4/05/2018

Teacher-Driven YouTube Filtering

As a school, we filter our Internet to provide a safe environment for our students to learn to navigate the web for good. More on ISD 477 Internet filtering here.

YouTube is one site that has been a little difficult to filter consistently in the past. Google has added some features that allow teachers to better manage which sites students are unable to view using built-in filtering in YouTube. Per Google’s description, “We use community flagging, age restrictions and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content” (link).

YouTube has filtering features that now allows Teachers to have more control over what videos are available to their students.
Some videos may be filtered for students that teachers want to use. The easiest examples to find are history video clips that use primary source footage of war or violence.

If your students see a message that the video they are trying to watch is restricted, teachers can simply click on an Approve button below the video to allow their students to view the video.

Approve YouTube Video.png

Note: Students must be logged into their Google Account in YouTube, or be using a Chromebook, for these new filtering options to work. That makes the YouTube filtering has is a bigger impact for grades 4-12 right now, but we want to keep everyone informed in the event that students are seeing a restricted video message.
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4/03/2018

Digital Learning Grows Across Princeton Schools

Starting in September 2018, students in grades 3-12 will have access to 1:1 technology on a daily basis to support their individual learning. Students in grades PreK-2 are use technology in purposeful areas, with all classrooms having access to mobile devices when and where it can add to a lesson. The growth in technology, devices and support is part of the focus our community helped identify during strategic planning to ensure we are providing students with relevant and personalized learning opportunities.

The supports to develop digital-age learners continue to grow as our interactions with technology on a day-to-day basis has become more universal. The ability to navigate a website and the ads embedded in order to find information to solve a problem is a skill necessary at any age level today. For example, many regional news websites rely on advertisements to fund the writing, publishing, hosting and maintenance of their work so that it can be available to the public online. If you want to catch up on current events, you need to know how to navigate the network of ads across the site to find the information you want. Think of how student evidence of learning for this seventh-grade English standard in Minnesota has changed with online news sources, “...Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.” Anyone can publish a blog or story about events and it is up to you as the reader to decipher the intent and meaning based on the viewpoint of the author.

While that example highlights one of the skills necessary to consume information online today, harnessing each student’s ability to create, communicate, design, test and expand their understanding of content is where technology creates great opportunities. As digital learning grows, our classrooms will continue to focus on moving beyond basic consumption of information. With the basic recall of facts and figures at our fingertips, we can start to leverage our technology across PreK-12 to help students analyze content and create their own ideas using a variety of digital tools. The possibilities for individual student learning within our schools continues to grow along with the technology. It is exciting to see our students use technology too.

Photos from a @MrsJBurling from Lego WeDo lesson. 

3/27/2018

Primary School Introduces Robots for Learning

Teachers in grades K-2 have been learning the basics of coding with small robots to integrate the new technology into their classes. Starting in January 2018, robots that look like bees have been taking over Princeton Primary School.

Lead by Technology Coaches Annie Porttiin, Samantha Statz, Nicole Cook and Tonia Anderson, and district Technology Integration Specialist Jodi Burling, lesson plans are being created to support math, literacy, team building and social skills using robots at each grade level, K through 2. The Princeton Primary School K-2 Robots project was made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act (LS-00-17-0024-17) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The grant includes funds for the robots, as well as professional development time for staff to create authentic lessons that utilize the robots to support learning standards within each grade level. Three different types of robots that others schools have had success in the primary grade levels were purchased, called Bee-Bots, Blue-Bots and Pro-Bots. The Bee-Bot resembles a yellow bee and all of the robots are programmed using physical buttons on the robot itself; No additional hardware or software is needed. There are more than two classroom sets of each type of robot, so they can be shared to use with an entire class or as a learning station across multiple classrooms depending on the lesson topic. As some classes have already begun using the robots, students are quickly learning the basics and solving math and literacy challenges through coding.