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Tech Educates June 2017:

In Lakeland Hills 5th grade walk-to-math groups, student growth as measured on MAPS exceeded that of other groups where teachers and students used technology tools in targeted, deliberate ways. Walk-to groups were supplemental to students core instruction in mathematics. In two of these groups where growth outpaced others by 50%, each student worked in Khan Academy or IXL in specific areas based on identified needs. Teachers set up a badge-based system to complement IXL and used the incentive system in Khan for students to work toward completing goals within the programs, with both students and teachers aware of individualized goals. 

The teacher and adult volunteers, reducing the ratio of adult to student help, monitored student progress closely and intervened with students offline when they were repeating errors in an electronic program to get them back on track. These practices reinforce large-scale research findings that show schools using technology to personalize learning with the greatest achievement gains, “reported strong implementation of: student grouping strategies driven by data and responsive to student needs; provision of data to students and including them in discussions of the data; and learning spaces that support personalized learning strategies.” (RAND Corporation, 2015)

Tech Empowers May 2017:

Tech Engages - Tech Educates - Tech Empowers: April 2017 

Tech Empowers: March 2017
At Auburn Riverside High School, Social Studies and English Language Arts teacher Glenn Dickson is growing and refining his instructional technology toolkit. Two tools that have emerged are Google Classroom and Edpuzzle. 

While Glenn has been using Google Classroom for almost two years now, a recent feature was added by Google that allows a teacher to assign assignments to individual students. This was a bit of a game changer that created an opportunity to differentiate assignments based on his student’s needs. One example is that he can now send a Google-translated guided reading (in Spanish) to one of his ELL students. Without access to classroom technology tools for students, this process would be very time consuming and a significant barrier to teaching and learning.

Edpuzzle is an online video tool that allows teachers to be creative in how they utilize video content. Teachers can edit and customize videos while also developing assignments, guided questions and assessments. (David Kapular, 2014) This dynamic and interactive learning tool easily integrates with Google Classroom as well. 

According to Glenn “It’s never about one technology tool. Effective use of technology enables each student’s success by seamlessly blending technologies in a supportive classroom environment.”
Glenn Dickson
Social Studies/English Language Arts
Auburn Riverside High School

Tech Empowers: February 2017

"In a different scenario, Kyle Lease might have been forced to wait until college to pursue the career path he was interested in.

But Lease got a head start in that direction three years ago, through the Auburn School District’s technology department internship program.

The program is open to ASD high-schoolers during the second semester. Twice per week, the interns work to learn concepts, such as networking, cabling standards, security and much more. They also job shadow and assist with deploying technology.

“They’ll get a taste of what an IT department does,” said Rick Fawver, a network engineer for ASD who also leads its junior internship program. “They’ll go out on a project. We also pair them up with members and walk into classrooms together. How to approach a classroom, teacher and how we do our job. They’ll learn how we assess the problem and fix the problem.”

And they get paid.

When Lease was selected for the program in 2014, he worked five hours per week when class was in session and picked up more time during spring break. Lease continued on during that summer and helped the set up the technological infrastructure at the new Auburn High School." Click here to continue reading (Auburn Reporter)

Tech Educates: Dec/Jan 2016-2017
This fall, computer science education for elementary school students launched at four Auburn elementary schools – Arthur Jacobsen, Chinook, Dick Scobee, and Pioneer. While WA job forecasts remind us there are great opportunities for graduates in this field, computer science is now touching everything and this background will help our students no matter their interests in the future!

At Arthur Jacobsen, Mrs. Cox, Ms. Bourne and Mrs. Covey are reinventing technology instruction while integrating the newly adopted WA State Computer Science K-12 Standards. Professional development and the implementation of this pilot program have been strongly supported by the District Department of Technology.
The schedule allows Kindergarten through 5th grade to attend Computer Science and Technology classes twice per week. We focus on coding (algorithms, debugging strategies, loops and conditionals), robotics, Google Drive, keyboarding and the information processing cycle. In the spring, students will use their coding knowledge to program robots! Skills learned in Computer Science equip elementary students with critical thinking skills and problem solving tools they can utilize in all academic areas.
Erica Covey
Computer Science Teacher
Arthur Jacobsen Elementary

Tech Engages: November 2016

Those in the classroom doing the talking and thinking are the ones doing the learning, reflects Auburn Mountainview social studies teacher Erin Hall. With this in mind, Erin seeks to use technology to keep all students purposefully engaged in her classroom. 

Recently she’s been using Backchannel Chat within Socratic Seminars. In preparation for seminars, students review and
 annotate a variety of primary and secondary documents, visual and audio files around a selected topic, then write questions at each level of Bloom’s taxonomy anchored to particular text/file sources. In Socratic Seminar, an inner circle of students discuss an assigned document-based question then their own questions while ‘outer circle’ students engage in the seminar online in the Backchannel Chat which students have joined from a link provided on their Google Classroom page. Debriefing with students, Erin asked, “Did the Backchannel app help you stay engaged?” YES, students responded, with many exceeding the expectation for contributing at least three times.

A variety of technology tools – choosing the right one for the right purpose and keeping it interesting for students – can be observed in Erin’s classroom: Google Classroom, Docs, & Slides; Padlet; Backchannel Chat; even Plickers. Erin shared others ideas at her August LID day session. “Loving all my tech this year!”
Erin Hall
Social Studies Teacher
Auburn Mountainview High School

Tech Educates and Empowers: October 2016
In October we launched our Auburn School District YouTube Channel! We will use this as another communication tool as we strive to connect with our community. Individual schools will have the ability to host their own YouTube Channels in the coming months...stay tuned.

YouTube Video

Tech Empowers: September 2016
Last year when I received my Chromebook at ATLA (Auburn Teacher Leadership Academy 2.0), I didn't see how it would benefit me as a band teacher. After all, band is about having students blow air through instruments, not typing up a summary about a music history assignment on a glorified typewriter. ​But after graduating from ATLA, I realized that there had to be ways to use technology to support my students that I didn't realize.

Yesterday was our first day of Chromebooks in the band room and I was blown away. I realized that the little laptops give all of my kids instant access to digital keyboards. After a brief survey, less than 5% of my students could name the notes on a piano. Now 100% of my students can. That simple lesson is going to lead into much more complex musical theory discussions in ways that we could never have had before. In this way, the Chromebooks took us beyond supplementing what we were doing because it wasn't feasible to provide access to pianos for all my students. Now the Chromebooks offer us a quick and portable way to do so. And the software! Instead of just presenting information to students, they get to practice! Repetition is a key to student growth. Today I am out of the building and my students' Do Now is to practice naming piano notes for 50 repetitions!

Currently we are in the process of buying Flat, a simple to use music notation program that will allow our students to become composers. I'm excited by the cross-curricular benefits my students will enjoy as they try to divide 6 quarter notes by dotted 8th notes. Before easy to use student notation software, kids didn't get the instant feedback when they tried to incorrectly assemble measures of music. Now, not only will they be practicing math, but they will be able to connect the songs from their cultural backgrounds to their instruments at the same time!

I know that students have to play their instruments to improve, but the Chromebooks are helping me fill in the gaps of basic music education in an interactive way that they weren't getting before. Yesterday at the end of class a student came up to me and put his hand out as if we'd never met before. When we shook hands he said, "Thank you."

However my evaluation goes this year is immaterial. For this kid, I just passed it.

On behalf of my students I'd just like to thank Auburn for giving us what we didn't know we needed.

Orlyn Carney
Music Teacher
Olympic Middle School

 Educates: Summer 2016

Microsoft Imagine Academy: A Student's Journey to Certification
Recent graduate Emily Howarth (Auburn Mountainview High School) is featured in this published Office Mix presentation by the Microsoft Imagine Academy. The Video highlights Emily's success in the WA State MOS Championship and Certiport's U.S. National Competition for MOS in Florida this June! Emily was a student of Patty Eckelman and her Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification courses...keep up the amazing work!!