can be pushed down to the iPads through HDOT and the hardware consists of a base and a small piece that fits on top and acts as a reflective mirror for the camera. Since the base only fits an iPad without a case, Mark Condron said he is currently working on a way to protect the campus iPads from possible damage while students are using it.

Osmo Coding

Did you know.....(helpful bytes of wisdom)

Did you know that in Google Chrome you can reopen accidentally closed tabs? If you close a window by mistake and want to quickly add it back without going to your bookmarks or trying to remember the URL address, simply type Ctrl-Shift-T and voila!

You can also use an open Chrome window to preview multi media files. You can drag and drop picture files (enlarge them even) and listen to music files as quickly as you can make your hands move.

*Click links for a video explanation of the short cut