Mr. John Granelli, Technology
January 19, 2018
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
Belated Happy New Year and let's get to an update on what your students are doing in Technology!
Time for something BIG!!
After meeting with all the of the other Middle School teachers, we came up with a wonderful STEAM project, which will culminate and end with the School Science Fair.
We arranged the students into mostly groups of 4 (one or two have 5 people) and then told them they would be building a BRIDGE!
They will need to span a foam representation of two cliffs over a specific area (see the mark up that I have provided following the Grade Level notes) and using specific materials for that project.
The stages for the project are the following:
- Introduction (Technology) - explanation of the project
- History and Application (Social Studies) - Report on a specific type of bridge as chosen by the individual student
- Design and Planning (Technology) - Individual proposals and then group plans for the bridge using Google Drawing and Sketch Up for Schools
- Costs and Materials (Math) - looking at inventory and how much the entire project could cost
- Building and Testing - to take place in Art, Technology and Science
- Presentation - Science Fair
We are excited for the outcome of this project and can't wait to "throw some curve balls" at the groups as they plan and try to subject them to real life construction joys and complications.
8th Grade Bridge Project Foam Platform Rendering
We are turning the Technology Room in another direction!
As I have said constantly, the world of Technology is in CONSTANT CHANGE. What we see one day, even early in the morning, can easily change by 5 pm (some times Noon ... i.e. see constant Facebook app updates) This is no different for what is taking place in our 7th Grade classes.
While I am still planning out a Digital Scavenger Hunt for the end of the 3rd Marking Period (or beginning of the 4th depending on the weather patterns) and we had started a group project on the different social media platforms, I have decided to make use of the Educational Section of CODE.ORG!
Within the resources provided by code.org, is an entire section which caters to grade specific lesson plans. The one I came across is an OUTSTANDING introduction to Middle School Computer Science.
This will all kick off with a TIN FOIL BOAT project, which several students have told me they did in some earlier grades. However, in this case, we will be using the terms:
- Problem Solving
All to help solve a simple project which we will then advance through higher level projects as we progress through the curriculum established by the site. So stay tuned and can't wait to see how the students handle this change.
Now that our students in this grade have completed their Common Sense Media year to learn about responsible technology use, now is the time to do of a more in depth study of the Google Applications, in order to use them within their classes here and the future. Students will be shown specific details and uses for the applications we primarily employ here at St. Bartholomew School:
- Google Docs
Within each of these applications, we will start off with basics and progress as the year goes, to study advanced features that sometimes people easily over look while using these so frequently .
Now with the New Year, we are using what we learned about IMAGE FILES, and creating scenes on Google Drawings. Currently, the 6th Grade students are tapping their inner "interior designer" and creating a digital rendering of a living room.
We have begun the aforementioned COMMON SENSE MEDIA course to responsible technology usage. We already have jumped right into the topic of "cyber"bullying, but a fantastic new topic that was put in place this year "DIGITAL DRAMA" is something that we are already discussing along with the frequently quoted cyberbully incidents. I believe this a wonderful addition to program, because I believe we are at a point where there needs to be a recognition of the difference. More to come on this great program and topic, and you are free to go check out the website if you have a chance which has a wonderful section on parent interactions.
While we started off discussing cyber bullying, we are now back into the topic full force. Also discussing the difference between cyber bullying and digital drama and what to IMMEDIATELY do when they encounter cyber bullying.
The 4th Grades are also using the code.org curriculum and learning about ROBOTICS. Stay tuned as they learn what it takes to make robots, computers and machines GO. Ask them after next week's class about their "Human Robots".
As mentioned for the 4th Grade, we have begun using personal user names and passwords to access the computers. This also goes along with using the SYNC function associated with Google Chrome. I will having the students use their log in information here in the computer lab and then Chrome as well.
This will lead to the initial introduction of Google Classroom. This will be a valuable tool for the students going forward as they progress through the remainder of the grades.
I will have an update after I assess the students ability to arrive at the proper web page and make use of the computer curriculum for digital functions.
We are having an amazing time as I show the students how "SURF THE WEB" without using it strictly as a tablet touch screen. As I have told the students, this is more like the "Momma bird kicking the baby birds out of the nest" as I instruct the students to FIND web sites, and see what tools and attempts they try to use in that pursuit. Stay tuned!!
We have already started our Keyboard Awareness by using typing.com and the results have been interesting thus far. This web site is amazing because of its attention to guiding students around the keyboard and following instructions. If you need their log in information please let me know and I can get you the information so they can practice at home.
Students are now using "Jump Key" on ABCYA.com to test their keyboard awareness and familiarity.
We are having a healthy mix abcmouse.com and now introducing all of the students to abcya.com while learning how to use the mouse and breaking the "TOUCH SCREEN ADDICTION".
As always, if you need anything or have any questions, please feel to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you and God Bless!
Diocese of Metuchen’s Statement on Technology
Students in our classrooms today will be training for jobs in the future that do not exist right now. How can we prepare them for a future we can only imagine? In order to form digital citizens for God’s world, teachers need to use the tools of the future to educate the children now. Instilling the use of technology tools into the curriculum standards ensures students use the tools effectively.
It is our goal to have our students not only become consumers of technology, but also become creative producers of technology, grounded in the moral ethics of the Catholic faith. Our students need to be evaluators of digital truth and accuracy in their global society while they are actively participating in the Catholic Social Teaching of the Care of God’s earth through sustainability and green technology.
About the Teacher
NAME: Mr. John V. Granelli
SCHOOL: St. Bartholomew School
SCHOOL PHONE: 732-254-7105