Category Archives: Learning Opportunity

Solar Eclipse Nearpod Resource

Welcome back! We hope you’ve had a great start to the new school year.

Are you as excited about the solar eclipse as we are?! We’d love to hear what you plan to do, or what you did with your students. Leave a comment or tweet us @svvsditc

Science Coordinator, Mike O’Toole, partnered with Nearpod to create a slidedeck that includes some questions, safety instructions and resources to get us thinking about and prepared for the upcoming solar eclipse. One of my favorite resources is the flying along the path and mapping the path from Esri. Here’s a clip.

ESRI resource of eclipse

Below is the Nearpod that you can use with students. If you want to have a copy that allows you to see your students responses you will need to add the slidedeck to your library. If you have a District Edition license you can find it in the District Library. If you don’t have a license but one one, go here to find out how to get one.

Great way to earn credit – Action Research!

Everyday teachers make instructional changes to better meet the learning needs of their students.  The course Action Research formalizes that process.  Ask questions, gather data and refine your instructional practice while gaining three credits!

 

What is Action Research?   Action research formalizes a process that we as teachers do every day.  Teachers start with a simple wondering that is based off their classroom observations.   For example: What if I used Reciprocal Teaching to help increase reading comprehension? Then the teacher strategically implements the strategy and analyzes both quantitative and qualitative data to measure the success of that strategy.  This is a process teacher do every day, the course Action Research helps to formalize that reflection and share successful strategies with other educators.

What are the course expectations?  This is a year long course offered through the Office of Professional Development for three credits.  The class is a hybrid course taking place both in person and online.  Teachers develop a research plan in September, implement their plan during the school year and evaluate their findings in the spring.  We share our findings at an Expo in April.

How do I sign up? Navigate to the Office of Professional Development website.  Then:

1. Click on “register now”

ARM Blog 1

2. Click on “View by Alpha”

arm blog 2

3. Select “Action Research”

arm blog 3

4. Complete the registration process

We hope to see you in the course! 

5 Links Mon. (on Tues. 5/12/15)

The end of the school year is almost here! This week’s 5 Links may inspire an idea for a learning experience in or out of the classroom.

FutureMe

This 13 and over site allows for the user to write a letter to their future self. Students could write themselves a letter to read at the beginning of next year, or to read before they graduate. If they wanted to write themselves beyond this point they would need to use an email.

Camp iPadScreen Shot 2015-05-11 at 3.48.40 PM

Only two weeks away till the first Camp iPad begins! The schedule for the Camp iPads are posted, let your planning begin! Here is a list of the Guided Tours that will be offered, mostly by our own SVVSD teachers.

Online Learning

Take an online course created for folks in our district and get credit for it. Make sure you read the directions here to ensure you receive credit. Note: We too take time off during the summer and plan to have courses submitted over the summer graded by the end of August. There are several other websites that offer online courses, some free and some at a cost. At Udemy they offer several free courses like: How to Build a Deck, or Master the Rubik’s Cube.

Eight Free Photo Sites that Require No Attribution

photo-1427348693976-99e4aca06bb9We value learning to proper citation, and also recognize the value of having a resource of material for which to remix for our purpose. These photos can be used in end of the year projects and modified according to the needs of the students.

TinkerMill – The Longmont Makerspace

Check out the largest makerspace/hackerspace in Colorado. “It’s a place where like minded people interested in art, technology, science and business can collaborate on creative projects, share tools, learn, teach, make things…” Classes on 3D printers, coding, laser cutting, pottery and more, and a weekly game night. Find their calendar here.

 

iPad Camp Presenters Wanted!

Campipad2015

We are actively seeking presenters (secondary) to help us plan for and build Camp iPad 2015, two multi-day professional learning experiences for St. Vrain secondary teachers to help them grow in their teaching and learning with digital tools. Please complete the Google Form to express interest and to share your ideas, and we will get back with you to build your idea into a piece of the Camp iPad experience. Selected presenters and facilitators will be compensated for their time, expected to attend a planning meeting (sub provided) and will help us to shape this event. Please complete this form to the best of your ability.

Presenter proposals are due by April 13th. Feel free to submit multiple sessions if you would like. For More information, go to https://blogs.svvsd.org/campipad/presenters/call-for-presenters/.

Camp iPad for Secondary Teachers offers either a 2 day or 4 day option for middle and high school educators interested in the iPad as a tool for teaching and learning. The two day conference model includes hands-on sessions to share best practices from fellow SVVSD teachers while giving participants time to explore and reflect on their own practice. The four day extended edition expands the time for participants to collaborate, build, create and prepare for the year ahead. Camp staff will be on hand to facilitate instructional planning with school-based and/or content-area teams. Bring your own team, or make one at camp. Camp iPad is open to ALL middle & high school teachers and is free for SVVSD teachers.

During Camp iPad for teachers, you will:

  • Learn from colleagues working in a 1:1 environment who are are integrating technology into instruction
  • Reflect on your own practice while planning for implementation in your classroom
  • Explore models of digital practice and citizenship

In addition, the 4 day edition will allow you:

  • Collaboration time to redesign units or lessons in your curriculum area

Learn more at http://blogs.svvsd.org/campipad

(Registration for the 4 day edition includes all events within the 2 day edition.)

Camp iPad: Frederick

May 27-28, 2 day conference edition

Register now HERE

May 26-29, 4 day extended edition

Register now HERE

Camp iPad: Longmont

June 2-3, 2 day conference edition

Register now HERE

June 1-4, 4 day extended edition

Register now HERE

 

Contact Instructional Technology Coordinator Stephanie Schroeder (schroeder_stephanie@svvsd.org ) if you have any questions in the meantime.

 

 

Awesome learning and collaboration opportunity

IGO-300x300

As we talk with teachers in schools, one thing we hear often is a desire to get together with peers from around the district to share with and learn from one another.  So, we’re hoping to kick off a new type of professional learning event to meet this need……

Join us for an upcoming iPad Geek Out!

Want to learn more? Look below for details.  Hope to see you there!

Register for an iGO East at https://igoeast.eventbrite.com

Register for an iGO West at https://igowest.eventbrite.com

*A guest post from Michelle Bourgeois

Civic Virtue Being Taught, Learned and Practiced

“…the only title in our democracy superior to that of President, the title of citizen…”  Jimmy Carter

Silver Creek Social Studies Teacher Justelle Grandsaert believes that a civics education should not only prepare students with knowledge about U.S. Government but also help to develop the skills necessary to be active citizens in a democracy. To reach this goal she teaches the state and local government unit through a Civic Action Project (CAP). The project asks students to identify a state or local issue that they would like to influence by either creating, amending or removing an existing law or policy.  Then students embark on civic actions to enact change surrounding the issue.  This task requires students to research a complex local issue, identify the correct level of local government and  develop advocacy and participatory skills.

According to Grandsaert, “The CAP projects enable students to engage in their community, to see government as relevant and viable, and to recognize that their own voice matters. They have the opportunity to improve the community and seek change at the local level. Local leaders come in to talk to the students, students go out to talk to local leaders- the process is dynamic and empowering.” Through this process students frequently meet with School Board members, City Council Representatives and County Commissioners.

Austin L., Mayor Coombs and Anthony H. after their meeting about recreation options in Longmont.
Austin L., Mayor Coombs and Anthony H. after their meeting about recreation options in Longmont.

This year students are looking to impact a diverse range of issues from banning plastic bags and immigration reform to funding for mass transportation and labeling of GMOs.  Some of the actions her students have engaged in thus far include:

  • Meeting with Superintendent Haddad about school start times.
  • Meeting with Mayor Coombs to discuss revamping a skate park in the city and increasing recreational opportunities in Longmont.
  • Several students have written formal letters to the Governor on topics including banning plastic bags in our state  and funding for mass transportation.
  • Several students have written formal letters to the Times Call concerning topics ranging from light pollution and funding for the arts to improved school lunches.
  • One student has changed the policy at Silver Creek regarding earning letters. She has now successfully added the opportunity to earn a letter in drama.
  • Three students met with the Director of Safety at the University of Colorado regarding blue lights and decreasing sexual assaults. They are lobbying the City of Longmont to do more to create safe areas for individuals.
Although CAP projects take on many topics they all include common a website portfolios which showcase their topic, civic actions and reflection on the process.  Here are a couple portfolios from last year.
This is how one teacher is engaging students in their community. I would love to hear how others are connecting curriculum with the community around them.

 

iBooks Author & the Colorado Flood of 2013

Over the past couple of weeks I reflected on all that has happened in the year that has passed since the flood. When we participated in iBooks Author training the other week I decided that I would learn to use this tool by telling some of my experiences during the Colorado Flood of 2013 and what followed. The book is still in draft form, but I thought it may be helpful to see a tech work in progress. Your feedback is welcome, please leave a comment or send an email to anderson_jennifer@svvsd.org. Thank you!

This blog has 2 parts, kinda like the book:

Part 1. iBook Viewing/Creating/Organizing Notes [Read this for notes on how to read this book.]

Part 2. Some of my story with regard to the flood and why I’m sharing it on the ITC blog.


 Part 1. iBook Viewing/Sharing Notes

1. If you want to read the iBook I created you will have to have the iBooks app downloaded on your device. Some notes on this: 

  • These files are too big to be shared through email, but can be shared through Google Drive.1
  • The file shared through Google Drive opened differently on different iPads. One of them was to find it through Google Drive App by title, after selecting on this link, the others opened it simply by selecting the link and not having to open the Google Drive app. The same thing happened with desktops.
  • If you want to share this with someone without iBooks you can save and share it as a PDF file. As you can see in the PDF version of my iBook, it will lose the fancy interactive widgets or other features like videos.

2. To create a book like this you will need to download iBooks Author to your desktop or laptop.

3. Organizing tips I wish I would’ve known before starting this project:

  • Create an outline of the book. I tried to organize photos beforehand, but found it would’ve likely been more beneficial if I took the time to draft an outline.
  • Organize photos or videos taken on your iOS device for an iBook into chapter or section photos, while making space on your device. This would’ve helped me to learn more about the tool and less time trying to reorganize later. I expect any first time learning to be messy, but this may spark an idea as you enjoy the features of the tool and your creation.


 Part 2. Some of my story with regard to the flood and why I’m sharing it on our work blog.

This past year I wanted to create something to thank those that supported my family during this time, and share an update for the interested folks that brought hope and beauty to our lives this past year.  Given this group included several folks from SVVSD2, and the surrounding community, it seemed an appropriate topic, more so to share it here. Then I realized that I could write about my experience using iBooks Author and make something that may support or inspire others in our district to create something awesome and help other learners to do the same!

When I attended our neighborhood commemorative event two weekends ago there were neighbors that expressed interest in sharing their stories and media in this book. I was glad because I had already decided that this would be a draft, as I had not properly organized the media for the iBook. So pardon the inevitable grammatical errors or empty pages.

Below is a motion picture and a section pulled from one of the chapters of the book:

As I look around my home, especially the basement, there are many reminders of the support that came from so many and not only restored my home, but helped heal and grow my heart. These are also reminders of the strength that came for us this past year, and the hope for what the future will bring.

The following pages present a few of the images of our home one year later. There are remains of the flood in small ways when compared to where were were a year ago. Thank you to all that helped get us here. It still brings tears to my eyes as I consider how much you all have impacted our lives. I do hope that my life will reflect your gift to me in the best possible ways.

Again, thank you for all that you’ve done for us, our family, the community and beyond. I look around my home, especially the basement, there are many reminders of all that has happened in the past year, and hope for what the future will bring.

Finally, to those that are still in the hardest part of the recovery process, and/or your loss included life, our hearts ache for you most. Our hope is all the support you need will come to you swiftly. If you need help recovering from Flood 2013 please email me and I would reach out to my network to see if there is something that might be of support to you.

  1. More information may be found on this and other iBooks Author stuff via this iTunes course. []
  2. I still hear the voices and see the images of my colleagues supporting me through this experience. A particularly vivid image is one of mud slinging in the face of our CIO Joe McBreen and Leroy Martinez carrying up the treadmill that Michelle Bourgeois and her spouse had carried down two weeks prior. Or Michelle telling me that she wouldn’t get off the phone with me until my dog was safe with my sister and I (it must’ve been past 8pm and she had been keeping me posted for hours prior). []

Action Research

The new school year always ushers in a time of hope for both students and teachers.  It is a time with high expectations for learning and creating while having fun in the process.  Teachers implement new teaching ideas and strategies to help better meet the learning needs of their students.  What better way to analyze if  new teaching strategies are effective then by enrolling in the Action Research Model class!  This is a great course to take with a colleague as having a partner or team to discuss the inquiry process with is valuable (although not required!)  Interested?  Read on to learn about this fabulous class.

What is Action Research?   Action Research formalizes a process that we as teachers do every day.  Teachers start with a simple wondering that is based off their classroom observations.   For example: What if I used Reciprocal Teaching to help increase reading comprehension? Then the teacher strategically implements the strategy and analyzes both quantitative and qualitative data to measure the success of that strategy.  This is a process teacher do every day, the course Action Research helps to formalize that reflection and share successful strategies with other educators.

What are the course expectations?  This is a year long course offered through the Office of Professional Development for three credits.  The class is a hybrid course taking place both in person and online.  Teachers develop a research plan in September, implement their plan during the school year and evaluate their findings in the spring.  We share our findings at an Expo in April.

How do I sign up? Navigate to the Office of Professional Development website.  Then:

1. Click on “register now”

ARM Blog 1

 

 

 

 

2. Click on “View by Alpha”

arm blog 2

 

 

 

 

3. Select “Action Research”

arm blog 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Complete the registration process

 

We hope to see you in the course! 

Join Us for a Book Study and Conversation Series on Connected Learning

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.10.55 AMDo devices arriving in the Fall have you feeling a little unprepared? Do you find yourself excited about the prospects of teaching in a connected classroom, and yet also unsure where to start? Have you dabbled with connected learning in the past and are looking for a group of like-minded folks to push your thinking?

If you answered, “Yes,” or even, “Maybe,” to the questions above, you’re going to want to join the SVVSD ITC’s book study of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom.

The book offers an introduction to the principles of Connected Learning as well as real-world classroom examples from classroom teachers across the country who share their stories of leveraging connected classrooms to increase their students’ abilities to create and connect in the world at large.

Who: Anyone who is interested is welcome to join the book study which will be facilitated by SVVSD Instructional Technology Coordinators Bud Hunt and Zac Chase.

What: An informal study of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom.

When: The group will hold meetings twice each week on Tuesday at 3:30 PM and Thursday at 8:30:30 PM beginning June 3, taking a recess throughout July and then continuing in August with a concluding meeting the week of August 18:30. Participants are welcome to join either or both weekly calls. (All times MST.) Please help us plan by filling out this short form to let us know when to look for you.

Where: The meetings will take place in Adobe Connect in this classroom (https://connect.svvsd.org/connectedlearning/). The book can be downloaded as a free PDF here or for $.99 from the Amazon Kindle Store here.

Why: As our classrooms become places of greater and greater connectivity, it is incumbent upon us as teachers to consider the best ways to leverage that connectivity to help students learn and impact the world in which they live.

Connected Learning Principles:

Connected learning is…

  • interest-powered,
  • peer-supported,
  • academically, oriented,
  • production-centered,
  • openly networked,
  • and driven by shared purpose.
DISCUSSION SCHEDULE
Content Discussion Dates and Times
Foreword & Introduction 6/3 @ 3:30PM or 6/5 @ 8:30PM
Chapter 1 – Interest-Driven Learning 6/10 @ 3 PM or 6/12 @ 8:30 PM
Chapter 2 – Peer-Supported Learning 6/17 @ 3:30PM or 6/19 @ 8:30 PM
Chapter 3 – Academically-Oriented Teaching 6/24 @ 3:30PM or 6/26 @ 8:30 PM
JULY RECESS
Chapter 4 – Production-Centered Classrooms 8/5 @ 3:30PM or 8/7 @ 8:30PM
Chapter 5 – Openly Networked 8/12 @ 3:30PM or 8/14 @ 8:30PM
Chapter 6 – Shared Purpose & Conclusion 8/19 @ 3:30PM or 8/21 @ 8:30PM

Please help us plan by letting us know you’re interested via this short form. Thanks!

Modules: Data Viz, HS Internet Wellness, and Digital Storytelling

We’ve got three new modules fresh out of the Cubidrome Lab, ready for your professional learning pleasure.

Last night, we took, Data Visualization in the ClassroomDigital Storytelling as Evidence of Learning, and Internet Wellness and Digital Citizenship in High School live for anyone with an account on our MOODLE install.

We’re excited about the first two modules because of their high focus on literacy (visual and traditional) as well as their focus on asking students to create and read closely when working with varying kinds of texts across disciplines.

Here is the lowdown on each module:

  • Participants will complete this module with the ability to seek out, evaluate and then utilize data visualizations in their classrooms using mobile devices.

EQ:

  • Where can I find quality data visualizations?
  • How can I best evaluate data visualization resources?
  • How do data visualizations connect with the SVVSD curricula?
  • How can I integrate the use of data visualizations into my teaching practices?

Obj:

  • Participants will complete this module with the ability to seek out, evaluate and then utilize data visualizations in their classrooms using mobile devices.

EQ:

  • Where can I find quality data visualizations?
  • How can I best evaluate data visualization resources?
  • How do data visualizations connect with the SVVSD curricula?
  • How can I integrate the use of data visualizations into my teaching practices?

Obj:

  • Participants will complete this module able to understand, explain and put into practice lessons and practices to help high school students maintain their wellness in online spaces as well as behave as responsible citizens in those spaces.

EQ:

  • What are habits high school students can put into place to maintain their wellness in online spaces?
  • What are responsible practices of online citizens?
  • What resources can I utilize to learn and teach these habits and practices?
  • How do I help students understand these habits and practices in my teaching?