Laptop Rollout Information for Grades 6-12

Teaching-and-Learning-2020This message was sent to families in grades 6-12 on Friday, August 1:

Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, Salisbury embarks on the next phase of its work to transform teaching and learning – TL2020. Visit TL2020.org and choose Device Rollout Information at the top of the screen. There you will find the laptop rollout plan for the various grade levels, all documents and forms, information about laptop insurance and a wide variety of other information related to the program.

To save mailing costs, we are asking that families download forms online. If you are unable to access the material online, please call the District office at 610-797-2062 and request forms be mailed to you. Forms will also be available when laptop computers are distributed to students as outlined in the schedule online.

Thank you for visiting TL2020.org, and thank you for your support as we work to provide the best learning opportunities for all students. I wish your children much success in Salisbury in the year ahead!

Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

Expanded Technology Access for Grades K-5

Teaching-and-Learning-2020This message was sent to families in grades K-5 on Friday, August 1:

Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, Salisbury embarks on the next phase of its work to transform teaching and learning – TL2020. With this next phase, we are very excited to share with you that 1:1 access is expanding to our elementary schools. Elementary students will have access to a personal computing device during the school day. All computing devices will remain in school and will be stored in secure charging carts after school hours. Devices will not go home with elementary students.

A letter with more details about the purpose and plans for this expanded technology access has been posted on the district website at www.stsd.org. The letter also appears on each elementary school web site and will be included as part of forms and documents sent home at the start of the school year.

Thank you for your support as we work to provide the best learning opportunities for all students. I wish your children much success in Salisbury in the year ahead!

Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

Managing Digital Distractions

distractionThe graphic below was created in response to some results from a survey we administered last spring connected to our technology initiative, Teaching and Learning 2014. A consistent perception over the past two years of surveys has been that a laptop computer in the hands of a teenager is a digital distraction. This feeling is, to no surprise, highest among the adults – parents and teachers – who responded to the survey. 58% of parents and teachers believe the greatest challenge of students having a laptop computer is DISTRACTION. In the survey, we defined distraction as anything that “interferes with the ability to complete school work well (i.e. homework, projects, classwork, etc.).”

Over the past two years, I have become interested in how we address this challenge by learning about the topic of distraction in general. I have found a useful resource in David Rock’s book from 2009, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long. I really appreciate how the book connects ideas and strategies to actual brain science such as the science of inhibition, a necessary skill for the digital age. I found the ideas in Scene 4: Saying No To Distractions to be particularly interesting and relevant to our digital distraction challenge and have tried to represented them in the graphic below.

My major takeaway from studying the topic of digital distraction: Since we are a 1:1 laptop computer program where almost all students (grades 6-12) opt to take the computers home, all of us (parents, teachers and administrators) must take responsibility for teaching our children and students positive habits that mitigate digital distraction. As adults, how do we model the management of digital distraction in our own lives? I hope the graphic below is a positive contribution to the discussion. Please consider leaving a comment below!

DistractionInfographics

Click for full-size version.

Visualizing Data in 4th Grade

WSENumberMs. Patti Anderson and Ms. Tina Horne, 4th grade teachers at Western Salisbury Elementary School, used Numbers with their students to visualize data. The students used the internet to determine the most populated cities in Pennsylvania, then created a table in Numbers to record the data.  From there, they created a bar graph that represents the populations to get a better understanding of how to visualize the data.

WSENumber2

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership Road SignFifth graders in Mrs. Helfrich’s class learned that October was National Principals Month and decided to surprise Mrs. Samide by creating a project to showcase leadership at Harry S. Truman Elementary School.  Fifth graders made an iMovie after interviewing students and staff with the question, “What does leadership mean to you?”

HST 5th Grade – What does leaderhsip mean to you? from SalisburyTownship SD on Vimeo.

ePals – Connecting with Other Cultures

penpalsThis post was written Carolyn O’Steen, a 7th grade student in Mrs. Beth Prokesch’s English/Language Arts Class.

Having an epal and using the ePals program in my Language Arts class has opened me up to new experiences. By having an epal, I get a new perspective when it comes to school. For example, I realize that I am very lucky to have my MacBook, because the kids in France don’t have laptops. I also learn neat things about the kids in France. For instance, I learned that my class’ epals have two weeks off for every major holiday, but they have to complete a project every time they’re off.

One thing that my class’ epals did was send my class a Smilebox. I think that the Smilebox they sent us was a great use of technology. Also, the Smilebox helped us put faces to names and it was a creative way of doing just that. Since our epals sent us a Smilebox, we learned how to create our own presentation on Smilebox using the program.  As a result, we got to help our epals put our names to our faces. Making our Smilebox was also a really fun way to introduce ourselves to our epals.

One thing that I have enjoyed the most so far was receiving a letter from my epal. When my epal sent a holiday letter to me through snail mail, it was really cool to see his handwriting and to observe how different it was from my own handwriting and vocabulary. Getting the letter from my epal was worth the wait, but I would rather receive a letter using technology. There are many benefits to using technology or a penpal kind of situation to make learning more fun. One of the benefits is that there are programs like ePals available. Another benefit is that letters go through much faster than they would by the postal system. To sum up my thoughts, I think having an epal is an awesome use of technology in my Language Arts class this year and has been very educational.

Of Mice and Men…meets Twitter

of-mice-and-men-john-steinbeck-speed-readingThis marking period Mrs. Kelly Butterbaugh, high school English teacher, and Mrs. Robin Burns, high school library media teacher, worked with eleventh grade English students to take part in a Twitter chat for the Of Mice and Men unit.  The project required students to reflect on the story and concept of the American dream after completing the novel.

The weather and frequent delays rearranged plans but students were excited to take part in the  Twitter chat Friday, February 21st.  Students used an interactive whiteboard and a shared Google document to answer the preliminary questions and to share ideas about Of Mice and Men and the concept of the American dream.  The class did a great job keeping up with the stream of dialogue and was able to plug in their shared answers from the Google document.

The opportunity to engage with other students outside of the Salisbury community was really beneficial for everyone involved.  One student commented on how much they enjoyed the activity and how it was “cool to see what other kids thought about the book our class read”.

The entire chat transcript has been archived on Storify and will be used with Mrs. Butterbaugh’s other two eleventh grade classes that meet on even days.

Maker Spaces and 3D Printing

This article was submitted by Salisbury High School Library Media Teacher, Mrs. Robin Burns.

This February, Salisbury High School joined the maker movement by expanding an existing maker space into the 3D printing realm.  The idea of making something is an old one but being re-imagined for the 21st century.  The high school library is an open space that students are able to use with classes and during Falcon Period.  Students are being encouraged to use the library as a center for design and a place to produce, not only consume information.

The MakerBot Replicator 2 began producing 3D designs on Friday, February 21st.  The first deign, a comb, was printed from the Thingverse design warehouse.  During the first week students printed bracelets, keychains, pendants, and creations of their own design.  The MakerBot prints in STL files and can be used in conjunction with Google SketchUp Make, a free 3D modeling software program.

Mrs. Robin Burns, high school library media teacher, has worked with students in Mr. Kelly Wetherhold’s Media Management II class to document the design and printing process.  Students are filming and producing a documentary highlighting the printer and finished products.  The documentary will be shared on the high school’s television show, IMPACT.

Mr. Michael Barna, social studies teacher, has also found innovative ways to include the 3D printer into student projects. Students have been printing models of famous inventions of the industrial revolution such as the Wright Brothers first airplane and Jethro Tull’s seed drill.

Salisbury High School faculty and students are already finding unique ways to connect their content with the 3D design process.  The opportunity to engage students in the design process from inception to completed prototype is something unique to Salisbury High School’s maker space.  Several news outlets have stated the rise of 3D printers in homes and business will lead the way for the next industrial revolution.

 

Salisbury Designated a Project RED Signature District

The Salisbury Township School District has been designated a Project RED Signature District. The following announcement was posted online by the Project RED team:

 Strategic allies to benefit from Project RED expertise, resources and one another

Mason, MI. September 18, 2012 – As the leader in 1:1 technology implementation research, Project RED has made a commitment to bring its research practices to action. As part of this commitment, the organization has selected 10 districts to become Project RED Signature Districts. Through a competitive application process, these districts were chosen to receive support and guidance for 1:1 education technology implementations.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Project RED will offer the Signature Districts customized guidance and collaboration opportunities to learn from each other. Project RED will review each Signature District’s technology implementation plan and help the districts to align their plans to the research-based strategies of the Project RED Design™, a blueprint for implementing technology-based school reform. Districts will then publish findings to the Signature District community for a period of three years and will become best-practice models for other districts.

“We know that districts are challenged by large-scale project planning,” said Tom Greaves, a member of the Project RED Team. “The Project RED Design™ will provide the entire Community with both tools and a timeline for implementation.  The Signature District teams will get extra help with the 1,000-line Gantt chart through our mentoring process.”

The participating districts are:
• East Noble School Corporation, IN
• Ferndale School District, WA
• Kuna School District, ID
• Natick Public Schools, MA
• Owensboro Public Schools, KY
• Reeds Springs, MO
• Richland School District Two, SC
• Salisbury Township Schools, PA
• Southern Lehigh, PA
• Sunnyside School District, AZ

According to Leslie Wilson, Project RED Team Member, “These 10 signature districts have made a definitive commitment to improve student learning and provide personalized instruction through a meaningful integration of technology, ongoing professional development and administrator support.  We were impressed with their initial plans and look forward to helping them use outcomes of our research to move their initiatives to the next level.”

The results of the Signature District efforts will be promulgated widely so that other districts may take advantage of the practical research resulting from this unique partnership.  In addition, 10 more districts will be selected for this prestigious program.  Applications are still being accepted at www.projectred.org.

About Project RED
In 2010, Project RED conducted a survey of technology programs in 1,000 U.S. schools, which is the first and only national research focusing on academic results and the financial implication of education technology. The research shows that, if effectively implemented, technology programs can lead to improved student achievement and significant return on investment. Based on those findings, Project RED has created a replicable design for school districts to make the best possible use of technology in a learning environment, leading to improved student achievement and significant return on investment.

Project RED offers a variety of ways districts can benefit from its research, including in-person Institutes held this year November 15-16, 2012 in Auburn, Alabama and December 3-4, 2012 in River Edge, New Jersey, in addition to a series of 10 implementation webinars, online tools and resources, and its Signature District program. Learn more at www.ProjectRED.org. Most of these resources are offered at low or no cost to educators because of sponsor support.

Intel Corporation is the founding sponsor of Project RED.  Lead sponsors for 2012-2013 are Hewlett-Packard and Intel.  Additional sponsors include SMART Technologies and the Pearson Foundation.

About the Sponsors
• Intel Corporation
Intel is a world leader in computing innovation and the lead sponsor of Project RED. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.

• Hewlett-Packard
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

• SMART Technologies
SMART Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of collaboration solutions that transform the way the world works and learns. As the global leader in interactive whiteboards, SMART Technologies brings more than two decades of collaboration research and development to a broad range of easy-to-use, integrated solutions. More information is available at www.smarttech.com

• Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.

Twitter: @project_red

Facebook: facebook.com/projectRED.org