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Aug 5, 2012

The Getting Smart blog discusses MGSD and Project RED.  Read more here.

Aug 3, 2012

Aug 2, 2012

Superintendent Panel Questions Continued...

What's your biggest challenge?
-keeping everyone on the same page
-educating new teachers
-communicating the vision and promoting the benefit it will create for students
-focusing on managing all the coming changes
-finding the funding
-transforming the classroom learning by supporting the teachers
-having the patience to go through the process
-changing the culture of education
-continuing the process while still building the plans

What are you going to do to ramp up your game to make a 1:1 initiative work?
-be in classrooms more, do tours, meet with community members, work with companies, share successes, be involved in staff development
-become more of an advocate within my community, communicate with staff our intended direction
-give teachers opportunities to lead, continuing pushing for progress
-communicate clearly with stakeholders, model for staff
-highlight great teaching and lessons, support staff
-create a buzz, allow staff to see 1:1 models first hand, provide resources for teachers to be successful
-learn from others as much as possible
-model expectations for staff
Superintendent Panel Overview:

Take-aways?
-superintendents have opportunities to change communities
-it's more about changing cultures and PLCs than about the technology tools
-caring about kids is most important
-creating a detailed plan of action with the right people in place is critical
-ready to build teams, collaboration, and an interdependence
-when the community embraces the vision, change is permanent
-put students first
-ready to help our teachers become successful

Why is this digital conversion topic important to you professionally and personally?
-have my own children and want the best for them
-seen how a 1:1 initiative can get students engaged in learning
-implementing a 1:1 takes us out of the cycle of education "rut" and increases learning in young people
-personal faith drives decisions for school
-aiming for excellence
-share the excitement with your teachers and school leaders
-passionate about what's best for students: whatever we have to do
-gives us an opportunity for a positive direction
-we celebrate learning
-it's a better way to do school
-kindergarteners teaching school admins...kids know more than we do
Tired of spending time on tasks like scheduling parent conferences?  Save time and paper by using http://doodle.com/ to schedule events such as parent conferences!
Here are resources for managing your classroom in a 1:1 setting. http://tinyurl.com/ct8z482.  Also, check out http://www.mentormob.com/

Aug 1, 2012

Visit our Digital Conversion website to see FAQs, a timeline for our implementation, and much more. http://tinyurl.com/n4xrn7
Need some ideas to get started on Challenge Based Learning Projects?  http://www.challengebasedlearning.org/challenges
Curious about icurio?  Visit their site and learn how they make learning personal. http://www.icurio.com/mktg/icurio/overview
Reading teachers and lovers, have you seen http://www.shelfari.com/ for sharing book recommendations?  MGSD teacher Sarah Dillard embeds Shelfari onto her website http://tinyurl.com/cu9xatn and students use the resource for book reviews!
Michelle Izzo has students use rubrics in Google Forms to evaluate each other while giving presentations in class.  Check out http://www.google.com/google-d-s/forms/ for information about setting up Google Forms.  Students can provide timely feedback to peers using this resource.
video

This 2010 Mooresville graduate shares his overseas experiences.  He credits MGSD for sparking his interests in world issues.
video

The middle school student in this video describes a way he extended a school project to meet his needs and show his creativity.
video

Four intermediate school students tell about an Ancient Wonders project they completed!  You can also find all the student testimonials in Angel.  Go to the 2012 Summer Connection group > Lessons tab > Student Testimonials Video folder > download the video file.

Jul 31, 2012

Check out the K-12 curriculum and other great resources from Common Sense Media at http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/curriculum!
Highlights from the Mooresville Educator Panel...

How has the Digital Conversion changed the lives of our educators?
-opened up the world outside of Mooresville
-provides desire to furnish excellent opportunities for students
-makes things relevant and engaging to our students, empowering them
-students are educating teachers
-creates real-world applications

How did you get started with the Digital Conversion?
-step back and allow the students (and teachers!) to take risks and make mistakes
-begin small and take small steps
-support staff members and hold high expectations
-give up some control in the classroom in order to support student learning
-prepare to be flexible

How do new teachers integrate with the Digital Conversion environment?
-use mentors and fellow staff members as a support system
-attend the MGSD Summer Institute for learning
-work with Technology Facilitators at individual schools
-provide early professional development for expectations

How can students with special needs be successful in the digital environment?
-use digital resources with individualized instruction to improve deficits
-provide access for students and modify to their levels
-give students access to resources aligned with their learning needs (audio, visual, text-to-speech, etc.)
-create differentiated groups and assignments in Angel courses, DiscoveryEducation, and other online resources
-all students are given the resources to complete projects

How does the classroom management work?
-begin with being able to see all the screens
-use your regular monitoring and proximity
-set high expectations
-learn to trust the students

What does assessment look like?
-Angel offers a digital tool that automatically grades and gives data on student answers
-look at performance-based projects
-assessment is quick so that you can spend time analyzing and using data to enhance student performance

How high is student engagement?
-sky high when students are interested
-providing time to learn a new tool helps student motivation
-students' characteristics and stages of development play a part
-allow students to encourage each other

What was your turning point in buying in to the Digital Conversion?
-having supportive Technology Facilitators available
-having the trust and support of the administrators
-seeing the students take ownership

Do you filter your internet?
-yes, we have changed products over the past few years
-filtering is a process and can be modified depending on school and student
-err on what is best for students and the instructional application

How do you encourage teachers to get on board with a Digital Conversion?
-provide the support and opportunities
-give feedback and encourage teachers to give peer feedback
-deliver help for struggling teachers
-keep students first
-share encouragement through Professional Learning Communities
-empower teacher leaders who care about children
Will you be participating in Digital Learning Day on February 6, 2013?  Get ready now by visiting http://www.digitallearningday.org/splash!
Bob Wise shares with us North Carolina's data, found at the Alliance for Excellent Education's site.  Find out the data for your state at http://www.all4ed.org/about_the_crisis/schools/map.

Jul 30, 2012

Hundreds of educators are preparing to begin the Summer Connection tomorrow!  As you prepare, consider following along with the conference backchannel on Twitter.  If you have a Twitter account, you may follow @MGSDschools with the hashtag #connection12.

If you prefer to stay in the know without using Twitter, you may create your own backchannel at a website such as backchannel.us.  Simply type #connection12 in the search box and click "start backchannel!"  This will provide a live feed in your web browser.  We would love to hear from you about the great things happening during the conference!

Jul 25, 2012

Mooresville Graded School District is so excited to be hosting over 300 participants from across the US for our 3 days of Summer Connection 2012!  Participants, check out this link http://tinyurl.com/2012SummerConnection for airport/hotel info, directions, school info, daily agendas, and an event schedule.

We are excited for your arrival and have Mooresville's finest educators preparing to share our digital conversion experiences with you!  Stay tuned for more updates, details, and cool happenings with Summer Connection 2012! Follow us on Twitter @MGSDschools #connection12 for the latest details.