As you’ve probably noticed, we use A LOT of technology in 6Korver. We use technology for several reasons: for engagement, to connect with other students (in class and around the world), and to help us better organize our thoughts and ourselves using different apps or websites. Technology is a powerful tool students can use to collaborate with others across the globe and create a deeper understanding of concepts and an awareness of different perspectives. Further, becoming responsible digital citizens prepares our students for the digital world that they live in. At the bottom of the page is the WCMS Technology use guidelines and FAQs for parents for students who choose to bring their own device to school.
Please be assured that students will be guided through the set up process and be regularly monitored to make sure that unnecessary personal information is not shared. Every effort is made to protect students and to teach them proper digital safety as we develop and maintain our online accounts. Students will never post their full names online and will be referred to only by their first name or a chosen nickname. As a teacher, I will be monitoring and assessing student work on these platforms over the course of the year. As a parent, you can access your child’s account– just ask them for the password.
This year, we plan on using the following tools/platforms regularly:
Students will be blogging regularly via kidblogs. This will be used to display work and create a digital portfolio, help to provide a specific audience for our writing, and act as forum for fellow classmates to provide feedback. We are able to connect to classes around the world by reading and commenting on their blogs and vice versa. Kidblog is a fantastic “starter blog” program because it allows students the option of who they are publishing each post for: it can be for the teacher only, the class only, or to the wider kidblog community (made up of other classes around the world). Ie. student’s and their families can make the choice that all of their blogs remain private or can decide to publish some posts.
The logistics: students will create a kidblog account using only their first name and under our class account. Parents will, of course, have access to their son/daughters password. I encourage you to visit your child’s blog and comment as well! For more reasons why blogging supports the 21st century learner, Pernille Ripp has an excellent article: https://pernillesripp.com/2012/10/16/what-does-student-blogging-exactly-do/
- 100 Word Challenge: https://100wc.net/
The 100 Word Challenge is a weekly program where a writing prompt (a phrase, a picture, etc) is provided to students and students have 100 words to write a story, paragraph, or a poem on the given topic. The cool thing about 100 Word Challenge is that the creator, Julia Skinner (a now retired school principal), has a crew of current and former teachers (all volunteers!) that then try to read and comment on every student’s post to provide specific feedback. Students are also encouraged to read and comment on other students work.
The logistics: Students will have the option of submitting their blog post for the 100 Word Challenge site, they will have to make their post “public” on kidblog. They will use their first names only, no last names will be used.
- Seesaw: http://web.seesaw.me/
This is another way we will be creating a digital portfolio of our work to share with our families. Students will be able to “show what they know” using pictures, video and voice recordings, text, links, and PDF files.
The logistics: Seesaw is just used for sharing documents between our class and their parents. Parents can download Seesaw’s Parent App or use the web to view your student’s learning artifacts. When your child adds new work, you will receive a notification to see, hear and respond to your child’s learning item. You can choose to comment on the work, “like” the work, or just view it. You only have access to your own child’s work and all of the content is stored securely. Parent access codes will be sent home next week.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/korvers_class
We post regularly what our class is doing on our twitter feed. This allows us to share what we are learning about with our school community (@wcmsstorm) and other classes and teachers around the world. We also use twitter to communicate and question with other classes, authors, or experts who can help us learn.
The logistics: The twitter account will be teacher led by Ms.Korver and she is the only person who will have access to the password and tweeting out students’ thoughts and ideas that we discuss as a class–students will provide input into tweets. Like other accounts, full names will never be used– in fact, first names will also be avoided.
- Skype and Google Hangouts
We will be using skype and google hangouts to regularly video chat with other classes, with experts (such as authors), to take virtual field trips, or practise our geography skills playing mystery skype.
The logistics: These are planned ahead of time and booked using professional teaching sites to make connections.
WCMS/Prairie Spirit Technology Policy
Technology has become an essential part of education. To be able to live, learn, and work successfully in our information-rich society, students must be able to utilize technology effectively. Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their learning in their own way and at their own pace.
With many students owning mobile computing devices and frequently using these devices for their school work while at home, the school division would like to encourage students to utilize their own technology in a more seamless way at school. In an effort to put students at the center and empower them to take control of their own learning, students may wish to use personal technology devices for educational use while at school.
The student is solely responsible for any equipment that he/she brings to school. The Prairie Spirit School Division is not liable for damaged, lost, or stolen equipment. All students must adhere to the School Acceptable Use Policy. When students use technology inappropriately while on the school network, the same consequences apply, regardless of who owns the device.
What type of device may my child bring to school?
Students may use any device that will allow them to access the internet and have a battery life that will last the school day. For example: iPad, iPod, Smartphone. Something that is not too heavy for the child to carry or too cumbersome to have on a desk. A case to protect the device is essential. A method to secure the device at school (locked locker or teacher provided storage) is also essential.
Does my child have to bring in a device? What if a family cannot afford to buy technology for their child?
No, it is entirely optional. We have a few devices available in classrooms available to students.
What if my child’s device is stolen or damaged? What recourse can I take?
Students bring electronic communication devices to school at their own risk, just like any other personal items. The school will not be held responsible if an electronic device or other item is lost, stolen or damaged. In some cases registering the device with your home insurance will cover lost or stolen items. Please check with your insurance provider to determine your level of coverage.
Is it required that my child use the school wireless connection?
Students with a personally owned device are encouraged to use the school’s public wireless network to access provincially licensed subscriptions and ministry owned multimedia resources.
My child is bringing a device to school for instructional purposes. Will they have access to things they normally do with district equipment?
Your child will have access to any of the web-based software the school currently uses (databases, library search tools, cloud services, email etc.) Software may run differently on different devices for varying reasons.
How will you handle students accessing inappropriate websites during school?
Students are held accountable by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy, the school student handbook and student behavior policies. Students connecting to the school network will be able to access the web in a more secure, safe and resource-rich manner.
How will my son’s/daughter’s device be used in the classroom?
At the teacher’s discretion, students will utilize their devices to access information, research, solve problems, collaborate, communicate and engage in the curriculum.
I don’t have my own electronic communication device to bring to school. Will I be penalized or miss out on instruction?
No, it is not mandatory for students to bring a device, even if they do own one. Use of personal electronic devices will be optional.
My device was stolen when I brought it to school. Who should I contact about this?
Prairie Spirit School Division is not responsible for the theft of a device, nor are they responsible for any damage done to the device while at school. Any time a theft occurs, you should contact a teacher or administrator to make them aware of the offense. Bringing your own devices to school can be useful; however, some risks are involved as well. It is always a good idea to record the device’s serial number and to enable your device’s geo-location services and any “find my device” tools in case of theft.
Does the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) apply to me even though this is my personal device?
Yes, students using a personally owned device must adhere to the school Acceptable Use Policy and school behavior guidelines. Students with a personally owned device are encouraged to use the school’s public wireless network to access provincially licensed subscriptions and ministry owned multimedia resources. Students that choose to use the non-filtered 3G or 4G connection from their device provider should be reminded that inappropriate behavior at school holds the same consequences regardless of the connection or who owns the device.
-Prairie Spirit School Division (Adapted for the Grade 6 students at WCMS)