School Spotlight: Cassidy 4th Grade

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Many people fear that computer usage in the early elementary years consists solely of playing games and want to limit the screen time. However, implementing effective technology is really not any different from writing, reading and math. There are building blocks and foundations that need to be constructed in order for students to become efficient and capable lifelong users of technology.

Fourth grade teachers Wes Downing, Crystal Holland, Andrea Richardson, Samantha Voss, and Sarah Jane Kimball have made these realizations and have embraced the concept of changing their classrooms and implementing a 1:1 program.  With full support of the administration, their students are flourishing through using Chromebooks, Google Classroom, and a multitude of technology skills and tools.  Rather than listening to my rambles, please read the words straight from the mouth of Wes Downing.

IMG_4306I had witnessed Chromebooks in action at my previous school (when I worked in Florida) and thought they would be a wonderful way for Cassidy to apply for our RFP grant. We knew the Chromebooks were affordable, but also reliable. Luckily, when I presented the idea to my administration, they backed us 100% and even put up some extra money to make the entire grade level completely 1:1 (the grant covered 107 chrome books and we needed 120). Having the support of administration makes all of the difference in the world!

The Chromebooks have completely changed how we run our classrooms.  First of all, there is large amount of built-in engagement that goes along with all of the students having chrome books. The students have really taken ownership of the devices. They are really invested in the devices and work hard to follow directions and be responsible so they can continue having the privilege of using the devices.

IMG_4304Chromebooks have allowed us to streamline teacher to student communication, as well as communication between students.  Students use email to talk to teachers and parents during the day. Students post questions and comments on Google Classroom and can respond to each other, without teacher assistance.  Assignments can be assigned, created, and submitted using the chrome books, allowing teachers to spend more time working with students and less time grading, searching for work, etc. 

Most parents also love the Chromebooks.  It has taken them a little bit of time to get used to the differences they present, but most love looking at student work or online assessments students have been working on.

IMG_4302The Chromebooks also make it easy for us to differentiate for our students.  There are lots of online programs we use, but we also have the ability to pick and choose what our kids are working on, without the hassle of making copies for all the kids, etc.  We can assign them all different skills to practice or leveled readers to read, all with a few clicks of a button.

 

Programs we use include LiveSchool (behavior), Google Drive and other Google Apps, Write to Learn, NoRedInk, IXL and many more.

Next Steps for us will be to “flip” the classroom and allow students to drive our classroom discussions, as well as give students the freedom to create their own methods of responding to questions or completing assignments.  We are working towards more student ownership, and hope to continue to grow in this area.

Welcome!

Resources, Blogs and More!

The purpose of this site is to provide information and access to the many technology-related resources in our district. We will feature various district blogs through this space as well as provide links to the resources you need. If something is missing, please let us know!

Technology Support

Look for pages under the Tech Leaders link that provide specific assistance for STC’s, STLP Coordinators and others who work with technology at the school level as well as teacher resources. More resources will be added as the site is developed.

Check out the FCPS links page above to find links to many of our resources including Sharepoint, iSchool, pay vouchers and more.

Register Now – IFL Conference 2015

 2015 Fayette County Innovations for Learning Conference
Registration for the conference is now open, but space is limited and the conference will fill quickly.
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What:  IFL is a free, one-day event open to any teacher, technology specialist (TRT, TIS), library media specialist, administrator or anyone else interested in using technology to improve student learning.
 
When:  Thursday, June 11, 2015, 7:30 am – 3:45 pm
 
Where:  Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY
 
Why:  Provides 6 hours PD or EILA credit (pending approval)
 
How:  Go to https://edtech.fcps.net/ifl/.  Registering on the site indicates your plan to attend.  (If that changes, please let us know because we will be saving you a seat!)
 
Tidbits to Remember:
·         The conference is FREE! Attendees do not need to complete a schedule ahead of time.  All sessions are first-come, first-served.
·         This year’s conference will consist of five 45-minute session slots and one 20-minute session, so you will have lots of opportunities to learn new things!
 
Although we are still adding some additional sessions, we are excited to have teachers and educators from around the state and nation coming to present.  Topics will include Microsoft Office 365/OneDrive tools, Google Apps for Education, BYOD, iPads, apps, web-based tools, arts/video/media production, gaming, robotics, flipped instruction, 21st century learning, STEM, and much more!  There will even be sessions just for adminsA current list of approved sessions is available on the conference website.
 
Don’t wait to register if you plan to attend.  We hope you can join us!
 
 

Innovations for Learning

CaptureThe Innovations for Learning (IFL) Conference is a one day conference produced by the Office of Instructional Technology at Fayette County Schools. The conference focus is on innovative instructional strategies that engage students to improve learning.

IFL is open to all teachers, technology specialists (TRTs, TISs), administrators, and anyone else interested in how to use technology to improve student learning. This year’s conference will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Bryan Station High School, 201 Eastin Rd, Lexington, KY 40505, and is once again free for all participants.

Call for Presenters Now Open!

Currently we are looking for innovative teachers and educational professionals to present at the conference. Presenters may choose a one hour time slot or a 20 minute mini-session. Some lab space will be available for hands-on sessions. Visit edtech.fcps.net/ifl and click on the Presenter Info button to get started!