The month of October has flown by in the digital learning team has done a tremendous amount of work with teachers across the schools.
At the Hood School Digital Learning Specialist Helen Kelly has embraced digital literacy with her co-teaching and use of the web-based tool pic collage. She has also created more collaborative environment for students using the iPads. Some of her projects for the month of October include lessons which include the students learning the difference between “Fact and Opinion” and reading the story “Leaf Jumpers”. Helen Kelly has also effectively integrated of the use of the interactive SmartBoard into these lessons.
At the Batchelder School there a future programmers at work. The K-5 students of the L.D. Batchelder School are using Bee-Bots and the Scratch Junior iPad app to learn basic programming skills. Students are also using the scratch software created by MIT to help develop these programming skills. Digital Learning Specialist Chris Lindsay has assisted teachers at integrating robotics within her co-teaching. At the Little School Sam Anthony has integrated the use of WebQuests within her co-teaching with classroom teachers. With the use of Google Sites to enable students easy access, she has been able to embed research skills and digital literacy within her classes. These tools enable students to walk through an introduction and process section for students and allow students to investigate a variety of different topics such as Space and Science related topics.
In the middle schools in North Reading students are beginning the I-Ready testing on the Chromebooks. I-Ready is an educational software which provides a valid and reliable growth measure for students K-12. Digital Learning Specialist Joanne Coughlin as assistant teachers and students at effectively administering the test and guiding students and staff through the online testing process.
In the North Reading Middle School technology education course Susan Wasaukee oh has students delving into web design using a rich methodology of research process and also learning HTML programming. Students are developing topics researching these topics and creating timelines and concept maps and then assessing themselves with the use of Google forms. Students are learning how to hand code there HTML webpage is based on their topics.
Also in the Middle School robotics teacher Chip Osgood has students learning how to create interactive animation scratch programming. His students are designing their own video game which features an original character is fully user controlled within the environment. They are also creating a variable of responses to onscreen interactions and ultimately control the end of the game.
A highlight for our department was K-12 digital learning specialist Kathy Dasho presenting at MassCUE 2015. Kathy presented digital storytelling at the Massachusetts Computer Educators Conference on October 22. Her presentation was well attended and many stayed after to ask her questions about the use of Alice programming and Google earth for digital storytelling. The entire group were impressed with her technical knowledge and are sharing of best practices.
In an effort to streamline the use of Google Apps For Education members the digital learning team attended a training on the Google Admin Console training held at the SEEM Educational Collaborative in Woburn Ma. This training help to ensure the proper management of Google accounts and Chrome devices within the district.
In the North Reading Middle School Library Media Center all middle school students have had an orientation to the library media center where they learned about all of the resources available to them in the library on the library website. Due to having a certified library media specialist in the middle school North Reading middle school students now have access to over 30 Gale databases for research.
In the North Reading High School Library Media Center, Kim Smith has been working with reading classes to instruct them on how to locate print and electronic resources, books and the library catalog. Students have also learned how to locate electronic books and e-books from the Commonwealth e-book collection. They have also learned how to locate and borrow books, audiobooks, movies and music from Hoopla using an electronic Boston Public Library card. Additionally, students learned how to navigate the media center website and find sources for research.
Around the schools Data Specialist Nan Cook has been working diligently to ensure accurate data submission for state reporting to the Massachusetts Department of Education. She also is the district go to for managing passwords and ensures student data security. Network
Administrator Nick Langford manages the schools wired and wireless networks as well as providing robust customer service for the variety of hardware and software support needs throughout the district.
It has been an eventful month as I still continue to learn about the district and the variety of talented educators that make North Reading a great place to work. In the coming month we will
be organizing our district wide “Hour Of Code” event and looking forward to defining new ways to work with teachers in Digital Learning across the district.