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What is an LMS?

What is a LMS?

What is an LMS and why should I use one?  You may have heard the term LMS (Learning Management System) talked about in meetings, or read about in the board docs or ACTS notes.  Well, what is it? And more importantly, why are moving in this direction?

An LMS is a learning management system that will provide a true one stop user experience for your teaching materials, assessment tools, projects, rubrics, learning outcomes, group conferencing,  etc. The learning management system we have chosen to purchase is Canvas. Canvas is a large company that currently provides LMS functionality to many major universities, the Virginia Community College System,  and the entire K-12 public school system in North Carolina. Canvas allows you to create assessments, manage instructional content, conduct group discussions or video chats/leave student feedback, create rubrics, and will auto grade your assessment materials.  Canvas integrates with all the G Suite apps you use right now, ma…
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Your End-of-Year Tech List: Closing Out Your Digital Classroom

Your End-of-Year Tech List:
Closing Out Your Digital Classroom

Just as you close out your physical classroom for the year, you should also close out your digital classroom.  To help you do so, we have created the following Tech List, with helpful links and hints.

✔ Task Tips Helpful Links
Google Classrooms Archive your Google classrooms to prevent students from unmonitored posting.   If you delete a class, you no longer have access to posts or its associated resources. Written Video
Edmodo Classrooms Archive your Edmodo classrooms to prevent students from unmonitored posting. If you delete a class, you no longer have access to posts or its associated resources. Directions

Cultivating Creative Crafters in the Language Arts Classroom

Watching math and science teachers integrate Makerspace activities into their classrooms has been both inspiring and confounding. Knowing how excited my students were by the opportunity to build, create, and innovate made me want to include Makerspace ideas in my lessons. However, I was stuck with the question, How do I give this a Language Arts spin? Brainstorming and Preparation Process Once I set my mind to the idea of a Makerspace, I spent a great deal of time perusing Pinterest for different ideas for hands-on, Language Arts ideas. Finding a variety of activities was key for me, which had the potential to send me down a rabbit hole. Thankfully, I met with my integrator, Althea Hudson, as part of my brainstorming process as well. Between the two of us, we were able to find several different activities for my students. As another layer of my preparation, I met with two other teachers who had previously run Maker Stations in their classrooms. Their number one suggestion was to have wr…

Letting Go: Giving Students Choice

Choices, Choices, Choices!  When you walk down the toothpaste aisle at your local grocery store, there are so many choices.  Decades ago, you had two choices:  Colgate and Crest.  Now we have to choose between the brand and variety: cavity protection or whitening, gel or paste, mint or bubble gum, and so on.

Our students are born in a day and age where they have numerous choices, and, with technology, they can research and find the best choice that suits their needs.  Well, education should not be any different.

Choice boards and student menus are excellent avenues that allow for student choice, but still give you, the instructor, an idea on how students are learning and mastering specific content.

Choice Boards A choice board is a graphic organizer that allows students to decide how they will learn a concept or demonstrate mastery of content. Choice boards focus on students' interests, abilities, and needs.  In the example below, you can see the student has to pick three activiti…

Re-Situating Hapara

Best Practices for Supporting Students Working in the Digital Realm      When you hear people talking about “Hapara,” what comes to mind? Is it “that website that works with G Suite?” Perhaps it’s “that tool that lets you close student browser tabs.” If you are not familiar with all of what Hapara can do, it can be easy to get caught up in Hapara's administrative features and use it just to police student chromebook activity. In this post, we’ll “re-situate” Hapara so that you will be better equipped to support learners working with tools in G Suite and beyond.
Why Hapara?
     You may have read or heard about the research of John Hattie, a Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Hattie synthesized a wealth of existing studies to determine the most impactful ways to raise student achievement.  The top five strategies include: student visible learning, formative assessment, acceleration, feedback, and other metacognitive strategies. Hapara was created wit…

Ozobots in the Middle - Bringing Playtime Back Into The Center of Your Curriculum

Why is playtime important for students? We often recognize the need at the elementary level, but even secondary students can greatly benefit from playtime during the school day. According to Dr. Hilary Conklin ( Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too (2015).

She says, “Giving students occasions to learn through play not only fosters creative thinking, problem solving, independence, and perseverance, but also addresses teenagers’ developmental needs for greater independence and ownership in their learning, opportunities for physical activity and creative expression, and the ability to demonstrate competence. When classroom activities allow students to make choices relevant to their interests, direct their own learning, engage their imaginations, experiment with adult roles, and play physically, research shows that students become more motivated and interested, and they enjoy more positive school experiences.”
We are here today to tell you how Ozobots can b…

Getting the Most Out of Video Projects

Lights, Camera, ACTION! Arguably the three most famous words any director will say on set, but once heard, everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing in that moment. And sure, that moment might take up to three, four, or fifty-two tries, but everyone is at least aware of their actions. So when we as educators ask our students to make a video project, are they also aware?

In the last five years alone, the ability to edit a solid video has removed itself from mostly being a mac-thing and become a multi-platform choice anyone with a device can do. Smartphones can easily download apps that will even piece together a video for you, free of charge!* So how does one go about planning a video project for students to complete?


The Hollywood movie process goes through five stages; Development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution1. It is a similar process for student productions as well.

Development - This is where the project is explained to…