21st Century Learning

Northside students must be immersed in 21st Century skills. These skills, as identified by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

Creativity and Innovation—
Students in Mr. Lane's classes enjoyed a 3D printing lesson. Students studied the history of skyscrapers and examined design. Students then used the web based Tinkercad program to design their very own building. The district 3D printer was then delivered to Luna where students saw their design come to life (in scale of course). Students saved their design file to the Google Drive, then transferred the file into Makerbot, saved the file to an SD card, then loaded the SD card with the file to the 3D printer to set the printing in action.

Communication and Collaboration
The launch of Google Apps for Education opened many doors for collaboration between students and teachers. At Stevens HS, student took collaboration to the next level and paired up with their feeder middle school to complete a project. Mrs. Lane, an 8th Grade English Pre-AP teacher, worked to set up a Google Classroom for her students. She assigned a literary analysis for her students, and they turned in their completed project to the classroom. Ms. Reynolds, a senior English IV Dual-Credit teacher, added a link to the 8th grade projects to her classroom. Her seniors were assigned to peer review the 8th graders work using a rubric. The rubric included elements required in a literary analysis at the high school level. The eighth graders would get a taste of what they would be required to do in high school. What started as a "peer review" project, turned into something so much more! 


Research and Information Fluency
Aue teacher Jennifer Nielsen and 2nd grade students
Aue Elementary School teacher Jennifer Nielsen's 2nd grade class is familiar with logging into their email accounts to access Google Drive. The kids first read a chapter book over the course of three weeks and then completed an outline provided for them. They included general details about their book and input that information into a Google slides presentation. Students selected images from the Internet and personalized their fonts, colors and designs to create their own Google Slide Book Report. Upon completion, they returned to their former 1st grade teacher's classroom to present the Book Report! They had a lot of fun and their 1st grade teacher was impressed with how tech savvy these 2nd graders have become!

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
As part of their ELA Persuasive Unit, Jeanette Campbell's Pat Neff GT students were challenged to analyze Abraham Lincoln and Patrick Henry’s famous speeches. Students were given a mystery envelope which contained a copy of the speech their group was assigned.

21st Century Learners
With the copy of the speech in hand, they were given five questions to guide them in their critical thinking. 
  1. Who do you think is the intended audience for this speech? 
  2. Using the entire speech find one example of each of the use of pathos, ethos, logos. Explain/defend your choice. 
  3. Find examples of three different rhetorical devices. Be sure to indicate which type of device is being used (ie Alliteration, Euphemism, Anaphora, Antithesis etc.) 
  4. Which rhetorical device was used most? Was this the best choice? Why or why not? 
  5. Choose three parts of the speech that were particularly interesting or memorable to you. Why did you choose these segments? Rewrite these parts in your own words.

They collaborated to answer the questions and to demonstrate their knowledge. The answers would become part of a movie they would create using iMovie. They could use pictures and/or words to display their answers. As they worked in their groups, there were student driven discussions, research, problem solving, and lots of decisions to be made.

The students used a rubric to assess their peers' projects for clarity and creativity. A 21st Century look at these famous speeches helped students view them in relevant and authentic ways.

Digital Citizenship 
Katie Arp, librarian at Raba Elementary School, was able to teach her students various digital citizenship skills by creating a blog for them to discuss the books they were reading from the annual selection of Texas recognized books for younger kids (Bluebonnet Collection).

 To hook the students on the idea of this project Katie announced that at the end of the school year she would be hosting a Bluebonnet Bash. To earn an invitation to the party and the right to vote for their favorite Bluebonnet book, students had to read and blog about 5 Bluebonnet books.  When she introduced the blog in September she emphasized a few important points about blogging and being a good digital citizen:
  • Never use your last name because anyone in the world can see the blog
  • Write thoughtful comments. Comments such as "It was cool" or "I liked it" do not count towards your 5 books
  • Respond to other people's comments by saying "I agree with..." or "I also thought..."
  • It's okay to disagree as long as you do it respectfully with comments like "I see what you mean, but..." or "I disagree because..."
  • The more you respond to each other's comments, the more fun blogging will be!
Overall she had just over One hundred 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders blogging throughout the year, and 50 of them received invitations to the Bluebonnet Bash.  The kids were excited about talking to each other online, and Katie was excited to see them discussing great books!

The Bluebonnet Book Club blog can be found at http://learningspace.nisd.net/bluebonnetbooks/   

Technology Operations and Concepts 
Luna Middle School students using the TI-Nspire calculators
At Luna Middle School students are using the TI-Nspire calculators in 8th grade math. The TI-Navigator system allows students and teachers to interact through a wireless connection. Teachers send documents to students electronically, students manipulate the document and answer questions by submitting answers in their calculator wirelessly. In the photo, students are viewing rotations on their calculators, describing them mathematically, and identifying patterns in their coordinates.