Video Reflection: Make It a Part of Everyday Learning!

How was school today?

Thinking and re-engaging in the learnings of the day helps build connections in our brains.  Having children talk about or “reflect” on their learning can give rise to talking about interesting ideas or expose some misconceptions that might need untangling.  This conversation has traditionally started with asking “How was school today?”  The availability of technological tools can enrich this conversation and empower students to extend their learning through reflection. It might also help support growth mindset for both parent and child.

The first step for this reflective dialogue begins in the classroom when students have access to technology such as an iPad.  Students can utilize the camera to capture their thoughts and reflections in the moment, much like a diary.  A brief (30 second) video reflection helps students do the challenging metacognition in a simple, straightforward way. They can “talk it out” with themselves. No one else needs to see or hear them. These reflections at first might feel uncomfortable or challenge the student; however, over time students can become comfortable doing this as a matter of routine.  When kept as a digital diary, a student may smile when they hear their words years down the road.  What a gift to our future self! 

To do these reflections on the iPads we only need to turn on the camera and do a quick “selfie” video.  That recording is stored right on the iPad or can be moved to your storage drive or shared with others.

How might you experiment with video reflections?  Can you tell us about the book, story, or article you just read? Can you explain why you are working so hard on the Lego, video, or coding project you are doing?  Can you share a problem you saw and the five ways you’ve brainstormed to solve it?  Can you tell us the plot of your new movie? Or your excitement about the GarageBand song you’re developing? Can you share what you have a passion to learn?  Or can you tell us how you learn best?

Explore at home and in classrooms.  What do you learn about how you learn?  Go ahead, point the camera, and tell yourself about it!

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Accessibility Features for Everyone on iPads

 Accessibility Features for Everyone on iPads

Students looking at an iPad


Did you know that your iPad has great features built in that can enhance learning and literacy? Accessibility features built into the basic Apple apps can support all learners in powerful ways. All of the apps created by Apple support these features in both iOS and Mac OS.


Reading Support

iPad Settings ScreenSometimes it’s important to READ and HEAR the content that is critical. Turning on the Speak Screen or Speak Selection in Settings allows someone to quickly have any text read aloud.  A web page in the Safari browser, a document opened in Pages, and Notes taken in class can be accessible to read and hear. You can even choose to have the words highlighted as they are read aloud.

Reader View in Safari

Distracted by the jumble of ads or sidebars on a website?  Switch on Reader view in Safari to get only the article. No clutter! Couple that simplicity with Speak Screen and only the important information is read aloud!

screenshot of web page with reader view turned offscreenshot of web page with reader view turned on


A dictionary is built in to the iOS. Highlight a word and tap “Look Up” to open the dictionary. 

Writing and Presentation Support

Using Pages or Notes to write, you can have your essay read aloud to you. Do the first edit of your writing using Speak Selection.  Sometimes hearing your words can help you “hear” what you’ve written. You might choose a better word when you hear the way a sentence sounds OR “listen” to your presentation to hear how an audience will experience the words.   

Needing more focus?iPad Settings screen

Guided Access keeps you on a single app and disables the Home button. You focus on the task at hand and get the learning done!

Check out on the Apple Support page to learn more.

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Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center

Sign Up Today for the Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center!

flyer for summer STEM classes

This summer the Innovation Center is offering three for-credit High School STEM classes, and one non-credit opportunity for students.
For-credit classes (0.5 credit elective):
June 4 – June 28th
Mondays – Thursdays, 8:30am – 12:30pm
$150 to attend.

*Apple Certified Mac & iOS Technician
*Introduction to Programming
*IT Fundamentals (CompTIA Certification)

CyberSecurity boot camp (non-credit)
Mon – Thurs, June 11-June 14, 1pm – 3pm,
$50 to attend.

Interested students can sign up at

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Is your child ready for a smart phone?

Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and the blog, Raising Digital Natives, recently wrote this article for families, Hold the Phone: 8 Signs Your Kid Isn’t Ready for a Phone.

We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Heitner and school leadership teams this summer to explore opportunities to strengthen school-family connections!

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We are Meteorologists!

Kindergarteners at several of our elementary schools have been working hard as weather reporters. Students have been using green-screen technology to simulate a weather broadcast. The reports contain updates on the current weather conditions, a forecast for the next day, and a reminder of the appropriate clothing for the next day’s conditions.

Videos are shared with parents and families through the digital portfolio app, Seesaw.  Family members are able to “like” and “comment” on their own student’s work once approved by the teacher.  Teachers have seen a direct impact on student attitude and engagement through the use of digital sharing with families and the creation tools in Seesaw.

At one school, students had the opportunity to meet a sports broadcaster from Corpus Christi, Texas. Teachers organized a virtual meeting so students could tour the newscasting facilities. The broadcaster showed students the studio’s green-screen used during news productions.  

Students were enthusiastic to learn about career opportunities that they are practicing for in now in kindergarten!

Click here to see a short clip of the virtual field trip.


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