Common Sense San Francisco Teen Panel Discussion

It was standing room only this morning @Hamlin School; we were honored to host the Common Sense San Francisco Teen Panel Discussion.

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The event was opened to San Francisco’s Common Sense Media Supporter Schools and a packed group of parents listened as Bay Area Director Dana Blum asked the panel about what it is like to be a middle schooler on October 21, 2015 – or “Back to the Future Day“.  Their responses were honest, clear, thoughtful, and at times surprising – we could not have had a better panel of students – thank you.  This week’s focus for Digital Citizenship week has been – it’s time to have the talk and Hamlin’s hope is that today’s panel will start a discussion in classrooms as well as homes.

The session was highlighted by not only this Huffington Post article on the tables as participants arrived, but also with this video:

examples of the many ways technology can be used to “fill buckets”

For the parents who could not make it this morning an audio recording is available here:

 


It was also a great day to announce that @Hamlin has gone beyond being a Common Sense Media Supporter School and yesterday was recognized as a Digital Citizenship Certified School.  As our vision is that “all Hamlin faculty are #digcit educators” recognition is shared and celebrated school wide.  That said, there were also six teacher leaders who were simultaneously recognized as Digital Citizenship Certified Educators for 2015-16: Ms. Brown, Ms. Davis, Mr. Dworkin, Mr. Lengel, Mr. Picketts, and Ms. Windell – thank you for your thoughtful guidance and work to ensure our girls are ready to meet the challenges of their increasingly digital times.

Board Trustees Hard @ Work

Do these @hamlin Board members look like they’re working?

Board trustees try their hand at fourth grade Lego robotics activity.

Board trustees try their hand at fourth grade Lego robotics activity.

Well they most certainly are; working and learning!  The tech team welcomed school board members into the @RiviterLab to learn a little bit more about what would be happening in the rejuvenated space.

The team thought the best way to do this would be to get the board in the space and using the tools.  The board heard some introductory comments about the space from Director of Technology & Innovation Mark Picketts before being divided into three groups.  The first group explored Circuit Scribe by electroBoard members wrestle with electricity as they attempt to draw circuits using CircuitScribe.ninks and worked through an introductory activity housed within Autodesk’s Project Ignite toolkit.  The second group worked with Middle School Technology Integration Specialist Jim Lengel as he walked them through the process his first trimester 3D digital arts students are experiencing: building laser cut lamps.  The third group engaged with Lower School STEM coordinator and Integration Specialist – Caroline Windell and worked through the identical lessons some of their 4th grade daughters had completed earlier in the day – an introductory investigation on movement with the Lego EV3 robots.

The slide deck that introduced the Board to the space highlighted the space as one shared by all students, introduced our partnership with the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park site, as well as let them know the things on our: Today, Monday, and Someday lists:

A time laps of the 20 minute introductory session:

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All Aboard for #digcit

@Hamlin we believe all of our faculty and staff are Digital Citizenship educators.  We have developed an effective partnership with Common Sense Media as well as with our parents to provide intentional and co-ordinated instruction on how Hamlin girls can meet the challenges of their increasingly digital times.

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Our opening communication message to parents included the following kbfrom the site Toolbox coordinator – Karen Brown.

Digital Citizenship Monthly Theme: “Healthy Boundaries with Technology” 

This year the Middle School will have a monthly Digital Citizenship theme for our community members to think about the connections between the Hamlin Creed and our digital lives. September’s theme is “Healthy Boundaries with Technology.”

We hope you will be able to continue these conversations at home with the help of our monthly discussion questions.

  • What does it mean to have healthy boundaries with technology? 
  • How does this relate to use of technology for schoolwork and/or personal use? 
  • What boundaries with technology do you already have in place in your family? 

Please reference the Hamlin Student/Parent Technology Contract and our partner organization, Common Sense Media, for more information.

from the mouths of 4th graders …

Fourth grade students have been expanding their exploration of coding by following the Google CS First Curriculum; specifically the one focused on Game Design.  The girls meet with Lower School Tech Integration Specialist & STEM Teacher Caroline Windell twice a week and each  day they learn a new type of game.  The culminating activity will have students select one of the game types and more fully develop their game idea.

Some 4th grade student reflections after using the CS-First computer science curriculum:

There’s a new student at your school. What would you say to her to get her interested in computer science?

  • something I like about programming is that you tell it to do something and it does it.
  • Computer science is very fun and there is a lot to learn at the same time. With computer science, you can make your own games with your own rules!
  • It’s SO fun!!! You get to learn stuff about technology, and have a fun time.
  • did you know all the computer games you play are programed by other people? … and you can program a game too!
  • it is really fun it’s learning and having fun and every time you make a game or some other thing work it is so rewarding and it feels so good like you can just do anything. i love this club and you should come and code with us. even if you can’t code you will learn and it won’t feel like learning it will feel like playing on the computer.
  • Coding is really really really really really fun. We get to make our own really fun games. It’s awesome.
  • I would say that this is the best club ever and you should try it and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to do it.
  • It’s super fun to learn and even if you think you know a lot abut it you learn a lot of new things. I would recommend CS first as a REALLY fun coding experience. I always look forward to coding class and I bet you will to.

We are definitely looking forward to playing your creations girls!

Video Conferencing – 2nd Grade

Ms. Andrews, Grade 2 teacher, developed an interesting technique for using video conferencing in her classroom. During Reader’s Workshop, where students practice their reading skills, students were given the option to read with with a parent or buddy using Skype or FaceTime.

Ms. Andrews found that parents, friends, and even puppies, jumped at the chance to participate in the classroom from a remote location!

 

Workflow

Some initial planning was involved so both students and adults (or canines) had a copy of a book in their respective locations. Together, they explored the book during the first part of the video conference. Once this was completed, the student selected a book from her book box which she read out loud.

Results

“I loved it!!! She is so cute and was so happy. It’s very cool and could make the parents feel really involved from home! Maybe even some of the dads who don’t have as much time to be on campus/involved etc… It works for us! FaceTime is so easy and is on every iPhone so you can be anywhere!”
– Grade 2 Mom

blog text by: Liz Beck