CF EdTech Newsletter

Trending EdTech News for the Month of March 2015

Is Technology a Gimmick in Your Classroom?

This article by Liz Kolb is great to learn about when using technology are we using it as a tool to help students reach learning goals? Or are tools being use to "trick" students into classroom engagement and not really helping them meet their goals.

February EdTech All-Stars: Celebrating Digital Learning in PE

This year the PE Department embarked on a digital learning journey using ipads and google drive. They have been doing many great digital projects teaching the students content while also using online collaboration tools helping our students to become digital learners. Below are a few of the amazing things going on in PE this year.

Julie Spinelli: Classroom driver education curriculum consists of 10 Modules and all students must meet the 36 classroom periods in order to pass. Part of one of the Modules is about learning to plan a trip (including finances) and learning how to read directions as well as a map. I assigned students this projects and shared it to all students through our google accounts. Students were then to complete the assignment and share it with me so I could have access to it.

Lashaun Cook: In Sports Competitive students were assigned a sport. They completed a google slide show and How-To-Videos using You Tube. Click here to see one of the videos created.

Julie Swayze: In Driver's Ed, groups had to create a video presentation on different topics. This included a graphic organizer and a You Tube link that helped describe their topic. Everything was sent through their google accounts. When the students finished they preformed a peer survey regarding partners performance and collaboration skills. They also completed a google form to show their understanding of the various topics presented.

Bryan Lewis: Students used google docs to research and complete an online worksheet. Students had to click on the links and watch videos within the document and then answer questions for each section. Mr. Lewis was able to view the pace of his students and collaborate with them if they had questions.

Dale Oliver: Students used google docs to complete a fitness log for when they are in Driver's Education. Each student's fitness log was shared with the teacher. This allowed Mr. Oliver to view the fitness logs to check if students were logging their fitness.

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The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology

Listen to women tell the stories of their personal heroes across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). And honor their legacy in the best possible way: By committing to encourage a young woman to pursue a career in science.

Managing BYOD: Tips for Classroom Management with Mobile Devices

How do we manage BYOD?
This year we have seen many great ideas on how to implement student devices into the learning process from our teachers here at Forge. The question now becomes how to keep students on task and not distracted by the device for non-instructional purposes. Often many believe that managing a classroom that has technology requires a whole new approach and skill set. However, the methods below are traditional methods that translate to tech savvy classrooms.

Engagement is Key
Having students complete a task with in a certain time frame will help students stay on task till completion. If students are told to just "research" and are not given an end product to complete and/or a time of completion they will wonder to social media. One idea for device use would be for a bell-ringer exercise (activities students must complete at the start of class) or an exit ticket (something students must complete before leaving). Using a website like, students can use their devices to complete activities that are then assessed. Not only does it keep the students on task but it also provides meaningful feedback for the teacher.

Move Around the Room
The best way to ensure that students stay on task is to walk around the room, look at the work they are doing, discuss and engage with them about their progress. The more active and mobile you are in the classroom, the easier it is to ensure that your students are working on what they should be. If you notice that students are quickly closing browser windows when you come near or "tapping" the home button (a sign that they're switching apps) see how far they have progressed on the task assigned. If not very far, then give them a warning and keep returning to them to see the progress they have made.

Areas of Use and No Use
Many teachers have used signs like "NO BYOD" or "YES BYOD today" so students know if they can have their phones out when they walk into class or not. This is a great idea and lets the students know when BYOD is being used in the classroom. Also have your agenda on the board and highlight when the students SHOULD have their phones out and make it clear that any other time it should be away. Once the students complete this practice a couple of times they will get the hang of it and know the rules of your classroom.

Click here to download signs for "YES BYOD Today" and "NO BYOD Today" and more resources for BYOD use in class.

Trending this Month @CFTech1

Follow Colonial Forge Technology on twitter @CFTech1 to get the latest on Edtech news.
1) CFHS EdTech tools in use
2) Digital Learning Day Resources
3) Differentiated Instruction (DI) strategies