Building a Mountain in less than 3 Minutes?! What?! Huh?

Sometimes you just want to see the entire process from start to finish in LESS time! Mr. Gow, 6th Grade SS Teacher took advantage of the time lapse feature of the iPad's camera to record his students building their mountains out of paper mache! Visit his classroom website to see more!)

ENGAGEMENT!

Memorial's First Graders were totally engaged in learning how to code using Scratch Jr.! And, Let's just say, it's not only for ages 5-7! Try downloading the free app and give it a try!

C-L-A-YMATION NATION in 6th Grade Art

Mrs. Delaney's Art Students are collaborating in their first Claymation Productions!

First Graders + Scratch Jr. = #AWESOMENESS

Memorial's Librarian,Randie Groden brought Scratch Jr. to the first grade for their #hourofcode! All you heard from the students was, "This is cool!"

Massachussett's Education Secretary visits Blake

Dr. Malone was impressed with students using technology and blending it with wonderful hands-on projects like this!

8th Grade Science Teachers did their Hour of Code

The 8th Grade Science Team, Mike Gibbs, Jason Heim, Jillian Chiasson(not pictured) are bringing coding and robotics to the Science curriculum this year. A big thanks to the Medfield Coalition for approving the grant to purchase Dot and Dash robots!)

SRA Manning's Spanish Class

Creating Text Messages in Spanish- Students work in partners by airdropping each other's pics to one another, cropping and importing their pics into Explain Everything and adding/recording their dialogue.

Skyping with Microsoft's Catherine Moya

Blake's Guidance Couselor, Tracy Allen connected with Microsoft's Catherine Moya for 8th Graders to interview via Skype.

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!

1.05.2015

#ETTGoogle for Education Jamboree: Pick Me!


 Happy 2015! A new year always brings new visions and ambitions and opportunities! So when I learned about EdTechTeacher & Google's free Google Jamboree Workshop, it was something that I didn't want to miss out on. Of course, only 200 people can attend which added another layer to the application process. All applications had to answer the question:
HOW WILL I MAKE 2015 THE BEST YEAR FOR MY STUDENTS?
I thought I'd also share my entry, or at least my vision or hopes as a Technology Integration Specialist for Blake Middle Schoolers this year with all of you too! My project was created using the combination of Stick Around App- think, interactive puzzle and Canva for self-designed images. It does require the Stick Around app to view/play.  Feel free to give it a try: The Best 2015 for My Students (Or see the images below)



 Hold onto your seats.. we're stepping on the gas! 
And to #ETTGOOGLE- Pick Me! Pick Me!

12.21.2014

Gearing up for the TECHNOVATION CHALLENGE! BRING IT!


A couple of weekends ago at a Code.org Workshop, the clear message was of the importance of promoting an awareness of computer science to students of all ages, the high demand for computer programming in the world, the need for it to be offered as courses in our schools, but the one that caught my attention... was the underrepresentation of girls and students of color who actually pursue an education and career in the areas of math, science and technology- (still today!). 

The Hour of Code is that initial step to bring this awareness to everyone: students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community. Now.. it's time to go beyond the hour.  At the Code.org Workshop, Kelly Powers, copresident of the Computer Science Teachers Association of Greater Boston shared many opportunities that just couldn't be passed up, like the Technovation Global Challenge specifically geared for girls. MS/HS girls are challenged to blend human needs with technology in developing an app to solve a real problem in their community.

My thoughts...we have to get a Medfield Team together!

The Technovation Challenge is a somewhat rigorous one as you need to get a team of 5 girls together, find/work with a mentor who is a women in the field, identify a social issue, develop the app  and a business plan and then pitch it! This is done all within a 12 Week timeframe which means the commitment is an estimated 4 hours a week. Whew!

Watch the video of last year's participants as they share the rewards it brings!



Blake MS will be holding a brief informational meeting after school on
Wednesday, Jan. 7th 2:15-2:45ish in the LMC. If you have any questions or interest, please contact Ms. Allen, Mrs. Heim, Mrs. Buley or Ms. Horvath!
The official start week is Jan. 12th- Wish us Luck!

For more data & info on the need for coding, visit:

SO WE'RE IN! ARE YOU?!!

12.08.2014

Google & Office Can Play Nicely- Check Out the Updates!


Medfield's full transition to Google Apps for Education happened this past July, leaving teachers wondering how are they still going to make use of all those Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoints slides??  While you can convert them on upload to Google Drive,  most Office Files lost their formatting- adding to more time needed to fix them. The bottom line: Google and Office just didn't play well together.


Well.. here's one technology update you all have been waiting for... improved Office to Google File conversion AND the ability to actually edit Office Files in Google Drive. Read on!


*NOTE: This is in reference to using Google on the computer and not a mobile device.

Google Guru's: 3 Updates To Make Editing Office Files Even Easier

1. Convert Office files to Google in one click - in Gmail, any Word, Excel, PPT attachments can be converted directly from the email message and saved into Google Drive. YES!



2. 15 new supported Office formats to improve the conversion and reduce the changes in formatting.

3. Edit Office files with Google Office Editor — this is a Chrome Extension for those who want to leave it as an Office File and still edit it within Google Drive. Click here for the Chrome Extension.

Source: Visit Google Guru for more info and the latest Google Updates.

For those who are looking to edit Microsoft Office Files on the Computer, you'll be happy to know that Dropbox + Microsoft have also teamed up. Once the Microsoft Office Apps are install, you can open those files in Dropbox, edit and sync any changes in Dropbox!

Read this article for more information.

12.07.2014

Highlighting our 1:1 Classrooms for Parents! #AMUST!

Blake Classroom Highlights Session for Parents

This year has been one like no other.. it's Blake's first year going completely 1:1 iPad for all grades! The result is some fabulousity in the classrooms. Teachers are transforming their students learning beyond what they could have done pre-mobile device! The learning looks different. The studying can look different. The support for students may look different.  


This is where our Parent Highlight Sessions come in.  A cross-section of teachers gave brief presentations selecting one or two ways the iPad/Google Apps/technology has been integrated into the curriculum, why, and their observations and impact for students. Afterwards, there was an open Q & A discussion time to answer parent questions for those who were able to stay to the end! If you missed out, another Highlight Session is being held this Tuesday night at 7pm.  Otherwise, feel free to check out the presentation below and links to the presenting teachers' websites.




Marjorie Heim: 6 Science 
Mike Gow: 6 Social Studies
Marissa Gumas: 7 Math
Sara Donovan: 7 English
Brian Gavaghan: 7 English
Cynthia McClelland: 6/8 Social Studies
Erin Kearney: 8 Math
Jason Heim: 8 Science

A huge thanks to the above teachers for their willingness to share their experiences!
(wish I had it recorded to post)

12.01.2014

Count Medfield in for the Hour of Code!

Computer Science Education Week.org states:

  • There will be 1 million more computing jobs than students over the next 10 years (adding up to $500 billion in salaries)
  • Computing occupations are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates. Yet fewer than 3% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of AP Computer Science students are women. Fewer than 10% are Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino. See where Massachusetts falls: Info Graphic

CSEW.org has designated the week of
Dec. 8th -15th as the #hourofcode!  This is the LARGEST GLOBAL campaign  (estimated over 15 million participants worldwide) to push, inspire, and bring awareness and support to the importance of teaching computer programming and coding to our students! It can and should start as early as Kindergarten!


Here at Blake MS, we will be hosting a school-wide event on Friday, Dec. 12th with an alternative schedule and then....going beyond the hour of code with Showcase after school sessions the following week & more! 

I know the High School, Memorial School and other Medfield Schools are hosting their own events throughout the week, so please ask at those respective schools for more info.

Of course this is only one hour of code, with the hopes that if some students and teachers get a taste of it, who knows what will happen!

Check out other videos and resources at hourofcode.com/us