Parent Plugin

~April 2017~

A monthly newsletter for parents, grandparents, families and the community dedicated to updates and information on how McKinney ISD uses technology in the classroom.
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Gale Virtual Reference Library...I had no idea!!

Gale Virtual Reference Library is MISD's online library for all things research. Unlike the old fashioned encyclopedias that could never leave the confines of the library, Gale provides all of our students in grades 3-12 simultaneous 24/7 access to over 7000 authoritative full text titles for researching almost anything. See THIS ARTICLE for more information on what GVRL can provide your student wherever they have Internet access. Your campus MRS can direct you to the site and how to login. Don't panic on Sunday night when the research paper is due on Monday. GVRL has you covered!

MHS TechnoCats...Student Instructional Technologists

Jason Braddy and Kristen Spain came to their jobs this year with a mission. How can students at MHS impact the design of engaging lessons that meet the needs of digital learners? Their plan: create a team of student instructional technologists who teach teachers how to use digital resources in the classroom; resources and tools that their students use every day. Who better to work with teachers than their own students? McKinney High School's "TechnoCats" were born!


TechnoCats are a group of dedicated students who work in PLC's with teachers to share ideas for designing lessons that will engage 21st century learners. They share things that work...and the things that don't work in the classroom (As it turns out, Power Point is a real bummer!). TechnoCats were also involved in the Region 10 Digital Fluency Academy this year. This academy is available from the Region 10 Service Center for teachers in the area. TechnoCats worked in the 4-day course learning and sharing with the educators in the room. MHS is leading the way with student/teacher partnerships and using technology to support great instruction! Great job TechnoCats!

Coding Apps...What is it? What does it do?

  • Swift Playgrounds- Swift is a new coding language created by Apple to use with iOS and Mac OS. Swift Playgrounds is an app for iPad that makes it fun to learn and experiment with code. Kids can solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, while additional challenges let you explore code and create programs that are engaging and unique. Swift Playgrounds is a free app available from the App Store.

  • Scratch Junior- ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing.

  • HopScotch- HopScotch is a drag-and-drop programming app for kids to write their own programs plus a community for sharing creations, playing or remixing others' creations, and commenting on and supporting other programmers. The app is free to use, but a monthly subscription unlocks features including the option to add your own images and customize profiles.

According to the Bright Bytes Survey...

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1:The World Parent Informational Meetings

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Movie Reviews

La La Land: Movie Review
The Boss Baby: Movie Review
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