Tech Topics

Ideas to help implement technology - just try ONE thing!

Volume 5 - March 17, 2016

CPS Teacher Focus

Beverly Baughman Mallory - ESL Teacher at Withrow University High School

Beverly Baughman Mallory has been an educator for over thirty-eight years. During her tenure with the Cincinnati Public Schools, she has served as a teacher (grades 1-11); curriculum coordinator, elementary principal, and reading specialist. She is currently an ESL teacher at Withrow University High School.


When the school district began implementing technology in the classroom, Ms. Mallory was fearful because it was out of her comfort zone, she had to change her “mindset” and do a paradigm shift. Stepping out of your comfort zone is no easy task, however, in order to tackle her fear she became a regular participant in the Technology PLCs provided at Withrow University High School. She also took advantage of the Tech Truck and met frequently staff members regarding technical questions.


She views the teacher’s role as a facilitator who empowers students to take responsibility for their learning. In her classroom, students know they are loved and that excuses are not accepted. When students are faced with obstacles that may prevent them from obtaining their academic goals, she assists them in creating solutions.


As an ESL SLIFE teacher, she continuously receives new students enrolling throughout the school year from around the world. These students’ language skills range from knowing no English, to very limited English. Her students represent four continents, ten countries, numerous dialects, spoken only languages, no formal education, interrupted formal education, and academic skill levels ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. Many are in high school due to their age: however, they have had no or limited schooling in their native language. This represented a challenge to Ms. Mallory on how to balance moving other students forward while addressing the needs of new students who needed to become proficient in materials already covered in class.


To meet the academic high school standards that they are still expected to achieve is challenging to say the least. To meet these demands, Ms. Mallory recognized the benefit of incorporating technology in her curriculum. She uses Google Classroom extensively, students can easily navigate within this application, as well as other Google applications. She highlights questions in different colors, then asks students to highlight the evidence in that same color. For differentiation, she uses Blendspace, this allows students to go at their own pace and their own path is created. Technology has enhanced the way that Ms. Mallory has taught.

What's Happening Around Cincinnati Public Schools

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with General Electric Project

Many science students in Cincinnati Public Schools are being afforded a great opportunity to enhance their learning opportunities through an incredible collaboration between Cincinnati Public Schools, General Electric and The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum(NASM) in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the NASM project is to build scientific capacity and confidence in our students that last a lifetime.


Fifth graders at Evanston Academy and sixth graders at Covedale and Dater Montessori are amongst those selected to participate in an Interactive Video Conference experience, bringing the Smithsonian Museum into their classroom. Students who participate in this exciting, yet challenging way of learning will have an opportunity not only to see first-hand the many features of the National Air and Space Museum centers, but also a chance to learn about the diverse Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math related careers that are centered around the learning the students engage in on a daily basis. The students will meet astronauts, conservators, geologist, geographers, biologist, engineers, curators and scientist, just to name a few, who will explain to them various concepts such as aerodynamics, space adventures, space explorations, ecology, rocks and minerals, chemical and physical changes, and more concepts and connect them to everyday life in Space and here on Earth.


The interactive video conferences are strategically and appropriately aligned based on an established CPS science curriculum pacing guide. The supplemental lessons are aligned to Ohio’s New Learning Science Standards and are extended to give the students rigorous collaboration opportunities amongst each other and scientist from the Smithsonian. The lessons also address the Next Generation Science Standards, challenging the students to personally obtain high performance expectations. Incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards combines a relevant practice of science or engineering with a core disciplinary idea and crosscutting concepts.


This experience factors in the eight practices of science and engineering that is essential for all students to learn;

• Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

• Developing and using 3D models

• Planning and carrying out investigations

• Analyzing and interpreting data

• Using mathematics and computational thinking

• Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

• Engaging in argument from evidence

• Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


CPS as well as those students and educators involved in this project are excited about it. Students are reporting that being a part of this project has improved their overall science grades and understanding of concepts as related to Space and Earth. They are showing excitement about careers they did not know existed and expressing interest in these diverse careers, such as being a geologist. After the “Rocks and Rovers” Interactive Video Conference lesson, a student named Jerome stated, “You mean somebody really has a job to study rocks?” The next day he came to school with a bag filled with rocks he had collected the day after the Interactive Video Conference. He was ready to share them and investigate each rock. For educators, it is encouraging to see how the students look forward to each Interactive Video Conference and go the extra mile to be prepared for the collaboration. It is apparent this supplemental educational experience enhances the critical thinking, discourse and real world connection for every science student engaged with the NASM project.


The feedback has been quite positive from all individuals involved. For this reason, the project is expanding across additional sixth grade classes in 2016-2017. Evanston Academy is completing the fifth grade pilot this school year. This fall, the project will expand to selected fifth grade classrooms, and will start the fourth grade pilot at Evanston Academy. We look forward to progression of the NASM Project, developing the program’s pedagogy as well as providing additional enrichment for the science classroom.

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Get Started Somewhere - Tech Tools for the Classroom

ThingLink

Are you looking for a new and different way to use technology to engage your students and grab their attention? Try thinglink.com! Thinglink can be used in any content area and at any grade level. This wonderful program brings lessons to life by making presentations interactive. Teachers can use digital resources to add excitement to any picture by linking images it to videos, music, photos, websites, and more.


Using thinglink is quick and easy. Simply upload an image, link it to a variety of resources, and share. Although it is a wonderful teaching tool, it is also a great way for students to add pizazz to research reports and projects. Students can make maps, timelines and infographics come to life by tagging and embedding a variety of resources, including voiceovers. At thinglink, every image contains a story, and every presentation can be exciting and fun.


Need ideas on how to use thinglink: Click on the below examples

Example #1

Example #2

Blendspace

Blendspace is a FREE user friendly platform in which teachers can develop multimedia lessons for students. Blendspace uses a drag and drop feature that most teachers are familiar with using already. This tool allows the teacher to easily add hyperlinks, videos, Google Drive, YouTube, Google search, Flickr, Dropbox, as well as many other online sources from your computer.


Bailey Shawley, a Blogger for Truth in Teaching, details three ways in which teachers might use Blendspace.

  1. Flipping the classroom. Find, aggregate, and share online content, such as videos, images, PDFs, and even Google Docs. Students comment or take notes alongside the content. Flipping the classroom is a concept in its infancy that many teachers are experimenting with, as it provides for more active learning assessment via in-class concept engagement. Check out this infographic for more on the flipped classroom concept.

  2. Student assignments. From building presentations to compiling research for a written topic analysis, Blendspace is useful for facilitating many types of student assignments. Blendspace provides students with opportunities “to practice and demonstrate 21st Century learner skills.”

  3. Differentiated lessons. Personalized learning is critically important in the included classrooms that exist today, yet it’s increasingly difficult to accomplish the level of differentiation that’s actually required to successfully bridge students to the appropriate benchmarks. Blendspace makes it easy to differentiate instruction, allowing you to create customized lessons with student-specific content and individualized assessments in a fraction of the time.


There is no one way to incorporate Blendspace into your classroom. Take a few minutes and visit the Blendspace home page and see what this instructional tool has to offer you and your students.

Tab Resize - Google Chrome Extension

Google Extensions enhance your Chrome browser - not familiar with Google extensions, click here to get a very brief overview.


Tab Resize enables you to split your screens at a touch of the button. Split screen made easy. Resize the current tab and tabs to the right into the provided layouts on separate windows. Multiple uses for this tool: have one screen for student work and another for your gradebook? Project multiple student work, or just one screen. Tab Resize is a nice shortcut to use in the classroom. Special thanks to Sayler Park School for sharing this tip.


Go to the Google Chrome webstore to get the extension installed on your browser.

Need Help with Implementing Technology?

Differentiation and Co-Teaching in High School Math is Real- You Can Do it Too!

If you are a high school math teacher looking for ways to meet the needs of all of your students, integrate technology, and still incorporate Springboard meaningfully into your lessons, think about the visiting the Demonstration Classroom at Western Hills University High School! Holly Irby and Chrissy Reeves work together to plan and teach a student-centered geometry class that takes advantage of 1:1 devices to personalize instruction.


Students are able to receive core instruction in small groups, by watching online videos, and by engaging in activities that lead them to discovering key concepts through investigation and exploration. Group work and cooperation are encouraged, because the goal is to prepare students for college and careers.


Holly and Chrissy co-plan, co-teach, and work together to assess all the students in their class. Their plans are always developed with student needs in mind. They use four different co-teaching strategies on a regular basis- stations, teaming, parallel teaching, and alternative teaching. They are able to use Springboard as a meaningful resource, while designing creative and thought-provoking lessons that reach students at varying levels of readiness.


On any given day, you might see students watching a Khan Academy video to review and practice with a concept. Other students might be using Desmos or GeoGebra to graph and explore properties of different geometric shapes. A small group of students could be working together on a project about designing a logo for a company based on the properties of right triangles that they just learned in a unit.


Interested in learning how to work more effectively with your co-teacher? How about incorporating technology in meaningful ways with the district curriculum and pacing guide? Come visit the Demonstration Classroom at Western Hills University High School! Contact Chrissy Reeves for more information or to schedule a visit: reevech@cps-k12.org.


For more information about the Demonstration Classrooms - please visit the website.

Ed Tech Tools Used at CPS

There are so many education technology tools out there - you are not alone, it can be overwhelming. There are a variety of tools used at Cincinnati Public Schools - subscriptions or free. Clicking on the link will take you to a list of favorite tools that some of our CPS teachers are using on a daily basis. You'll find explanations, links, and account information. Please note that these are just resources gathered in one place, the CPS help desk may not have all information about each of these applications as some are not CPS supported.


Ed Tech Tools List-Cincinnati Public Schools Favs


The list is updated on a regular basis - want to contribute to the list, email Megan Safko-Preslin at preslim@cps-k12.org

User Guides

Ever wonder where to go for various user guides on CPS applications?


Visit the Google My Tomorrow site, go to the new Staffnet, click on the Departments > My Tomorrow Staff Website under resources for principals and teachers. Once in the My Tomorrow site click on a specific section you are wanting more information, for example, technology and you'll find help guides for usage.


Blackboard also has user guides for CPS applications: login to your Blackboard account - find ITM District Training Resources.


The ITM Help Desk also provides user guides on their updated Google website.

What's Next?

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Opportunities to Learn More Tech in the Classroom

Mayerson Courses

Co-Teaching Roundtables (1991.6452

Wednesday, April 13th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues on developing skills and strategies needed to effectively co-teach in any subject area.

Integrating Technology into the Elementary Classroom Roundtable (2003.6512)

Tuesday, April 26th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Opportunity to work with colleagues on developing skills and strategies needed to effectively implement technology into elementary classrooms.

High School Technology Roundtables (1993.6456)

Tuesday, April 26th, 4:15pm

2650 Highland Avenue

Cincinnati, OH

Practical technology tools to enhance teaching and engagement in the 7-12 classroom.

LanSchool Online Course - 2030.6718

LanSchool is a great way to hlep with classroom management within the 21st century. This course is designed to be a self-paced course to take via online through Blackboard. Teachers can learn how to effectively use LanSchool - through videos and activities - at your own pace.


Register with Mayerson.

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