Friday, August 28, 2015

Updates to Google Classroom

Google Classroom announced some exciting updates this week which will make using Google Classroom even easier to use for teachers.
You can access these new features by clicking on the blue plus button in the lower right corner of your Google Classroom page.
New features include the ability to reuse an old post (including posts that are part of archived classes), the option to create a question for students (as opposed to announcements or assignments), and the ability to move a post within the Stream.

The additional update of creating a Google Calendar associated with your Google Classroom should be coming soon.  

2nd Grade Illuminate Benchmark Trial

This week second grade students at Liddell, Biola, Herndon-Barstow, and Steinbeck completed a trial run of the Benchmarks using their tablets.  One of the benefits of having students use their tablets and Illuminate to complete benchmarks is the immediate feedback that is available for both students and teachers.  Another benefit of the testing through Illuminate is that it mimics the Smarter Balanced Assessment format so students will become familiar with the digital assessment process.  For more information about the exciting changes to Illuminate and how to create assessments using the Itembank see our Illuminate tutorials page.

Back to School Night Technology Update

At back to school nights in Central Unified Schools teachers showed a 4 minute video presented by Jason Horsman, Director of Instructional Technology for Central Unified, explaining the updates, changes, and benefits of using technology in the classroom.

Thursday, August 27, 2015 Gradebook Training

Jason Horsman Training Biola Elementary Teachers
With the switch to this school year, both Chad Godfirnon and Jason Horsman, along with the Instructional Coaches at each site, have been busy helping teachers to set up gradebooks.  These gradebooks allow for simplified standards based grading for TK-2 grades and will help to increase communication between teachers and parents.  Several additional school sites have requested gradebook trainings which have been scheduled over the next few weeks.

Friday, August 7, 2015

First Annual Central Tech Camp Declared a Success

Thank You Foundation for your support of Central Teachers!

Ketti Davis, Jason Horsman, and Central Teachers

Tech Images.PNG

Run by Central teachers for Central teachers, the first annual Central Tech Camp was a success.  Fifty teachers representing schools and grade levels throughout the district convened on Friday August 7th at Glacier Point Middle School to kick off the 2015-2016 school year by celebrating a culture technology collaboration.  Teachers in attendance had the opportunity to select from a variety of sessions presented by Central Unified teacher technology experts. 

In a blogging session, presented by Lisa Papaleo (Liddell 2nd grade) and Suzanne Awtrey (Roosevelt Kindergarten), teachers learned the benefits of creating class blogs to promote literacy and communication among students.  Teachers in that session had the opportunity to create a blog with the guidance and support of experienced bloggers.  Please see their presentation, A Blogging Life for Me-Arrgh!

East Campus Physics teacher, Anthony Nona had a full classroom as he shared tips and tricks that he discovered this past year in his effort to go paperless in his high school science classes.  Anthony provided teachers with valuable information ranging from using Google Apps for Education to deciding on the right LMS.  To see Anthony’s tips for creating a paperless environment in his classroom please view his presentation, Practically Paperless.

After four sessions of amazing presentations by Central Unified’s teacher technology experts the day concluded with attendees winning raffle prizes provided thanks to the contribution of the Central Foundation.  Almost every teacher walked away with something they can use to engage students in learning.  To keep up to date with the innovative and exciting ways that Central teachers are using technology to transform teaching and student learning visit #centraltech on Twitter.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Code.Org Computer Science in Classrooms has developed an elementary school curriculum that allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing - at no cost for schools. The courses blend online, self-guided and self-paced tutorials with “unplugged” activities that require no computer at all. Each course consists of about 20 lessons that may be implemented as one unit or over the course of a semester. Even kindergarten-aged pre-readers can participate.                                           

Over 40 Central teachers from every elementary school participated in a summer training on computer science curriculum for Kindergarten through 5th grade students.  They walked away with some nice swag and lesson planning guides with over 80 hours of content for their students.