Dawson County Schools Tech Update

Sharing the good news of Instructional Tech in our schools

Instructional Technology Committee News

The Instructional Technology Committee did not meet in December due to limited instructional days and testing. In January, the committee will start the review process of various Learning Management Systems (LMS). As per Wikipedia, a learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) courses or training programs.[1]
Learning Management Systems range from systems for managing training and educational records to software for distributing online or blended/hybrid college courses over the Internet with features for online collaboration. Colleges, universities, school districts, and schools use LMSs to deliver online courses and augment on-campus courses. LMSs also act to augment the lessons the teacher is giving in a brick and mortar environment, not just replace them. Corporate training departments use LMSs to deliver online training, as well as to automate record-keeping and employee registration. Some of these systems to be reviewed are Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, and Itslearning.

Technology Take Over Days!

On the following days the Dawson County Schools Technology Department will offer a day of service at Dawson County Schools. The Technology Team will be onsite all day to assist faculty and staff with areas of technology and instructional technology integration. The technology team has visited BMES and RES and has provided assistance to their staff. The January visits are:

KES-1/7/16; DCHS-1/13/16

Technology Integration Strategies

Computer Science Education Week is Dec. 7-13, and is part of the "Hour of Code" effort. As per the Computer Science Education Week website, https://csedweek.org, "Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career—from architecture to zoology. Just as we teach students how to dissect a frog, or how electricity works, it’s important for every 21st century student to have a chance to “dissect an app,” or learn how the Internet works".

This link https://csedweek.org/educate/3rdparty provides great resources on how you can integrate these skills into your classroom, year round.

Dawson County Schools have been providing "Hour of Code" activities at a number of different levels, elementary through high school. Ellen Harrison, middle school Business and Information Technology teacher, has been providing "Hour of Code" activities for middle school students since 2013.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Learning Resources

Looking for more information and tutorials about working with Google Apps for Education?

One great site to visit is https://www.thegooru.com/. The newsletter is free and has great step by step directions for using Google Apps. Google Apps are available to all Dawson County School employees, and in the future, to all Dawson County school students.

A Tip of The Hat!

A Tip of the Hat to RVMS and Media Specialist, Cherie Powell, for implementing Google Calendar to provide information of availability of labs and devices. At one click, staff can see and request resources.

A Tip of the Hat to RES and Ms. Estes, providing "Hour of Code" activities for students during "Computer Science Education Week". Ms. Estes shares " We coded with apps that use blocks, like Tynker, The Foos, Kodable, and Code.org’s Star Wars, Anna & Elsa, Angry Birds and MineCraft, All students at Robinson had the opportunity to do one hour of coding during Computer Specials Class. This week and throughout January, computer classes will continue coding with online apps and coding with the robots Dash and Dot".

A Tip of the Hat to BMES and Ms. Reeves, applying for and winning two grant awards, applying the funds to technology integration in the math classroom.

A Tip of the Hat to RVES, as per Media Specialist, Tana Martin, "Teachers at Riverview Elementary school are now using Plickers. Plickers are a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Using Plickers, all students are able to participate and engage in learning without feeling self-conscious. Riverview teachers LOVE Plickers and use them frequently!"

A Tip of the Hat to RES and RES Asst. Principal Linda Bearden, going paperless during their faculty meeting by using Google Forms for a sign in sheet and Google Docs for the meeting agenda.

A Tip of the Hat to RES 4th grade science teachers and students, using green screen and Photo Booth to create weather forecasts.

A Tip of the Hat to DCHS and Asst. Principal Brody Hughes, using the student wireless network and student's devices to participate in the Student Health surveys.

A Tip of the Hat to RVES and Media Specialist Tana Martin, offering professional learning activities on using Google Apps for Education (GAFE).

Tech Tips

Looking for a way to provide a "Workflow": a process where a student is given an assignment or task that produces a product, that product is recorded, and that performance is evaluated by others, hopefully, in a collaborative environment, using iPads?

Consider using https://dropitto.me/. The teacher makes a https://dropitto.me/ account and makes a connection to their school google drive.

The teacher then makes a “page” in dropitto.me for the class activity or assignment, etc. Use a password that you can tell your students. This password only allows students to upload selected files from student device. Students can also upload ANY file from a computer under 100MB. Therefore, this would also work in a computer lab.

With an iPad, the student selects the image from the iPad's Photo Gallery, and uploads it to the teacher's dropitto.me page. The image is then found in the teacher's google drive in a folder specified by the teacher.

For more daily tech tips, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/dcschoolstech

and on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/DCSchoolsTech/instructional-technology/

MacBook Air's Wish List

If your new MacBook Air could make a wish list for Santa, these items would be on it. Holiday shopping offers some great bargains on these items, and this small investment could protect you and your Macbook.

Consider a protective "shell" for your Macbook Air, here is an example from Speck http://www.speckproducts.com/apple/macbook-cases.html

Liquids in your MacBook Air is one quick way to ruin it. Consider a Key Board protector guard like this one from Moshi, http://www.moshi.com/keyboard-protector-clearguard-macbook#us-layout

Your Macbook Air may be new, but even it can suffer from memory loss. A plan to backup your valuable data will save you and your work from disaster. While google drive can backup the files you specify, when you remember, consider purchasing an external hard drive and use the "Time Machine" built into your MacBook. Consider a 500gb HD, look for the Mac compatibility, you can find these at Walmart. Here are some examples: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/external/portableformac/

Take care of your MacBook, and it will take care of you!

Technology Take Over Day @ KES

Thursday, Jan. 7th 2016 at 8am

1063 Kilough Church Road

Dawsonville, GA

Entire Technology staff will be on campus to assist staff.

Google Apps for EDU 101 @ PioneerRESA

Thursday, Jan. 7th 2016 at 8:30am-3:30pm

1342 Georgia 254

Cleveland, GA

Still seats available for this workshop. This training will show teachers how to utilize Google Apps for Education in their classroom. This all day workshop is geared towards those who are interested in integrating Google Apps in the classroom, but who aren’t sure of the possibilities. Will be led by Google Certified Teacher, Lee Green. Bring your own computer with the Chrome Browser installed and get ready to learn! Register on the Pioneer RESA Website, Course ID 2074.

Technology Take Over Day @ DCHS

Wednesday, Jan. 13th 2016 at 8am

1665 Perimeter Road

Dawsonville, GA

Entire Technology staff will be on campus to assist staff.