Meet the Jeffco Robotics and Coding Cohort-- a group of elementary educators that are coming together this spring to test drive various robotic kits in their classrooms. These teachers applied for an opportunity to come together and spend time to ideate, innovate, prototype and develop lesson ideas around ISTE Standard #5: Computational Thinking. Time was spent connecting computational thinking, coding, and robotics to Jeffco Generation Skills and curriculum. Imagine the excitement in the room!
Kits include Bloxels, Bee-Bots, Cubelets, cue, dash and dot, Makey-makey, Ozobots, and spheros
Watch for the quick reference guides, resources and lessons designed by this cohort-coming to Bridge to Curriculum in May!
Tracey Boychuk has been teaching at Pomona for 25 years. She has spent 18 of those years teaching 12th grade Economics. For a number of years, she has been shaking things up for the 12th grade Econ students. Years ago, Tracey went to a Blended Learning PD offered by Jeffco Schools. She was convinced that the blended learning model could be transforming for students. Tracey knew that students were lacking the computer skills, digital sense and expertise necessary for the workforce or college. Blended Learning was an innovative way that students could use virtual learning to practice digital skills online and get the content, as well. The best part says Tracey, "I don't have to lecture!”
Schoology has the ability to count instructional minutes and Tracey says that the system she has put in place keeps students engaged and self-motivated. Students have at least seven “Virtual Days” a semester. A virtual day consists of students consuming the content using digital tools. They come back to class to explore ideas, collaborate and create! The students come prepared to engage in discussion and real-world tasks.. “It works” she says-as she knocks on wood!
To learn more about Blended Learning-watch this video.
Beginning March 12th, we encourage you to join us on a 10-day Twitter challenge to network with other educators, both within Jeffco and globally, and chat about how technology is transforming teaching and learning in your classroom. To participate in the challenge, log into Twitter each day and complete the following activities, using #JeffcoChat in each of your Tweets. You may also choose to include #JeffcoGenerations or mention us (@JeffcoEdTech), as well.
Here's your challenge, should you choose to accept it:
"The key to any great musician is an outstanding music teacher." - student
Spend a couple of minutes in Mr. Goodman's music classroom at Thomson Elementary, and you will discover he is one of those teachers. Sam's goal isn't to make every student into a musician; he knows that isn't a passion for every child, just like he admits to not loving football; however, he does hope to instill an appreciation of music into each of his students. To do that, he uses technology to help make music relevant and authentic.
Keeping it Real
Students select an instrument of their choice for the semester. The class starts together and talks about the goal for the day. Then, they get started practicing their instruments. As they practice, Sam moves from group to group, providing mini lessons and support to his students. Knowing that he can't support all groups simultaneously, he has created a YouTube channel that provides just-in-time support for students. Students can watch, pause, practice, and rewatch segments of the video, based on their individual needs.
Pulling it all together
Some of Mr. Goodman’s students head off to middle school and high school and continue engaging in their passion for music. He receives invitations from former students who are pursuing interests in sound engineering and instrumental music. For him, that is the best part of being a music teacher -- seeing his students grow an everlasting appreciation for music.
Interested in Getting STarted?
Do you want to know more about Ableton Live and The Push? Check out this district-approved software on Ableton’s website and watch artists use the instrument on Ableton’s YouTube channel. If you are interested in having students learn about creating beats and loops, but are not ready to purchase Push devices, you can experiment with Ableton's web-based program. Sam has also graciously offered to connect with any Jeffco teachers who have questions about Ableton software or the Push devices emai him at Samuel.Goodman@jeffco.k12.co.us
Lastly, YouTube videos and playlists are a great tool that can be used in any grade or subject to flip or blend learning for students! If you are interested in learning more about creating YouTube channels and playlists for student use, check out our Jeffco Ed Tech YouTube website to help you get started.
Educators across Jeffco have an amazing opportunity to win a $100 Classroom Mini-grant. This communication has recently gone out:
Are you interested in winning a $100.00 Classroom Mini-grant?
Have you been thinking about uploading Resources or Assessments into the Bridge to Curriculum? Do you have some great resources that other Jeffco teachers could use with their students? If you upload any Resource or Assessment into the Bridge to Curriculum, you are eligible to win a classroom mini-grant of $100.00! Each time you enter a Resource or Assessment, just put your name into the form below and you will be entered into a monthly drawing. https://tinyurl.com/Bridgeminigrant Questions: Ask here Directions for uploading here.
Here are the facts:
Have you bungled with Bee-Bot? Spun with Sphero? Collided with Cubelets? Or muddled with Makey-Makey? Ed Tech wants YOU to join fellow JeffCOders to create dynamic robotic infused lesson plans. Apply for this exciting opportunity today!
The application for teams to join this professional learning opportunity is now open!
Teams of two elementary educators are encouraged to apply. Team members can be from different schools.
Fifteen teams will be notified of acceptance. Teams must agree to meet all the required components of this opportunity listed below. Select robotics equipment will be available for use.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Questions? Contact Julie.Carlson@jeffco.k12.co.us
Inspired by a desire to create a unique and valuable experience for students, Kyle Walker- Digital Teacher Librarian at Kullerstrand Elementary, started a robotics club at his school. It is incredible to see how students light up at the opportunity to use their creative and logical brains to solve problems using the robots.
Well why not open that opportunity for students beyond the walls of Kullerstrand? So, Kyle started connecting with teachers around the district and found many that were either already doing robotics, or interested in getting started. His enthusiasm expanded quickly into a VEX and Sphero competition with an open invitation to teams across the district. On December 2, 2017 schools came together with their robotics teams at Three Creeks Elementary to scrimmage using either VEX or Sphero.
There was collective effort and planning to make the event happen because Jeffco teachers got equally as excited once they saw how the students light up.
Mr. Walker is building on this collaborative success and hosting another event in February. Thirty teams will represent Jeffco schools on February 10th from 9:30-2:30 at Three Creeks K-8 in a VEX robotics competition. Event participants have an opportunity for official entry into the world-wide VEX competition.
Almost 600 Jeffco educators attended the first ever Get Your Tech On professional learning event on Friday, January 5th at Green Mountain High School.
Jeffco Ed Tech hosted the all-day event which included an influential keynote speaker, prizes, demo slam, and 48 sessions facilitated by Jeffco educators.
Thought-provoking sessions were focused on how technology is transforming teaching and learning in Jeffco classrooms.
This was the best tech conference I have been to... including ISTE!! The sessions were applicable to what we are doing now in schools. Our entire instructional staff went and every teacher responded to my google reflection form that they were inspired and ready to try their new learning. The presenters and topics were very knowledgeable of what teachers experience and were able to relate to the classroom.
“Transformational Teaching and Learning with Technology” presented by international guest speaker, Ken Shelton, took us back in time for a nostalgic glance at how technology has changed the way we have lived over the last few decades. He gave us a glimpse at how technology has not only changed, but transformed how we learn.
Ken examined the impact on student learning when the focus shifts from solely making changes to transformative experiences.
Have you ever found yourself doodling during faculty meetings? During guest speakers? During professional development? If so, you understand how engaging the kinesthetic portions of your brain can help you focus and remember the content you are attempting to learn, but why is that? "It turns out that various forms of doodling have all kinds of benefits for our brains. Doodling is actually a form of mnemonics, connecting images with information and significantly increasing our ability to remember what we’ve learned. In a 2009 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, 40 participants were asked to listen to an extremely boring recorded telephone conversation. Half of them were instructed to doodle as they listened, and half were given no such instructions. At the conclusion of the study, people who doodled remembered 29 percent more information than their counterparts who did not doodle." (Education Week)
What's a Sketchnote?
A sketchnote varies from a doodle in that the images are purposefully related to the content that the listener is absorbing and sense making. Sketchnotes are a way to take notes, as well as a method to allow for creative expression. To be a successful sketchnoter, you do not need to have artistic skills, but you do have to be willing to practice synthesizing ideas using symbols, figures, text and icons.
Consider how some students might greatly benefit from sketchnoting as they listen in the classroom. How can you use sketchnoting to have students demonstrate learning after watching a video or listening to a lecture, guest speaker, audio book or podcast? How can sketchnoting engage the brain for some students in the way 2-column notes and graphic organizers cannot?
Get to Sketchin' - How do I get started?
Some sketchnoters prefer to sketch with ink and paper, while others prefer to sketch digitally. If you are interested in sketching digitally, you might want to check out the Procreate for iPad app (approved for Jeffco), as well as the Musemee stylus or the Paper by Fifty-three stylus.
Although this equipment works well for many teachers to begin their sketchnoting journey, it is often outside of the price range for a typical classroom. To get your students sketchnoting, consider allowing the physical and digital words to collide. Encourage students to show what they've learned and how they have made connections by sketching on paper with pencil or ink. Using a mobile device, have students capture their sketch with the camera or a scanner app. These images can be uploaded to any of the G Suite tools, Google Classroom, Schoology, Google Sites, and more.
Interested in learning how Sylvia Duckworth does her digital sketchnotes? See the video below!
The Sketchnote Challenge
Thursday, January 11th, is World Sketchnote Day #SNDay2018!
We challenge you to try creating your own sketchnote showcasing a bit of new learning! Share your sketchnote with @JeffcoEdTech on Twitter. Don't forget to add the hashtag #SNDay2018, as well. We also encourage you to get your students sketchnoting in the classroom as a way to sense-make new content and make connections.
You know that moment when you go to a Google tool and something new appears or disappears?
You either say "Hmmm, what does this do?" or "I swear this was here yesterday". Features in various Google tools change on a daily basis.
Here is a brief recap of some of the changes in the G Suite this school year.
Google has expanded the font catalogue in Docs and Slides to support 62 languages, including additional new fonts. To find these new fonts and others, simply click More fonts at the bottom of the Fonts menu. There you’ll also find suggested fonts, based on your document’s language.
Keep now integrates with Google Docs and Slides! Within the app, click on tools and then click Keep Notepad. You can drag your Keep notes over and they the text will copy!