Dec 15

Copyright vs. Creation in the Digital Age

A frequent comment I hear from teachers in technology-rich classrooms is that technology makes  plagiarism so much easier for their students. While it is true that technology provides a whole galaxy of easily copy-and-pastable material available to students, it’s even more true that we have a responsibility to teach students why this practice is wrong .

Though the consequences for plagiarism in elementary, middle, and high school are relatively mild, these same actions can have much more serious implications later in life. So, how can we teach students to respect copyright laws and to be lifelong good digital citizens?

 

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2017/12/15/copyrights-plagiarism-and-content-creation-in-the-digital-age/

Dec 15

Winter Break Activities

With winter break quickly approaching families might be interested in some of the local activities that children can attend.

By Erik MasonErik Mason (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

City of Longmont Camps/Activities for Students are still available.

Check out the Longmont Museum and all they have to offer our students!

How about what you might find at local libraries?

Longmont Library- Just for Kids 

Longmont Library – Just for Teens

High Plains Library District Events 

Lyons Regional Library

By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

How about some Maker Spaces…?

Tinkermill in Longmont

Maker Space Hub for Colorado

IT’s School Break time!   Try checking out some Denver exciting experiences for learning!

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science also has an iMax theater! The Denver Zoo had great events for families in this busy season.

Finally,  check out these activities suggested by the City of Denver for Kids and Families.

Have a wonderful break and enjoy the time together!

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2017/12/15/winter-break-activities/

Nov 21

Computer Science Education Week, 2017

This time of year we have so much to be thankful for and so much to celebrate. Personally, I am thankful to work in such an amazing school district with forward-thinking educators, supportive and involved families, and brilliant, creative scholars. I’m incredibly grateful for my family and friends, and for my two beautiful children who surprise and delight me every day. But today I am also grateful for the technology that makes it possible for me to learn and grow at every stage of my life. If it weren’t for computers and computer science, I wouldn’t be able to take free online courses about my favorite topics, or learn how to code without spending thousands of dollars at expensive institutions. I wouldn’t be able to connect with amazing educators around the globe, or research new ways of integrating STEM concepts into the classroom. I wouldn’t be able to see student thinking by way of their creations in applications like iMovie or Seesaw, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to share designs that students and educators develop with design thinking. Indeed, computer science affords personal and professional growth that I don’t want to imagine life without.

As we work to prepare students for being able to prepare themselves for anything, computer science education must be a part of our discussion. St Vrain embraces the importance of computer science topics integrated throughout the school day, not just as an after-school add-on for a few students. Teachers and educators throughout the district are creating opportunities for students to explore and discover through computer science – opportunities to help them become authors instead of just consumers. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2017/11/21/computer-science-education-week-2017/

Nov 21

Digital Library

Every student – every reader – in St. Vrain Valley Schools deserves access to high-interest, complex texts whenever and wherever they choose. This means all kinds of books -print and digital. Over the years, St. Vrain Valley School District voters approved several mill levy overrides and bonds that, among other improvements, greatly strengthen our district’s capacity to equip students with dynamic technology tools. As a result, the SVVS Learning Technology Plan was developed. The LTP focused on transforming teaching and learning through digital connectivity and content.

This advancement in learning technology has also started to revolutionize our libraries. The District Digital Library offers eBooks and audiobooks and streaming media, including over 72,000 titles for elementary, middle and high school students and District staff.  Many titles have both an eBook and AudioBook version and several titles have multiple copies.  These titles complement each school’s library of print books and serve as a component of SVVS’s continued promise to prepare all students for the world they will inherit – a world where reading literacy is a hybrid experience across multiple platforms. For many, including myself, how and where our students are learning to read and reading for pleasure is a landscape much different than what we knew even a decade ago. As citizens,  students will need to know how to access, recall, and comprehend texts across all platforms. St. Vrain is dedicated to making sure they have the opportunities to practice those skills in schools and classrooms where knowledgeable, professional educators can help them navigate this new terrain.

In its work to make sure students have quality texts available for this learning, the District Digital Library committee has dedicated many hours to ensure that the best titles, topics, and authors are available in this digital library and that we are reaching all readers and interests​. Professional resources for teaching staff have also been purchased. Students and staff can enjoy this library anytime, anywhere on a computer, iPad, smartphone or eReader. In the 2016-2017 school year, 134,741 digital books were checked out – more than any other district in the U.S.

This is another example of how the St. Vrain Valley Schools are providing opportunities that are expanding students’ capacity for success and giving them an advantage for the future.

For further information and access please click on the following links or contact your school library staff.

Thank you and happy reading!

Kahle Charles, Executive Director of Curriculum

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2017/11/21/digital-library/

Nov 21

Having Fun Exploring Online

When we read an interesting story that grabs our attention and leads us down a path to something new, we can get lost exploring a world we didn’t know existed. How might we foster this kind of growth in our students?  

When children are allowed time to explore and ask questions about things that are interesting to them, we create the foundation for an inquiry based classroom where students are in charge of their own learning.  Technology empowers us to tap into the work of creative and curious people, and each student in SVVSD has the tools in their hands to explore at home and at school. Here are some of websites that you and your family might find interesting to explore and learn together at home.

 

Wonderopolis is a great place to start for all ages. Wonderopolis was created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in 2010.  This site opens with a “question of the day” to explore. These questions are archived within the site. It’s a great way to bring you together to think and ask questions about a topic that excites you.

How about the Smithsonian online collections? Or go directly to the Smithsonian Online Exhibits for Kids. It’s a place to get “lost” for a long time online! Or Explore our nation’s rich treasures, science, and shared history.

See also the Museum Spot  – a great resource for all things “museum.”  Go there to explore and learn about other fantastic museums online.

There are so many libraries online. Why not start in our own Library of Congress? The Education link on the Library of Congress site is for “students and life-long learners.”  Check it out!

Looking for more library ideas? Check out the Library Spot, which compiles interesting things to find in online libraries! The Homework Spot is fun to explore, too. Click on the Field Trips or explore exhibits like this one about Baseball from the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Our own local museum, The Longmont Museum is a great place for the families to go or visit the exhibits online.   Check out the exhibits and look ahead to some of the special classes offered for children during the holiday season and Winter Break.   

 

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2017/11/21/fun-exploring-online/

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