Five-Star Technology Solutions is proud to be a Google for Education partner! Our integration team works with teachers from across the country, helping them implement CS First in their classrooms. We love meeting teachers and learning about how they incorporate computer science in their lessons! In this post, some of our trainers share their top piece of advice for teachers who are curious about trying CS First.
Formative assessment is a teaching tool that supports all learners, but it is especially critical for students who are struggling, as it holds the potential for changing the learning outcome. It is a quick way for teachers to evaluate learning needs and academic progress in their classroom. Here are some examples of how formative assessment can support special education goals.
Now that you are Leading Like the Easter Bunny, I offer four more tips and sample questions for reflection that will help ensure you are getting the most from your team:
I don’t mean to boast, but I’m the dapper, long-eared smiling rabbit in the photo. A few years ago on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, I became the Easter Bunny for the Danville Kiwanis Easter egg hunt. I gave out hugs, high fives, and photo ops with babies, little kids, big kids, and even adults. I stood in the center of a grassy field surrounded by thousands of eggs and watched kids ages 9 and under scurry to the colorful spots wrapping their tiny fingers around the eggs and plopping them into their decorative baskets. Perched on a bridge, I also had the pleasure of pulling the “release hatch” on a giant basket filled with hundreds of rubber duckies to start the duck race contest down White Lick Creek.
After my debut as the furry friend, I began reflecting on my experiences of the afternoon. Oddly, the lessons learned seemed eerily familiar to some of my experiences as a technology leader. And so, whether you are taking on the role of Easter Bunny or trying to become a better leader, I offer the following suggestions:
With so many formative assessment options available, how do you know which one is best for students, teachers, and administrators? After all, the needs for each of these stakeholders vary considerably. As you and your team make an important decision about which program you will select using funds from Indiana’s formative assessment grant, I hope that you’ll carefully consider our solution, Pivot Inspect.
Computer-Adaptive vs. Fixed-Form Assessments
Many formative (interim) assessment programs, including those provided by NWEA and STAR, are computer-adaptive. While this approach has clear benefits for a set of specific purposes, teachers have no control over the items students will see. In other words, teachers can’t answer a fundamental question using a computer-adaptive tool: Have students learned the specific skills I’ve taught?
As an educator, there are many different trends and words that seem to make the rounds through our world of education. The same seems to be true of “STEM” which has definitely been quite the buzz for the last 5 years or so, but is it just a trend?
I’m here to say, it most definitely is NOT!
It’s 2008 and you just deployed wireless access points in all the hallways and common areas of your schools. You apply a simple password and give it out to all the staff. Voila! You have a wireless-accessible network.
At this point, most IT staff were content with the setup. It was a simple solution to a simple problem. Device density was not an issue since most schools only had a handful of laptops or wireless devices. Every kid and staff member did not need to stream Netflix or Youtube throughout the day. It was easy. It was simple. It was the past.
The Problem: Time Management
Time management is a problem many IT departments face; often there is just not enough time to complete all the requests in the time they need to be completed by. This is especially true between the times of student registration and the first student day of school. The IT staff is burdened with making hundreds, if not thousands, of Active Directory user changes and new accounts. Active Directory serves as the central source of user accounts for a long list of applications including G Suite for Education, Microsoft Office 365, PIVOT, Canvas, Student Information Systems, Content Filters, and many more.
The Windows OS Lifecycle
Windows 10 is the next major version in the Microsoft Windows operating system family, seeing its initial release in July of 2015. As part of Microsoft’s OS lifecycle, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will stop receiving updates and support in January of 2020 and 2023, respectively. In addition, 7th Generation CPUs from AMD and Intel are already requiring Windows 10 for driver compatibility, so anything released after early 2017 excludes compatibility with the earlier OSes. Since Windows 10 has matured considerably since the initial release, and with the end of life of Windows 7 less than a year away, it’s definitely time to begin migrating!
In this guest post, TIS Brooke Hall (@BrookeHallTIS) describes her first encounters with CS First by Google. Brooke attended a workshop to learn more about the curriculum and to discover ways to use the lessons with students.