The past couple of years we have had notes come home with scheduled parent teacher conference times. Unfortunately those times did not fit our schedule and we have had to reschedule. Now what if the teacher had a website that would allow them to allow parent to signup for a time that fit their schedule and the teachers. SignUpGenius is an effective tool that allows you to set up a schedule and then email out an invitation to a group of people. I hear some of you saying we don't have a list of parent emails. Well there are a lot of email addresses for parents located in PowerSchool. You can also ask your parents to provide you an email address. Teachers another use for this tool could be using it to have students signup to do some kind of presentation. If you want your students to signup for help, or schedule a retake on a test this could be your tool. Administrators you need to schedule teacher visits to discuss JPASS results, Observations, end of year checkouts, this tool could make your life a little easier.
8 ways Technology is Improving Education
1. Better simulation and models—Digital simulations and models can help teachers explain concepts to students that can be difficult to see in real time. With models you can slow down or speed up simulations that would be hard to see otherwise. 2. Global Learning—With the evolution of the internet students can now be exposed to native speakers from other countries, visit historic monuments virtually, and socially interact with cultures from any where in the world.
3. Virtual Manipulatives—Instead of learning about relationships in math, ecology, or social sciences, you can now experience these ideas virtually and experiment on the variables in real time. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives has a database of virtual tools. 4. Probes and Sensors-- Collecting real-time data through probes and sensors has a wide range of educational applications. Students can compute dew point with a temperature sensor, test pH with a pH probe, observe the effect of pH on an MnO3 reduction with a light probe, or note the chemical changes in photosynthesis using pH and nitrate sensors.
5. More Efficient Assessment—Models and simulations can give teachers a much better picture of how well students understand concepts. A program called Geniverse helps students understand genetics by breeding dragons. The student is asked to create a specific dragon. The teacher can see what each student did to reach his or her end result. With technology there are increasing ways and opportunities for teachers to give feedback and for students to take control of their own learning. 6. Storytelling and Multimedia—Learning through multimedia projects is a very good way to implement project based learning, and teamwork. It can motivate students and keep them excited in the learning process. 7. E-Books--These are a great tool for innovating education. Students now don’t need to carry around 5 textbooks, but can have them all on an ipad. Not only are e-books a great resource but they can be interactive too. 8. Epistemic Games—These are games that allow students to take on roles like city planner, journalisit, explorer, or engineer and ask them to solve real-world problems. By experiencing these game like simulations students can learn important concepts that would be hard to learn in a traditional classroom setting.
Kessler, S. (no date) 8 ways technology is improving education. Available at: http://mashable.com/2010/11/22/technology-in-education/#BjXN2dk4QqqE (Accessed: 23 September 2016)
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A Stable Target For Students
by: James Sasser
Recently I have had the opportunity to sit in some discussions on the grading systems around our district. The thing that I take away from it is that there is confusion and disagreement. I have also seen that all teachers, administrators care about the students in DCSD. We want what is best for them. My family also has six children and we have the privilege of sending three to Union, and one to RJHS. The grading scales are different at each school, and in some instances different from subject to subject. As a parent it is hard on us to tell a child he or she to achieve a set grade, when grade scales fluctuate. Another concern I have is that are we causing problems for ourselves. If we are confused as to what constitutes an "A", "B", or "C". How must our customers feel? Are we causing our students to miss their academic goals, because we are not consistent? Are we causing parents to lose faith in us because we are arguing over what is mastery? As I was preparing this months newsletter I thought about what message I could share to help resolve this grading problem. I researched and read more about grading and have developed my own philosophy. I didn't want to preach at my peers. I trust all of you, I send my kids to our schools to learn. Our superintendent has given us a clear vision as to where he wants us to go. It is time I feel that we work together as professionals to develop a consistent grading system that is fair, and represents what our students are learning.