OS Educational Technology News

May 2015

Targeted Site Transformation - Great Opportunity

Does your district have a vision for seeing classrooms in your schools transformed by the integration of technology? Is your district looking to implement a 1:1 initiative in one or more of your schools?

The goal of the TRIG - Targeted Site Transformation (TST) activity is to help transform schools into 1-to-1 learning environments where best practices of 21st century instruction and learning can occur. This activity will continue the work of the Whole School Technology Transformation (WSTT) grant, which funded the transformation of fourteen sites (approximately 5,000 students) across Michigan during the 2014-15 school year. Harvey-Swanson Elementary in Brandon is one of the WSTT sites. Amazing things have been happening at Harvey-Swanson! If you'd like to get first hand information about what it's like to participate in this type of transformation, you can contact Andrew Phillips, the principal at Harvey-Swanson, via his email at: aphillips@brandon.k12.mi.us

TST has a target of reaching 2,000 students and will ensure each selected site has: (1) a robust wireless network (for both coverage and density); (2) technology for the classroom (data projector, teacher computer, etc.); (3) a mobile device for every student and teacher; and (4) professional development & support for teachers.

Applications have a very short turn around time! They are due by Friday, May 22, 2015.

For information about TST and the application, please visit: http://22itrig.org/activities/targeted-site-transformation/. If you have any questions about TST, contact Anthony Buza at abuza@geneseeisd.org.

Access Digital Copies of the MACUL Journal!

The Summer 2015 issue of the MACUL Journal, Reading in the Digital Age, contains articles on Reading: Still Fundamental; Reading, Writing, and Chromebooks; Media Literacy: Looking Beyond Books; 2015 MACUL Award Winners & Conference Photo Gallery; and more!

The journal is available in two different digital formats.

May PSA Video for the Michigan Learns Online Portal

The May Public Service Announcement (PSA) video for the REMC Michigan Learns Online (MLO) portal provides a brief review of a unit of study about Biomes. The Biomes unit is in a Moodle format and is completely editable.

Other PSAs highlighting resources on the MLO portal are linked under the current PSA video.

"Think Before You Link" Free Course for Grades 3-8

Think Before You Link” is a free online course for students from grades three through eight with a focus on cybersafety, online bullying and Internet ethics. The program targets younger students because of how early young people are now getting involved in online activities. It was produced by Discovery Education and Intel Security and is being offered free to schools around the country.

The program is divided into three parts, each of which should take a student about 45 minutes to work through. In addition, there are supplementary materials that can be used to extend lessons. There is also separate but related programming for parents.

The curriculum addresses questions of privacy, contact with strangers, malware, passwords, gaming and plagiarism, among others. It was created in consultation with the National Cyber Security Alliance. The program is designed to help kids become confident, safe, digital citizens.

The program requires educators to register, but the registration process is easy and non intrusive. Students do not need to register.

Speak Up 2014 National Findings for K-12 Students

For the past twelve years, Project Tomorrow’s® annual Speak Up Research Project has provided schools and districts nationwide and throughout the globe with new insights into how today’s students want to leverage digital tools for learning based upon the authentic, unfiltered ideas of students themselves. With this year’s national report on the views of 431,231 K-12 students representing over 8,000 schools and 2,600 districts in the United States and around the world, the Project focused their attention on the lived experiences of students immersed in daily digital learning experiences.

From the Speak Up database, views and ideas of students in four specific types of learning environments were extracted to comprehend how their experiences differ from students in more traditional classroom-based education. The four learning environments examined were:

  • Students who are using school provided laptops, tablets, or Chromebooks to support their education
  • Students in blended learning environments where instruction is a mix of class time and online time
  • Students whose learning is 100 percent online or virtual
  • Students participating in STEM learning experiences such as specific STEM academies, school tech support team, or computer programming/coding clubs

Key Findings from this year’s report include:

  • When students have access to technology as part of their learning, especially school-provided or enabled technology, their use of the digital tools and resources is deeper and more sophisticated.
  • The availability of online learning continues to increase with only 27 percent of high school principals reporting that they are not yet offering any online courses for students. Interest among students continues to grow, with 24% of high school students saying they wish they could take all their classes online – a large increase from 8% in 2013.
  • Almost three-quarters of students with school-provided devices as well as students with limited or non-existent technology access at school agreed that every student should be able to use a mobile device during the school day for learning.
  • Students connect the use of technology tools within learning to the development of college, career, and citizenship skills that will empower their future capabilities.
  • Digital experiences for students in a 100 percent virtual environment are much different than those in traditional schools. For instance, 72 percent of high school students in virtual schools take online tests, compared with 58 percent of traditional students.
  • Students see the smartphone as the ideal device for communicating with teachers (46%) and classmates (72%) and for social media (64%).
  • A gender bias exists in STEM interest –middle school girls are 38% less likely and high school girls are 32% less likely than their male peers to say they are very interested in a STEM career.

Download Links:

Personalized Learning Vignette Webinars from MDE

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is presenting a webinar series featuring models of Personalized Learning. The webinars are facilitated by teachers and administrators from around the state.

According to MDE, "personalized learning occurs when the student has a degree of choice over his or her education in terms of delivery, context, and pacing. Individual outcomes and how proficiency will be demonstrated is collaboratively defined. The student’s interests, experiences, and abilities guide his or her learning, making new information more relevant and meaningful."

Detailed information about the webinars, as well as access to recordings of webinars already held, can be found on the MDE Personalized Learning Options webpage.

Upcoming No Cost* Professional Development from the Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant 2.0 (open to ALL districts):

All courses below will be eligible for 6 SCECH credits pending course completion.

*$10 SCECH Registration Fee

May 11, 2015: Professional Development through Social Media

In this online course participants will discover and explore a range of common and up-to-date social media platforms as well as establish channels that allow for powerful professional development and innovative leadership.

Click Here to Register

May 11, 2015: Personalized and Blended Learning for ALL Students

In this course, we will lay the groundwork for effective strategies that support professional growth and applications to student learning. Driving Question: How will I incorporate personalized and blended learning tools and strategies to meet student-learning needs?

Click Here to Register

FREE Teaching Innovation Workshop at The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford has made a national commitment to action to inspire teachers and students to “Think and Act like Innovators.” The Henry Ford, which holds the world’s most prestigious Archive of American Innovation, has stepped up to make an impact in education and learning. With their digital curriculum called Innovation 101, which teaches an innovative mindset using the stories of past and present day innovators, they are committed to inspiring an interest in STEM among today’s youth and developing future innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Henry Ford, in partnership with the New Economy Initiative (NEI), are offering FREE six-hour long professional development workshops in Summer 2015 on how to teach innovation to up to 1,000 K-12 teachers from the greater Detroit and Southeast Michigan areas. Workshop attendees will also receive a FREE Teaching Innovation Kit complete with a copy of the Innovation 101 curriculum with DVD and classroom posters.

The workshop is one day in length and will be offered on these three dates:

  • Friday, June 5: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
  • Tuesday, July 21: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM
  • Monday, August 10: 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

For more information and the registration form, please click here!

Learn more about The Henry Ford commitment on teaching innovation by viewing this video:
Teaching Innovation

Stay Up to Date with the Oakland Schools Information Center!

The Oakland Schools Information Center Newsletter contains information on apps, new books in the collection, MeL database features and other topics related to literature and technology. Past issues are archived on the IC web page: http://www.oakland.k12.mi.us/Default.aspx?tabid=406

If you would like to receive the IC Newsletter contact Judy Hauser at judy.hauser@oakland.k12.mi.us and ask to be added to the IC Newsletter list.

To receive more frequent updates from the Oakland Schools Information Center, be sure to follow the Oakland Schools IC Twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/osinfocenter


Oakland Schools Educational Technology Twitter posts can be found at: os_edtech

When you are posting to Twitter about things related to educational technology, don't forget to use the hashtag: #oakedtech

Using the hashtag will help all of us Oakland County educators, who are interested in the effective use of educational technology, to connect and better collaborate with each other.

Oakland Schools Educational Technology Consultants

Laura Cummings



Judy Nichols