My @PlayOsmo Coding pack came in!

Nadia and OsmoMy Osmo Coding pack just came in. In order to truly test it out, I gave it to my daughter, Nadia, to play with. I did not really teacher her anything and she does not have any experience with Scratch, but that did not stop her. The Osmo coding software on the iPad does a great job of visually introducing the meaning of the tiles, how they work together, and how to modify the tiles to control the commands sent to the character on the screen. Before too long, Nadia was bumping quickly up through the basic levels.

This EdTech tool fits nicely before coding sites like Scratch, Code.org, and Codecademy.com, and after non-digital analogue coding activities (1, 2, 3). Even the design of the Osmo Coding pack begs to sit nicely between  tactile and digital media. It’s a really good design that not a lot of companies are making products for.

As with all of the Osmo packs, I recommend good lighting and a light, solid colored table to play on. Our dining room table, as seen in the video below, is kicks out more glitches than there would normally be in a school environment.

The Educator’s Guide to Student Data Privacy via @ConnectSafely @Lary Magid

What-is-Student-Data

Below is a link to a great article outlining the basics of student data privacy. Student data privacy is a growing area of consideration for me not only because of my new role in public education but also because of the pervasiveness of online services and projects we are asking our students to create in often 1:1 learning environments.

My largest takeaway from this article is that a process is needed to continue vetting our terms of service with a close eye on the items mentioned in this article. We also need to begin exposing our staff to these concepts. Luckily, we have a nice tech PD structure to be able to get this word out when we choose.

I am really happy that we have a district-wide LMS. Our Enterprise Schoology environment has been verified by TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal, maintains full SSL encryption, and they have a solid privacy policy. In addition to these qualities, Schoology is able to host a lot of basic integrations for us, eliminating the need for a variety of outside web services. Videos, audio, discussions and a lot more can be created right in this environment. Glad we have it!

On the other hand, Schoology does not do everything. Considering this article’s content is the first step in larger growth for our district and the privacy of our students’ data. This article brings clarity to the fundamentals of this issue, but also provides some great resources educators and questions to consider when reviewing services.

The Educator’s Guide to Student Data Privacy

Meet Osmo. :) … and help a child learn to code! @PlayOsmo

ad37220.logo_300Osmo is basically a mirror you hang off the top of an iPad camera so it can read specially designed blocks that kids move around to play educational games. The newest set of blocks they released teaches children the basics of coding – the thought process required to think through a problem’s solution.

Two Christmases ago my daughter got her first Osmo kit that included Tangram , Words, and Masterpiece. These are all great tools that are finding their way into our District’s elementary libraries. When you mix a child, an adult, and Osmo you find yourself in a powerfully engaging and educational environment.

The new Coding set of blocks seems like a great fit for our primary students before they venture into popular beginning coding tools like Scratch and Code.org. Check it out:

Using Collections with @Schoology Courses to Keep Your Materials for the Summer

schoologyJust like you clean and organize your physical classroom at the end of the school year, teachers using our District LMS will want to clean up their courses to their Resources. Doing so allows a teacher to continue to work on course materials over the summer, keeps archived courses pristine, and allows new courses to be populated with content in just a few clicks.

This is great stuff! If anyone needs assistance, just let me know!

This video below from this blog post shows how to tidy up your courses at the end of the school year.

Ending our @BrightBytes Day

BrightBytesAfter reviewing our data findings in our school group, we are sharing out to the larger group our data findings in each of our areas of needs. We still need to make our goals a bit more concrete and create concrete actions for our staff.

I’m coming away with not only our data findings, but also the idea of having examples of tools and practices for each of the 4C’s in our elementary, middle, and high school grade levels.

Additionally, left on the table is to explore the Digital Privacy, Safety, and Security Module Framework survey being developed by Clarity. Also, Early the Warning Framework is a survey designed to mix demographic, academic, attendance, and behavior data to help flag potential opportunities to help students avoid dropping out of school. There is also a Leadership Framework survey tool to help identify needs and expectations of our leaders.