NPS Tech Bytes

Norfolk Public Schools inspires, engages, and empowers learners to actively use technology resources to question, collaborate and extend their learning beyond the classroom walls. Through child-led inquiry, analysis, creating and sharing, students develop the skills necessary to thrive in a connected global environment.

Book creator

One of our January PD sessions highlighted Book Creator, a free tool available for staff and students. Book Creator is available as an iPad app and a Chrome extension, and makes it easy for students and teachers to create their own digital and print books. The team behind Book Creator recently released 50 Ways to Use Book Creator in Your Classroom. Check it out to learn more about this engaging tool. To learn more about getting started with Book Creator check out Robin’s presentation from our January PD. As always, if you have additional questions about Book Creator, or any tech tool, please reach out to a member of the Tech Team.


Adding Evidence to Your Digital Portfolio

It’s not too early to start thinking about creating your digital portfolio! BaselineEdge has been rebranded, and moving forward will be known as io education. Take a look at this help guide to remind yourself how to add new evidence through the Evidence Board.


In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet. This grants Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the power to potentially reshape the every day online experience for millions of Americans. Basically, the Net Neutrality regulations prohibited ISPs from blocking websites or charging a premium for higher-quality service. It is a hot-button issue that can get pretty confusing to understand. Below is a video from Andrew Lippman, a senior research specialist at MIT and the Assistant Director of MIT's Media Lab, who does a fantastic job explaining exactly what Net Neutrality is, why we need it.

18 things to try in 2018

Will you join the challenge?! Expanded from last years 17 things teachers should try in 2017 Kasey Bell has released an eBook outlining "18 Challenges for Teachers in 2018"

In the upcoming news byte's we will digest some of these great ideas like, giving students interactive learning menus, and creating in 360º

We would like to highlight #13 in this edition, "Hack Google URLs". In the past we have talked about how you can share a google document by editing the address to change the word "edit" to "Copy" with a document share link. Newly discovered, you can expand this capability now by replacing the previous "edit" with ether "preview" or "template/preview". Preview will show the document on a web page for a person with out any ability to access the document. Template/preview will give you the ability to preview a document and offer at the top right side of the page a template button that will make a copy of the document into the users google drive.

Digital Learning Day

We're on the map! The tech team is working on a district-wide digital breakout built around the ISTE Student Standards. Each classroom will collaborate to unlock a series of codes connected to an ISTE standard. Digital Learning Day is scheduled for February 22nd, 2018. Since we'll be on vacation we'll celebrate the week we return. Be on the lookout for detailed instructions from the tech team.

What you need to know about MA Digital Literacy

and Computer Science (DLCS) Standards

In June 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education published the new Digital Literacy & Computer Science Curriculum Framework (DLCS).

Belief: The abilities to effectively use and create technology to solve complex problems are the new and essential literacy skills of the twenty-first century.

Vision: Engage students through the integration of practices Make connections to what students know and the world they live in. Every grade demonstrates a range of cognitive complexity such as remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating.

The DLCS standards are intended to drive instruction that emphasize student mastery of both concepts and application of practices. The standards articulate a coherent progression of learning from Kindergarten through High School to effectively develop the skills needed to use and create technology to solve complex problems.

The DLCS standards include core concepts in four strands: Computing and Society, Digital Tools and Collaboration, Computing Systems, and Computational Thinking.

The standards cultivate the skills used in digital literacy and computer science by applying reasoning, creation, and problem solving in all subject areas.

Over the next few months Tech Bytes will include a series of articles with recommendations to help implement the standards in the classrooms over various content areas.

Some suggestions to increase critical thinking in all subject areas are:

  1. Ask students to explain what they are learning in their own words. Ask them why their answers are correct.
  2. Model and teach critical thinking: analyze comparisons, create categories and classify items appropriately, identify relevant information, construct and recognize valid deductive arguments, test hypotheses, recognize common reasoning fallacies, distinguish between evidence and interpretations of evidence.
  3. Give reasons when asking students to do things a certain way.
  4. Encourage questions.
  5. Ask students to consider alternate explanations or solutions.