Bucks County Tech Mentors Share

Highlights and Best Practices in Instructional Technology

Feburary 2016 Edition

Welcome

This newsletter is a monthly publication from the Tech Mentors of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The overall goal of this newsletter is to share Instructional Technology applications and how they are being implemented in Bucks County with teachers, staff, administrators, students, parents and community members. Please take a minute to take the survey shared below, as well as comment at the bottom of the Smore.
Digital Community Survey

Please take a minute to take the linked survey about digital communities.

Bucks County Computer Fair March 18th 2016!

The Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 Regional High School and Middle School Computer Fair is an annual event that highlights Bucks County high school students' application skills and computer knowledge. Students are able to unleash their creativity, learn how to convey information more dynamically, and enhance the learning process.


PARTICIPATE:

Submit a Project

Please share with potential teachers and students who might want to submit projects for this event! Click here for more information


Volunteer

We need volunteers to help judge, present and run the computer fair. If you are available to help, please click here to sign up!

Keystone Technology Innovators​ Program Now Open for Nominations

PAECT is proud to announce that nominations for the Keystone Technology Innovators​ program is now open and will close on February 29th 2016. Below you will find a letter that can be sent to district administrators or click the direct link for Nominations here!

Teacher Feature: Ken Ehrmann’s Flipped Classroom

The following interview was conducted with Ken Ehrmann, 5th Grade teacher in Pennridge School District, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Ken is known for his work “flipping the classroom” and hosts a YouTube Channel dedicated to the flipped classroom. Ken often trains teachers on elements of the flipped classroom, using his expertise to guide them as they embark on their own efforts to change the classroom environment for students.

Connected Classrooms

Meet Mrs. Christine Demore, a fourth grade teacher at New Hope-Solebury Upper Elementary School. This past month Mrs. Demore took her students on a virtual field trip across the globe, where her class met marine biologist Michelle Jewell through the organization, Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants. As one of the camera spots for this live webinar, Mrs. Demore’s class was able to interact with Ms. Jewell who shared her story about becoming a marine biologist and offered advice to the young students about science and life in general.


To connect your class with a live expert, join the Google+ community, Google Connected Classrooms. Through this community, educators are able to set up their classes for virtual field trips, expert talks, and mystery hangouts with students around the globe. The primary goal of Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants is to knock down classroom walls and take students anywhere in the world, never having to leave their desks. They accomplish this by connecting students with exciting guest speaker lessons and virtual field trips from around the world. Through their partnerships with individuals and organizations around the world, they strive to connect students with leading researchers, daring adventurers and innovative conservationists, and to give them the chance to ask big questions and meet meaningful role models.

Social Media Research Slide Share

Why we should use social media for research! Click for an impressive slide presentation.

Welcome to My Makerspace!

littleBits

The term “Makerspace” or “Make Movement” have been making the rounds in education recently. So what is a Makerspace? A Makerspace, according to Maker Media, is a space that serves “as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise” (Maker Media, 2013, p. 1). A Makerspace is defined “by what it enables” which is making (Maker Media, 2013, p. 1).


Think of a Makerspace as a collection of various learning environments. These learning environments provide an abundance of possibilities for students to learn, create, collaborate, and share.


You may be wondering what goes into a Makerspace. Obviously there needs to be tools for students to use for “making.” In the following months I will be providing a brief overview of various tools that can be found in a Makerspace. This month we will be discussing littleBits.


littleBits

What are littleBits?: littleBits are “electronic building blocks” that can be used for any kind of project (littleBits, 2016).

Quakertown Digital Literacy Curriculum

In the 2015-2016 school year, the Quakertown Community School board has implemented a Grade 1-5 Digital Literacy Curriculum in which students meet with a Digital Literacy teacher once every 6 academic days. The curriculum was designed using open source and free resources found on the web. Students learn about digital literacy throughCommon Sense Media, coding and computer science through Code.org, and practice their typing skills throughtyping.com. Teachers also heavily use Google Apps for Education and the Canvas Learning Management System to help students navigate, collaborate, and create their own digital footprints.
Pfaff Digital Literacy students learn internet safety
RES Digital Literacy Classes learn to code
TVES Digital Literacy students learn to type

Upcoming Events

2016

Bucks County Computer Fair - March 18th​ 2016

Upcoming Internet Safety Live Stream - Feb. 4th 2016

60in60: Conference 2.0 - May 20th 2016

Authors

Cara Gurysh

Media and Technology Integrator

Pennridge School District

Kasey Hinrichs

Online Learning Mentor

Bridges Virtual

Powered by Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22

Karen Hornberger

Librarian Media Specialist

Palisades High School

Amanda Lynch

Technology Teacher Leader and Cyber Program Liaison
New Hope-Solebury School District

Dawn Martesi

Instructional Coach

Bristol Township School District