Stop Motion Science

8Science students collaborated in the creation of a LEGO Stop Motion Video to demonstrate their understanding of substances and different types of Elements. They created a story line that included MONATOMIC ELEMENTS, DIATOMIC COMPOUND and TRIATOMIC COMPOUNDS!

New Blakers!

Welcome Dash and Dot! AfterSchool Coding Club members are test-driving the new robots which will soon be integrated into the Science curriculum.

Digital Learning Day 6th Discussion Panel

Medfield School District held its 3rd annual Digital Learning Day Conference filled with over 60 workshops for K-12 teachers in district and from schools out-of-district. Wellesley 6th Grade teachers joined Blake's 6th teachers and students for a discussion on their initial year of having 1:1 iPads in the classroom.

A Shout Out to Medfield HS/MS Student Volunteers

Our Digital Learning Day Conference wouldn't have been possible without the support of our wonderful Medfield HS Students and Blake MS students. This photo was taken at the beginning of the day, during a briefing with Neal Sonnenbergy (HS Tech Integration Specialist)

Look out for these future App Developers

This group of Blake MS girls are entered into the Global Competition, Technovation to design a mobile app that solves a community/social issue. Wish them Luck! The final pitch is on May 1st @ Microsoft NERD Center!

Took the Show on the Road

Blake MS Principal Nat Vaughn and 8Science Teacher Jason Heim presented about the Blake iPad Initiative at the LearnLaunch Conference, Harvard Business School.

Green Screen App Smashing

At our final EdTechTeacher Workshop, 6th/7th Grade Teachers explored their creative side by layering green screen videos over images for engaging instructional videos. It was total fun!

Convert Smells to Energy = Smellergy!

Nicolina is changing the world one nose at a time! Her entry was clearly on track with dreaming, designing, and delivering an energy-saving idea into the Blake Energy Invention Contest!

Sometimes the Ideas start here

Planning and drawing out a story board before the creation of an Explain Everything project is an essential step in the process!

6.09.2015

Overview of Blake's Digital Citizenry Pilot

With our Middle School going entirely 1:1 iPad this past year, a big focus was to pair it with a strong implementation of a Digital Citizenship curriculum. Last summer, the planning process began by building a core lead DigCit Team of a grade level representative from 6th grade (Marjorie Heim), 7th grade (Sara Donovan), 8th grade (Seth Hellerstein), our principal (Nat Vaughn), Library Media Specialist (Jon Haycock) and myself, the Technology Integration Specialist with the task to begin developing a model/implementation structure and DigCit curriculum from the Common Sense Media organization

Our structure took advantage of the Cluster Model using Advisory times during a selected week to deliver a direct lesson facilitated by the GL representative, an extension activity and a student discussion panel by cluster. Our two main topics involved lessons: Cyberbully-Be UPstanding and Understanding your Digital Footprint- The Trillion Dollar Footprint.

However, beyond the lessons, students learned best when they heard directly from their peers. The Common Sense Media curriculum promotes the Student Discussion Panel venue to give students this opportunity. At the conclusion of the Digit Cit week, each cluster would select 4-5 students to be on a panel, also joined by a teacher and the principal to answer questions and to further discuss the topic. The power in listening & sharing their own experiences, thoughts, and giving advice to each other was quite evident. We plan to continue and expand this with real-time topics.


Digital Footprint - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

And then below, you'll find the Google Slideshow which was presented at a Parent Workshop last week to provide an overview of the who, how, and what content was covered throughout the year as well as plans to push towards a fuller integration into the classrooms and opportunities for parents and the community to learn too.


   

Parents should bookmark the CommonSense Media website as a tremendous resource with parent tips sheets that are paired with each lesson, app reviews, a Connecting Families Program and much more.

Overall, we leave this school year on a good DigCit note and a good direction and vision for where we would like to be as a school next year! Please feel free to give Nat or any members of the DigCit Team feedback.

6.05.2015

How to's: Options for taking your Google Acct with you!


It's that time of year when several students and staff are transitioning to life beyond Medfield.. Whether it's going onto a new school, college, moving, retirement, new job, etc. The common question is how can I take all of my files and work from my school Google Account with me?

Thanks to the Tech Sherpa's from Nokomis Regional High in Central Maine for sharing a couple of options. I'll briefly go through each one demonstrated in the video below to help you choose the best one.

1. Migrationapp.com
Transfer from One Google Account to another Google Account (with different domains).
With our GAFE accounts, the administrator must enabled or approve this site to have access to your account to make the transfer.  At the present moment, this option is not available to Medfield students and staff.

2. Google TakeOut
Google added a separate site called Google Takeout specifically for data liberation and downloading your data and files from your choice of Google products (gmail, contacts, blogger, photos, etc.). You are also able to select the format (Word, PDF, png, etc.) to download as.. just know, it will no longer be in a Google format (doc, slides,...). It will also download as one huge compressed file (.zip) that can either be saved to a flash drive, uploaded to a cloud storage account or emailed to yourself. *This option is best for those who do not have a different google account.

3. GAPPSTIPS.COM
This third party website may be the easiest option for those with another personal google account. You'll start by creating one folder with everything you want to transfer and share it with your other google account. Next, log into your other google account and add the folder to MY DRIVE. Next, go to tools.gappstips.com/drive/copy-folder to make a copy of it in order to become the "owner". All your docs, slides, etc. will have the prefix "copy of" in front of it..well, there's a tool to edit those file names too! Go to gappstips.com/drive/filenames-edit to remove the prefix in one step!  Watch the videos for a fantastic demonstration by this Tech Sherpa student!



Please do not hestitate to ask for assistance from Ellen, Wendy or myself.

5.29.2015

Friday Digital Notes: Viral Texts, Google Photos, Charity Miles & More


Here we are on the last Friday of May with the latest tech news!

Apple News: Effective Power Text.
This viral text message is definitely making its rounds at Blake. Still waiting on Apple to come up with a fix which would require students to update their iPad's OS software. Until then, tell students to turn off iMessages to avoid this problem.
Settings >Messages> slide or disable iMessage
And/OR turn off notifications either by using Do Not Disturb or disable iMessage Notifications.

*In actuality, these are probably good practices to have during the school day anyways.

If their iMessage app is crashing, here are a list of solutions from MacRumors.com:

"Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app. 

1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages." 
2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again 
3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread."

Google News
In Google Drive, have you noticed Google Photos appearing in the lefthand menu? It’s on your iPad and on the web. This is Google’s efforts to make storing and backing up photos easier for you, which is perfect timing now that you can add images from the iPad camera roll into Google Docs and Slides. Read more: How does Google Photos work with Drive

There is also a new, separate Google Photos app that holds those same photos with editing, cropping and filters.

Wounded Warrior Project (video)
With next week’s student efforts to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project, think about using the Charity Miles app too. It combines fitness (walk,run or bike) with raising money for a number of charities with the Wounded Warrior Project included!  For every mile walked or ran, you can easily raise 25 cents (x the # of miles) for the Wound Warriors Project. Free. Fitness. and Good Cause! It’s a win-win!

Blake's Digital Citizenship Team
Thanks to the parents who attended Blake's Overview of 2014-15 Digital Citizenship Pilot as we discussed the topics covered this year (cyberbullying & digital footprints), the structure of directed lessons, extensions and the student discussion panel as well as goals/expansion for next year. You can view the resources and presentation slides here.

Fun Adobe PhotoMiApp
brought to you by our creative Art Teacher, Christina Delaney.  Adobe has probably 20 free apps that all do some pretty neat things. Christina’s artists made use of the Photomix App’s ability to cutout an image and layer an image on top of a background image-along with applying the typical edit and filter tools. It’s a simple, clear cut app that is worth a look. Check out what they did with their sculptures!


5.19.2015

#advise4yourdevice: I forgot my passcode..SOS!


With our Bring Your Own iPad program at Blake MS, understanding how to manage your personal iPad has been another layer of learning for students and teachers. Of course, it is based on perspective as to whether that is a positive or not. Either way.. everyone benefits from understanding how to set up their devices to take advantage of some its built-in features.

One situation that occurs far too common is the ummm... I forgot my passcode. Typically, you will end up with the DISABLED screen if attempted too many times.  Basically, you are forced to restore your iPad, which could possibly mean losing some of your school work from the Explain Everything and Notability apps if you have not backed up your work to Google Drive.

This is where the Find My Phone app and an iCloud account can be a life-saver! It does the obvious by locating a missing device on a map. But, by putting your device in Lost Mode using a computer or another the Find My Phone app on another iOS device, it will lock your screen w/ new four-digit passcode that you set and lets you display a custom message, etc. 

1. Set up a free iCloud account using your Apple ID.
    Tap on Settings

2. Install the Find My Phone app.
3. Sign into the Find My iPhone app with your iCloud App.

Now you are set up! How does this work if I forget my iPad or misplace it?You should put it into Lost Mode immediately using Find My iPhone.
  • Access the Find MY iPhone app on another iOS device and sign into your iCloud/Apple ID Account.
  • OR you can go to the website: icloud.com/find to sign into iCloud/Account.
  • Turn on Lost Mode and set your passcode.
  • Go to your locked iPad and try the new passcode you set.
  • Viola.. you should be back in business!
  • The only glitch is that your iPad must be online (connected to the Internet) for this to work.
More information..tap here

5.15.2015

Digital Notes on a Friday! DC Trip, Google Hangouts, App Updates & more.



Happy Friday--Here are a few tech updates to keep you in the loop!

Borrowing Devices
In the past couple of weeks, many poor iPad screens have been shattered. Luckily, extra iPads are available for students to borrow until they get a replacement, if available. I ask that students do use a passcode or install apps under their own Apple ID. All apps are installed that are needed or please see me.  Also, try to return the device as soon as possible and don't forget the charger too! Thanks!

Washington DC trip.
Generally, parents and well, anyone can follow along Blake's 8th Grade Washington DC field trip on Twitter using the #blakeindc hashtag. This year.. we're also going to try to have them 
Google Hangout into Blake each day to talk about their trip-in-progress and for the students at Blake to be able to ask questions. I will try to record this so it's available to watch at a later time too. Stay tuned!

Also, we can’t let the 8th Grade have all the fun! The LMC will be offering a few Makerspace challenges throughout the week to introduce and let students explore the Makey Makey kit, Osmo Masterpiece and Dash and Dot Robot and--Teachers, feel free to take on the challenges too!

Google Updates:
Make sure you update your Google Docs and Slides apps.. you are now able to add images to both! In Slides, users can add shapes and create/edit tables!.

Paper Fifty Three App Update:
This drawing app has an update called Think Kit. Visual Learners will love the ability to draw using all the tools for free, to create diagrams, and the new fill and cut & rearrange feature.

That’s all for now- Happy Weekend!
Diane