Getting Into the Swing of the School Year

OK.  The school year is now officially 8 days old.  I’m regrouping on my second weekend.  Things are going well. Instead of math, I am teaching technology – all day long.  I have over 260 middle school students.

I am following the outline of a curriculum that I co-wrote with my colleague @mark_synnott, and which I am teaching along with another colleague @techteacher33.  It is designed to give students broad exposure to creating, finding, and managing digital content, mostly through application of free online software.  We will be doing coding in several languages, photography, digital art, animated storytelling, and studying about good digital citizenship.  There will be a video editing project, as well, and also some app invention.  My main goal is to bring all of these skills to fruition in the form of PBL that reaches out to others in our community or somewhere else in the world and contributes to the solution to a problem or in some way helps others outside of our own classroom.

My students all have succeeded brilliantly, for the most part, in setting themselves up on various software platforms, and here is a rundown on what each student has accomplished in these first 8 days:

  • Created new student login password on their Chromebook (this is our third year as a 1:1 district @puhsd)
  • Set up ePortfolio on Haiku
  • Set up a shared folder with me on Google Drive
  • Signed in as a student in my Google Classroom
  • Learned how to take a screenshot
    •  Also how to rename that screenshot
    • Also how to upload that screenshot to the appropriate digital storage for grading
  • Finished first lesson at Common Sense Media about cyberbullying
    • Also participated in first classwide digital discussion of this issue in Haiku
  • Setup account at Typing Club
    • Also proceeded through first 5 – 10 lessons
    • I am determined that they learn how to use all of their fingers to type!

On Monday, I am very excited to allow them to really spread their wings as we begin to learn the fundamentals of coding with Google’s CS First curriculum which ties seamlessly together with Scratch.mit.edu.

All-in-all, the year has already begun with a bang… and it’s only going to get amazingly better!!

Erik Anderson

@techteacher88

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