Technology News

March 24, 2015

TIMs Maker Day

What is a Makerspace?
Makerspace is a hot tech term heard around schools these days that ties into STEAM programs. Makerspaces are areas set up to house various technology and engineering stations. These stations are highly engaging and include Sphero Robotics, MakeyMakey, Green Screen Animation, Coding, Animation and more!

Sphero Robots are app enabled robotic balls and the best news is--- WE HAVE ONE HERE AT RIS!! Students (or teachers) can control it with their phones. Your class can create a maze and challenge others to try to drive the robot through the maze or even just have them design a path for the robot that requires it to start at one point and stop at another. We couldn't stop playing with it and I know our students will not be able to either. This would be a great item to write for in a grant.

Green Screen Animation- We have one of the best green screens in the county and with the easy to use app Green Screen Do Ink you can make your students appear to be anywhere. This can be a really exciting way to give a report or to show an anchor chart where the students can be the experts teaching about the topic.

Coding- Do you want to teach your students coding but have students who just are not that into Mine Craft? If so, try CodeCombat. Students can play the free version and it walks them through it step by step with arrows pointing and simple to follow instructions. Once you get students on the website, they are able to work at their own pace--- the teacher is not required to know coding. Try it and you will see why 2nd graders to adults are talking about how much fun this game is!

MakeyMakey- Ever wanted to play the piano on bananas? Check out the latest in young inventor's kits in these videos. You clip the Makey Makey board to anything that allows a current to pass though it (like a banana or play-doh) and then your computer thinks you are using a keyboard or mouse.

Snapverter- This very cool add- on for Google Read and Write allows you to take a picture of a document and it will convert it to audio for you! Save it in your Google Drive and then upload it to Canvas to share with students. Right now you can try this Snapverter for FREE!! Click here for more information. You have 10 free scans and then after that you get one free scan a week.

Do you want a Makerspace at RIS? Let us know your ideas and how you would use one if we had one here!

Important Reminders:

Tech Plan objective re: Digital Citizenship should be a priority in the Computer Lab right now. Individual teachers can set up accounts for Center activities and/or during computer lab time as well. Please coordinate with Ms. McAllister and/or Mr. Clemons, or on your own if you bring your own students to the computer lab.

Lessons Focusing on Digital Citizenship


The three objectives related to Canvas this year on the RIS Technology Plan are as follows:

- Create a home page/front page

- Create an assignment

- Create a quiz and have students log on and take the quiz

If you have not completed these goals, let us know-- we can help you get started!

RIS Technology Integration Mentor

Every other Thursday from now until May is reserved for your Canvas training needs. If you need 1:1 help or advice on integrating technology-centered activities in the classroom, please let me know!