CPP Technology Today
A Communication of the CPP Technology Committee - Vol 1.6
CPP Technology Today
Friday, March 18th, 8am
This is an online event.
- Instructional Technology in Action - "Middle School Discovery Music Class Embraces Technology "
- Resources Spotlight - What's New on the CPP Technology Website
- Google Apps at CPP: "Inside a Connected (or Google) Classroom - Google Chrome
- Connected Classroom Resources - Set Google Chrome as Your Default Browser
- Google Apps at CPP: Login Reminder
- Shared Learning - "Typing Club Trial - Help Solve the Problem With Student Typing Skills!" by Lori Pruyne
- Shared Learning Resources - Typing Club Tutorials
- Shared Learning - Technology Professional Development Resources from 3.11.16 CPP Staff Development Day
- Shared Learning Resources - Professional Development Resources
- District Technology News: CPP Shows Strength in Tech in First BrightBytes Survey Results
- Technology Master Plan Goals - Integrating Skills - K-5 Process
- Get Involved! Join a Focus Group and Become a Techy Turnkey Trainer!
- Newsletter Suggestions and Ideas
Instructional Technology in Action
Middle School Discovery Music Class Embraces Technology
By Brian Ellison
It all started with a simple question, “What can we offer students at the middle level who aren’t interested in participating in traditional music performance ensembles?” What developed was a new technology-rich music curriculum that offers students real-world skills in music technology, electronic music, guitar, keyboard, and music production.
Discovering Music, CPPMS’ 6th grade music alternative, was created in 2013 with the purchase of 60 iPads. Throughout the course students utilize the iPads almost exclusively as they are introduced to music technology, guitars and keyboards. Some of the apps integrated into the curriculum include Garageband, MadPad, Thinglink, Piano Maestro and Yousician.
Due to the ever increasing popularity of the 6th grade class, a new 7th grade course, Exploring Music, was created and offered to students for the first time this year. Exploring Music provides students with a comprehensive look into Electronic Music and exposes them to different aspects of Media Production. This is accomplished in part through a new 23-station iMac Lab at CPPMS; which is also utilized by some of the 8th grade art and Amberene Yearbook classes.
The addition of Discovering and Exploring Music allows all students at CPPMS to experience music in a way that appeals to them and also helps bridge the gap between their musical life inside and outside of the classroom. Using the latest tools in music technology, students are able to unleash their creative potential.
What's New on the District Technology Webpage?
- Find tutorials, samples and resources for using Google Chrome, the web browser that best supports all Google App programs and an increasing number of Web 2.0 tools
- K-5 teachers will be able to access Technology Skills Integration documents via a link on the main district technology webpage. More information will be provided at grade-level council meetings on 3/21
Keyboarding Trial - Teachers have made it clear that a lack of keyboarding skills holding students back. The Technology Committee is investigating how to help solve this problem. Click here to access the documents on our trial of Typing Club, a web-based program that helps students develop typing skills. Full accounts are already created for all teachers, and for students grades K-8. Help be part of exploring ways to help our kids succeed with technology.
Technology at CPP is a new section of the website, that will allow access to important district-related technology documents. The page currently contains information on the Smart Schools Bond and on the Technology Master Plan Goals.
Other Important Resources:
Access the CPP Technology Newsletter - new issues and archives!
- Open presentations, handouts and resources from many of the technology-related
- Find information and tutorials on using Google Apps
- Access tips and tricks for teaching in a 1:1 environment
Google Apps at CPP
Inside a Connected (or Google) Classroom: Google Chrome
This regular feature will explore experiences from CPP teachers and students with using various Google Apps for Education
Google Chrome is the Google-created web browser that supports all Google Apps, and an increasing number of other web 2.0 tools.
Chrome is a web browser, meaning that, like Internet Explorer, it is the program via which a user is able to access the internet, and move from one site to another. Different browsers support, or allow users to access, different types of sites. Just like any other program, they have different features and strengths and weaknesses. When developers create websites and programs, they create them to utilize the features and strengths of a specific web-browser. Therefore, a program that works just fine on Google Chrome may not work at all on Internet Explorer.
Increasingly, problems that CPP teachers and students are having with websites and web-based are due to the fact that the sites were built to be accessed via Google Chrome, but users are trying to access them through Microsoft Explorer. If a program isn't working, try switching to Chrome.
Better yet, why not start out on Chrome? In future issues, we'll explore some of the advantages of using Google Chrome. Try it out, see what works well and what is challenging, and watch this space for more updates!
Use the link below to set Google Chrome as your default browser.
Google Apps Logins
This year, CPP has activated their Google Apps for Education domain. Through this domain, ALL teachers and students have Google Drive accounts, as well as access to many Google Apps for Education, including Google Classroom, Google Docs and many more.
To access your account:
- First, go to drive.google.com to log in to Google Drive. Drive is your starting point for all the Google Apps.
- Your username is whatever you use to login here at cpp +@cppasd.com (ie, firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Contact Lori Pruyne, Carrie Howe or Dave Mayotte for your password. Passwords are all preset, and you will be prompted to change it at your first login.
Students also have accounts. Their usernames are set up the same ways as teacher accounts, and their passwords explained in the tutorial below. Student Google Apps Login Tutorial on the CPP Technology Website.
There are extensive resources for using Google Apps for Education at the CPP Google Apps Hub on the district technology page. Resources include videos, tutorials, practice exercises and activities to use with students.
If you'd like some help accessing and using Apps, please contact Lori, Carrie or Dave!
Typing Club Trial - Help Solve the Problem With Student Typing Skills!
By Lori Pruyne
Over a month in, dozens of teachers have created trial accounts on Typing Club, and between 40 and 150 students a day are utilizing the program. Teachers report that the program is simple, engaging for students, and that students are becoming more comfortable with keyboarding.
TypingClub is being trialed as part of the effort to support teachers as you work to integrate technology into the classroom. Teachers have repeatedly identified keyboarding skills as an area where students need a great deal of instruction. Many have expressed that students’ inability to type makes it difficult to use technology, as it takes so long for inexperienced typists to complete learning tasks.
Though there are many keyboarding programs available currently, they have a wide range of features. Therefore, the opportunity is being presented to "try out" some programs to see which best meets the needs of students and teachers at CPP. It is also important that teachers be involved in evaluating potential keyboarding programs, as they will be the ones utilizing them with students.
All programs that will be trialed are web-based, as opposed to simply software installed on individual computers. Web-based programs can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, so that students could access the program and practice typing outside of the classroom. This is potentially exponentially beneficial to students, as some studies indicate that for every 1 minute a student spends on game-based digital learning in the classroom, they will voluntarily follow up with 1.5 minutes of practice at home.
Typing Club is a program that contains many features teachers have expressed interest in. District accounts are available, so students will have just one account that is renewed every year, but multiple teachers can add students to their classes. Reports are available that log and display student progress in multiple areas - accuracy, speed, even time practiced. There are pre-created lessons that students can progress through at their own pace. In addition, teachers can input their own text for students to practice - so while they're typing, they can also be practicing spelling words, reading that week's read-aloud, exploring a text for social studies, or working on a text that supports the curriculum in some way.
The CPP District Trial of Typing Club runs through April 11th. At the end of that period, we will ask for feedback from anyone who opted to try the program. Also at that time, a trial will begin for another program, which will also be available for anyone who would like to use it on a purely volunteer basis.
If anyone has comments on Typing Club, or any other program that they would like to suggest as a trial, contact Lori Pruyne or any member of the District Technology Committee.
CPP Faculty and Admin Provide Professional Development Resources That Are Already Working at CPP
We are our own best resources, and these CPP staff members lived that ideal by sharing their experiences, resources and ideas with each other. Programs presented at all levels focused around the goal of Student Engagement, with the idea of using programs that not only teach essential content and technology skills, but which also help draw students into classroom activities and content learning.
Presentations are outlined below based on the grade level taught by the teachers with whom they were shared, but most of the programs could be and are utilized by teachers and students at all levels. Please do not hesitate to contact the presenters for more information on the programs explored. Programs mentioned are linked within this article, and resources and guides for many of them are linked below the article.
Teachers of grades 3-5 attended a rotation of three separate technology programs Friday morning.
The first, presented by Ann Collins and Jamie Nicols, focused on NearPod, a presentation program that quickly and easily allows teachers to make their own presentations interactive, so that students can be actively involved in their learning, rather than just passively receiving information.
The second session, presented by several of the elementary library media specialists, provided teachers information on several different programs:
June Keuhn highlighted Kahoot, a program that is becoming very popular at CPP, and which lives up to its tagline promise to "Make Learning Awesome!" This quiz-game format program allows students to compete against each other in a game that helps teach and review skills and content, check for understanding, and re-teach. The game can also collect information that will help teachers assess student understanding.
Peggy Marsiglio shared information on Study Stack, an on-line "flashcards" program that will help students with concepts that need to become very familiar (math facts!). In addition, she profiled Kiddle, a virtual search engine that makes research easier for beginning and emergent readers, as well as visual learners.
Jen Taylor shared information on Instagrok, a program that utilizes student input to create concept maps, and that can be used in classrooms studying a wide range of topics and skills, from close reading, to pre-writing to research and more.
Lori Pruyne and Dave Mayotte presented the third session, which highlighted options available through Google Chrome, and provided an introduction to Google Apps for Education, especially Google Drive and Google Docs.
At the high school, teachers in grades 10-12 (who are in or looking toward being within the 1:1 in the near future) participated in a presentation on Leveraging Technology to Enhance Student Engagement. In this session, teachers discussed how student engagement might look different within a 1:1 program.
Through brief sessions with Courtney Berry, Matt Burch, Stacie Harris, Stephanie Hillman, Carrie Howe, Martie Marks, Joe Melanson and Mike Simons, teachers were introduced to eight different programs that teachers at CPPHS are already using to enhance student engagement.
Teachers were able to explore some programs in a bit more depth based on their personal technology goals via session on Class Dojo with Bryan Kelley, Google Classroom with Stephanie Hillman, VoiceThread with Carrie Howe and Nearpod with Lori Pruyne.
Finally, other teachers, including Chris Asiello, Kristen Drehmer, Charlie Gargiulo, Katie Gray, Shane Holleran, Emily Masteller, Joe Melanson. Dave Rich and Joe Stork, shared specific sites that they use in their classrooms that they rely on to help engage students in learning.
Teachers interested in specific technology-related professional development, or who would like to share their experience as presenters in the future, should contact a member of the Technology or Professional Development Steering Committees.
District Technology Updates
CPP Shows Strength in Tech in First BrightBytes Survey Results
BrightBytes utilizes what they call the CASE model for analyzing how and what level technology and learning are integrated within participating school districts. This model explores:
Classroom - How technologies and technology programs are utilized within individual classrooms to promote teaching and learning
Access - What devices are available to teachers and students, both within the school and at home, as well as how often teachers and students are able to access this information
Skills - This area explores skill levels of teachers and students, from foundational skill levels to areas of strength, weakness and - eventually, when they survey is repeated - areas of growth
Environment - Here, district and building culture and attitudes toward technology are examined to determine how teachers and students feel about technology as part of the learning process, and what factors influence their willingness to utilize technology in the teaching and learning process.
Each district's - and each building's - overall CASE scores, and sub-areas within each of the four divisions - are ranked within a five-point rubric which runs from Beginning, through Emerging, Proficient, Advanced and Exemplary. Individual scores for CPP ranged from Emerging through Exemplary.
Taken as a whole, the District ranked Proficient with a score of 1047- a strong start, and an indication to all of us that technology is a strength at CPP. We will continue to look at other information from the survey that will help us to continue to improve on our areas of strength while also directing us toward areas where we have potential to grow.
The distict's CASE score is seen below, along with a video from BrightBytes explaining the CASE model and their process for gathering and analyzing information.
Technology-Related Master Plan Goals: Goal 2 Progress - Integrating Skills Starts with Typing Skills
Objective 4: To formulate a plan to integrate technology skill instructional into grade level curricula
K-5 teachers will be returning to their work on this goal on March 21, as they work in grade-level groups to review the lessons that they created that combine content area learning with technology skills learning, and decide on next steps for those lessons.
Get Involved! Join a Focus Group and Become a Techy Turnkey Trainer!
There is no better resource for a teacher than another teacher. Toward the end of enabling teachers to support each other, several focus groups will be forming in the following months with the goal of enabling interested teachers to become "turnkey trainers." These focus group members will explore resources, investigate programs and share and instruct each other. They will then bring what they learn from each other back to other teachers in their buildings.
The first of these groups to form will be a Google Apps Focus Group. Teachers of all grade levels are encouraged to be involved; ideally, the group would contain at least one teacher from each school in the district. It is not necessary that teachers have used Google Apps for Education with classes at this point, but they should be familiar with Google programs and comfortable with technology. Meeting times and further information will be determined once membership has been solidified. Please contact Lori Pruyne, through email or at x3503 to indicate interest or for more information!
Share Your Learning
For more information about the newsletter, to make suggestions for content or to contribute, please contact Lori Pruyne.