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Feb 1 Update

posted Feb 1, 2013, 7:28 AM by William Farren
Middle schoolers continue to improve their tech skills and content knowledge using a variety of tools these last two weeks. Sixth graders have been using the amazing geographical information system called Google Earth to learn about various geographical features using a tool that's best-in-class. Turning on (and importing) a variety of layers in Google Earth allows users to visualize geographic information in ways never before possible. 

Ms. Bennett has started using the middle school's e-folio system with math students in order to help them reflect on their work, share their learning, and receive feedback. Two free apps which can help students upload files directly to their portfolio have been shared with them via email. They may want to install these on their devices (smart-phones, tablets, etc.)  Help videos on how to use the e-folio system can be found here. (Students will need to be logged into the school's Google system in order to view them.

Geography students in grade 8 continue to extend their ability to use data sets found online from places like Gapminder.org, converting them from Excel files into Google Spreadsheets and then creating visualizations in order to extract meaning. Visualizing data and extracting meaning from it will continue to be a key  literacy moving forward in the age of Big Data.

Seventh graders are learning to use hand-held devices to capture images and video,  directly uploading this media to their Google Drive account for later use in a variety of ways. It is important that students become versed in using these tools which are ubiquitous and powerful. Later we will experiment on how they can use the sensors on these devices (accelerometer, inclinometer, cameras, etc.) to learn about important scientific concepts--especially as they relate to physics. The number of great apps available for these devices continues to grow. Pairing them up with the sensors promotes engagement with the material while teaching students to use these great tools.

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