Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Look what Alcott Elementary 2nd Graders are Creating!

Check the fantastic projects Mr. McQuown's 2nd Graders are completing using Google Drawing. The first project the students created was an Arctic Animal Fact poster. The students worked in pairs to plan and create their poster.  They opened Google Drawing, inserted a background, an arctic animal clip-art, and a call-out cloud before typing their animal fact.  After completing their poster, each student shared their work with Mr. McQuown who then posted the work to an Arctic Gallery on his web site for parents to see.

The next project the students worked on was a Beginning, Middle, End story plan.  After reading one of the Magic Tree House books, Mr. McQuown shared a Drawing template with the students and asked that they each add a picture, a call-out cloud and type in the beginning, middle and end of the story in their own words.  

Finally, this week Mr. McQuown created an -ou and -ow Spelling Sort. The sort was shared with each student who then had to type in their -ou and -ow words and add an example photo of one of the words.

Monday, January 25, 2016

WCS Trash to Fashion Show- Coming to Starry Night on Sunday, April 10!

Creative students with an eye for fashion and a love for the environment!

Trash to Fashion

The Trash to Fashion competition is open to all students in Westerville City Schools.   This contest is totally voluntary and is meant to inspire student’s innovation and creativity.   


Each participating school will select TWO winning designs to compete in the district competition to be held at Nationwide Children’s Starry Night event on Sunday, April 10th, 2016 at Westerville North High School from 2:00-6:00pm.  Additional details and the entry form can be found at:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Digital Learning Day- February 17, 2016

Digital Learning Day 2016 is February 17, 2016

On February 17, thousands of schools and local communities will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Digital Learning Day and, more importantly, will take part in the exciting transformation of teaching and learning powered by technology. It may not be the only day where educators and students go digital, but it is a day that challenges everyone to be actively involved in reimagining the education system.

Getting there is not just about using digital devices, it is about using them in ways that promote deeper and more engaged student learning. It is also about making sure that all students have access to those opportunities, not just those fortunate enough to attend the best schools.

On February 17, celebrate education innovation by sharing how you will reimagine learning in your classroom, program, school or district. This could involve pairing up less experienced educators with more experienced ones to do a joint digital lesson or trying out new ways of using technology in classrooms. Whatever you do—however small—makes a difference!

How will you celebrate?

Official registration for local Digital Learning Day events is now open. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Share how you plan to celebrate the day and your event will be added to the map of events across the country (and the world).

What the Sam Hill is SAMR?

As technology becomes more available, teachers are asking how to change what they've done in the past to look more like a 21st century classroom. Lately the S.A.M.R. model has been used as a way to describe the progression of tech integration in the classroom. It is a simplistic look at how the activities that have been used in the classroom previously can be transformed into something that, while still proving the mastery of a concept, may take many different forms. 

Using this concept, teachers can slowly change the work that they have previously created into an opportunity for students to prove mastery using the technological opportunities that have been provided.

Essentially the levels in the model naturally progress by adding one more feature that the previous one did not. This allows teachers to attempt a slow progression into increased use of technology without jumping completely out of their comfort zone.

The short video below does a good job of showing one example of how a previously created lesson/assessment that was uniform for all students, can transform into something that students can create to show mastery using the formats that they are most comfortable / enthusiastic about.

As always, if you have questions about this concept, or any others that we've discussed on our blog, check out our district's Ed Tech website, or contact one of our coaches directly!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Help! My Schoology Courses are Missing!!!

Winter break is over, and now that you've settled down back into the swing of things you thought you'd take a look at your old Schoology courses that you created last semester to update or reuse for future courses. After logging into Schoology you realize that all of the work you've done has gone missing! 
And you're like...

Well have no fear. If you had courses that were created by PowerSchool, they might have only been one semester long (regardless if you have the same kids showing up to your classes now). If the course is in the books as a semester course, then Schoology has conveniently archived those courses for you. All of your work is not lost! You must simply click the "see all" button in your course listing, and then select the "archived" courses. All of your assignments, tests, videos, links, etc. are all still there. If you haven't already stored those items in your personal resources in Schoology, We'd suggest doing that. It is an easier way to pull old material into new courses as time goes on.

Schoology has a support article available to walk you through the process if you need some help. Or you can always contact your WCS Educational Technology Integration Coach for some Schoology help!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


This post is epic! No seriously. EPIC! is website / app that allows a teacher to create accounts for their students to access literally thousands of books. The books available are geared toward K-5 reading levels, and many of them have a read aloud feature with them. So even the "non-readers" can sit and have a book read to them! 

To get started, a teacher creates a free account (The service is available to parents also for approx $5/mo.) Once a teacher has created a free account, they will add students to their list. Students can then open the app or website and select their profile. (profiles can be PIN protected if needed). From there they can choose an avatar, and select the types of books that interest them. Once this process is complete, students can then select one of many different books available for them to read. As the students continue reading, EPIC! tracks their progress and assigns reading points that the kids can use to get unique add-ons to their profiles (backgrounds, faces, colors, etc.)

While teachers often have many different books available for students to read in their classrooms, this expands those libraries exponentially, absolutely free!