Parent Plugin

January 2018

MISD 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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Did You Know...

McKinney ISD has an exceptionally high standard for classroom technology on campuses. Students in grades PK-12 have access to digital resources encompassing both hardware and software for the 21st century. The infographic below illustrates the district's commitment to ensuring consistency of access to digital resources across all campuses, grade levels and content areas, as well as a consistent focus on how the technology impacts student instruction and learning. Click HERE for the detailed web version, or HERE for the PDF.
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*Apps...What is it and what does it do?

  • Huvi- is an app for kids to watch YouTube videos, with parents having control over the included content. Huvi allows parents to create profiles for each child in their family. They can then add individual videos to those profiles that meet with their approval. Kids are not allowed to search YouTube content; nor are they allowed to follow through to recommended videos. Ads are stripped as well. The parental account can be locked down using the device passcode or Touch ID. Families can also add passcodes to individual profiles so that kids of different ages will have access to only their own content. Parents can add a daily time limit for each kid's account. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

  • Desmos- is a free graphing calculator app. Students can plot functions, create tables, add sliders, animate graphs, and more all on their phone or other compatible device. Features of Desmos include: graphing, tables, sliders, calculus, statistics and a scientific calculator. Once the app is added to the device there is no need for Internet access to use the tool. Desmos is currently NOT an approved tool for use during local (district assessments), state (STAAR), or any national testing (SAT, ACT, PSAT etc.)

  • Puffin Academy -is an app that serves as an alternative Web browser that only offers access to a pre-set list of educational websites. Its big appeal is that it lets users access websites that use the Flash plug-in. If you're interested in accessing these sites on your mobile device or creating a safe space for your kids to study online, Puffin Academy can be a helpful tool.

*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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Online High School Courses- Spring 2017

MISD students have the option of accelerating their course work by taking an additional

courses for high school credit online during the Spring of 2017. Courses are provided by Apex Learning and taught by MISD teachers. There are no course meeting times, and classes can be accessed 24/7 for the duration of the term. Online classes are available to students in grades 8-12 and include:

  • U.S. Government (11th or 12th grade)
  • Economics (11th or 12th grade )
  • Psychology (8-12)
  • Sociology (8-12)
  • Health (8-12 )
  • Creative Writing- (9-12 elective credit only)
  • English IV-A and B (11-12 graders only)

Please access THIS FLYER for more information or see your student's counselor for advising. All courses are self paced so students can enroll any time until April 28.

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1:The World Spring Parent Meetings

Parents of current 8th graders are invited to attend one of the 7 scheduled parent meetings being held this spring to learn more about the 1:The World Freshman Laptop initiative at each high school. All rising freshman students will receive an 11" MacBook Air computer to use for learning over their four years of high school. The meetings will cover logistics of the initiative, MISD's goals and direction with technology in the classroom and rules for use of these devices. Parents need only attend one meeting and can come to any campus/date that works for them. Meetings will be held starting at 6:00 PM in the library on each date. See THIS LINK for more information.

  • February 13- MHS
  • February 27- MNHS
  • March 13- MBHS
  • March 27- MHS
  • April 10- MNHS
  • April 24- MBHS
  • May 8- MHS

Resources for Coding at Home

McKinney ISD campuses participated in the global "Hour of Code" in December.

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. More than 163 thousand events in over 80 countries were scheduled for the Hour of Code this year. McKinney ISD students in grades PK-12 participate in coding clubs and events on their campuses throughout the year. Below are some resources campuses are using for coding at school:

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