Technology Times

November 5, 2014

Create, Connect, Communicate: Digital-Age Learners Share Digital Stories

With the proliferation of iPads in K-12 classrooms, teachers need apps (tools) that leverage this powerful, new technology and can help them create active, participatory, authentic classrooms that meet the needs of students with multiple learning styles, and align with Common Core/State Standards. Learn how the Shutterfly Photo Story for iPad app is personalizing learning opportunities for students in every grade level across every subject area.

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Technology Meeting for Middle/High Instructional Technology Facilitators

Thursday, Nov. 20th, 8:30am

Cabarrus County Schools Technology Center

Technology Meeting for Elementary Instructional Technology Facilitators

Friday, Nov. 21st, 8:30am

Cabarrus County Schools Technology Center

11 apps for coding: From beginners to masters

This article if for the CCS schools that are planning on competing in the 2014-15 App Challenge. Read about 11 apps for coding.

As students begin to not only use technology, but create it’s functionality, a recent explosion in coding resources have hit the web, providing coding apps ranging from introductions for beginners and middle-schoolers to more technical resources aimed at the tech-savvy.

From learning the basics of coding by making a dinosaur dance to more intermediate coding that requires working knowledge of HTML, and from a multiplayer robot combat game to app design, these programming apps provide an array of options for students, teachers and parents to become acquainted with one of the hottest subjects making the education rounds.

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By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, @eSN_Meris
Read more by Meris Stansbury
January 17th, 2014

TED Talk on Coding

Mitch Resnick: Let’s teach kids to code
Hour of Code and App Challenge is coming!!! See this Ted Talk entitled, "Let's Kids to Code"

Resnick is a computer scientist at MIT, who helps kids of all ages “tinker and experiment with design.” In this talk, he emphasizes the importance of exposing kids not to just new technologies, but creative new technologies.

“It’s almost as if they can read, but not write with new technologies,” Resnick says in the talk. “And I’m interested in helping young people become fluent, so they can write with new technologies. And that really means that they need to be able to write their own computer programs, or code.”

He also talks about the rise of coding programs geared toward kids, and the rise of coding in worldwide, for everyone from Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg to first-graders in Estonia.

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What Students Aren’t Learning On Their iPads

In this Education Week article, Benjamin Herold reports that the reading achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students may be greater than previously believed because researchers haven’t taken into account SES-based differences in online reading skills. Donald Leu (University of Connecticut) just completed a study of seventh graders (“The New Literacies of Online Research and Comprehension: Rethinking the Reading Achievement Gap”) and found the gap between upper- and lower-income groups is large, amounting to a full year’s worth of learning.

“We need to regularly and consistently show students how to use three critical skills,” says Leu: “Being able to identify the author of information; being able to evaluate the expertise of the author; and being able to evaluate the point of view that’s being expressed on the Web page. The first two are almost never taught. The third tends to be taught, but with offline information, in the form of narratives.”

Leu is concerned that a lot of technology activity in schools – for example, bring your own device programs and the use of apps on iPads – is not addressing this cluster of skills. “Typically these apps are teaching offline reading skills, such as word recognition or vocabulary,” he says. “They’re not teaching critical evaluation of sources on a Web page, or effective e-mail communication, or how to synthesize information from multiple websites to draw a conclusion.”

“Literacy Skills for the Web Showing Gap” by Benjamin Herold in Education Week, October 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, #8, p. 1, 11),

Online Math Resources

Online math resources – Math guru Steve Leinwand has recently updated an extensive list of free math resources – see, click on Resources, and then on Great Online Math Resources.