#iCONNECT Tech Tips
Friday, December 12, 2014 #EHSRedDevils
Hour Of Code: Look What I Made!
This week students from Pre-K to 12th graders at Elkmont High School joined a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries: Hour of Code!
Hour of Code is designed to highlight the importance of computer literacy in today’s students. Computer science and computer programming is an essential 21st century literacy and should be a part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
Students of all ages participated in a variety of coding activities. Some of our coding creations can be viewed on our Virtual Hallway: http://limestonedpi.weebly.com/special-hour-of-code.html
If you would like to explore the world of coding be sure to visit our Hour of Code Symbaloo page for links to lots of exciting coding opportunities: http://lcsk12.symbaloo.com/home/mix/AAAAARZB-hQAA41-4VpM7w==
Read this article from Time for more about why learning to code is an important skill: http://www.timeforkids.com/news/computer-science-education-week/199721
Epic! eBooks App For iPad is FREE for Teachers & Librarians
Epic! opens the doors to a new world of reading for kids 12 and under by providing an unlimited selection of eBooks that can be instantly discovered, read and shared with friends. Personalized for each individual reader, Epic! is the only place to access thousands of high quality, curated children's books without the need to purchase or download them one by one. Beautifully designed for mobile and featuring fun, game-like elements, Epic! provides kids with a personal library they can take anywhere. In a world of unlimited screen time, Epic! is a smart alternative to games and videos.
My Personal Recommendations for PreSchool iPad Apps
Here are some great apps for young kids that my grandson (turning 4 in January) has loved and I highly recommend them!
Endless Alphabet: https://itunes.apple.com/…/app/endless-alphabet/id591626572…
Endless Numbers: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/endless-numbers/id804360921…
Endless Reader: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/endless-reader/id722910739…
Almost anything by the developer Duck, Duck, Moose: http://www.duckduckmoose.com/educational-iphone-itouch-app…/
Who Really Learns From The RED PEN?
I am the daughter of English teachers. I watched them as night after night they made student's papers bleed, folded the papers in half and wrote the grade on the outside. Personally, when I received these types of papers back from my teachers I never even looked inside at the corrections, suggestions and notes my teacher had spent hours making. I saw my grade and that was that. So my question is this. Who really learns from the RED PEN?
In a perfect world teachers would have time to sit down one on one with students to discuss their writing and allow time for revising, editing & rewriting with continuous feedback from the teacher before the final grading process. But my experience as a child of English teachers and as an educator for 23 years is that we (educators) rarely go beyond the pre-writing/rough draft phase with our students; assigning grades to first drafts. Our time is limited and a new writing prompt is in the pacing guide for the following week. There simply isn't time to go through the entire writing process: PreWriting, Drafting, Revising & Editing, ReWriting, & Publishing.
The 3rd grade teachers at Elkmont High School recently decided that they needed to spend more time assisting students with the writing processes and not rushing to the next writing prompt as the skills in each writing prompt roll back around and are repeated in multiple content areas.
Using the MacBook Airs provided to each 3rd grade student via the Digital Passport Initiative and the Google add-on, Kaizena, 3rd grade teachers will provide students with a type of one on one conferencing that will have students making corrections rather than the teacher's red pen making the corrections.
So how will this work you might be wondering. First, the teacher will send out the writing prompt to students via Google Classroom. Students access the prompt via Google Classroom and will type their rough drafts. The teacher will use the Google add-on, Kaizena, to provide students with recorded feedback on their writings as if the student was sitting next to them for a one on one conference. Once all the writings have received feedback, the teacher will instruct students to put on their headphones, listen to the feedback and make the suggested corrections. This process may need to be repeated. Finally, student writings will be published to an authentic audience in a variety of ways including our 3rd grade blog, ebooks, comic strip makers, etc.