The Next Generation Digital Classroom (NGDC)

NGDC

Through the Next Generation Digital Classroom (NGDC) strategic design and implementation, Round  Rock ISD intends to create “incubator classrooms” at each school designed to foster the integration of new teaching and learning with the help of mobile/tablet technology. This means one classroom at all 51 campuses will be a designated Next Generation Classroom. Eight district libraries will also be selected to be included in this pilot initiative. The next generation classroom will set standards for what the digital classroom can look like in the future and will redefine the way teaching and learning take place. The pilot is intended for one year in order to study the most effective instructional use and most technically sound options for going forward. Teacher applications will be made available starting April 8th and “trailblazer” candidates will be selected in mid May. More information can be found at http://ngdcrrisd.blogspot.com/

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“Clue-In” Student and Parent Orientation Course for Online Learning Available Through TxVSN

RRISD students and parents who are interested in expanding their learning opportunities beyond face-to-face might find this news item from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of value.

“The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) online learning initiative offers a free orientation course for students interested in taking an online course through the TxVSN. The game-based course, Clue-In Orientation to Online Learning, helps students and their parents better understand what to expect in online courses and to become familiar with the tools and skills needed to be successful in an online learning environment. More information about accessing Clue-In is available at http://cluein.txvsn.org/.”

Google Certified Trainers in Round Rock ISD

Several Round Rock Instructional Technology Specialists have earned the status of Google Certified Trainers. In order to earn this status, they had to take a series of 6 exams covering different Google applications (Mail, Drive, Calendars, Sites, Admin, and Other Tools). After successfully passing the exams, they had to demonstrate their knowledge of the content by providing professional development to their peers. The final part of the certification process involved creating a portfolio, including videos, which they submitted to Google for evaluation. We are very proud to have all of this collective knowledge working in Round Rock ISD. Congratulations to Brian Wolfe, Brandie Cain-Heard, Christy Fennewald, Shannon Sieber, Irma Bauer, Robin Young, Angie Hintz, Mark Kania, Greg Smith, Debby Acevedo, Erin Lunde, Leslie Long, and Erik Weiler.

Google Certified

 

 

Instructional Technology Presentation at “Leadership Round Rock ISD”

As part of the district’s efforts to engage members of the community and to develop interest in future Board of Trustees candidates, Round Rock ISD created “Leadership Round Rock ISD” which offers district stakeholders the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” of Round Rock ISD, meet the people who are responsible for programs and services, and see first-hand how the district creates a climate of success for our rapidly growing, diverse student population.
( https://www.roundrockisd.org/index.aspx?page=3858 )

Representatives from the RRISD Instructional Technology Department were invited to present a brief overview of how instructional technology is being implemented in the district at their February 19, 2013 meeting. Below are links to the presentation document and sample classroom learning experiences using technology.

Link to Presentation Document:
https://docs.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/file/d/0B5yBjHR-1VLgYU9KSk4tenRMeDQ/edit

Sample Links from the campus Getting I.T. Right Blogs:
– McNeil High School – BYOD
http://mcneil-technology.blogspot.com/?view=sidebar#!/2012/10/last-friday-students-were-using.html
– Round Rock High School – Laptop initiative
http://rrhsits.blogspot.com/2013/01/9th-grade-students-receive-laptops-at.html
– Deerpark Middle School – Robotics
http://deerparkits.blogspot.com/2012/12/gracious-professionalism-and-robotics.html
– Grisham – PSA
http://grishamtechnology.blogspot.com/2012/12/gtv-grisham-tv-video-production.html
– Bluebonnet Elementary – Video Learning
http://bluebonnetelementary.blogspot.com/2013/01/ms.html
– Chandler Oaks Elementary – Paper Slides (Kinder)
http://chandleroakselementary.blogspot.com/2012/12/kindergarten-paperslides.html
– Brushy Creek Elementary – Science Collaboration
http://teachingitbces.edublogs.org/2013/02/11/around-the-world/
– Callison Elementary – Robotics
http://callisontechnology.blogspot.com/2013/02/junior-lego-league.html

“Homework” requested of the attendees: Please visit the various campus blogs, look for posts that you find particularly interesting, and leave a comment.

Video of ITS explaining her role on the campus:
ITS-Duties-Video-Mattingly

Article by Patrick Ledesma on October 23, 2012:
Technology Experts in Schools: Teacher Leaders or Technicians?
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/leading_from_the_classroom/2011/10/technology_experts_in_schools_teacher_leaders_or_technicians.html

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Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how
technology is being integrated into the curriculum.
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National Event: 2nd Annual Digital Learning Day, February 6, 2013

At the local level: In order to highlight and celebrate examples of the ways RRISD educators use technology to provide exemplary instructional environments, the Round Rock ISD Instructional Technology Department began this “Getting I.T. Right! Digital Showcase” a little over 4 years ago during the month of November 2008.

On the national level: Tomorrow, February 6, 2013, a number of RRISD campuses will join with thousands of teachers and students by participating in the second annual nation-wide Digital Learning Day. To learn more about this effort which will highlight digital learning environments and events taking place throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, visit http://www.digitallearningday.org/.

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Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how
technology is being integrated into the curriculum.
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Ninth Grade Students at McNeil High School and Round Rock High School to Receive Laptops

In January, as part of the High School Laptop Initiative Pilot, Ninth grade studentsat McNeil High School and Round Rock High School will be receiving Dell laptops. The laptops will allow teachers and students to work and learn using 21st century skills and tools. Along with the laptops, students will get a Google Apps for Education account which will allow for easier collaboration and sharing between students and their peers and teachers. Integrating the laptops into the classroom, along with the use of Learning Management Systems such as Moodle or Edmodo, provides a blended learning environment that is accessible 24/7.

Students will be encouraged to use EverNote as an organizational tool for taking notes and tracking assignments. Other web 2.0 tools that students will have the option of using are LiveMocha (online language learning), Turnitin.com (originality check), Khan Academy (math videos), eBooks and online textbooks.

More information about the High School Laptop Initiative can be found at:
https://sites.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/rrisd-laptop-initiative/

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Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how laptops,
as well as other technology, are being integrated into the curriculum.
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Learning with Moodle

Many Round Rock ISD teachers implement Moodle, a learning management system, in their classroom. Moodle allows teachers to create a blended learning environment for their students which consists of face-to-face meetings in class along with online learning through the Moodle interface. Teachers who have embraced Moodle post many of their class handouts, notes, assignments, and resources in Moodle. Students have the ability to access the information 24/7 from Internet connected devices.
Within the Moodle environment, teachers can hold discussion forums, administer quizzes, and collect assignments. Moodle is an excellent tool for assisting with peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher collaboration. Moodle also provides the opportunity for students to experience and participate in online learning that is similar to what many colleges will require them to use.

Be sure to click on the name of your child’s school to see how Moodle and other technology tools are being integrated into the classroom.

Educational Uses of QR Codes

Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) are 2 dimensional barcodes which were originally created to facilitate tracking and inventory of products. Innovative educators and librarians have begun to creatively use this tool for a multitude of educational purposes. Visit the online October 2012 Round Rock ISD Community Bulletin to read a recent article on how students are benefiting, by going to http://tinyurl.com/9e4fkg7 or by using a QR reader to scan the image on the right.

 

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Be sure to click on your school in the side bar to see examples of how this,
as well as other, technology is being integrated into the curriculum.
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District Technology Goal

Integrating technology into the curriculum and classroom is a top priority in Round Rock ISD. District goal 7 states, “Develop a plan for greater and more effective use of technology by students and staff in their direct work.” We are striving to achieve this goal in several ways this year.

One project is the Bring Your Own Device Initiative (BYOD). Several campuses piloted this project during the 2011-12 school year and all campuses are encouraged to participate this year. You can find information about BYOD in Round Rock ISD at https://sites.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/byo/.

The High School Laptop Initiative is in the works with roll out being planned for January 2013. This project will provide a mobile device to every 9th grade student at Round Rock High School and McNeil High School. We are looking forward to the positive impact these devices can have on student engagement in the classroom.

The school board has also supported this goal by approving one time funding requests from campuses and departments. Some of the items approved are netbooks, interactive white boards, and subject specific software.

These are just a few examples of how Round Rock ISD is working towards more effective use of technology in the classroom. Please click on the name of your child’s school to see examples of technology integration in action.

RRISD Library Online Resources

Because the internet continues to play an increasing role in the sharing and acquisition of information, students are provided a balance between:
– learning how to tell if an internet site or electronic
resource is accurate, useful, or safe
– having sites that contain accurate information and
good quality materials provided for them

Round Rock ISD, as well as each individual campus, provides online resources for teachers, students, and parents to use. These electronic resources are excellent tools for research and learning enrichment. Please encourage your children to use them.

Because they are fee-based, you will need to enter a password (which cannot be made openly available here). Visit your campus library for a copy of the log-in information that is specific for your campus.

The district web page with links for each Campus Library Research Resources for the entire district is located at
http://www.roundrockisd.org/index.aspx?page=345