Source
Administrator Magazine: Technology
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight, and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Carmody teachers use technology in every style of teaching.

Little Kids. Big Tech.

How strong leadership and seamless technology integration is creating 21st-century learners. 

The list of technology within the four walls of Carmody Hills Elementary School is indeed impressive. It stretches to include tablets, netbooks, laptops, Interwrite Boards, personal response devices, Lexmark multifunction printer/scanners, and interactive software such as Classroom Jeopardy! But more impressive than the laundry list of products is the way the staff at this preK-6 school in Prince George's County, Maryland, uses all these tools to drive learning and student engagement.

The technology and its daily use "keeps students motivated," says Principal Rolaetta Alford. "They're eager to learn. They're like, ‘OK, what are we going to do today. What's next?' It helps with attendance, parent involvement. It just helps our plan all the way around."

The technology has increased parent participation by giving parents timely information about their children; in turn, parents are more apt to work with their children, vastly increasing the percentage of homework assignments that are completed.

That's part of the reason that Carmody, which had been on the federal government's failing list since 2007, made adequate yearly progress this year-and will be off the dreaded list when school starts this fall.

The engagement shows in attendance, too. At almost 95 percent, it is a significant increase from 2008. Coupling that with an engaged teacher group makes this a destination school within the 130,000-student district.

"There's just a wealth of technology that we try to use to bridge that achievement gap among our students," Alford says.

1. Technology for all
With tablets for teachers, laptop carts, about five PCs per classroom, and a computer lab, students are never far from technology at Carmody. But the school's biggest achievement so far has been putting Acer netbooks in the hands of all its fourth and fifth graders.

"I think [letting students take netbooks home every day] is a very positive way to introduce them to changes that are going on in society," says sixth-grade teacher Kamilah Thorne. "Everything is technologically done these days. It prepares them for middle school, it prepares them for when they become adults. It allows them to be comfortable and creative with technology."

Thorne says she pores over the technology the way she would a lesson plan, making sure it works and she understands how students will view her directions. "A lot of times, students end up stumbling across something I don't know about and I have to quickly learn about it so I can guide them on how to use it."

As expected, students love how the machines can impart both freedom and a sense of responsibility at the same time. "It's like we're in college. We're doing stuff with technology instead of having to write a paper," says one sixth grader.

2. Learning is hands-on
students finding information online, downloading video, and creating PowerPoint documents. Just another typical day in Thomasina Bland's sixth-grade class, where students are putting the finishing touches on their animal adaptation webquests. Students also use real microscopes, and polish their skills through Web-based games such as Classroom Jeopardy!

"We use technology all day long," Bland says. "Students are exposed to Google Docs, Excel, and PowerPoint."

3. Going back to help the future
In the late 1980s, Evelyn Adams worked as a senior project executive in IBM's hardware division. When she started trying to hire minority engineers, she quickly realized there were none to be found. She asked some engineering professors about this, and they told her, "The kids don't major in math. They don't have the math skills."

From there, she determined these students didn't do well in high school or middle school. "So I said, The root cause of the problem is not getting good math skills [instilled] early in kids. That's why I decided I wanted to teach elementary school."

She's in her fifth year of teaching fourth graders. "I'm an out-of-the-box teacher. I understand I'm teaching kids for the 21st century. I'm not going to spend a lot of time teaching cursive writing. Kids need to know how to sign their names, and in another 10 years they probably won't need to do that. But they do have to have good keyboard skills." Because of her instant feedback and student engagement, Adams's students finish about 80 percent of their homework, while most teachers say students only turn in half the work they are given.

4. Technology drives learning
By using her visualizer and lcd projector daily, Adams allows her students to do collaborative work and present it to the class. "It's not me at the front of the room; it's them explaining how they solved the problem, and getting critiqued by their classmates. It also allows me to use clickers for quizzes. The big fight becomes, Did our class beat the afternoon class? There's a big competition between the classes."

To see video of Carmody's teachers and students in action, click here.

 

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    24/7: Science Behind the Scenes Grades 7-12

    24/7: Science Behind the Scenes Grades 7-12

    by Various

    The 24/7: Science Behind the Scenes series takes a look at how some of history's most intriguing crimes were solved. Each title focuses on the science and technology used to solve real-life crimes and heart-stopping mysteries. From killer wallpaper to deadly pets, from parasites to mosquitoes, these high-interest books build vocabulary, foster scientific knowledge, and develop inquiry skills through the use of charts, timelines, briefing notes, case files, primary sources, and captivating storytelling.

    Watch your inquisitive students become scientific sleuths as they read actual cases, study clues, and take a shot at crime scene investigations—all while sharpening their critical thinking and analytical skills.

    The series is for students in grades 8-12 with reading levels in grades 5-7.

    24/7: Science Behind the Scenes

    • Engages students with real-life case studies, photographs, engaging sidebars, and captivating storytelling.
    • Provides scaffolded reading opportunities that support reluctant and striving readers.
    • Increases students' excitement about science with high/lo books written two or more grades below level.
    • Improves vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills.
    • Motivates career-oriented thinking and further research, by exposing students to potential careers in science.

    Visit the 24/7: Science Behind the Scenes Web site for more information.

    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Set Includes:
    • Cute, Furry, and Deadly
    • Eyes in the Sky
    • Help! What’s Eating My Flesh?
    • Killer Lipstick
    • There’s a Fungus Among Us!
    • UFOs
    • When Birds Get Flu and Cows Go Mad!
    • You Have Mail

    $44.75 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 7-12
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    24/7: Science Behind the Scenes Grades 7-12
    Grades 7-12 $44.75
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    What Is Electricity?

    What Is Electricity?

    by Lisa Trumbauer

    Rookie Read-About® Science brings a broad array of topics to vibrant life with striking, full-color photos and just the right amount of fun, factual, fascinating text.

    $3.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 1-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    What Is Electricity?
    Grades 1-2 $3.71
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR NAME

* YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

* RECIPIENT'S EMAIL ADDRESS(ES)

(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.

INCLUDE A PERSONAL MESSAGE (Optional)


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.