Friday, June 13, 2014

Presentation to the School Board

We presented information to the Moultonborough School Board on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 on what impact technology has had on students, teachers, staff, and the community. This presentation was designed to share with everyone the success stories we experienced at Central School and the Academy. A summary of this presentation is also available in the district's newsletter, iPaws.

We discussed how electronic textbooks had been implemented in 7th and 8th grade, where each student has a device. Students were asked to come up with words that describe these electronic textbooks, and we created a Wordle that highlighted the terms most mentioned by students. Words that came back often include helped, understanding, and note-taking, among others. Electronic textbooks can be used anywhere, being cloud-based, and reduced the amount of weight present in students' backpacks.

Other comments students made about electronic textbooks included:
  • "iPads keep me more organized. I can keep all of my papers and all of my books on my iPad."
  • "I can share documents and see all of my assignments and this helps me manage myself."
  • "I an get announcements from teachers and I can easily contact them when I have a question"
  • "There are more activities, more ways to learn such as videos and hands on learning tools."
  • "There is a note taking sheet for each section that helps with notes."
  • "Can be in Spanish for foreign students."
  • "Can do extra work with the e-worksheets and @home tutor."
  • "There are many tools like virtual manipulatives and calculators."
  • "I can pull pages right out of the book into my note-taking app."
  • "I can find resources and help easily."
  • "It is less weight to carry around in my backpack."
  • "I am able to work more productively while using it."
  • "I have never lost my book because I don't "have" one, I always bring my iPad no matter the class so it is a lot harder to lose."

index.jpgWe discussed Schoology, its advantages, and how it has been implemented in the middle school.
  • Centralizes classroom information & resources.
  • Provides a consistent experience in all classes
  • Populates & syncs with PowerSchool Gradebook.
  • Integrates with School Google Apps Account.
  • Quizzes, Tests, and other assessments.
  • Calendar events created automatically; due dates easily seen
  • Automatic grading of discrete items.
  • Remote access expands the classroom time.
  • Provides immediate feedback and comments.

Schoology is also used at Central School for reading journals:
  • An engaging activity can influence and benefit the writing process
  • Opportunities for meaningful reflection and one on one conversations
  • A method for focusing on students’ writing growth and writing across discipline
  • The “veil” can empower the most reluctant participant
  • A “safe place” early lesson on social networking
  • Connects the classroom experience to home readingjournalpic.png
Here's an example of how reading journals were done prior to Schoology:


And now with Schoology:


Middle and high school students discussed their favorite apps, and talked about Google Drive:
  • Connectivity to all documents across platforms and devices.
  • Ability to work collaboratively at the same time on the same document.
  • Large disk space enabling remote storing.
  • Easy way for students to organize assignments and work.
  • Teachers are able to directly comment on student work.
  • This method helps the school cut down on paper product waste.
  • Allows you to upload files from your desktop for easy access.

The virtues of Powerschool were extolled:
  • Eliminates the surprise of report cards
  • A record of any missing assignments
  • Parents can check student’s grades

LibGuides and online databases were praised:
  • Content Management System 
  • Curate knowledge and share information by creating online Guides on any topic, subject, course, on any process, on anything.
  • Databases provide access to scholarly, reliable, and valid information for research and for personal knowledge
  • Grolier Online, Encyclopedia Britannica, Ancient and Medieval History, Science Online, Culturegrams, etc.
We talked about eBooks and how students can check them out at their convenience from anywhere:
  • Over 400 fiction and non-fiction eBooks available for students and staff.
  • Ability to connect to the State of NH’s consortium through a public library card, providing access to thousands more
  • Flexible check out, no loss or damage, and quick ordering
iPads are also an important part of Central School's life:

  • Access to Technology (iPads have been checked out more than  4,100 times to K-2 and 5-6 just this year!)
  • Transition from LMC to Classrooms
  • Complex Projects 
  • Deeper Understanding
  • Cross-Curricular
  • Sharing Information
  • School to Home Connection

Many projects were done with iPads this year at Central School:

  • Book Creation and Sharing 
  • ShowMe’s
  • Online Reading in Classrooms
  • Keynote Presentations
  • Garageband Audio Recording
  • Skill practice with personalized apps in LMC and Classrooms
  • eBooks 
  • AudioBooks 
  • Remote Learning/Practice Sites (IXL, RazKids)
We thank the taxpayers of Moultonborough for their ongoing support of technology and its uses in our schools!

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