Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Celebrating Earth Day in Digital Learning at the Little School

Earth Day is an opportunity to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. The students at the Little School have participated in many projects in Digital Learning that have helped increase their knowledge of our planet.

Grade 5 has been learning about the effects of invasive species on our environment. Invasive species are capable of causing extinction of native plants and animals.  Students completed research on an invasive species strand using school/library databases as well as government sites.  They then created "wanted" posters displaying the dangers of the species on local environments.

Grade 4 has been working on the First Lego Jr Mission Moon robotics challenge.  Though their focus has been on colonizing the moon, they studied clean energy when learning about building solar panels using their Lego sets.  The students made great connections for the need to conserve our Earth's natural resources.

Grade 3 has discovered strategies for caring for our world's greatest natural resource; the ocean.  Students participated in a live documentary with Discovery Education on the impact of plastics on the planet.  Students have also done a live Skype with Iain Kerr the chief executive officer of Ocean Alliance to learn about their recent ocean research expeditions. The students were excited to learn about, "Snotbot" a drone that allows researchers a non invasive way to learn about the whales.

After a biography research unit on people who make a difference, first and second graders had the opportunity to do a live Skype with world-renowned conservationist and scientist Jane Goodall. Not only did students learn about Jane's work with chimpanzees but they also discovered ways that they can make a difference by helping people, animals and habitat's through Jane's organization, Roots and Shoots geared to inspiring kids help the environment.

Kindergartners studying the life cycle of plants have programmed Bee-bots to follow the steps of a seed blooming into a plant. They have built their own "plants" in the Makerspace and then labeled the parts in a class e-book.  They completed the digital learning unit with stop motion videos.  


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Designs On Digital Learning In North Reading Week Of 4.22.19-4.26.19

Week Of 4.22.19-4.26.19
Welcome to “Designs On Digital Learning” for the week of April 22nd. Please follow @digitalhornets on Twitter and click subscribe to get our updates on Youtube.

Final Week Of April Tech Buzz Sessions
Two very cool new Tech Buzz Professional Development sessions will be offered as April comes to a close. On April 25th Kathy Dasho will be doing a session on “Creating A Quiz In PlusPortals”  and Helen Kelley will be presenting her “Makerspace Session 2” offering on April 30th. Please check the Digital Learning Blog for remaining sessions and please sign up on My Learning Plan.

MassCUE Conference Deadline Extended Till April 30th
The deadline for submitting proposals to the Fall MassCUE conference has been extended to April 30th. Consider submitting a proposal to Massachusetts largest educational technology conference and share the amazing work you do in the classroom! If you have any questions please let me know.

MS/HS MAPLE Learning Tour
On April 29th North Reading Middle and High School will be hosting a learning tour to share some of their work in the area of Personalized Learning. Great opportunity to share with other MAPLE districts our work in strategic areas.

Stair Climbing Robot in High School Robotics
Students in the Robotics program at North Reading High School have been developing some great ideas. Tyler Bellevance Brandon DeCleene have been working on a prototype for a stair climbing robot. Check out the video to see their progress.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Designs On Digital Learning: Week Of 4.8.19-4.12.19

Welcome to the Week Of April 8th in Digital Learning In North Reading. As we move into spring we have a several exciting topics this week. I will include important links and notes in the video description.

Parent University Update
Parent University on April 6th Clips from the Sessions on Social Media and the 1:1 Learning Program will be available on the blog in the coming week.

April Tech Buzz Professional Development Week Of April 8th

On April 10th Jim Sgroi will will provide a professional development session on the use UDL strategies to move away from traditional presentations from 2:30-3:30 in the Media Center classroom at the MS/HS. On April 11th Chris Lindsay will be doing a training on QR codes in the classroom at 3:15 at the Batchelder school and also on April 11th Kathy Dasho will have her session on the use of video in the classroom for teachers from 2:30-3:30 in room 110 at the high school. Please consult this link for all upcoming sessions. bit.ly/techbuzzsessions

Digital Learning Work In Elementary Schools This Week

Hood Digital Learning
       5th Grade will be creating instructional videos to teach 4th graders about figurative language using WeVideo.
        First Graders will be creating Earth Day Celebration Videos to teach others how we can protect our planet.
       Fourth graders will be creating Book Trailers using iMovie

Batch Digital Learning
       Grade 1 - Mammal Research Project - Students will be using PebbleGo for research, coming to the Makerspace to create a habitat for their mammal and creating an eBook using Book Creator for a culminating project.
       Grade 2 - Biography Project - Students are using Google Docs and iPad apps like ChatterKids, PicCollage, and Seesaw to showcase what they have learned about an important figure in history.
       Grade 3 - Pilgrim Project - Students are creating the scenery and script for a stop motion animation about their voyage on the Mayflower or their life in Plymouth.
       Grade 4 - Students are completing a Scratch practice project and will then use Scratch to program characters to share what they've learned about a National Park.
       Grade 5 - Explorers Project - Students completed online research using the library databases and are now using the information to create interactive maps using Google Tour Builder

Little Digital Learning

       Fifth grade students will be beginning computer based MCAS testing on April 9th.
       Fourth grade students will be working on building their moon bases as a part of their FIRST Lego league Mission Moon robotics teams. 
       Grade 3 is completing a Makerspace challenge that follows up on their most recent unit, Forces In Our Environment.
        Mrs. Reed's class and Ms. Barrett's class will be participating in a live SKYPE call with world renowned scientist and conservationist, Jane Goodall.

North Reading Public Schools Receives Citation For Participation In First STEM Week
 This week the NRPS received a citation from the Governor's office for our STEM event during the STEM Week In October. The North Reading Public Schools “STEAM Night” event was a huge success and collaboration of STEAM focused curriculum areas. We look forward to putting on a similar event in the coming fall.

Donation of Robotics Tables To High School Robotics Program
The Digital Learning and Entrepreneurship department was the recent recipient of 3 robotics building tables which can be used in the Robotics courses to support building robotics. A large thank you to the Reading/North Reading Chamber of Commerce for this donations and the work of Lisa Eagan who has been a great collaborator with the schools.

#STEAMCS Chat on Twitter   4/10/19
On Wednesday night I will be hosting a Twitter chat on STEAM and Computer Science topics. Please use the #STEAMCS hashtag to follow along or participate. It is a great opportunity to share resources, learning experiences and stay connected with the most relevant conversations in education.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Designs On Digital Learning Week Of 4.1.19-4.5.19 Spring Into Spring

Week Of 4.1.19-4.5.19
Welcome to “Designs On Digital Learning” for the week of April 1st. Please follow @digitalhornets on Twitter and click subscribe to get our updates on Youtube.

Welcome to the Week Of April 1st in Digital Learning In North Reading. As we move into spring we have a several exciting topics this week. I will include important links and notes in the video description.

Preparation for Parent University
This week we are finalizing preparations for Parent University on Saturday. I am presenting a session which provides a detailed overview of the 1:1 program and other Digital Learning presentations will include Website Design and Development with Kathy Dasho and an Elementary presentation on Digital Learning by Christine Lindsay. Superintendent Bernard does a fantastic job with this event and it is a must see and attend! Register here: https://sites.google.com/a/nrpsk12.org/parent-university-2018/

April 29th MAPLE Learning Tour
We are currently in preparation for our upcoming learning tour in which we will be sharing North Readings work with personalized learning across a range of MS and HS classrooms. This tour will feature our work with our 1:1 program as well as our work expanding personalized learning strategies and STEAM program development.

Tech Buzz Professional Development
Sessions For April
The first week of April will feature a session from Sam Anthony at the Hood School on Digitizing the Daily 5. A session in which Sam will be providing resources and tools to support student engagement in core subject areas with digital tools. This will be on April 1st.  Helen Kelley will be holding a Makerspace 1 session at the Little School on April 3rd in which she will support the creation of maker-space lessons and resources. These sessions are always open to teachers from all schools to attend and please sign up in My Learning Plan.

Computer Based MCAS Testing At The High School
Last week the high school 10th graders were part of a highly successful computer based testing experience. The Digital Learning team and High School Staff and Administration have a lot to be proud of as we implemented this new testing requirement seamlessly within the school. Many thanks to all that supported this project.

Tech Alliance Student Tech Program
Students are working on developing a “Stair Climbing” robot project and will look forward to presenting their project at an upcoming technology conference in the fall. Students are also exploring the Unity Game Programming Engine to create their own games. Keep an eye out for videos exploring these topics in the near future.

Digital Learning Blog
The March post to the Digital Learning blog was made by Christine Lindsay at the Batchelder School who has written about the implementation of the 3D printer at the school Makerspace and some of the students projects they have worked on. Find the article here: https://northreadingdigitallearning.blogspot.com/2019/03/3d-printing-at-ld-batchelder-school.html