The Oracle Innovators
Welcome to the new DCSC technology Blog!
Hello all! And welcome to the new Delphi Community School Corporation blog! The focus of this blog is to show many of the exciting things that are going on in the Delphi school district. The goal is to update the blog on a bi-weekly basis. Blog entries will consist of stories, anecdotes, photos, and videos of students and teachers engaging in technology enhanced lessons and activities. If you have any questions about any of the activities below, please reach out to either Bill Shidler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kyle Kline (email@example.com) - we would love to help answer any questions you might have!
May 19, 2017
Throughout the year, Delphi Community Elementary School has had video announcements every Friday for our learning community to watch and better understand what is occurring within our school. Most of our videos have been recorded in front of the green screen, which allowed us to insert different backgrounds into the video. However, recently, we taped DCES Friday using a Ricoh Theta S 360 camera. This camera allows us to to record video or take 360 degree images.
On today's DCES Friday, we recorded from Mitchell's Mexican Grill in Delphi allowing all the viewers to see everything around us. Check out our #360 announcements! If viewing from a computer, use your mouse to move the video around (left, right, up, or down). You can also use the arrows in the top left corner of the video. For an even more exciting viewing adventure, open the video through the YouTube app on your phone. This will allow you to maneuver your phone around in space to view the video. Don't forget to leave comments in the Comments section.
May 5, 2017
Google Expeditions is a tool from Google that lets teachers take their students on virtual field trips all across the globe. Expeditions is an extension of the Google Cardboard that we spoke about in our March 9th blog post. However, the true power of Expeditions lies in the ability for the teacher to actually control what the students are viewing! There are over 500+ Expeditions available for students and teachers to use in their classrooms! These expeditions vary from tours of colleges and universities to trips through national monuments to career explorations.
Just recently, Mrs. Traver took her 8th grade students on a tour of the Circulatory System and the Respiratory System. There many "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" to be heard as Mrs. Traver navigated the group through the heart and the lungs. She was able to give the students a glimpse of what the inside of veins, arteries, and bronchioles look like. The largest reaction from the students came when she showed them an image of a smoker's lung! Students were thoroughly engaged and were given the opportunity to have an experience and not just a worksheet.
Recently, our kindergarten students explored the depths of the oceans. This 'field trip' was an extension of the theme being covered at that time within the curriculum. The students can be seen moving their heads to see all they can as they plummet hundreds of feet into the ocean.
Several other elementary classrooms have climbed portions of Mt. Everest and learned about the significance of the Sherpas and having supplies for this very difficult journey. More 'field trips' are being planned now - hopefully the kids remember to return their signed permission forms.
March 9, 2017
"This is crazy!"
"I feel like I'm actually there."
"Wow! That is so cool!"
"Is this really the Western Wall?"
"That guy has no face. It's blurred out."
"What are those people doing at the stage"
These are just a few of the reactions that Mr. Burpo's 7th grade social studies classes had in his class on a sunny Thursday in December. The students were using Google Cardboard to take a virtual field trip to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Mr. Burpo introduced the students to Jerusalem during the previous week. However, students were only able to look at static images of the ancient Western Wall. Insert Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard uses a smartphone and NFC technology to immerse the viewer into a 3D virtual world. And the images are stunning! You can travel almost any place on the Earth to view nature's beauty as well as man-made architecture. So where do these 360 degree images come from? They come from other people's smartphones. In fact, if you have a smartphone and the Google Street View app, you can create your very own 360 degree image right from where you are standing. Pretty cool, huh!
So the next time you go on a field trip or a family vacation, don't forget to take out your smartphone, open the Google Street View app, and capture your very own 360 degree image. You will be thankful you did, AND you will have quite an image to share with others!
For you classroom teachers, if you are looking for immediate student engagement, then look no further than the Google Cardboard. Let me know when you want to check it out. You may just want it in your class the next day.
February 23, 2017
Over the last few years, students of the Delphi Community School Corporation have been able to work with green screen technology. By doing this, students are more thoroughly engaged in their work and utilizing a talent many didn't realize they had. According to Wikipedia, green screen or chroma keying, is a visual effects/post-production technique for compositing two images or video streams together based on color hues.
There are many, many products that have come from using green screen as an instructional and communication tool within our school buildings. For example, the elementary creates a weekly video, DCES Friday, to show our entire learning community; these videos are filled with relevant information such as upcoming events, inspirational quotes, and so much more. We also have a news crew of about 10-15 students each month who collaborate on stories, write scripts, and record their own monthly news show - The DMV (Delphi Community Elementary Monthly Video). These student reporters are given time to work together, film their parts, and edit the final product to share with our learning community. The green screen has been used for classroom projects as student create their own Public Service Announcement, act out a part in a book they are reading, or as part of the photography, marketing, graphic design, or yearbook classes. Students take images of items from in front of the green screen and edit the image with any background they wish. This gives the students "choice" and "creativity" options within their projects.
The National Champion Bracketology Club at the high school uses green screen for each of their weekly videos that is uploaded by Student Union Sports. Members of the club meet together on Tuesday mornings and record their segments in front of the green screen. Yours truly, Mr. Kline, has been able to "travel" to many college football stadiums around the nation by using the green screen.
One of Mr. Kline's favorite apps is the Chromakey app for iPhones. It is a bit pricey ($4.99, but 50% off at the moment) but it is amazing! It comes with some pre-made filters and backgrounds. It will also record video, and not just photos. Check out the apps in your App Store or your Google Play Store to see how you and your kids can be creative.
January 26, 2017
This past Tuesday, each school within the Delphi Community School Corporation was recognized by Common Sense Education as a Digital Citizenship Certified School ! This recognition is greatly appreciated as the corporation has put a focus on education in regards to effective and positive uses of online skills to the students, staff, and parents of Delphi. It is our belief that digital citizenship is not just a separate class to teach, but it is embedded in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Students, teachers, and parents average over 7 hours of digital communication per day. Whether it is engaging in social media, watching YouTube, looking up research, or reading the newspaper, we want our students to have the necessary skills to be productive and safe while online.
Throughout this school year, Delphi has hosted a parent informational meeting, posted information and statistics on a bi-weekly basis by using Remind, and have taught many Common Sense Education lessons within the classrooms. As with all education, it has its highest benefits when it is reinforced in the home setting. If you have not signed up for the FREE bi-weekly Remind messages, please take a few minutes and follow the directions at this link: Remind Sign-Up.
We are lucky to have such wonderful teachers and staff that are encouraging our students to make intelligent and appropriate decisions when online and using technology. We are looking at hosting a "Student Panel" one night in February so students and parents can have an open forum to discuss how technology is engrained in so many aspects of a young person's life. (More details to come. Stay tuned!) We appreciate the support from all the stakeholders in and around Delphi in making Delphi Community Schools a safe place to learn for our kids. After all, digital citizenship is not just taught at school, but it is an investment from the entire community. Thank you for your support!
January 12, 2017
Students in grades k-12 participated in 'The Hour of Code' during the week of December 5th. In the elementary school, most students were exposed to coding exercises from code.org, khanacademy.org, scratch.mit.edu. Several students were able to take their coding further by coding Spheros to complete tasks detailed in those lines of code. Through collaboration, problem-solving, and endurance, students were able to write the code that instructed the robotic ball to roll a straight line, turn 90 degrees, change colors and more.
Teachers and students from both the middle school and high school also participated in "The Hour of Code". Students worked on coding activities from Code.org during their Oracle Time, as well as during their regular classes. There is a range of activities for students of all ages. Code.org has themes such as Frozen, Minecraft, and the new Disney movie, Moana. Students in Mrs. Hollingsworth's Oracle Time classes completed most of the activities on the website. "They LOVED it!" she said. "They stayed on task and didn't want to quit when the bell rang."
7th grade Science teacher, Amy Lee, had her students code with the website called "Lightbot". Students worked to have a little character make turns, hop, stop, and rotate to complete tasks. As I observed her 7th period class, I heard many students exclaim "Yes!", "Level complete!", "Which level are you on?" But I also heard them communicate and collaborate with their neighbors. "How did you do that?" "Here's how you can do a 'repeat' function." As well as the congratulatory, "Awesome job!" Mrs. Lee chose Lightbot this year because she says it really helps the students learn the importance of following directions and doing things in the correct order. It gets them thinking and it also teaches them perseverance.
One of our all-time favorite quotes is from 6th grade Writing teacher, Angie Murray. "Coding IS writing," she exclaimed to her classes. "With coding, you are writing a set of instructions for computers to follow."
December 8, 2016
Over the last year, there has been an emphasis in using technology to enhance student learning and improve instruction.
One aspect of this has been integrating a 2 day technology camp for grades 3-8 in which students get hands-on experience with working with new and innovative technologies. This past year DCSC hosted a technology camp on June 24th and June 27th and then again in the fall on October 25th and 26th. Each camp had over 40 students attend and learn about coding, Spheros, drones, LittleBits, 3D printing, green screen technology, and iPads. For a quick glance at some of the highlights from our summer technology camp, check out the YouTube video of some of our excited Delphi students.
Our goal is to ignite, excite, and engage our students with 21st Century technologies. The tech camp is but a mere stepping stone to preparing our students for what's to come in their future.