Digital Conversion Bytes

Vol. 6 - December 2, 2016

Toontastic is helping students understand elements of stories

Recently, the teachers at Orvis Risner Elementary participated in a Technology Showcase where they shared with each other iPad apps they were using and how they were using them. One of the apps shared was Toontastic; an app that allows students to create a digital puppet show where they can draw, animate, narrate and record their own stories.

On a recent visit, I found students in Ms. Firman's class using the app. Toontastic provides the students with story elements, letting them know which part of the story they need to develop next. Below you will find an example by Lilly, a 3rd grader at Orvis Risner. When I asked her why she likes to make Toontastic movies, she replied, "I like to make my stories come to life."

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Toontastic - Orvis Risner

Chromebooks: Increasing Scores, Increasing Attendance & Opening Doors!

The story below is by Ms. Shannon Hill-Campbell, a teacher at Boulevard Academy.

The students at Boulevard Academy love the Chromebooks! We use them every day and the students are gaining knowledge and confidence with the daily use.

Here are some ways we are using the Chromebooks:

  • Students have been using Google Docs to respond to bell-ringer questions.
  • Everyone gets to add their comments to documents and slides and share with others in the classroom.
  • The students have completed Google Slide projects that they present to the class. This is a great teaching tool and the students are embracing the Chromebooks head on.
  • Our textbooks are online and the interactive and supplementary material provided online gives the students the extra help they need. If we did not have the Chromebooks, this valuable content would not be utilized.

Scores are going up and so is attendance. The options are limitless and I love seeing the students grab them daily, log on, and check their documents for the day's plans. Having the Chromebooks in my classroom has opened a huge door for my students and myself!
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Working Smarter, not harder with Canvas

When Mr. Jeff Goodwin at Cimarron Middle School thinks about Canvas, he thinks, "work smarter, not harder." Mr. Goodwin is able to take tests he has created in a program called Examview and upload them into Canvas where the students take the test. He does not have to spend his valuable time making copies of tests and scan sheets. As soon as the students take a test on Canvas, they receive their waiting on Mr. Goodwin to scan the answer sheets on the Edusoft machine and record the grades in Infinite Campus. In Mr. Goodwin's opinion, the test item analysis tool is better in Canvas than the one in the Edusoft program, providing him with more precise information to meet student needs.

In Canvas, tests can include a variety of different question types, like multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, multiple answers, matching, and even essay questions, to name a few. Mr. Goodwin is able to give a test with multiple question types, and Canvas will grade just about everything except the essay, which again saves him time.

In the picture below, Mr. Goodwin's students are creating political cartoons, which they will turn in on Canvas, also saving paper.

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About the Project

Mission: Empowering all students to succeed in a

changing society.

Vision: Advancing excellence in everything we do!

Digital Conversion, simply put, is about learning and not about technology. The project will provide student mobile devices, digital content (curriculum, including textbooks), professional development, network infrastructure, and a Learning Management System. This project will provide our students with the experience, skills, confidence, and adaptability they will need to succeed in college and in the workforce.