The Elementary Tech Times

A parent newsletter about technology in our schools

June 2017

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Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2

Wrapping up the final month of the year found students using technology they know to learn about new topics and share their learning. Students in these grades are using the Seesaw app regularly to create "posts" about their learning. Posts can include text, drawings, voice recordings, and video. Some classes also learned about "app smashing" - using two different apps to create one product. Students used the Chatterpix app to make an image "talk", then posted their creation in Seesaw.

Additionally, we used the Nearpod app to learn together about animals. Nearpod allows a teacher to share digital images, activities, and more directly to student ipads all at the same time, with the teacher controlling when the screen changes. It's a bit like putting a Smartboard in every child's hands.

Finally, many classes are having a final conversation about all the great things they can do when it's time to "go unplugged". We're talking about how we can make smart choices by putting away the devices frequently and playing actively with others... growing healthy bodies and healthy relationships. It's all about BALANCE. (See the list of activities students recommended up above!)

Grade 3 & 4

Students in these grades continued learning more about the options Google Apps for Education gives us. They've worked this year in Google Docs (similar to Microsoft Word), Good Slides (like Powerpoint), and now Google Forms, which allows students to create surveys and questionnaires to collect data. Students can survey their class to vote on a topic, to collect information, or to sign people up to contribute to a group effort. It is also a useful tool when studying data and statistics in math class.

We are wrapping up our Tech Talks for the year with a quiz & survey in the three key areas we've focused on: word processing skills, research skills, and digital citizenship.

Celebration of Technology Learning 2016-2017

Grades 5 & 6

Our elementary 'juniors' and 'seniors' used to create videos in ONE class period. This free website allows students to choose a theme, insert images and text, choose a soundtrack and put it all together in a video. The options provided are a bit more than Animoto and less than iMovie. This can be a great tool for projects in other school subjects to share their learning.

We are wrapping up our Tech Talks for the year with a quiz & survey in the three key areas we've focused on: word processing skills, research skills, and digital citizenship.

Other Student Tech Opportunities

This year, we were able to have an after-school coding club for 6 weeks in two schools, and a coding enrichment cluster in the 3rd school. We hope to continue this next year.

Additionally, several GCS students met for lunch once a week as the Student Tech Team. (This was a pilot this year in just one school, but should be an opportunity in all three schools next year.) They spent that time learning how to fix some of the most common problems on the Chromebooks, iPads, and even Smartboards. Three students really took the lead with this project, going into classrooms to help teachers fix problems, and even interviewing teachers about what the Student Tech Team can do next year to help. Thank you Mackenzie, Carma, and Lucy for your dedication and hard work!

Miss the previous newsletter?

Our spring newsletter included resources about breaking tech addiction and spotting fake news. To read it now, click here.

Sarah Miller

Educational Technology Specialist