Rockets Technology RoundUp

Mary Lin School Tech Newsletter-9/15/2016

Digital Citizenship-Developing Safe and Responsible Digital Citizens at Mary Lin!

As our students continue to become 21st century learners, they are exposed to several forms of technology and opportunities to access the internet. Due to their inevitable connection to the digital community, we explore what good digital citizenship looks like during our weekly visits to the technology lab!

Some lessons will be provided offline and others will connect to computer based activities. These Digital Citizenship lessons will take place once a month per homeroom to make sure our students are still receiving hands on practice with our technology!

I am using several resources for our Digital Citizenship unit including and both which have awesome on and offline resources to make sure our kids are staying safe and making responsible choices while using the Internet. This is right in line with the huge push for Social-Emotional Learning by Atlanta Public Schools.

I will be sending home helpful tips and suggestions home via email which will assist parents in becoming advocates for digital citizenship as well.

Digital Citizenship Units for the Month of September: (Essential Questions)

Kindergarten: What are the different ways to use the Internet to search?

1st Grade: What websites are just right for me?

2nd Grade: What does safe communication online look like?

3rd Grade: Why is it important to use the right keywords when searching online?

4th Grade: What is safe use of a smartphone? When can using a smartphone be distracting/unsafe?

5th Grade: What information is safe and smart to put online?

Keyboarding 911!!

The presence of digital technology in our daily lives has made it a must for your child to be keyboard proficient. This invaluable skill will serve one well in life, whether one pursues further studies or training, or moves directly into the work force. As you know, students are required to type portions of the Georgia Milestone testing.

With this in mind, I would like to inform you that 3rd-5th grade students will be using to develop and practice keyboarding skills. We will have direct instruction in class as we focus on proper posture, hand placement, finger usage and focusing on the text, not the keyboard.

Kindergarten students will be introduced to keyboard use as they practice signing on to the APS network independently. 1st and 2nd grade students will concentrate on the layout of the QWERTY keyboard. In addition, Kindergarten and First grade students will have heavy practice on using the functions of the mouse; another important input device!

As a parent, we ask that you encourage your child to improve on what he/she has learned by reminding him/her to practice at home every week. If you child says they have no homework for the night, you may want to have them do just 15 minutes of typing to keep their skills sharp! I encourage students in grades 3-5 to practice on the site we use in class, . They are free to use either the lessons or the games both which provide good keyboarding practice.

This program is for 3rd - 5th grade students. They may log in using their APS network username and password


username: jdoe2345

password: 12345 (this is also their lunch number)

We will use this program in a sporadic fashion in class. However, we encourage you to challenge your child by having them log in from home to continue to practice their typing. Please see the list of helpful keyboarding links below!

If you have any trouble or questions, please email me:

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What's Happening This Week??

Kindergarten will focus on signing in to the computer using their APS network username and passwords! This will allow students to practice finding the letters on the keyboard. In addition, they will use the internet to access programs to enhance mouse skills.

1st Grade will explore the "key" factors of good keyboarding! They will put these skills into practice as they independently work with various keyboarding applications.

2nd Grade will review the concepts of good keyboarding that were introduced last year in 1st grade. They will practice with a centers-based approach; trying out various applications and programs for a timed period. Some activities will focus on individual key recognition while others will focus on the rhythm of typing full words and sentences.

3rd Grade will focus on their digital citizenship unit. They will be completing online modules which center around using the right keywords to search efficiently and safely on line.

4th Graders are diving deep into the topic of proper cell phone use. They will partner classroom discussion with fun interactive modules online to encourage safe and responsible cell phone use!

5th Graders are collaborating and exploring the question, "What information is safe and smart to share online?" Some homerooms are alternating the digital citizenship unit for keyboarding instruction and practice. They will switch in the following week.

Coach Victor Hicks

Hi! I look forward to working with you and your awesome children this school year! We will explore many fun and exciting topics in the area of computer and technology! Together, we will make all students' technology lab experience a fun and engaging one! As we work together as a loving learning community we are building strong 21st century learners!