Technology Corner: October 20, 2017

Technology Corner: October 20, 2017
Posted on 10/20/2017
By Kevin McGonegal, Instructional Technology Specialist

First off, by way of introduction, I am Kevin McGonegal, Haggerty’s half-time Instructional Technology Specialist. I spend the first half of the week teaching at the Haggerty, and the second at the Fletcher Maynard Academy. Offsetting my schedule is our school’s Technician, Tenzin Jampa. Mr. Jampa’s primary responsibilities include troubleshooting, computer repair, and network maintenance, while I serve as our computer teacher, staff developer, and integration specialist.

Here is a quick glimpse of what’s been happening in our computer classes!

Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten:
We are starting very simply by learning how we use technology in school as a tool for learning. We have been going over our school-wide Technology Expectations, learning how to login to our computers, and how to use our computers safely and appropriately. Along the way, we have been able to visit various educational websites like the Chrome Music Lab and Starfall’s ABCs! Our kindergarten classes will soon be programming “Ozobots” (see below), Kibo robots, drawing computer art, and learning how to code!

First Grade: Although many of our class sessions have been used for taking some of our school-wide assessments, we too have been acclimating ourselves with proper technology use in school. We have also begun reviewing how to enter letters and numbers into the computer using the fun typing-tutor site “Dance Mat Typing.” We do not focus on using our “home row” keys, as that is not yet developmentally appropriate, but this has been a great way for us to get to know the keyboard. This week, we began using our school’s new Ozobot robots, which we purchased last year with Friends of Haggerty Funds! Learn more about Ozobots >>

Second Grade: Although I am not hosting second grade classes this year, I will be soon introducing these students to their CPS Google Drive accounts, where they will be completing all of their “on computer” writing, presentation, and spreadsheet assignments this year and in the coming years at CPS! This also gives them (and their teachers) access to Google Classroom, a web-based “courseware” tool that many teachers at Haggerty now use with their students.

Third and Fourth Grade: Using Google Classroom and the wonderful “Stop Motion Studio” iPad app, third graders have worked with myself and Haggerty Librarian Sarah Novogrodsky to film their own stop-motion animations. If you have a third or fourth grader, you’ve probably heard about it! Next week, we will begin storyboarding our final projects.

Fifth Grade: We have begun our media literacy unit using the wonderful web-based video editing tool called “WeVideo.” Thanks to Friends of Haggerty, our students have “premium” accounts, and are able to access all of the tool’s rich features.

In December, we’ll be dropping everything and coding! December is the Haggerty “Month of Code,” where we focus at all grade levels on what it means to be a computer programmer. We are also excited to be starting to use our new 3D printer (thanks AGAIN, Friends of Haggerty!), which I will be using with all grade levels. Stand by; there’s lots of other great stuff to come this year in technology!

I will soon send home a list of login information for all of our web-based resources; many are just getting started for the year, so once the list is compiled, I’ll send it out.

Here’s to a great start of the school year!
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