Thursday, December 10, 2015

Breaking Down the Four Walls of the Classroom: How Future Ready Digital Tools are Changing Student Learning Experiences! Part Two

Last week, we shared how the elementary teachers are doing this--now, it’s time to explore ways that secondary students are experiencing this engaging learning!

Middle School: Ingrid Parker

Ingrid Parker’s middle school band students are immersed in a balanced world of music and technology. Angevine Wildcat band members can access classroom standards, essential questions, assignments and assessments from Ms. Parker’s classroom website.

Students in Bobcat Concert Band (8th grade) and Lynx Concert Band (7th grade) contribute every week to a class blog allowing them to collaborate on their growth. Students receive guidance on their at-home practice while creating a digital and face to face community of learners. Check out more Student Products from these engaged middle schoolers.

Ms. Parker has been using technology with students not only to collaborate but also to measure student success. By collecting quantitative data through Google forms that students use to self-assess their competency level, positive growth was evident. Student learning was impacted across all seven skill areas being assessed, for example in the area of “accompaniment and bass line composition” the growth reported was 50.6%.  

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11th Grade:  Revolutionizing Writing Instruction with Digital Tools

DSC_8947.JPGSarah Zerwin feels that writing instruction and opportunities have expanded for students through the power of tools found within Google Apps for Education. The English department at Fairview High School has developed a 9-12 standards-based e-portfolio for students using a Google Site template which provides an avenue for students to publish their work throughout their four years of high school as well as reflect on how their writing has improved during that time. There is even a place for students to post epic fails and how these failures empowered them to learn! Sarah also uses forms to collect meaningful data on student learning that assists her and students with reflection on learning. This example is where students declare the score they hope to achieve on a piece of writing and the work they are going to do to achieve this score.

Students in her writing class also use a Google Doc to collect the feedback they're getting from her and each other through writing workshops. In the video linked below, a student reflects on how this helps them as a writer:

These documents contain their personal reflections for how they will utilize the feedback they’ve received on writing. By focusing on feedback instead of grades, Sarah is able to enhance writing instruction and opportunity--the various digital tools help her to manage that. Because of the immediate feedback and organic nature of drafting in Google Docs, students are able to understand and reflect in ways they have not been able to before.

In The Hands of Students

We share these stories to demonstrate a few of the amazing teachers in BVSD who are leveraging digital tools with students to allow for a deeper, more authentic learning experiences than would have not been possible without this access.

Our students see technology not as a subject to learn but as a foundation. It underlies everything that they do. Therefore “Technology has an important place in our vision, because it has an important place in our future. But it does not dominate the vision; rather it supports it” (Marc Prensky, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom)

Coming soon is a blog from our CIO, Andrew Moore, regarding how technology is playing a pivotal role in teacher evaluations, students learning standards, the BVSD Success Effect and implementation of the strategic plan!