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.
Throughout the month of October, Jeffco Ed Tech hosted a Twitter Challenge inspired by Connected Educator month. Our schools offer a lot of face to face ways for educators connect and learn, and we wanted to offer a way to connect and learn digitally. We asked, what if educators in our system had the chance to learn from each other regardless of which building they work in? How might we grow our educators through continued work with PLCs, but also grow their Professional Learning Network (PLN)?
From that question, a Twitter Chat was born! Each week through the blog, we taught basics of Twitter in preparation for the Chat: Challenge 1 and Challenge 2. The questions were designed based on common questions/discussions that Ed Tech Specialists have in a variety of schools.
On October 19, 2017, we invited teachers to engage with us in the evening, and encouraged them to extend the conversations beyond that time. Here's a little summary of some of the Tweets!
Getting Googly at the Colorado Summit
Approximately 250 Jeffco Educators spent the weekend of November 4th and 5th at the Colorado Summit featuring Google for Education. Of those 250+ educators, 192 were from Jeffco's Title I schools. These schools were given the opportunity to send interested educators to the summit to learn how to build on the 1:1 technology initiatives that are happening in many of Jeffco's Title I buildings.
This summit was one of the best to date; it was overflowing with hands-on breakout sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, ignite sessions, and a dynamic demo slam! The summit offered a range of sessions that spanned from beginner to geeky. Participants attended compelling learning on apps in the G Suite, digital portfolios, digital solutions, and cutting edge best practices in educational technology and pedagogy. Many Jeffco educators also engaged in creating or building their professional learning network as they connected with other educators within Jeffco, in other districts and across the world using Twitter! #edtechteam
KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
Learning is our main thing. There was energy exuding from Jeffco educators during the summit and that energy has proven to continue as teachers are already implementing what they learned at the summit in their buildings. Our teachers embraced a growth mindset as they engaged in this professional learning opportunity and continue to do so, as is evident in their willingness to share this new learning with their staff and students.
Our learning, as a community of Jeffco educators, ties into the Jeffco Generations vision. Everything that was learned and is now being transferred into Jeffco classrooms connects back to a leaf on the Jeffco Generations Skills tree.
Sharing our great work!
Did you take away an amazing idea from the Colorado-Ed Tech Summit that you are excited to share? Add that learning to our Padlet (click here or scan the QR code) under the Generations skill that it embodies!
As you create lessons that connect to Jeffco Curriculum, we also encourage you to add them to Jeffco's Bridge to Curriculum to share across the district!
Lastly, we would encourage you to present your new learning and any additional technology integration ideas you have at our very first Get Your Tech ON! event on January 5th! You don't have to be an expert, you just have to be willing to share what you have tried and what you have learned along the way! Visit our Get Your Tech ON website to sign up to present or to attend (sign up coming soon).
This is not a new topic, but it’s taken on new importance thanks to the omnipresent nature of students' online lives. With increased access to 1:1 devices schoolwide, educators will be looking for curriculum and programs to support teaching digital citizenship skills. Want to know more? Check out all of the Digital Citizenship resources on the Ed Tech Website.
It’s what’s hot right now! Using a PBL approach to learning fosters student empowerment, an essential component of the ISTE Standards for Students. The thoughtful integration of technology will enable students to take ownership of their learning and will make learning more active, both inside and outside the classroom. Remember, you don’t have to do a technology PBL to integrate technology. Technology can support all PBLs! Check out our recent blog on PBL in Jeffco!
The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. The Hour of Code is celebrated during the annual Computer Science Education Week in December. Code.org®,
The Hour of Code for 2017 is coming December 4th-10th!
Looking for ideas to host an event in your classroom or entire school?
This week's blog is a special edition, sharing resources and news from the founder of code.org, Hadi Partovi.
Planning on hosting an event? Share out your school's Hour of Code pictures on Twitter and mention @jeffcoedtech #HourofCode
Still haven't "dove" into
the world of Twitter?
We are going to give you the wings you need to take flight. To celebrate Connected Educator Month, Jeffco Ed Tech is hosting a
Take part in a 3-week challenge to start to build your PLN (Personalized Learning Network). Following and connecting with educators on Twitter can help you gain knowledge and ideas to help transform the student learning experience. Details for starting the challenge are below.
Week 1: Be a Lurker - Twitter Basics
Challenge #2: Find some Flight Patterns.
Search for @jeffcoedtech and click the blue "follow" button to follow us on Twitter. Find some other Ed Heads to learn from. Here are some suggestions that we follow:
@COJasonGlass @GoogleForEdu @iste
@alicekeeler @JeffcoSchoology @E_Sheninger
@rmbyrne @ShakeUpLearning @ColoradoSTEM
Challenge #3: Retweet. Find a quote or article that someone you follow has posted. Click the icon to retweet their post. You can also show you like or agree with a post by clicking the heart icon.
Challenge #4: Start Watching the Flocks.
Become a lurker by just checking in regularly and see what people you are following have to say and share. You will be building your PLN in not time!
TUNE IN TO NEXT WEEK'S BLOG FOR WEEK 2 OF THE JEFFCO ED TECH TWITTER CHALLENGE!
The Results Are In...
A total of 37,103,946 minutes were read by students and community members
12,424,426 minutes were logged by Jeffco students alone
9,111 students completed their summer reading log this past year.
3,916 babies “read” 2,053,010 minutes
19,086 children read 10,896,665 minutes
8,440 teens read 6,267,520 minutes
12,424 adults read 17,863,351 minutes
If there is one device that we are seeing more readily used throughout the district, it’s the Chromebook. Chromebooks allow students to easily utilize the G Suite, a variety of web tools, and other platforms that help them to create a more personalized learning environment. The only problem is, oftentimes, not all students have access to the technology that they need in order to truly be future ready-students. This was the issue that was presented to students at Dakota Ridge High School in a US History class. What world issues do students see? For one group of students, this was clear. “Our generation is growing with technology, and some kids don’t have the opportunity to take part,” said one student. So together, a group of four students, with the help of their teachers, decided to solve that problem be creating the non-profit organization Chromebooks4Kids.
As stated on their website, the goal of Chromebooks4Kids is to raise money to purchase Chromebook carts for schools that need access to these devices in their classrooms. Currently, the organization is working with Colorow Elementary in hopes that they can raise enough money through both fundraisers and donations to purchase a Chromebook cart for these future Dakota Ridge High School students. After that, “We’ll keep building it one cart at a time,” said the group’s student leader. “We want all schools to have the technology and maybe even promote technology careers,” he added.
This project is a perfect example of how we can empower our students by creating authentic learning tasks with real-world implications. These students have learned everything from how to start a non-profit, to how to run a profitable fundraiser, to how to improve their organization and get more volunteers to support their cause. They also continue to build their positive digital footprint by building their social media presence on both Instagram (@chromebooks4kids) and Twitter (@ChrBooks4Kids).
We can’t wait to see where this student project and many others throughout our district can go. If you want to learn more about this organization or if you’d like to help their cause, you can visit http://chromebooks4kids.net/
Over the past 2 years, Jeffco Ed Tech has been thoughtfully building resources to support teachers with technology integration. Read on to find out how you can stay connected with all that is happening in the world of Ed Tech through our website, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and this blog!