Tag Archives: technology

Save Time with Homework Management Tools

Written by Joe Phillips, Design Lab Instructor at Kent ISD

If you are one of the many teachers embracing technology and having your students submit paperless writing assignments, perhaps you have experienced this:

It’s late at night and you are trying to grade your students’ papers before tomorrow’s class.  You search through your e-mail to find the link to the assignment from the first student in your grade book.  You click on the link only to find you do not have permission to view the file.  The student did not share the document with you properly!  You make a note in your grade book, send the student an e-mail about the problem and search your e-mail for the next student.  There must be an easier way!

How I Save Time

For the last several years I have used two tools to help manage and grade digital writing assignments: Doctopus (think octopus for documents) and Goobric (think Google + rubric).  If you have students turn in digital papers, these two tools are essential! Continue reading Save Time with Homework Management Tools

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft EDU to provide 150,000 to 300,000 free student licenses for the Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) for one year. This version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, is specifically designed for education, containing features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom or after-school program setting. This program aligns to the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan by enhancing access to effective technology tools that support deeper and personalized learning. The free licenses can be deployed in both Microsoft enabled districts, as well as Google classroom districts. Continue reading MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

Swivl is Changing Teaching and Learning

Think back to your days of student teaching. You were young, nervous, and had no idea what to do. To make matters worse, you were asked to record video of yourself teaching. These experiences were helpful, however, the embarrassment and time involved with these videos prevented you from ever recording yourself again.

Recording video has become easier than ever. Anyone with a cell phone can capture video and post it online for anyone else to see. In fact, you can even livestream video using apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope. However, even with the invention of the selfie, recording teaching and learning in the classroom is still a difficult task that requires someone or something else to hold the camera. Continue reading Swivl is Changing Teaching and Learning

Are Your Students College and Career Ready?

Upon graduation, educators all hope and believe that our students will go on to be productive, healthy, happy, contributory members of our society. This means they will have a career path, and hopefully a trajectory that will fit well with their likes, their capabilities, and the market. Continue reading Are Your Students College and Career Ready?

Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide

In 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating”. Educators often refer to summer loss as “summer slide”.

It is estimated that the amount of loss a child might experience could equal one month of instruction, and the effect has a greater impact on disadvantaged children (Cooper, 1996). Researchers conclude that two-thirds of 9th grade reading achievement gaps can be explained by the accumulated summer loss they have experienced since early elementary, with nearly one-third of the gap already present when children enter Kindergarten (Alexander, Entwistle & Olsen, 2007). Continue reading Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide

Kent ISD Reboots Webinar Format

“NSDC believes that educators learn most effectively when they are provided adequate time during their work day to learn and collaborate together to accomplish a school’s mission and goals. Many educators, however, are uncertain how to find time for any additional tasks during the work day given the sometimes seemingly overwhelming tasks they face already.” (Finding Time for Professional Learning, NSDC National Staff Development Center)

Overcoming Barriers

Time is one of the main barriers for educators to implement professional learning. Schools that are making time usually do so in one of three ways. They use available time, buy time, or create time. Continue reading Kent ISD Reboots Webinar Format

Educators Wanted for Share Fair Nation in November 2016!

“I observed a phenomenal school that focuses on STEM, flipped classes, and problem-based learning and I am inspired by the possibilities, especially with problem-based learning. I see that I can go so much farther with the technology I have than what I have been doing. I see that I can go so much farther with engaging students and providing them with an authentic learning opportunity that will engage them and get them hooked on learning forever. I am pumped to incorporate what I learned into my units for next year.” Aniko Z, 5th Grade Nonfiction Teacher, New York, NY.

The above quote comes from a teacher that attended Share Fair Nation, a professional development by educators for educators.  And Share Fair nation is coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 12, 2016. By partnering with GVSU, and several local districts, Kent ISD is excited to bring this national movement to West Michigan.

Share Fair Nation provides PreK-12 educators the opportunity to join the conversation around Continue reading Educators Wanted for Share Fair Nation in November 2016!

A Student’s Perspective on NovaNow

There is still time to register for NovaNOW! This unique conference will be held on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6. Check out this this student’s perspective on NovaNow…

Kent ISD EdTech Blog

We are only two weeks away from NovaNow, a unique opportunity for educators, business professionals, and even students that focuses on innovations in education. As we ramp up for this event, we asked Ben Wieringa, a Kent Innovation High student, to share his experiences with NovaNow. We have included his response below.

Hello, My name is Ben Wieringa I have been a student at Kent Innovation High (KIH) for the past four years. I have also been involved with NovaNow since it started two years ago. For those that are not familiar, NovaNow is a conference that takes place in a school, where educators talk with presenters and everyone has a voice to share what they think is best for students in the classroom.

I spent the first year of NovaNow as a tour guide where I would show guests around the open, free-flowing workspace of KIH. From the feedback…

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A Holiday Gift to Accompany New Science Standards…

STEM PD Comes With FREE Drones, 3-D Printers

Are you ready for the newly-adopted Michigan Science Standards? This Kent ISD PD and free technology from MDE can help.

Inside the standards is an engineering component, which is a great match for the drones and printers MDE’s 99s(5) grant will pay for. If you’re looking for effective ways to engage students in engineering concepts, these workshops and technology will equip you to advance both learning and awareness of the careers using these tools. Teacher’s will work with the equipment hands-on, then take the equipment back to their district (to keep) for use in the classroom!

Grant Kent ISD STEM NGSS

And since Kent ISD an approved PD provider for this grant, it will even cover substitute fees to make it easier for teachers to participate. There are separate Continue reading A Holiday Gift to Accompany New Science Standards…

When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY

I will never forget the day my AP Biology teacher wheeled a TV into our classroom and with sheer excitement told us we’d be learning about DNA in a new way. He stepped aside to reveal a brand new piece of technology: the laser disc player!

laser discLaugh. I did too. However, as Mr. Demmink carefully pulled the gigantic gold disc out of the sleeve and went into his introduction of the topic and how our learning could be changed that day with this new high definition tool, the laughing subsided. It was absolutely impossible not to jump on the excitement bandwagon. It was 1998 and we were being exposed to cutting edge technology to help improve our learning. The entire class was fired up. Bring on the laser disc!

As we know, technology is always changing…and the laser disc is very much a thing of the past. Thus, the educator’s role as “filters of the fountain” becomes even more important as we navigate through the waters of what will impact our students most effectively. So where do we begin? Continue reading When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY