Parent Plugin

December 2016

McKinney ISD- Department of Instructional Technology

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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Hour of Code in McKinney ISD

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching over 100 million students in more than 180 countries. McKinney ISD campuses will participate in The Hour of Code this week during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11. Parents can follow the student activities on campuses using the hashtag #hourofcode. Students as young as four are learning the language or computers as they participate in coding events around the district. See your campus' administrator or Media Resource Specialist for more information on coding clubs and activities on your student's campus.
MHS Codes

MHS Codes

McKinney High School students code a daily message in to this "Stranger Things" message board. Students stop throughout the day to decipher and then Tweet the day's message for a chance to win gift cards in a daily drawing. #hourofcode

Cockrill MS Math Redefines Classroom Learning

Students in Glynn Smith's math classes are living in a 21st century classroom this year. Students from Summit Middle School in Frisco, Colorado work remotely with Cockrill MS students to learn math and collaborate on projects. Using Google tools, including Gmail, GSuite for Edu and Google Hangouts, students in both classes work remotely to solve problems, create presentations and gain a deeper understanding of math skills.

Lawson Early Childhood STEAM Lab

At Lawson ECS, all 52 classes rotate through the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab every other week. The STEAM Team designs 4 lessons, two teacher-led and two independent; students will experience all four during the month. STEAM lessons are paired with curriculum for the time frame.


A grant received from House Bill IV, was used to purchase some amazing materials: giant redwood Lincoln longs, water tables, a moveable magnet wall, Swiss cheese ramp kits, and Smart Tables, to name a few. In addition to building with these great tools each week, Lawson students learn to code with each unit using various coding programs and robots. So far, they have coded with BeeBots, Code-A-Pillar, and Osmo.


The goal for the Lawson STEAM lab is always to stay play-based, encourage collaboration and communication, and to foster creativity and perseverance.

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

  • YouTube Music- is a mobile version of the social media channel focused entirely on music. Unlike YouTube proper, there's a safety mode, so kids can search for and find whatever they want with parameters set by a parent. Users get a free trial of the commercial-free YouTube Red, but when that expires they'll either have to pay to continue that service or deal with commercials before select videos and songs.

  • Ditty- is a third-party messenger app that turns what you write into music. Pick a song, type out your message, and watch it transform into a musical. The next time you want to cheer someone up, do it with a song set to your own, personalized lyrics.

  • Shakespeare in Bits- presents the full text of the work enriched with extra goodies to help facilitate deeper understanding and enjoyment of the material. Students can click on highlighted words and phrases to get their modern translations and historical context and to understand how certain lines tie into the play's larger themes. There also are scene notes and synopses, character profiles, notable quotes, and a bio of Shakespeare; however, the app's crowning achievements are the cartoon reenactments of every scene that literally bring the play to life, complete with lines that highlight in red as they're being spoken so readers can easily follow along.

*The descriptions here are informational only. This is not an evaluation or endorsement of app choices for students, but a tool for parent involvement.

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1:The World Student Usage Fees

All high school laptop fees are currently due for students in grades 9-11. If your student has not paid his/her annual fee (50.00 or 25.00 for students receiving free or reduced lunch) please login in to HAC to pay via credit/debit card or pay in person with cash or check at your student's home campus. Students with outstanding fees will lose access to the the Internet by the end of the day on Friday December 16. Access will only be returned once fees are paid AFTER the winter break. Please make arrangements to get any outstanding fees paid by the deadline. Directions for paying fees online can be found AT THIS LINK.

Common Sense Media Movie Reviews

The BFG Movie Review
https://youtu.be/d_WUTa2nOmE
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