Instructional Technology

The Instructional Technology Department helps improve student achievement and academic growth by integrating technology into the curriculum to increase academic opportunities. The department works closely with the Teaching and Learning Department to enhance the curriculum and to increase 21st-century technology skills of all students and all staff members.

The department’s goal is to ensure that every school has the infrastructure to support learning with technology. The adoption of the Pickerington Schools Technology Plan in 2016 will allow the district to move toward a One2One model, providing a device for every student in the district.

This is a section header that identifies the proceeding content as being resources and documents for students, staff and parents

Resources & Forms for Students, Parents and Educators

Resources for StudentsToggle content

Please see below for links to software portals.

Chromebook Care Reminders

  • Take good care of your new Chromebook.  You will use the same Chromebook for 4 years.
  • Carry your Chromebook with both hands.
  • Set your Chromebook on a flat surface to use it.  An example of a flat surface is a desk or table.
  • Keep food and drinks away from your Chromebook.  In other words, do not eat or drink while you are using the Chromebook.  Instead, take a study break away from your Chromebook.
  • Never place a heavy object or a lot of objects on top of your Chromebook.
  • Charge your Chromebook every night at home.
    • If you close the lid of your Chromebook, you will help save the battery.
    • You can use your Chromebook when the level is low.  Just remember to charge when you get home.
    • When you plug in your Chromebook to charge it, look for the charging light indicator.  This will assure you that your Chromebook is being charged.
    • Let the Chromebook completely charge to a full battery.
    • Charging a Chromebook could take up to 4 hours.  Therefore, plug it in to charge and go do something else.

 

Resources for ParentsToggle content

Infinite Campus Portal

Infinite Campus Online Help Request

Dell Chromebook 11 Specs

Please see Parenting in the Digital World: Hints Tips and Tricks for Social Media at the bottom of this page.

The Instructional Technology Team

Brian Seymour
Brian Seymour
Director of Instructional Technology
614-920-6140
Whitney Robinson
Whitney Robinson
Instructional Technology Coordinator
614-920-6147
Shelley Sakowski
Shelley Sakowski
Administrative Secretary Technology Department
614.833.2110

The Data Team

Cheryl Robinson
Cheryl Robinson
EMIS Coordinator
614-920-6151
Kristie Volosin
Kristie Volosin
Database Analyst
614.920.6184
Ed Delp
Ed Delp
Technology Resource Leader- District
614.920.6240
Bethany Thompson
Bethany Thompson
Data & Student Information Analyst
614.833.2110

Pickerington School's Student Online Personal Information Protection Agreement

Student Online Personal Information Protection AgreementToggle content

Pickerington Local School District (“PLSD”) takes the protection of student data very seriously and PLSD adopts all reasonable measures to protect personally identifiable information (“PII”) about students.  PLSD asks each company that requests or is provided PII about students to agree to the terms of the following agreement.  The purpose of this agreement is to protect the students of PLSD. Accordingly, PLSD and operator hereby agree as follows:

This agreement applies to the operator in which PII of a PLSD student is:

  • Provided by a student or parent for PreK-12 school purposes;
  • Provided by PLSD, agents for the PLSD, or the Fairfield County Educational Service Center
  • Gathered by the operator through the operator’s services that clearly describes a PLSD student or identifies a  PLSD student.

The PII about students that is covered in this agreement includes, but is not limited to:

  • Information in the student’s educational record maintained by PLSD;
  • First and last name, home address, telephone number, email address, or other information that allows physical or online contact with the student and/or parent;
  • Date and place of birth;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
  • Dates of attendance and graduation;
  • Discipline records, test results, special education data, juvenile dependency records, grades, and evaluations;
  • Criminal and/or juvenile court records, medical records, health records, social security number, biometric information, any recognized disabilities;
  • Socioeconomic information, food purchases, political affiliations, and religious beliefs
  • Text messages, student identifiers, online search activity, photos, videos, voice recordings, or geolocation.
  • Personally identifiable student information as referenced in Ohio Revised Code 3319.321;
  • Information contained in student records as defined by 20 USC § 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99

The operator is prohibited from using PII student data to:

  • Conduct targeted advertising on their website, mobile application, etc or use targeted advertising on other websites, when such targeting is based on information (as defined above or persistent unique student identifiers) acquired by the operator because of the use of the operator’s website or mobile app.
  • Create or gathering information about PLSd PreK-12 students and using that collected information to create a profile of the PreK-12 students, except in cases when the information is used for PreK-12 school purposes.
  • Selling student’s PII (including information defined above).

If the operator utilizes a subcontractor or other third party vendor to manage students’ data then, the operator shall require the subcontractor or other third party to prohibit the use of any PII about PLSD students for any purpose other than providing the contracted service to, or on behalf of, the operator. Also, the operator shall require the subcontractor or other third party to prohibit the disclosure or sharing of any PII about PLSD students with subsequent third parties, and shall require the subcontractor to implement and maintain reasonable information and data security procedures and practices.

Aside from the non-disclosure of PII about PLSD students, operators will comply with the following security and deletion requirements:

  • Implement and maintain security procedures to protect PII about students from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure;
  • Operator shall not release PII about students without parental or student (if age 18 or older) consent, other than the release of such information to authorized subcontractors and other third parties who provide services to operator to support operator’s service to PLSD under this Agreement;
  • Delete all PII about students if PLSD requests deletion of data under the control of PLSD.
  • The operator will indemnify, defend and hold PLSD harmless from any damages, costs, losses (including loss of state or federal funding), fines, claims, demands, suits, actions or causes of action in law or in equity, in state or federal court, or before any administrative body that are caused by or arise out of operator’s breach of this Agreement.

Operator may use PII about PLSD students for the following purposes, as long as all aggregated or anonymized data must be adequately de-identified :

  • Maintain, develop and improve the operator’s website or mobile app;
  • Legitimate research purposes as required by state or federal law;
  • Using de-identified data to improve operator’s products;
  • Learning purpose, such as for adaptive learning;
  • Marketing educational products that are targeted towards parents and/or students. To that end, the operator may share the student’s name, address, and email address.

EdTech Companies that have signed the agreement that PLSD contracts with:

Apple BrainPOP ClassDojo
Clever Compass Learning – (Renzulli Learning) Edmentum – Reading Eggs, Study Island
Edmodo EDpuzzle Flocabulary
Front Row Gaggle GoGuardian
Google Illuminate Education Imagine Learning
Infinite Campus JAMF Software Khan Academy
LearnZillion Microsoft MIND Research Institute
MobyMax Nearpod Newsela
Promethean Renaissance Learning Screencastify
Seesaw TenMarks Turnitin
Typing Club TCI – History Alive/Social Studies Alive

EdTech companies that have not signed the agreement that PLSD contracts with:

ALEKS Math (McGraw Hill) GVRL – Cengage Hapara
Learning A-Z

NOTE: This agreement is similar to the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) (https://studentprivacypledge.org/) that was recently signed into law in California on January 1, 2016.  

Pickerington Schools Technology Plan

This technology plan is the current best representation of the District’s vision, goals, and objectives for instructional technology. As such, it is a living document that will always be under revision and adjustment. It is flexible, but specific enough to act as a guide in decision making and budgeting funds. It is the intention of the Pickerington Local School District Technology Committee to make recommendations with specific goals and objectives in mind. This on-going, constantly updated plan, with its associated timelines and priorities, provides guidance.

The recommendations contained in this technology plan are intended to provide direction for the Board of Education, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Treasurer, directors, principals, building administrators, building technology advisors, teachers, support staff, parents, and students in planning for technology initiatives.Building on the existing infrastructure, the plan outlines steps needed to achieve the next level of development. This plan for the use of technology and is designed to have a significant positive impact on teaching and learning in the District.

Through these supports, and with the current plan, the District continues to deepen teachers’ and administrators’ understandings of the uses of technology to support learning. This technology plan continues to outline overarching goals for the continued integration of technology in the District.

Overarching Goals for Technology

• Improve student achievement and academic growth

• Enhance the curriculum

• Integrate technology into the curriculum to increase academic opportunities

• Increase 21st century technology skills of all students and all staff

• Every school will have the infrastructure to support learning with technology

• Utilize technology to expand the academic environment outside of the traditional school day

• Educate staff members on the importance instructional technology best practices and social media skills and give professional opportunities to all staff members.

Pickerington Schools Technology Plan

Technology CommitteeToggle content

Mission of the Technology Committee

The mission of the Pickerington Local School District Technology Committee is to support the implementation of the Technology Plan by bringing representatives from the Technology Department, Teaching and Learning Department, administrators and teachers together to review, modify, create, and support District instructional technology plans and procedures. The PLSD Technology Committee is charged with the following:

  • Examine and recommend technology-related procedures on a continual basis to address the needs of instruction.
  • Meet regularly to provide the instructional and informational departments an opportunity to collaborate on determining the technology needs of the District.
  • Supply feedback on recommendations made by the Director of Instructional Technology concerning the implementation and use of existing and emerging technologies.
  • Communicate policies and procedures to staff and parents via building technology advisors and/or staff/parent newsletters.
  • Revise the District Technology Plan as needed.
  • Encourage and support innovative technology use and practices.
  • Assess the technology needs and concerns of staff.
  • Explore and recommend the implementation of emerging technologies.
  • Explore and apply grant opportunities related to technology needs.
  • Communicate technology “wishes” to potential funding entities (e.g. PTOs and the Pickerington Education Foundation).
  • Supply input for professional development needs of the District.
  • Encourage and support professional development and training for all employees.
  • Utilize researched-based information in all work related to instructional technology.

Members of the General Technology Committee

  • Teri Allen, Instructional Coach
  • Teresa Ciotola, Assistant Principal
  • Edward Delp, Technology Resource Leader
  • Heidi Deyo, Instructional Coach
  • Amber Friedrich, Elementary Special Education Teacher*
  • Sean Flynn, Assistant Principal
  • Jennifer Harris, MS Teacher
  • Darin Hartsell, Technology Supervisor
  • Patrick Hearn, Lead Technician
  • Heather Hermanns, MS Teacher
  • Kim Kissell, Media Specialist*
  • Kathy Lambert, Science Teacher
  • Leatha Lee, Technology Teacher
  • Kevin McChesney, Science Teacher
  • Sheri McClarren, Science Teacher*
  • Sarah Morman, MS Teacher
  • Marnie Miller, Technology Teacher*
  • Melissa Moriarty, Principal*
  • Kris Owen, School Counselor
  • Whitney Robinson, Instructional Technology Coordinator*
  • David Rotch, System Analyst*
  • Traci Rousch, MS Teacher
  • Kerri Schill, Technology Teacher
  • Steve Schill, Industrial Technology Teacher
  • Joni Scipione, Instructional Coach
  • Brian Seymour, Director of Instructional Technology*
  • Kristen Vollmar, Kindergarten Teacher*
  • Amy Warren, Assistant Principal
  • Jamie Watts, Instructional Coach

*denotes members of the Executive Technology Committee

Planning ProcessToggle content

Technology Planning Process

This technology plan was created through a collaborative process with faculty, support staff, administrators, Board of Education, and the community. Members of the District Technology Committee attended meetings and work sessions between August 2013 and December 2015 to continue to develop the various components of the plan.

In order to provide a technology program that will continue to support and enhance the educational and administrative programs in our district, the committee developed this on-going plan.

In addition to discussions and presentations within the District Technology Committee and meetings throughout the District, a wide range of additional information was used in the development of this plan. This information included staff meetings, reviews of research, and other technology planning literature, such as the federal E-Rate planning guidelines, the ISTE planning tools, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills framework.

The Instructional Technology Department has updated its goals and redefined its mission and vision for the current and future school years.

The District established through the strategic planning process a vision, mission and belief statements, which led to the corresponding implementation plan for the next phase of technology training and acquisition that includes objectives for each area.

This planning document reflects the vision for instructional technology implementation in each critical area. For each area, the vision process will establish the District’s expectations, appropriate measures of implementation success, and implementation milestones for the upcoming school year, and existing and emerging technologies to support the goals and proposed timeline.

Some examples of the questions that will be addressed as part of the vision and planning process include:

  • How can we encourage and train teachers to use technology in powerful ways?
  • How can data be housed and collected in a more meaning and impactful way?
  • How can teachers integrate more technology into their curriculum?
  • How can we expand our infrastructure to support all of the instructional technology needs and goals?
  • How can we provide students and staff with the appropriate number of devices?

This technology plan is intended to mesh with all Pickerington Local School District’s instructional technology and curriculum initiatives, as well as to support our District’s mission, vision and belief statements.

The plan was developed from the strong belief, supported by research, that technology can significantly enhance the learning environment and improve teaching and learning. Furthermore, technology is seen as a critical component of our efforts to adequately prepare our students. This technology plan defines the vision and objectives for continuing to move our students and the Pickerington Local School District forward in the 21st century.

The committee members recognize that as they continue planning during the ongoing technology implementation phase, they will provide support across schools in the following areas:

  • Matching devices with instructional needs and curriculum goals
  • Matching software and accessory purchases with instructional needs and curriculum goals
  • Creating the vision and policies to be used by schools and departments to determine how technology will be distributed to instructional areas
  • Implementing and tracking the priorities for technology leases and purchases
  • Providing professional development for instructional and non-instructional staff
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current and new instructional technology tools.

Possible Future Technology Impact

The Technology Committee understands that the world of technology is ever-changing and to forecast the future use of emerging technology is difficult.  With that idea the technology committee points to the following technology trends for making future recommendations.

  • Mobile devices continue to gain market share
  • Desktop computers become less important
  • Cloud based software continues to impact in usage of software and instructional technology tools
  • Users expect access to information and data anytime/anywhere
  • Significant growth in importance of 1:1 environments
  • Students have choice between online and traditional learning
  • Paperless, digital lifestyle (books, news, media, video, images, music, etc)
  • Leveraging of social media in the classrooms
  • Bring your own device (BYOD) will gain importance
  • Gamification in digital curriculum
  • Anytime/Anywhere digital learning
Vision & Instructional Purpose of TechnologyToggle content

Technology Vision

The Pickerington Local School District (PLSD) is committed to providing students with a technology rich learning environment. The Pickerington Local School District will incorporate technology as a natural part of education through an integrated, comprehensive framework to govern acquisition, application, and evaluation of technological resources to ensure that all students will have the opportunity to develop the 21st century skills necessary to be productive citizens in an information-driven, global society.

Vision

The vision of Pickerington Local School District is to provide all students with a blended learning experience with access to technology which will assist them in:

  • showing mastery in all of the content areas
  • increasing skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication
  • being prepared for the next level of education
  • successfully attaining the skills and proficiencies required of today’s work force.

In addition, all administrators, teachers, and district/school staff will use technology through a blended learning approach to effectively help students attain high standards and prepare for tomorrow’s world of work.

Blended Learning

Blended Learning is a method of instruction in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. We believe that students need a rich and wide array of instructional methods.  The tools that the teacher or the student uses to learn must to be the appropriate tool.  Some tasks may require the use of technology, some tasks may require paper and pencil, some may require the student to act out their learning.  In a blended learning environment all of those tools and learning methods are significant to end goal of increasing student achievement.

Why Technology?

In the 21st century, understanding and using technology will be an integral part of virtually every aspect of daily life. It is the school system’s responsibility to prepare students for this future. The classroom is the primary place where this preparation will occur; therefore, every classroom must be equipped with technology to support teaching and learning. Every teacher must be knowledgeable and skilled in the use of these technologies in daily instruction. When integrated into instruction, technology will support new strategies for teaching and learning by:

  • addressing diverse learning styles,
  • accommodating individual learning rates,
  • encouraging cooperative learning,
  • helping students accept responsibility for their learning,
  • providing the means to communicate globally, and
  • improving academic achievement in all areas.

The use of technology in instruction changes the structure of the classroom. No longer should the teacher rely solely on the traditional lecture/seat work method of instruction. In a technology-rich, student-centered classroom, the teacher serves as a facilitator of instruction, mentor, and coach. Technology will provide a record of the student’s academic history and ways to manage learning progress and activities. Teachers have the data and information needed to individualize instruction and assessment as well as make other important instructional management decisions. Through technology, teachers and students will access a wealth of materials, services, and networks throughout the state, nation, and world. Technology does not replace the teacher, but rather supports and enhances the educational process.

Instructional Purpose of Technology

Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software applications in a separate computer class. Effective technology integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the teaching and learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curriculum goals.

Effective technology integration to improve teaching and learning is not about the device, but how the device is used to improve both teaching and learning.  The instructional outcome or result is always the goal.  The device is an instrument to achieve those goals.  Technology can allow educators and students a new way to reach previously unreachable learning outcomes.

Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of advisor, content expert, facilitator and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more impactful and engaging.

Pickerington Local School District is adopting a blended learning approach to the integration of technology.  This approach allows teachers to combine the best teaching practice from a traditional classroom and those from a digital classroom.  The teaching strategies should align to the goals of the learning objective.  Some lessons may require the use of technology, other lessons technology may not be needed, while other lessons may need technology for part of the lesson.  The end goal is to have and utilize the proper tool to enhance the curriculum and meet the instructional needs of the students.

Technology is all too often applied as an add-on to existing curriculum. To maximize its potential benefits — such as the development of higher-order thinking skills — educators must weave technology into the curriculum in such a way that the tool matches the desired learning outcome.

Connection with Teaching and Learning

Technology and teaching & learning must be a close relationship.  When integrating technology in the classroom or curriculum there are a few questions that should be examined first:

  • Regardless of the technology, what’s the essential outcome the lesson?
  • How are these technology tools enhancing the curriculum?
  • What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?
  • Am I using technology in a powerful way?
  • How will the use of this technology improve my teaching?

The use of technology in the classroom should properly align with the subject/grade level’s curriculum; including standards, curriculum maps, pacing guides and assessments.  The question that teachers should continually ask is how does the use of this technology help students learn the intended outcome or curricular goal.  Technology needs to be used for an intended purpose.

SAMR Model

The District has adopted the SAMR model in assisting teachers through the process of integrating technology into their classroom and using it in powerful ways.

SAMR is a model designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the  model supports and enables teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology. The goal is  to transform learning experiences so they result in higher levels of achievement for students.

The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition model offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning.  It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology. 

samr-model-graphic

Substitution: The new technology is used as a direct substitute for an older tool, with no change in the tasks undertaken by students or how these tasks are accomplished. At this level, no noticeable improvements in student outcomes are recorded.

Augmentation: The new technology substitutes for an older tool, with no change in the tasks undertaken by students. However, features of the new technology are used to improve how these tasks are carried out, such as by making the tasks easier or faster to accomplish or by providing additional features not previously available. At this level, small improvements in student outcomes are recorded.

Modification: The tasks to be undertaken by students are significantly redesigned in order to achieve new educational goals. The redesign is made  possible by features of the new technology, not available before. At this level, noticeable improvements in student outcomes are recorded.

Redefinition: Older tasks are replaced in part or in whole by newer tasks in order to achieve previously unattainable educational goals. The new tasks are made possible by features of the technology, not available before. At this level, strong improvements in student outcomes are recorded.

Essential Conditions for Successful Technology Integration (ISTE)

These are the necessary conditions to effectively leverage instructional technology for teaching and learning. It is the goal of the Technology Committee that all schools in the District foster and create a culture in which all of these conditions are present and active in the buildings.

Shared Vision – Proactive leadership develops a shared vision for instructional technology among all educational stakeholders, including teachers and support staff, school and district administrators, students, parents and the community.

Empowered Leaders  – Stakeholders at every level are empowered to be leaders in effecting change.

Implementation Planning – All stakeholders follow a systematic plan aligned with a shared vision for school effectiveness and student learning through the infusion of instructional technology and digital learning resources.

Consistent and Adequate Funding – Ongoing funding supports technology infrastructure, personnel, digital resources, instructional technology devices/tools and staff development.

Equitable Access – All students, teachers, staff and school leaders have robust and reliable connectivity and access to current and emerging technologies and digital resources.

Skilled Personnel – Educators, support staff and other leaders are skilled in the selection and effective use of appropriate instructional technology resources.

Ongoing Professional Learning – Educators have ongoing access to technology-related professional learning plans and opportunities as well as dedicated time to practice and share ideas.

Technical Support – Educators and students have access to reliable assistance for maintaining, renewing and using instructional technology tools and digital learning resources.

Curriculum Framework – Content standards and related digital curriculum resources align with and support digital age learning and work.

Student-Centered Learning – Planning, teaching and assessment all center on the needs and abilities of the students.

Assessment and Evaluation – Teaching, learning, leadership and the use of instructional technology tools and digital resources are continually assessed and evaluated.

Engaged Communities – Leaders and educators develop and maintain partnerships and collaboration within the community to support and fund the use of instructional technology tools and digital learning resources.

Support Policies – Policies, financial plans and accountability measures support the use of instructional technology tools and other digital resources for both learning and district/school operations.

Supportive External Context – Policies and initiatives at the national, regional and local levels support schools and teacher preparation programs in the effective implementation of technology for achieving curriculum and learning technology standards.

Common Definitions of Digital Learning and ToolsToggle content

Digital Learning – is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

Synchronous Online Learning – refers to a learning event in which a group of online students are engaging in learning at the same time.

Asynchronous Online Learning – is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of students.

Hybrid Digital Learning – is a model of course design that combines traditional, face-to-face class time with online course work

Distance Learning – is a method of studying in which lectures are broadcast or classes are conducted over the Internet, without the student’s needing to attend a school or college. Also called distance education.

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – is an online course with the option of free and open registration, a publicly-shared curriculum, and open-ended outcomes. MOOCs integrate social networking, accessible online resources, and are facilitated by leading practitioners in the field of study. Most significantly, MOOCs build on the engagement of learners who self-organize their participation according to learning goals, prior knowledge and skills, and common interests.

Computer Infused Classrooms – is a classroom in which the curriculum is mostly delivered through a computer application. Students can work at their own pace and teacher works with small groups.

Blended Learning – is a method of instruction in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.

Technology Integrated Classrooms – is a classroom in which technology is integrated into the traditional classroom, but typical teaching methods are used.

Flipped Classrooms – is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional educational arrangement by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom and moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.

Devices – any piece of equipment that contains a processor, memory and data paths (e.g. laptop computer, desktop computer, iPad, smartphone, etc)

Mobile Device – any device that can be easily moved around (e.g. iPads, laptops)

Static Device or Static Lab – refers to any device that is not easily moved around (e.g. desktop computers)

Assisted Technology Devices – are identified in the IDEA 2004 as: Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

Learning Management System (LMS) – is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) education courses or training programs.

Instructional Improvement System (IIS) – is a platform that provides data to enable teachers, principals and other administrators to manage continuous instructional improvement. Allows for the storage and analysis of data.  Additionally the platform allows for the creation of online assessments through a stored database of vetted questions.

1:1 devices – A digital learning environment where all students have 24/7 access to a device.  The device becomes part of the curriculum and a daily part of the teaching and learning.

Cloud-Based Computing – An environment in which data is stored via the Internet in a server somewhere else in the world.  In a cloud-based device nothing is stored locally on the device.

Gamification – The creation of learning games in which there are set rules, goals and objectives and students get feedback and results based outcome

Gears of Blended LearningToggle content

In Pickerington Local School District, we believe that the future of technology integration is through a  blended learning model that would create an environment where students and teachers learn and teach more effectively. Blended learning can provide students with choice and voice in their learning which has the ability to be customized for each student, reaching students of varying learning styles.

The goal of blended learning is to combine the best teaching practice from a traditional classroom and those from a digital classroom.  The teaching strategies should align to the goals of the learning objective.  Some lessons may require the use of technology, other lessons technology may not be needed, while other lessons may need technology for part of the lesson.  The end goal is to have and utilize the proper tool to enhance the curriculum and meet the instructional needs of the students.

Here are the eight characteristics of Pickerington’s Blended Learning environment.

Gears of Blended Learning

Learning Environment A physical space that is  inviting, safe and flexible. This environment promotes communication, collaboration, innovation, inspiration, creative exploration which encourages learning through productivity.

Blended learning model of learning require educators to rethink how they organize physical spaces to facilitate best collaborative learning using digital tools. Considerations include the following:

  • Are the design and layout of the physical space dynamic and flexible enough to facilitate the technology-enabled learning models and practices selected? Can a space in which an educator delivers whole-class instruction also be shifted to facilitate individual online practice and research?
  • Do the physical spaces align in their ability to facilitate individual and collaborative work? When practices such as project-based learning require students to be working together with multiple devices for research and presentation building, is the space as useful as when individual learners need time and space to connect with information and experts online for personalized learning?
  • Can the physical spaces and tools be shaped to provide multiple contexts and learning experiences such as Wi-Fi access for outdoor classrooms? Are library spaces able to become laboratories? Can a space used as a history lecture hall for one class become a maker space for engineering the next period?

Look Fors:

  • Student choice is embedded throughout the learning process. Learning may appear non-traditional with high student engagement.
  • Physical learning space is inviting and purposefully designed to promote creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.
  • Environment is where experimentation and failure is encouraged. A growth mindset culture is valued and embraced.
  • Students have the flexibility to move fluidly throughout the learning environment in order to produce high quality work.

Examples:

  • Flexibility of space
  • Encourages flexible student grouping
  • Encourages student engagement and active learning
  • Student voice
  • Teacher as facilitator
  • Supports collaboration
  • Efficient flow of learning

 

Instruction Instructional best practices will be blended with effective technology tools to personalize learning. Learning opportunities outside of the classroom as well as innovative experiences within the classroom are used to increase student understanding.

Look Fors:

  • The use of a variety of tools re-defines traditional tasks and promotes the creation of new products, thoughts, ideas, and artifacts.
  • Teachers and students consistently draw on the expertise of others inside and outside the classroom to provide a deeper learning through authentic experiences.
  • The flexible instructional plan is designed so that students choose their path to mastery and demonstration of learning.

Examples:

  • Blend a variety of instructional models
  • Flexibility of student grouping
  • Content Available 24/7/365
  • Differentiation promotes personalization
  • Blogs and forums
  • Video conferencing to connect with outside experts
  • Short screen recordings to teach discrete skills and processes
  • Simulations in class that help students understand how things work
  • Learning targets are clearly communicated to students
  • Standards based learning
  • Student ownership of the learning experience
  • Encourages scientific inquiry process
  • Apps are used as a teaching and learning tools
  • Learning that includes the use of digital resources to use less paper
  • Teacher can now create the content using interactive and multimodal resources
  • Digital content are relevant and ever-changing
  • Strategies for engaging all students
  • Access to quality productivity software cloud based, could have a personal account
  • Work flow organization and management of files, content and resources.
  • Teachers and students work collaboratively in the learning process

 

Student Learning Students will take ownership and demonstrate understanding through authentic and relevant ways.  Students will have a voice and choice in how they demonstrate their learning.

Look Fors:

  • Students are given opportunities to take ownership in the creation of the learning experience.
  • Student passions and interests are utilized in lesson learning options to enhance personal investment.
  • Work is meaningful to the learner and shared with an authentic audience.
  • Students use technology tools to create personalized opportunities to explore content deeper to enhance the learning experience.

Examples:

  • Authentic and meaningful work
  • Deeper thinking, deeper projects, beyond Google with no simple answers and solving complicated problems
  • As appropriate, students can turn in work digitally
  • Student work teaches and supports classmates
  • Student have choice and opportunities to make informed decisions
  • Student centered/student driven
  • Student voice and choice in how they demonstrate learning
  • Open-ended inquiry learning, inquiry based
  • Critical thinking
  • Infuse gaming
  • Students have opportunities to be experts
  • Work happens through collaboration that extends outside of classroom walls
  • Student responsibility and management of their device
  • Personalized to the individual allowing for individual exploration in learning, yet still focused on clear-learning targets.
  • Creative, personalized projects and presentations
  • Student use of productivity tools to show their understanding
  • Work demonstrates technical and information literacy skills

 

Engaged Communities The district and outside community culture is one in which teachers, students, parents and community members are empowered and inspired to teach and learn from one another. Learning is a partnership and a shared experience in a student centered classroom. Student learning is personalized and encourages critical thinking.

Look Fors:

  • Teacher is a facilitator that deepens knowledge by asking probing questions to provoke critical thinking.
  • The students and teachers take ownership in learning and overall classroom by becoming partners in learning. Ongoing and timely feedback is provided to students and teachers.
  • Teachers and students inspire each other’s exploration that leads to discovery and further questions from inquiry.

Examples:

  • Classroom, teachers and students model a Growth Mindset
  • Technology is a means to the end, not the end. It’s not about the device but how technology integration enhances and enriches student learning.
  • Learning is a blend between traditional & digital
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Steeped in spontaneity
  • Flexible and ever changing
  • Activities create the need to know
  • Develops the “5th C” of 21st Century skills “connected”
  • Everyone works to develop problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to adapt to unpredicted situations
  • Emphasizing an atmosphere where student advocacy, initiative, adaptability, work ethic are fostered. (Character traits essential for future success)
  • Don’t let software or apps dictate the learning goals!
  • Eliminate:  “I can’t do this because I don’t have . . .”
  • System-wide support for all community learners (students, teachers and parents). Encourage and support risk taking for all.
  • Device use is organic to everyday classroom use

 

Pickerington U The District believes with any piece of teaching and learning there needs to be training available for our staff to properly leverage the instructional tools that are available.  Pickerington U will be the umbrella term for all training available for staff and students in terms of the blended learning program.

Look Fors:

  • Staff will have relevant, differentiated and on-going training sessions around the use of blended learning in their classroom.
  • Staff with have multiple options for training, including whole group, small group, individualized and online trainings available.
  • The creation of an online database of instructional technology videos will be made available for all staff and students to increase the availability of anywhere, anytime learning.

Examples:

  • Focus on personalized training to meet the needs of all adult learners.
  • Self – Evaluation and Peer Evaluations
  • Ongoing District Evaluations
  • Creation of PLN (Personal Learning Networks)
  • Ongoing availability of resources to support the issue of technology in the classroom.
  • Teacher’s confidence level of technology integration increases.
  • Staff members working with others to build their capacity

 

One2One Blended learning requires the use of a device when that device is the appropriate tool to reach that instructional goal or objective.  Technology needs to be available when the student or teacher needs to use it, not only when the computer lab is available or a cart is not being used.  The ability to go One2One with devices allows for the use of technology to be seamless in the classroom, not seen as a hurdle.

Look Fors:

  • Integration of technology into the curriculum to enhance or support the curriculum.
  • Increased student engagement through the use of the device.
  • Student-centered classroom, teacher as facilitator
  • Device allows for anytime, anywhere learning
  • Additional teaching and learning opportunities outside of the traditional school day.
  • Increased communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.

Examples:

  • Increase use of digital tools in the curriculum
  • Increase application into the transformation parts of the SAMR model.
  • Devices have a positive affect on student achievement.
  • Reduction in paper usage
  • Teachers implement additional technology related teaching methods like flipped classrooms or station rotation models.
  • Increased student engagement
  • Better organization for students and teachers
  • Digital learning allows for a 24/7 process

 

SupportIn best utilizing blended learning, our staff will need support, both instructionally and technically.  With the adoption of the One2One program more devices will be put in the hands of students then ever before.  More devices equals more technical issues equals more need for skilled individuals to help solve those issues.  Additionally, support for the instructional piece will be needed as well to fully use these devices in powerful ways.

Look Fors:

  • Increase in skill and knowledge of staff members
  • Increased training opportunities (Pickerington U) for all staff members
  • Technology leadership training for administration and instructional coaches.
  • Timeliness of technology help desk tickets resolutions
  • Creation of student genius bars to leverage students strengths and skills in technology
  • Increase technical knowledge of building technology advisors and technology teachers.

Examples:

  • Increased knowledge and skill for integrating technology into the curriculum.
  • Digital tools are used seamlessly into the curriculum
  • Teachers and students work collaboratively in the learning process.
  • Technology help desk tickets are responded to in a more efficient manner.
  • Building staff has increased technical skills
  • Student Technology Guru Program (high school & junior high school) is available all periods of the school day and before and after to provide technical assistance for students and teachers.
Current Technology InventoryToggle content

The District owns 14 buildings, all of which have fiber providing connections back to the District Network Operations Center (NOC). This is a hub and spoke architecture using AT&T fiber. Meta Solutions serves as the District’s ITC. The District provides voice, video and data from the District’s NOC to each of the buildings. All buildings have 10GB switches for future bandwidth upgrades. All PLSD buildings have Ruckus access points with beam flex, installed in the summer of 2014.

Bandwidth Upgrades:

Fall 2013 – 10MB

Spring 2013 – 100MB

Fall 2014 – 400 MB

Spring 2015 – 1 GB

Fall 2015 – 1.5 GB

Learning, teaching, and assessment enabled by technology require a robust infrastructure. Key elements of this infrastructure include high-speed connectivity and devices that are available to teachers and students when they need them. Aside from wires and devices, a comprehensive learning infrastructure includes digital learning content and other resources as well as professional development for educators and education leaders.

Current Inventory of Devices per Building

In the summer of 2013 and 2014 PLSD entered into two separate three-year leases with Apple for iPads, laptops and desktops.  This inventory (devices available to students) is what is identified in the PLSD JAMF system as of September 4th, 2015. Ratio = Number of students per device.Tech Inventory 2015

Note: These numbers do not include devices deemed as Near End of Life Devices (NELD) or devices that were purchased in or before 2009.  See below for information about NELD.

Criteria for Near End of Life Devices

The District understands the rapid rate of change and advancement in the areas of hardware. In response to this change, the District must manage its technology assets in a manner consistent with both fiscal prudence and the need to provide technologically appropriate systems to students and staff.

The goals of the technology replacement plan are to:

  1. Assure that appropriate technology is available to support the mission and vision of the District
  2. Assure that each faculty member has a device of sufficient capability to fulfill his/her responsibilities
  3. Provide for the cost effective and timely purchasing and installation of new equipment
  4. Expedite the disposal of old equipment

Computer Life Cycle

The useful service life of a typical device is approximately four to seven years. The District’s inventory of computers may turn over every five to six years. In the Summer of 2013, the District entered into a three-year lease agreement with Apple for the lease of iPads, laptops and desktops. In the One2One program the student devices will be refreshed on a four-year cycle.  Students will have one devices for grades 5-8 and then traded in for a new device for grades 9-12.

Near End of Life Technology Equipment

The District will maintain all technology equipment until it is ineffective. This process will continue until the equipment is no longer capable of functioning or the cost to upgrade or repair becomes too great. The technology equipment considered to be at the end of life cycle will be submitted to the Technology Department for removal from the inventory. Devices that are determined to be at the end of life cycle will either be recycled or sold back to a company.

Google Apps for Education

The District is offering students and staff a free educational suite of applications for use to enhance teaching and learning. Google Apps is a concept known as “in the cloud” where services and storage are provided over the Internet. The District is providing users Google Message Security. This service provides System Administrators the capability to limit messages based on where they are from, where they are going, or the content they contain. The District will use this technology protection measure to block or filter, to the extent practicable, access of visual depictions that are obscene, pornographic, and harmful to minors over the network.This is in compliance with CIPA, Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Staff will will be given access to the full suite of Google Apps for Education applications on the date of when their first contract begins.  Access will be retained throughout the entire length of their contract.  If a staff member takes a leave for more then one semester, their access will be suspended until the leave has officially ended.  For staff members that are retiring, their access will be terminated one month after their retirement date.  Staff members that are resigning their access will be terminated one week after their resignation date. The technology department and Human Resources Department have the right to suspend access at anytime. 

Students will be given access to Google Apps for Education once they enroll in the district.  Students’ access for grade kindergarten through grade four will be limited to sharing and emailing only with the plsd.us domain.  Students’ access in grades five through twelve will be able to share and email inside and outside of the plsd.us domain.

System administrators have the right to view any and all data (staff and student) stored within the PLSD Google Apps For Education domain.

All email messages are immediately archived and stored for a period of time until they no longer have administrative value.

Please note that email messages and any responses may constitute a public record, and therefore may be available upon request in accordance with Ohio public records law (ORC 149.43).

Technology Objectives from the PLSD Stategic PlanToggle content

Objective 1.2 – Use highly effective teaching practices that increase every student’s academic achievement

  • Improve best practices to integrate technology in the classroom to increase student achievement.
    • Each summer the instructional technology department with input from the Department of Teaching and Learning will develop three to five best practices to concentrate throughout the district.
    • The instructional technology department will conduct numerous professional development opportunities based on the identified best practices.
    • An evaluation metric will be created to determine the effectiveness of these best teaching practices.

Objective 1.4 – Use assessment and data to make informed decisions

  • Identify, implement and refine the use of a digital platform for the housing of assessment data and administration of assessments
    • A digital platform will be selected that teachers and administrators will have access to all student testing data (National, State and Local) as well as a platform that will allow teachers to develop and administer 21st Century online assessments.
    • Ongoing professional development will be supplied on the effective use of utilizing data to personalize instruction.
    • Training and guidance will be available for parents in the parent portal of this platform.

Objective 1.8 – Develop a culture of continuous, collaborative, and personalized learning for our staff.

  • Increase the professional learning of all staff members to increase technology integration.
    • Instructional technology professional development would revolve around the yearly best practices and new and current instructional technology initiatives.
    • Development of a 24/7 online instructional technology tools learning platform.
    • Creation of numerous professional development options for building leaders to deliver
    • Creation of differentiated professional development options
    • Creation of personal learning communities (PLC) inside and outside of the school building.
    • Re-examine the role of the building technology advisor with more of emphasis on instructional technology teaching and learning.
    • Build the instructional technology capacity of our building leaders.

Objective 1.11 – Expand access to technology devices, software and infrastructure to all students and staff.

  • Expansion of WIFI through different areas of the building (inside and outside)
    • Constant examination of proper technology infrastructure in all building across the district
    • Yearly assessment of proper bandwidth for the needs of our instructional technology initiatives and goals.
    • Designation of at least one outdoor area with WIFI access for students to access during non-school hours.
    • Expansion of WIFI to athletic stadiums, pending on local sponsorships
    • Determine the process and legal aspects for the District to provide WIFI home access for families in high need areas of the District.

Objective 1.11 – Expand access to technology devices, software and infrastructure to all students and staff.

  • Establish community study stations in high need areas such as apartment complexes.
    • Create partnerships between high need apartment complexes and the District to provide devices for community study stations
    • Determine legal concerns for the District in creating community study stations.
    • Provide support for the apartment complex managers with the community study stations.

Objective 1.11 – Expand access to technology devices, software and infrastructure to all students and staff.

  • Increase device ratio to a possible 1:1
    • Increase the number of school owned devices, while remaining fiscally responsible and within given budget.
    • Develop a lease to own program for staff members
    • Develop a lease to own program for students/parents.
    • Creation of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program with procedures and policies
    • Creation of a check out procedure to allow students the ability to take home a devices for an extended period of time.

Objective 1.12 – Implement a variety of digital learning options to expand the opportunities for all students.

  • Implementation of digital learning opportunities for all students.
    • Creation of common definition for the variety of digital learning options
      • synchronous, asynchronous, hybrid, distance learning, MOOCs, computer infused, blended learning, technology integrated classrooms, flipped classrooms.
    • Ongoing professional development to assist teachers and administrators to provide these opportunities.
    • Determine additional instructional tools or platforms needed to provide these opportunities.
    • Identify staff that has a desire to teach digital learning courses and provide additional professional development and support.
    • Identify courses that can be taught in an online platform
    • Implementation of online courses at the high school level.
    • Constant evaluation of effectiveness of the programs.
One2One Digital Learning ProgramToggle content

Philosophy

The District focuses on helping all students learn and grow. The One2One digital learning program empowers teachers and students to engage in teaching and learning through the district’s curriculum in more impactful ways then with limited technology. The One2One digital learning program allows our students and teachers access to a variety of resources at all achievement levels, the ability to participate in differentiated learning activities based upon the skills and concepts that they need to learn, and develop unique learning products that demonstrate their understanding of the curriculum standards and learning objectives.

The One2One digital learning program allows for access, authenticity, equity, and choice; while also increasing the collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking of our students. The advantage of the One2One digital learning program exists because each student will have his/her own device and can learn anytime and anywhere.  The focus is not solely on technology.  The main focus is about a paradigm shift in how instruction is delivered and how that instruction sparks creativity and innovation in students providing a new sense of engagement and ownership in their own learning.

In addition, One2One learning environments differ from traditional environments in most school settings because they offer all students and teachers continuous access to a wide range of software, electronic documents, the Internet and other digital tools for teaching and learning. The key component is the access of information, engaging students and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning.

Implementation of the 1:1 Digital Learning Program

The One2One Digital Learning device is a learning tool that will be integrated with the District’s curriculum. In order to receive the device, the student and parents/guardian must sign off on the One2One Digital Learning Program Student Use Agreement.  All students must abide by the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and Social Media Guidelines. Students are expected to bring the device to school each day and keep the device charged and in good working order.  See the Student Use Agreement for more details.

Starting in the 2016 – 2017 school year, all current fifth and sixth grade students (Class of 2023 and 2024) will be supplied with a device. Each subsequent 5th grade class will receive a device at the beginning of the 5th grade year.  Then when entering the 9th grade students will be requested to trade in their current device for an updated model. Any student withdrawing or graduating from the District is required to turn in their device or additional fees will be placed on the student’s account.

Digital Learning at the High School Level

The District’s venture into expanded digital learning includes increase the integration of technology in the classroom through the One2One Digital Learning Program, additionally the creating of digital learning courses at the high school level.  Digital learning at this level is a part of the digital learning program in which the District will create additional opportunities for students to be involved in coursework digitally.  This plan will increase the use of a learning management platform during the regular school day, promote the use of digital learning strategies such as flipped learning, and create digital academic opportunities for students through asynchronous online and hybrid course offerings.

The following is a three-year road map for the District to organize, train and implement the digital learning courses at the high school level.

Year 1 – 2016-17

  • Further increase the effective use of Google Classroom in all classes grades 5-12.
  • Continued professional development on the use of Google Classroom as a learning management system through a blended learning environment
  • Promote and train teachers on the educational benefits of the flipped classroom model and provide support for those teachers that want to implement this strategy in their classroom.
  • Support and train middle school teachers on effective use of technology in a blended learning environment through the One2One Digital Learning Program.
  • Begin to train junior high teachers in the use of technology in the classroom and basics of teaching and learning in a blended learning environment.
  • Identify high school level courses that could be effectively taught and learned through an asynchronous online learning program.
  • Identify high school teachers that would be effective in teaching in an online environment.
  • Visit and benchmark other school districts that are effectively delivering online courses
  • Research, evaluate and select a more advanced learning management system.
  • Research, evaluation and select digital content providers.
  • Once teachers are identified begin the process of building their pedagogical skills through training by Quality Matters and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.

Year 2 -2017-18

  • Continue the effective use of Google Classroom in all classes grades 5-12.
  • Continue to support teachers in the successful use digital learning strategies such as flipped classrooms and blended learning.
  • Support and train junior high teachers on effective use of technology in a blended learning environment through the One2One Digital Learning Program.
  • Begin to train high school teachers in the use of technology in the classroom and basics of teaching and learning in a blended learning environment.
  • Continue professional development for teachers that are a part of the high school digital learning courses.
  • Train teachers and administration of the use of the selected learning management system.
  • Train teachers and administration in the use of digital curriculum.
  • Pilot minimal sections of asynchronous online courses during the second semester.
  • Evaluation of pilot program and make needed instructional modifications.

Year 3 – 2018-19

  • Continue the effective use of Google Classroom in all classes grades 5-12.
  • Continue to support teachers in the successful use digital learning strategies such as flipped classrooms and blended learning.
  • Support and train high school teachers on effective use of technology in a blended learning environment through the One2One Digital Learning Program.
  • Continue to train high school teachers in the use of technology in the classroom and basics of teaching and learning in a blended learning environment.
  • Continue professional development for teachers that are a part of the high school digital learning courses.
  • Offer numerous digital courses through an asynchronous online model or through a hybrid model. (courses will be identified it year one and two)
  • Evaluation of digital learning program and make needed instructional modifications.

Goals – One2One Digital Learning Program

Goal #1 – Implement a successful digital learning program to increase student achievement

  • Improved student learning in all subject areas.
  • Enhance and enable a more effective local assessment process
  • Increased student engagement and on-task behavior

Goal #2 – Enhance the curriculum

  • Enhance the adopted PLSD curriculum through the use of digital tools and a blended learning approach.
  • Collect, analyze and use data digitally to drive instruction

Goal #3 – Integrate technology to increase academic opportunities.

  • The increase in technology allows for education to move to a model of anywhere, anytime learning.
  • Implement more digital learning methods and strategies to increase student opportunities inside and outside of the traditional classroom.
  • Implement a variety of digital learning opportunities for high school students.

Goal #4 – Increase the technology skills and knowledge of staff members.

  • Staff members will receive relevant, differentiated, and ongoing training for increasing staff members’ skill and knowledge of teaching in a blended learning environment.
  • Through Pickerington U staff members will have access to training through multiple avenues: whole group, small group, individualized, online videos, through Google Classroom and via college credit courses.

Goal #5 – Allow students and teachers to have access to a device whenever needed in the blended learning environment.

  • District will be One2One by the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Teachers will be supplied with a teacher and student device to best plan out lessons utilizing the devices.
  • Equitable access to devices and the Internet for all students.
Future Implementation PlansToggle content

One2One Digital Learning Program Milestones

Year 0 – 2015 – 2016

  • 30 Dell Chromebook 11 purchased to begin training with Middle School educators
  • Google certifications earned by technology staff members
  • Begin partnership with Tierney Professional Development Team to build knowledge and skills of our Middle School educators.

Year 1 – 2016 – 2017

  • Chromebook 1:1 begins with all 5th and 6th grade students
  • Violet Elementary and Pickerington Elementary replacement of iPad Minis and iPad Airs to reach 1:1 status with devices staying in the buildings.
  • Professional Development opportunities through PLSD and Tierney
  • Current middle school iPad carts moved to the following buildings:
    • 6 carts to Sycamore Creek Elementary
    • 4 carts to Tussing Elementary
    • 6 carts to Toll Gate Elementary
    • 4 carts to Fairfield Elementary
    • 2 carts to Heritage Elementary
    • 6 carts to Lakeview Junior High School
    • 6 carts to Ridgeview Junior High Schools

Year 2 – 2017 – 2018

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th, 6th and 7th graders now have Chromebook
  • Heritage Elementary goes 1:1 with iPad Minis and iPad Airs
  • No movement of carts
  • Both high schools receive 450 Chromebooks.
  • Current iPads at high schools will be moved to:
    • 25% will stay at the high schools
    • 25% will be moved to Sycamore Creek and Toll Gate Elementary Schools
    • 50% will be sold back to Apple.
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney
  • Replacement of staff members MacBook Pros with MacBook Airs
    • Older devices will be refurbished and placed at high schools and junior high school, as well as given to support staff that have a need for a laptop.

Year 3 – 2018 – 2019

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders now have Chromebook
  • Tussing and Fairfield Elementary Schools go 1:1 with iPad Minis/Airs
  • Current junior high school carts will be moved to:
    • 7 carts to Tussing Elementary
    • 11 carts to Toll Gate Elementary
    • 14 carts to Sycamore Creek Elementary
    • 4 carts to Fairfield Elementary
  • Specialized computer labs at the high schools and junior high schools get replaced
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 4 – 2019 – 2020

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th graders now have Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Toll Gate and Sycamore Creek Elementary Schools go 1:1 with iPad Minis/Airs
    • All elementary schools are now 1:1 with iPad Minis/Airs
  • Replacement of support staff computers for District Office, junior high schools and high schools
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney 

Year 5 – 2020 – 2021

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th graders now have Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Elementary schools’ media center desktop computers will be replaced
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 6 – 2021 – 2022

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th graders now have Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
    • Current Chromebooks in high schools will be given to 12th graders, effectively now having the entire district 1:1
  • Replacement of iPad Minis/Airs at Violet and Pickerington Elementary
    • Old iPads will be sold back to Apple.
  • Replacement of support staff computers for elementary schools and middle schools
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 7 – 2022 – 2023

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th – 12th grade students now have a 1:1 Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Replacement of iPad Minis/Airs at Heritage Elementary
    • Old iPads will be sold back to Apple.
  • Replacement of staff members MacBook Airs
    • Older devices will be refurbished and placed at high schools and junior high school, as well as given to support staff that have a need for a laptop.
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 8 – 2023 – 2024

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th – 12th grade students now have a 1:1 Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Replacement of iPad Minis/Airs at Fairfield and Tussing Elementary Schools
    • Old iPads will be sold back to Apple.
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 9 – 2024 – 2025

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th – 12th grade students now have a 1:1 Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Replacement of iPad Minis/Airs at Toll Gate and Sycamore Creek Elementary Schools
    • Old iPads will be sold back to Apple.
  • Replacement of secretary computers at District Office, High Schools and Junior High Schools
  • Specialized computer labs at the high schools and junior high schools get replaced
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney

Year 10 – 2025 – 2026

  • Chromebook 1:1 continues with new class of 5th graders
    • All 5th – 12th grade students now have a 1:1 Chromebook
    • 9th grade students will receive new device for trade in of old device
  • Continued professional development through PLSD and Tierney
Why iPads and Chromebooks?Toggle content

Why iPad Minis/Airs for Grades Pre-K – 4?

The device that used needs to be selected due to the academic needs and instructional purpose in the classroom.  The Elementary One2One model will be where each classroom teacher has a cart of iPad Minis available in their classroom.  The iPads will stay in the classroom.  There will be a limited number of iPads available for check out through the school’s media center for students that need to take a device home.

Elementary staff members have given the recommendation that we continue with the iPad for numerous reason:

  • The iPad works well with current digital tools that are already in place with the elementary curriculum.
  • The apps that are available for the iPad are more elementary student friendly then the apps available in the Google Play store.
  • Elementary students perform better with the touchscreen functionality.
  • iPad Minis are lighter and easier for younger students to handle.
  • Improved battery life will last the entire school day.
  • Students are comfortable with the device and the iPad Mini is extremely easy to use.
  • iPad Minis have all of the creative tools (video, audio) that are needed to integrate with the elementary curriculum.
  • More simulations, videos and interactive media for elementary students then the Chromebooks.

Why Chromebooks for Grades 5-12?

The District in 2015 transitioned all email systems, file storage, calendar services, video conferencing services, classroom learning management systems to Google Apps for Education.  With this transition more of more of the District’s educators are using Google Apps for Education products in their classrooms, ranging from Google Classroom to collaborative Google Docs.  The past practice of using shared iPads is difficult to properly use Google Apps for Education as the iPads are clunky in using multiple apps for Google.

Education Benefit – In choosing the Chromebook the District has the ability to put a device in the hand of every student in the District.  Technology can have positive impacts on the educational process, but only if the technology is available when needed by the teacher or the student. The current model of sharing iPad carts limits the time students can use technology. Additionally the Chromebook 1:1 model will allow students to have devices 24/7.  The hope is this model will allow learning to become a never-ending process, in which students can learn anywhere, anytime.

Chromebooks can work with or without an Internet connect – Current surveys show that 92% of the District’s students have access to the Internet at home, but 8% do not.  Through the PickConnect program we are working to increase opportunities for students to access the Internet, through partnership with local business.  The Chromebooks do have a small hard drive built into the system and can even be used at home without a Internet connection and be properly synced in seconds once the student enters the school.

Apps can be pushed out in seconds – The current practice of utilizing iPads causes some issues for loading apps.  This process involves one person in the building (the Building Technology Advisor) syncing the carts to update/install apps and operating systems.  This process through an iPad can be time consuming.  By utilizing the Google Apps Management Console, the technology department can push out apps wirelessly to specific groups of students or to all of the students in the District within minutes.  Also teachers have the ability to create contact groups and push out apps just for their students.

There are little to no security/virus issues – As with all of the Chromebooks most things are stored in the cloud.  That means there is nothing to “steal” from the computer and nothing for a virus to attach itself.

They turn on in eight seconds or less – The quick start up process saves precious instructional time.

Chromebooks have a battery life of eight to ten hours – Current  Chromebooks will last the entire school day, making re-charging during the day not needed.

Why the Dell Chromebook 11?

The Technology Committee has selected the Dell Chromebook 11 as the Chromebook Model to begin the 1:1 digital learning program with grades 5-8. The Dell Chromebook 11 merges the benefits of a chromebook and touchscreen device, giving teachers and students more resources to use to improve teaching and learning. 

Product Overview: The Dell Chromebook 11 runs the Chrome operating  system, has 4 GB of RAM, a 32 GB solid state hard drive, an 11.6 inch touchscreen, 802.11 ac WIFI connection and bluetooth capabilities. Superior durability and design:

  • School tough: The Dell Chromebook 11 is MIL-STD (U.S. Military Standard) tested for durability, pressure, temperature, humidity, shock and vibration so it can handle student life.
  • Built for the backpack: The rubberized LCD and base trim absorbs shock for superior drop protection.
  • Surface strength: The scratch-resistant touch screen is made of Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ — built to handle every tap, stroke and swipe.
  • Spill protection: Students can learn without fear. A fully sealed keyboard and touch pad provide the industry’s best spill protection for a student laptop.
  • Lightweight design: At under three pounds with a compact 11.6″ display, it’s easy to pop it in a backpack and head from class to class.
Device Insurance and Student/Parent AcceptanceToggle content

All students in the One2One Digital Learning Program will be assessed a $35 device warranty fee each year.  This warranty fee will be used to fix two accidental occurrences with the Chromebook, including but not limited to: broken screen, broken keyboard, device not working properly OR one complete replacement of the device.  This warranty fee does not cover intentional damage (running over it with the car, punching or throwing the device, etc) to the device.  If a device is lost a fee to replace the device (based on current market price and pro-rated for the number of years of the device) will be placed on the student fees.While the device is being repaired the student will be given a loaner device to use so instruction is not stopped.

Those students/families that are identified as socio-economic will have this fee waived.  The school district will fix one accidental occurrence per calendar year.  Any damage to the device after the one forgiveness, with be assessed back to the parent/student.

If a student (or parent/guardian) opts out of the warranty fee, then all damages to the device must be paid in full by the parent/guardian before the device will be returned to the student.

Student/Parent Acceptance Form

Students and parents will need to sign the acceptance form before any device is issued to a student in grades 5 – 12.

Student Agreement:

  • I will follow the expectations outlined in the Device Handbook and the Pickerington Local School District Acceptable Use Policy at all times.
  • I agree to immediately return the device and peripherals in good working condition upon request or withdrawal from the school district.
  • I assume full responsibility of my issued device at all times.
  • I acknowledge that the device handbook is to be used as a guide and does not attempt to address every required or prohibited behavior by its users.

Parent/Guardian Agreement:

  • I understand that if I purchase the PLSD warranty (through student fees) that the warranty fee will be used to fix two accidental occurrences with the Chromebook, including but not limited to: broken screen, broken keyboard, device not working properly OR one complete replacement of the device.  This warranty fee does not cover intentional damage (running over it with the car, punching or throwing the device, etc) to the device. 
  • If a device is lost a fee to replace the device (based on current market price and pro-rated for the number of years of the device) will be placed on the student fees.
  • I acknowledge that my student and I are to follow the expectations in the Device Handbook and the district’s Acceptable Use Policy and that a violation of these guidelines could result in the student facing disciplinary action.
  • I will be responsible for monitoring my student’s use of the internet when he/she is not at school.
  • I agree to immediately return the device and peripherals in good working condition upon request or withdrawal from the school district.
  • I acknowledge that this handbook is to be used as a guide and does not attempt to address every required or prohibited behavior by its users.
Expected Results of the Digital Learning ProgramToggle content

For Students:

  • Increased technology usage embedded into the curriculum.
  • Increased levels of student achievement
  • Increased levels of student engagement due to the digital resources.
  • Decreased levels of negative student behavior
  • Increase in classroom structure toward student-centered learning
  • Increase in personalized instruction due to adaptive nature of technology
  • Increase in student ownership of learning
  • Increase in effective collective, analysis and usage of learning data to help drive instruction.
  • Increase emphasis in 21st Century learning skills
    • Collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking
  • Learning becomes a 24/7/365 event, learning is not limited to inside the walls of the school building.
  • Expand academic opportunities through digital learning tools, social media and virtual learning tools.
  • Media Centers become the digital hub of the school
  • Students (HS & JH) receive real world experience through the Student Genius Bar Program and in turn provide first level support to students and staff.
  • All classrooms (grades 5-12) have a consistent presence in Google Classroom.
  • Continued expansion of digital resources available to all students.
  • Equitable access to devices and Internet for all students.

For Staff:

  • Increase in resources and tools available for teaching and learning.
  • Increase in support for integration of technology into the curriculum.
  • Personalized, relevant and on-going professional development
  • Further progression of effective technology integration through use of the SAMR model to utilize technology in more powerful ways.
  • Technology becomes a normal part of how school operates, not something extra when time allows.
  • Creation of online digital repository of technology integration materials available 24/7/365 to help support staff members.
  • Increase in skills, knowledge and proper use of technology for administrators including look fors and training in working to increase the levels of technology integration through the SAMR model.
Educator ExpectationsToggle content
  1. Live and work in a blended learning environment.
  2. Have a presence in Google Classroom
  3. Use the device as a teaching and learning tool with the key applications supported by the District.
  4. Use less paper, not completely paperless.
  5. Have an open mind, Be a contributor.

The goal of blended learning is to combine the best teaching practice from a traditional classroom and those from a digital classroom.  The teaching strategies should align to the goals of the learning objective.  Some lessons may require the use of technology, other lessons technology may not be needed, while other lessons may need technology for part of the lesson.  The end all goal is to have and utilize the proper tool to enhance the curriculum and meet the instructional needs of the students.

Live and Work in a Blended Learning Environment:

With the addition of the One2One devices teachers and students now have access to technology and digital tools anytime they are needed.  Teachers need to transition lessons that can be enhanced or better achieved into a digital media.  We understand that not all teachers will be at the same skill and knowledge level, but every attempt needs to be made to have a digital presence in each teacher’s classroom. It is recommended that teachers explore digital resources that are supported by the District (ST Math, Gale Virtual Library, STAR, Illuminate Ed).  Also staff members are encouraged to join a digital Professional Learning Network through a social media platform (Twitter, Google+, Facebook) to learn and share from people outside of the district.

Have a Presence in Google Classroom:

The District has adopted the suite of digital tools with Google Apps for Education.  Hence the District is adopting Google Classroom as our Learning Management System (LMS).  Each teacher needs to have an online presence in Google Classroom.  By having everyone utilize the same LMS students, teachers and parents will be more comfortable with the LMS, building consistency across the District.

Use the Device as an Teaching and Learning Tool with the Key Applications supported by the District:

Over the past few years the District has adopted numerous digital tools to enhance and support the curriculum.  With the addition of the One2One program teachers and students now have access to devices anytime, anywhere.  Teachers need to utilize the digital tools that have been adopted and are supported by the District. Some of those digital tools support by the District are: Eureka/Wheatley Online, Gale Virtual Research Library, Google Apps, History Alive, Illuminate Education, Imagine Learning, Moby Max, Naviance, Reading Eggs, Renaissance Learning, Springboard Online, ST Math.

Use Less Paper, Not Completely Paperless

With the increase use of digital collaboration and communication tools the need to print every document should decrease.  The use of Google Apps for Education (especially Google Drive and Google Classroom) teachers and students can communicate and receive feedback through digital tools instead of traditional printing methods.  Through communicating via digital tools teachers and students can create more of a collaborative environment in which teachers can give feedback and then students can clarify and continue to communicate in ways that traditional methods will not allow. It is understood that there will be times that printing is needed.  It is requested that only those necessary items get printed. The district will not support printing from the student One2One devices.

Have an Open Mind, Be a Contributor:

Venturing into the world of blended learning is pulling those best practices that teachers have learned in a traditional classroom, plus the addition of new practices learned by effective use of digital tools.  Through these new tools and new way of thinking of teaching and learning, everyone is encouraged to be willing to try new strategies and integrate the digital tools.  Staff has the ability to implement blended learning without the fear of failure.  Some things are going to go well and some things will go wrong.  It is up to everyone to learn from those things that go wrong and share those things that go well. Educators need to work together to share best practices and contribute to improved teaching and learning of everyone in the District.

Student Technology Guru ProgramToggle content

The Student Technology Guru Program, open to students in grades 10, 11, and 12, is a year-long, hands on study of technology integration in an educational context. Students are required to assess problem sets throughout the day and define the best approach to addressing or solving the problem. In addition to solving problems for students and teachers, students will be required to complete and maintain several running projects that address problems or solutions in educational technology integration. The course also asks students to have a prior understanding of Apple OS, Chrome OS, and the iPad iOS. To be considered for Help Desk, students are required to interview with the Director of Instructional Technology, Technology Supervisor and building level technicians, as well as the building administration. Interviews are held in the late spring.

*In addition to skills and knowledge related to educational technology, Technology Guru students should possess strong research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students are expected to be self-motivated, independent learners.

The Student Technology Guru Program will be limited to 16 students per high school, with two students managing the Technology Guru Station per period.  Students will have the opportunity to obtain Apple and Google Industry credentials.

Alignment to current District curriculum:

Employ current technology to investigate, create, communicate, and produce

  • Genius Bar students will research the latest developments in educational technology. They will identify the best types of technology tools to use in an educational setting. They will design a tutorial demonstrating how to use the tool as well as an example product, and share their product with a global audience via their individual and/or Student Technology Guru blog.

Apply a variety of problem-solving strategies

  • Genius Bar students will take a proactive approach to problem-solving through experimenting and designing digital products. Technology Guru students will also troubleshoot technology problems (both hardware and software) for students and teachers and will offer multiple solutions to technology-related problems.

Communicate orally & write effectively

  • Genius Bar students will author content for the Student Technology Guru blog. Types of content includes written blog posts, screencasts and podcasts. Students will also host Live Google Hangouts on Air, deliver classroom presentations for teachers and students, and may have the opportunity to present at local, state, and regional conferences.

Read critically & obtain, evaluate, analyze, and apply data

  • Through ongoing research and the development of a personal learning network, Technology Guru students will be on the cutting-edge of trends in educational technology. They will curate useful educational technology resources and tools for teachers and students.

Demonstrate self-control and respect for all individuals

  • Students will manage their time and multiple projects effectively, collaborate with their Technology Guru colleagues, and provide exceptional customer service to students, teachers, parents, administration, community members, and Guru Station visitors.

Exhibit responsible citizenship

  • Technology Guru students will be responsible, work independently, and demonstrate leadership. They will use social media tools responsibility and will develop a positive and appropriate online presence. They will serve as role models to their peers.
Professional DevelopmentToggle content

Teachers are currently integrating technology in various ways at multiple levels of expertise.  Students are using technology regularly ranging from accessing different instructional apps, to creating videos through iMovie, to researching topics through the Gale Virtual Research Library.

But teachers and students still struggle with different aspects of technology at a wide range of levels.  It is the goal of the Technology Department to build the technology capacity of our building leaders and teachers to increase the ways technology is used in the classroom.

Every year, the Technology Department will select three to five technology integration best practices to work with the staff throughout the year.  The Instructional Technology Coordinator’s main job responsibility will be to organize, create, and deliver professional development opportunities for all staff members in large group, small group and job-embedded methods.

2015-16 Instructional Technology Integration Best Practices

  • Increase use of Google Apps for Education in the classroom and for professional meetings
  • Determine effective strategies of use of devices in the classroom.
  • Determine successful ways to collect, analyze and use data to drive instructional decisions.

Additional monthly professional development will be scheduled for building leaders to build their capacity to share with staff in their building.

The District has partnered with the Tierney Professional Development Team to provide ongoing face to face and online support and training.

The District will also partner with the Instructional Technology Services of Central Ohio (ITSCO) to deliver some online and face-to-face trainings on major technology initiatives in the District.

The District will send a group of teachers or school leaders on an annual basis to the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC).

In-district technology courses for college credit will be taught on an on-going basis concentrating on the major initiatives from the Technology Department.

On-going, relative, and personalized professional development for the District’s staff will be crucial for continued effective use of technology by educators.

Instructional Technology Professional Learning Series

The PLSD Instructional Technology Professional Learning Series is a targeted professional development series designed to advance the skills, abilities, and knowledge of teachers, administrators and support staff of the Pickerington Local School District. The Professional Learning Series (PLS) ensures that educators become even more effective in their skills in advancing the practice of integrating technology, ultimately helping to improve student learning.

The PLSD Instructional Technology Professional Learning Series is grounded in the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students, teachers, instructional coaches and administrators, as well as examining the essential conditions for successful technology integration.

The Professional Learning Series provides a sequenced curriculum that develops foundational instructional technology integration skills as well as increasing those skills to be able to make technology used in more impactful ways. The Professional Learning Series will focus on current instructional technology tools used in the PLSD classrooms and concentrate on increasing the effectiveness of those technology tools through the SAMR Model.

The Professional Learning Series is made up of eight, one-hour sessions over the course of the academic year.  In addition to our face-to-face PLS offering, there will be the availability for online extension sessions through Google Hangouts, as well all sessions will be recorded and placed online to extend the anytime, anywhere learning of our educators.

Google Certified Training for all District Educators

As the District continues to utilize more and more tools from Google Apps for Education it is important that we supply the District’s educators with quality professional development.  Through this plan the District will make Google Level 1 Certification training available to all educators.  This online training created by Google will allow all educators to get a solid understanding of the digital tools in Google Apps for Education.  Additionally the District will make 400 Google Level 2 Certificate Trainings on a first come, first serve basis to educators that finish the Google Level 1 Certification program.

Bringing Equity to Learning Through Technology

Closing the Digital Use Divide

Traditionally, the digital divide in education referred to schools and communities in which access to devices and Internet connectivity were either unavailable or unaccessible. However, we have to be cognizant of a new digital divide—the disparity between students who use technology to create, design, build, explore, and collaborate and those who simply use technology to consume media passively.

On its own, access to the Internet and devices does not guarantee access to engaging educational experiences or a quality education. Without thoughtful intervention and attention to the way technology is used for learning, the digital use divide could grow even as access to technology in schools increases.

Through ongoing and personalized professional development PLSD staff members will learn strategies and skills to take technology integration from passive use to more active use.  The SAMR model will be the framework in which staff members will be able to measure passive or active use.

Partnership with Tierney Professional Development Team

With the increase number of devices and digital opportunities available to students and staff there will be an even larger need for support and professional development then what the current Instructional Technology Department can provide. 

The Tierney Professional Development Team will work with the District to create a responsible plan and timeframe that supports instructional technology implementation best practices for teacher success that drives effective student learning outcomes and achievement. Outside of teachers and students, other stakeholder involvement will be decided as they are an integral part of instructional technology implementation.

Proposed ​Implementation Pathway

Phase 1– Pre-Professional Development Services

  • Google Domain and Chrome Management Console Check

Phase 2– Google Apps for Education Bootcamp (Face to Face)

  • Google Level 1 & Google Level 2
  • Implementation Applications
  • Pre-Exam Support

Phase 3– Flipped Professional Development (Self-Paced)

  • Provide on-demand, self-paced learning opportunities prior to the face to face PD so in person learning in more meaningful and escalated.

Phase 4– Implementation PD (Face to Face)

  • Google Apps for Education: Fill in the Gaps
  • Google Classroom Investigation and Creation
  • Google Play for Education content deployment for differentiation and personalized learning.
  • SAMR Implementation and Reflection

Phase 5– Curriculum & Instructional Strategy PD (Face to Face)

  • What does it mean to be a 21st Century Student/Educator?
  • Instructional strategy Implementation to drive student critical thinking, content creation and collaboration.
  • Assessment Strategies
  • Data Driven Lesson Creation

Phase 6– Curriculum & Instructional Strategy PD (Face to Face) or Chromebook Instructional Coaching (Face to Face)

  • What does it mean to be a 21st Century Student/Educator?
Policies and ProceduresToggle content

Please click on the link below for the District Technology Policies:

Students:

NOTE: Both of these policies are currently undergoing updates.

New policies that are being currently being created:

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
  • Staff Laptop Policy
Special ProjectsToggle content

Mobile MIT Fab Lab

In January 2014, the District joined a 15-school consortium, known as the Innovation Generation, to add pathways for students in career fields that had a definite need for future applicants.  The consortium submitted a Straight A Grant in the amount of $14.4 million and was accepted. 

Part of the Innovation Generation was the creation of a Mobile MIT Fab Lab. The PLSD Fab Lab is shared between Lakeview and Ridgeview STEM Junior High Schools.  The Fab Lab is a 32-foot long trailer with Dodge Ram 2500 Reg Cab. The Fab Lab contains:

  • Laser Engraver
  • Techno CNC Wood Route Table
  • Stratsys 3D Printer
  • CNC Mill
  • CNC Lathe
  • Vinyl Printing and Cutting System
  • Small tools workbench
  • Motoman Robotics Workcell

All materials and equipment was purchased with a five-year warranty (September 2014 – 2019) and enough usable material for a five year period.

For more information about the project: http://innovationgenerationohio.com/

Distance Learning Lab

Additionally as part of the Innovation Generation Straight A Grant, the District built onto the existing Biomedical Health pathway with the creation of the Biomedical Health Innovation Lab and the Distance Learning Lab at Pickerington High School North. 

The goal of the Distance Learning Lab is to allow student in College Credit Plus courses the ability to interact with college/university professors in the courses that are currently being taught in the District. 

The Distance Learning Lab includes a Polycom RealPresence Group 700 codex and EagleEye Director with three mounted 60” displays.  Accessories include ceiling microphones and speakers and Polycom TouchPad Display.

There is a five-year warranty on all parts for the Distance Learning Lab (August 2014 – 2019).

PickConnect Partnership ProgramToggle content

The PickConnect Partnership program is a a three part community partnership initiative that allows access to devices and the Internet to all students and staff in the district.

The goal of the PickConnect Partnership program is to give all students in the District the ability to have digital anytime, anywhere learning regardless of race, disability or socio-economic status.

Part One is the device – The District by going to a 1:1 environment will provide all students with a device.  Students in grades 5-12 will have a district-owned device that is in their possession throughout the course of the academic calendar.  Students in grades K-4 will be at in a 1:1 environment while at school with the ability to check out a device (from the media center) if a device is need for learning at home.  This is an extension from the pilot held at Tussing and Fairfield Elementary Schools in the 2015-16 school year.

Part Two is the access – The District is supplying the device, but with most of the instructional application being cloud-based, Internet access is also needed.  Through a partnership with the Pickerington Chamber of Commerce, we have identified a number of local businesses that will permit students to use their business’s WIFI.  Gold Star partners have also been identified to provide financial support for extending the PLSD WIFI to the high school athletic stadiums in return for advertising rights on the PLSD authentication page.  Additionally, one outside access point will be added to each of the buildings so students can access the Internet at anytime through the filtered PLSD network.

Part Three is additional devices and additional access – A partnership between the District at numerous area apartment complexes and churches to create digital study stations to get more devices and further access into the hands of PLSD students.  In the partnership, the District will provide the devices (desktop computers) and the apartment complex or church will provide the space and Internet access for the study station. 

EvaluationToggle content

Evaluation Metrics

1. ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool

2. Apple’s Educator Technology Profile

3. Future Ready Technology Assessment

4. PLSD Technology Summative Evaluation Survey (Students, Parents, Staff)

5. Rubrics to Evaluate Application Effectiveness

Utilization of Evaluation Metrics

Through the use of the first three evaluation metric tools, the District will on an annual basis, update each of the evaluation tools, with the following goals:

  • ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool – Increase in all 14 areas into the “meeting” category.
  • Future Ready Digital Learning Tool – Increase in all nine areas into the staging category and a score of eight or above in all sub-score categories.
  • Apple’s Educator Profile – Steady increase in the SAMR analysis into the augmentation, modification, and redefinition areas.  Additionally professional development areas and technology integration categories increasing the technology usage and skill into the integration and support categories.

The PLSD Technology Summative Evaluation will allow the committee to determine the larger communities beliefs and feedback.  The additional rubrics will allow the committee and technology department to evaluate the individual use of digital tools.

ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool

The technology committee will use the ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool to evaluate the effective use of technology in the District.

The ISTE Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool is a resource that takes a snapshot of your school or district’s alignment to the 14 Essential Conditions for learning and teaching with technology. The tool generates a report with data that can guide the District’s tech planning and implementation decisions as the committee moves forward.

After completing the questionnaire, the committee will receive immediate access to results that will help the committee pinpoint the District’s strengths and areas of growth. The data in the report will allow the committee to:

  • Measure the District’s progress toward becoming tech- and standards-ready.
  • Inform the District’s comprehensive planning and decision making.
  • Identify the resources the District will need to help meet the tech integration goals.

See more about ISTE’s 14 Essential Conditions at: http://www.iste.org/standards/essential-conditions

Research Based – An independent consultant evaluated the Lead & Transform Diagnostic Tool to establish its validity and reliability. Click on this link to the official validity report to read the results of this independent investigation, which verify that the tool uses reliable questionnaire items, is appropriate for a wide variety of education leaders, and provides a reliable assessment of school and district readiness as defined by the Essential Conditions.

Future Ready Digital Learning Readiness Tool

Technology now allows for personalized digital learning for every student in the nation. The Future Ready District Pledge, according to the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to set out a roadmap to achieve that success and to commit districts to move as quickly as possible towards a shared vision of preparing students for success in college, careers and citizenship. This roadmap can only be accomplished through a systemic approach to change, as outlined in the graphic below.

With student learning at the center, a district must align each of the seven (7) key categories, or gears, in order to advance toward successful digital learning:

  1. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  2. Use of Time
  3. Technology, Networks, and Hardware
  4. Data and Privacy
  5. Community Partnerships
  6. Professional Learning
  7. Budget and Resources

The outside rings in the figure emphasize the importance of empowered leadership and the cycle of transformation where districts vision, plan, implement and assess continually. Once the district is strategically staged in each gear, district leaders can be confident that they are ready for a highly successful implementation phase that leads to innovation through digital learning.

Apple’s Educator Technology Profile

About the Technology Profile Report  – The report contains summary data from the Apple Educator Technology Profile, plus analysis and recommendations for next steps to support teachers in their technology infusion practices. In addition, the report provides data about the technology available to teachers either personally or at school, their preferences for professional development delivery, and their views on technology support at both school and district levels. Survey responses are unique to each institution, and the response rate is solely the responsibility of the institution.

The Education Technology Profile is a 15-minute online self-assessment that gathers information about educators’ technology skills and infusion practices within an institution, school, or district. The resulting data is aligned to Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model and provides education leaders information that spotlights faculty strengths and professional development opportunities.

It is important to realize that all four stages of SAMR practice can make valuable contributions to the work of an institution; however, large improvements in student outcomes are not observed until the upper stages are reached. Hence, it is desirable for faculty to progressively develop their practice to reach these upper stages. When the Education Technology Profile is used as an evaluation metric tool, it engages the entire leadership team in identifying the levels of professional development best suited to faculty and creating actionable steps that move their goals from vision to reality. Along with the Education Leadership Profile, it provides a data-driven view of the institution’s technology implementation impact on learning and teaching.

Student Perception Survey based on ISTE Standards

In a partnership with Dr. Laci Fiala, Associate Professor of Sociology for Walsh University, the District will survey all students involved in the One to One program.  Questions on the survey are based on the ISTE Student Standards, which have been deconstructed and rewritten into student-friendly language.

This survey, and the ISTE standards, will measure the students perception on how technology is improving their learning through six different areas:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

As the District continues to roll out the One to One program, this survey will turn into a longitudinal study of the effect of technology on teaching and learning.  All identifiable student information will be kept in the District, only an identification number, for each student, will be shared with Dr. Fiala and only for data analysis purposes.

Student Chromebook HandbookToggle content

It is an exciting time in Pickerington Schools as we start our journey to utilize blended learning with our students, giving students access to communication, resources, and learning tools like never before.  Our adoption of One2One Chromebooks will allow students to access new online and digital content created by our talented staff in addition to content provided by textbook companies and software vendors. 

Pickerington students will be able to communicate and collaborate in a digital environment that was not available to the world just a few years ago.  We’re excited about working with our students as they learn good digital citizenship in a safe and responsible atmosphere.

We’ll continue to be amazed by what our students create and how they incorporate the tools of their generation into the learning that will shape their future.  Tools like a Chromebook will allow them access to software that will encourage their artistic abilities, improve their reading and writing, and push them to think critically as they spark new interests and insights into their journey of being a lifelong learner. 

Pickerington educators are dedicated to continuing to offer rigorous and engaging learning opportunities for students.

Receiving Your Device

The Chromebook and all accompanying equipment, such as the charger (hereafter, collectively “Chromebook”) will be distributed during a “Distribution Night”. Parents and students must sign and return the Device Agreement before the Chromebook can be issued to the student.

Distribution Nights

All distribution nights will be held at Diley Middle School with incoming 5th grades from 6:00 – 7:00 PM and incoming 6th graders from 7:00 – 8:00 PM.  Student and parent/guardian must attend.

Diley Middle School – Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at DMS

Harmon Middle School – Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at DMS

Toll Gate Middle School – Thursday, August 11th, 2016 fro 6:00 – 8:00 PM at DMS

Ownership of the Chromebook

PLSD retains sole right of ownership and possession of the Chromebook. The Chromebooks are lent to the students for educational purposes only for the academic year. Moreover, PLSD’s administrative staff and faculty retain the right to collect and/or inspect Chromebooks at any time, including via electronic remote access and to monitor student work or to alter, add or delete installed software or hardware.

Student’s Responsibilities

Student and parent/guardian are solely responsible for the Chromebooks issued to them and must adhere to the following:

    • Students must comply with the District’s Acceptable Use Policy and the Student Chromebook Handbook when using their Chromebooks.
    • Students must bring their Chromebooks to school every day and make sure it is fully charged. Failure to do so may result in loss of instruction.
      • Note: A fully charged Chromebook should last at least 8 hours.
    • Students must treat their Chromebook with care and never leave it in an unsecured location.
    • Students must report any problems with their Chromebook to the main office as soon as possible.
    • Students may not remove or interfere with the serial number and other identification tags.
    • Students may not attempt to remove or change the physical structure of the Chromebook, including the keys, screen cover or plastic casing.
    • Students may not attempt to install or run any operating system on the Chromebook other than the ChromeOS operating system supported by the district.

Responsibility for Electronic Data

    • The students are solely responsible for any apps or extensions on their Chromebooks that are not installed by a member of the PLSD Instructional Technology staff or by classroom educators.
    • Students are responsible for backing up their data to protect from loss.
    • Users of District Technology have no rights, ownership, or expectations of privacy to any data that is, or was, stored on the Chromebook, school network, or any school­-issued applications and are given no guarantees that data will be retained or destroyed.

Devices Left At Home

If students leave their Chromebook at home, they are responsible for getting the coursework completed as if they had their Chromebook present. If a student repeatedly leaves his/her Chromebook at home, he/she will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Protecting Your Data and Files

Students are responsible for the appropriateness of all files, data, and internet history on their Chromebook. Although these devices will be logged and filtered on and off campus it is still the responsibility of the student to use good judgement when accessing or transmitting data.  Do not take photos or video of other students or staff without their permission. The possessing, forwarding, or uploading of unauthorized data, photos, audio or video to any website, network storage area, or person is strictly forbidden. Do not access another individual’s materials, information, or files without permission.

Cost of Repairs/Replacement

Pickerington School District recognizes that with the implementation of the One2One initiative there is a need to protect the investment by both the District and the student/parent. Therefore, we have set the following charges in place, which are subject to change

If you do not select the Technology Protection Plan, you will be responsible for paying for the needed equipment or replacement Chromebook if needed. The prices do not include labor which is $20/repair. You will be issued one charger with your Chromebook. The Technology Protection Plan does not cover the charger if lost or damaged. Total replacement cost for the device is $275.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.28.15 AM

PLSD Technology Protection Plan

This agreement covers the Chromebook loaned to the student against accidental damage, up to two occurrences of broken screen, broken keyboard, battery replacement and/or device not working properly OR one complete replacement of the device. The charger is NOT covered and is the sole responsibility of the student. Coverage is 24 hours per day. Damages or need for replacement due to intentional, reckless, willful, malicious and/or wanton conduct is not covered.

Coverage is effective from the date the Technology Protection Plan is received by the school. The coverage shall end on the earlier for the date payment is due or the date that the Chromebook is required to be returned to the school.

The total premium cost is $34 for the 2016-2017 school year. The Technology Protection Plan is non-refundable.

• The PLSD Technology Protection Plan will offer coverage to all students.

• Participation is totally voluntary. If a student does not participate, the student-parent/guardian will be responsible for any costs associated with repairs, loss, or damage. See list of assessed fees above.

• A separate application will be needed for each Chromebook issued.

The Building Administration, in its sole discretion, will determine if damages were due to accident or intentional, reckless, willful, wanton and/or malicious conduct.

Please see Technology Protection Plan form for all terms and conditions.

Vandalism and Theft

In cases of theft, vandalism, and other criminal acts, a police report MUST be filed by the student or parent as soon as practicable by in no case more than 48 hours after the theft of vandalism is discovered.  The police report must be presented to the building principal. Further, students/parents must to contact their building principal ASAP after the Chromebook is determined to be stolen, lost or vandalized. There is geo-location software that can be activated by the technology department once the principal is notified.

Technical Issues/Damage/Loss

Take your Chromebook to your school’s media center if you experience any technical problems or damage. If it cannot be fixed at that time, a loaner device may be issued to you, if available. All device policy agreements and technology protection plan will remain in effect for the loaner device.

Audio & Sound

Sound must be muted at all times unless permission is obtained from the teacher for instructional purposes. Ear buds/headphones may be used in the classroom based only upon individual teacher approval.

Device Identification

Student devices will be labeled in the manner specified by the district. Devices can be identified based on serial number. Serial numbers and the PLSD logo have been etched onto the top of the Chromebook. Do not remove any identifying labels or markings.

Personalizing Devices

Students are permitted to place school appropriate stickers on the top of their Chromebooks. The presence of weapons, alcohol, drug or gang related symbols or pictures are not permitted per school/district policies.  Stickers CANNOT cover the PLSD logo, the asset tag number or the indicator light.  Stickers are not permitted on the sides or bottom of the Chromebook.

Students are permitted to install school appropriate personal apps on their Chromebooks.  If storage on the Chromebook becomes an issue all school required application have a priority over student downloads and may require the student to uninstall personal apps.

Check-In

Chromebooks must be returned to the building media center during the final weeks of the school year by the date announced each spring.   Any student who withdraws, terminates enrollment or is expelled must return their device and accessories immediately.  If a student fails to return the device and/or accessories when requested the student will be billed for the replacement cost of the device and/or accessory.  Any device not returned or immediately paid for in full will be considered stolen property and law enforcement will be notified.

Care of the Device

The Chromebook is the property of Pickerington Local Schools and all users will follow these rules and the Acceptable Use Policy.  Students are responsible at all times for the care of the device to which they are assigned. 

  • Use only a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth to clean the screen.
  • Avoid getting moisture and liquids on the device/accessories.
  • Do not use window cleaner, household cleaner, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean the device.
  • Devices must never be left in an unlocked or unsecured space such as a locker or car.
  • Under no circumstances should devices be left in unsupervised areas including school grounds, athletic fields/areas, cafeterias, computer labs, classrooms, dressing rooms, and hallways. Unsupervised devices will be confiscated and disciplinary action may be taken.
  • Students will not have the opportunity to charge their devices at school, devices are to come to school, each day, charged to 100%.
  • Too much pressure may crack the screen, avoid placing anything on top of the device.
  • Do not cram the device in a bag or locker.
  • Never place or consume food or drink near the device.  Do not use your device at cafeteria tables when food or drink is present.
  • Extreme heat or cold can harm the device.  Never leave the device in a hot or frozen car.
  • Never leave your device on the floor, a chair, or sofa.  Stepping or sitting on the device could cause significant damage.
  • Do not disassemble or attempt to repair the device, or take the device to a third-party for repair.  All repairs must be made by the PLSD Technology Department.

Transporting Devices

When transporting the device between classes or outside the building you are required to close the lid.  NEVER walk with the device open.  Students are required to take their devices home every day after school, regardless of whether or not they are needed.

Passwords

Students will be required to maintain an updated password on their device.  Students may NEVER share, distribute, or otherwise allow other students access to their password.  At anytime a parent, teacher, or school administrator may request and obtain the password and access to the device.

CHROMEBOOK FAQ’s

Q. What is a Chromebook?

A. “Chromebooks are mobile devices designed specifically for people who live on the web. With a comfortable, full-sized keyboard, large display and clickable trackpad, all-day battery life, lightweight and built-in ability to connect to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, the Chromebook is ideal for anytime, anywhere access to the web.”

Q. What kind of software does a Chromebook run?

A. “Chromebooks run thousands of web-based applications, or web apps, that open right in the browser. You can access web apps by typing their URL into the address bar or by installing them instantly from the Chrome Web Store.”  Recently announced, Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps starting in the summer/fall of 2016.

Q. How are these web-based applications managed?

A. Each Chromebook we provide to students will be a managed device. Members of Pickerington Local School District Technology Department will maintain devices through our Google Apps for Education account.

Q. Can the Chromebook be used anywhere at anytime?

A. Yes, as long as you have a wi-fi signal to access the web. There is an offline option, as well, when using Google Drive, and when students enter a wi-fi connection, it syncs again to the student’s google account.

Q. Will our Chromebook have 3G/Cellular Signal?

A. No. The district Chromebooks will not have 3G broadband or a cellular signal.

Q. Is there antivirus software included with the Chromebooks?

A. No, there is not. As all of the data is stored in the cloud, there is no need for antivirus software. They do, however, come with web filtering.

Q. How long will the Chromebook run on a fully charged battery?

A. Chromebooks have a rated battery life of 8-10 hours. However, we do expect that students charge them each evening to ensure maximum performance during the school day without interruption of use.

Parenting in the Digital World: Hints, Tips and Tricks for Social Media

IntroductionToggle content

Does your child have a phone or other new piece of technology? Are your children always on their iPhones or tablet? Do your children have a Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, or KIK account? If you answer yes for any of these questions – or if your answer was, “What’s SnapChat and KIK?” – these hints, tips and tricks for parenting in the digital world will be helpful.

After a recent study on the impact of social media on kids and families, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that there could be benefits to children using sites like Facebook. Those benefits include increased communication, access to information, and help in developing a sense of self. But, there can be serious downsides to all this online sharing, too.

Social networking is on the rise. The study found that 22 percent of teenagers log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day, and 75 percent own cell phones. This level of engagement online increases the risks of cyberbullying, “Facebook depression” (a new phenomenon where “de-friending” and online bullying lead to symptoms of depression), exposure to inappropriate content, and sexting.

Just as we prepare our kids for life in the real world, we should prepare them for life in the online world.

Smart Practices for Parents in the Digital WorldToggle content

No Underage Facebooking

Did you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? Of course, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce this limit, because everyone can lie about age. That’s why it’s up to parents to ensure their children stay away from Facebook until 13 – and until you as a parent are comfortable with them having an account.

Check the Device’s Privacy Settings

Check that the privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook on your children’s digital devices are set to the strictest levels. Depending on which browser you are using, you can adjust settings directly from the “options” tab. Adjust levels on things such as cookies, third party sites, and more. This protects the computer user as well as the computer from the threat of viruses.

Checking Facebook privacy settings is easy, too. Ensure that you are up to speed on Facebook’s privacy policy and make any changes you deem necessary.

Create Ground Rules

If your kids are old enough to use the computer on their own, they are old enough to understand that there are rules they need to follow. Breaking those rules should not have a lesser consequence than if they broke a rule in the offline world. One way for families to agree on ground rules is to create a contract that all parties must sign. The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) (www.fosi.org) encourages parents and kids to have an open discussion about what these rules mean, and offers a good example of a contract here.

Learn Your Child’s Habits

You don’t need to be a super sleuth and spy on your kid’s every online move, but it is important to be aware of the people they are associating with and the kinds of sites they are frequenting. After all, you get to know the friends they are hanging out with at school; knowing their online friends shouldn’t be any different. Parents should require full access to their children’s Facebook friends and the ability to take a look whenever they wish.

Keep Computers in a Central Location

It’s much easier to keep tabs on online activity when computers are located in a high-traffic zone rather than in the privacy of a child’s own room. Place computers in a central location like your kitchen or family room so everything is out in the open.

Teach Children to Avoid Online Questionnaires, Free Giveaways and Contests

A pop-up ad appears and tells kids they can win a free iPad by simply clicking the link. Anyone would be tempted by this kind of offer, but kids are particularly susceptible. It’s important to warn kids against falling for this kind of Internet trick. Many of these ruses are attempts to glean personal information or to download malware to digital devices. Teach children that even if a friend forwards a fun online questionnaire, it’s best to close the window and not participate.

Monitor Pictures Your Children Post Online

In an ideal world, your children would never post photos of themselves online, but that might not be entirely realistic. If children want to share photos with their friends via email or a social networking site, be sure you know exactly which pictures are being posted. Make sure the content of the photo is completely innocuous and that no identifiable locales are noticeable in the background.

Set a Good Example

If parents are tweeting and updating their Facebook pages at a stoplight or taking every opportunity to “just check something,” they are setting a poor precedent for social media use that children will surely follow. Always ask yourself if you’re setting a good example and demonstrating proper technology etiquette as well.

Limit Cell Phone Use

Parents should limit cell phone use, just as they would limit use of a computer, TV or gaming system. Only allow cell phone use at certain hours in the evening or after homework has been completed.

If you have teens of driving age, teach them that under no circumstances should cell phones ever be used while driving. (For underage teens in Ohio, this is a primary offense, meaning police can pull drivers over for texting while driving.) Phones should be kept off or in the glove compartment so incoming text sounds aren’t a distraction.

Teach Kids about their Online Reputation

What is posted online stays online forever. Many kids don’t understand the permanence of the images and messages they post online. They also don’t understand that there are no secrets in social media. Parents should talk to their children about the impact posting inappropriate messages and images could have if a future college administrator or employer were to find them.

Talk to Kids about Online Dangers

You may feel like you’re scaring your kids when talking to them about the dangers of being online, but it’s better for them to be scared than to be unaware. Having an open line of communication is crucial the minute your kids start using the Internet more independently.

Get to Know the TechnologyToggle content

Kids master technology quickly and easily pick up the nuances any new gadget has, often far more easily than adults. It is every parent’s responsibility to know exactly which key features are included in the gadgets their kids are using.

To help parents understand the technology, below is a list of the most common social media apps students are using today, along with a description about what parents should know and understand about each one.

Social Media AppsToggle content

Facebook

This is the world’s largest social network, with more than 1 billion users worldwide.

What parents need to know

  • Facebook is not private. Anything posted online, whether it’s an image or a comment, stays in cyberspace forever. A Facebook post is only as good as a friendship. A friend today may be gone tomorrow. What happens with that post or image then? That “no-longer” friend may disseminate it to others. Images might even be digitally altered and sent to others.
  • Many parents think “friending” their kids is enough to keep them safe and ensure they are behaving appropriately on Facebook. However, many kids are creating two Facebook profiles, one for their friends and one for their parents.
  • According to the FBI, there are 500,000 predators trying to engage kids online. Facebook is one of the venues where predators try to “friend” children and establish a relationship.
  • Whenever a child posts anything on Facebook, whether it’s an image or a comment, it can affect their futures. Why? Because every time a child posts something online, they are creating their own personal brand online and permanent digital footprint that stays in cyberspace forever. Children should be taught to think, “Is this post or image really representing who I am? Would I be embarrassed if a teacher or my grandma saw it?”

 

KIK Messenger

This app lets kids text for free. It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it’s an app, the texts won’t show up on a phone’s messaging service, and you’re not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).

What parents need to know

  • It’s loaded with ads and in-app-purchases.
  • KIK specializes in “promoted chats,” which are basically conversations between brands and users. It also offers specially designed apps (accessible only through the main app), many of which offer products for sale.
  • There’s some stranger danger. An app named OinkText, linked to KIK, allows communication with strangers who share their KIK usernames to find people to chat with. There’s also a KIK community blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users’ full names) to contests.

 

ooVoo

This is a free video, voice, and messaging app. Users can have group chats with up to 12 people for free. It’s common for kids to log on after school and keep it open while doing homework.

What parents need to know

  • You can only chat with approved friends. Users can only communicate with those on their approved contact lists, which can help ease parents’ safety concerns.
  • It can be distracting. Because the service makes video chatting so affordable and accessible, it also can be addicting. A conversation with your kids about multitasking may be in order.

 

WhatsApp

This app lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.

What parents need to know

  • It’s supposed to be for users 16 and over, but lots of younger teens seem to be using the app. This age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
  • It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven’t signed up yet.
Microblogging Apps and SitesToggle content

Instagram

This lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high quality and artistic.

What parents need to know

  • Teens are on the lookout for digital “likes.” Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the “success” of their photos — even their self-worth — by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens post it to validate their popularity.
  • Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers if his or her account is public.
  • Private messaging is now an option. Instagram Direct allows users to send “private messages” to up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don’t show up on their public feeds. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate things with their inner circles.

 

Periscope

This app lets you share and experience live video streams direct from a smartphone or tablet. It can be used to capture the atmosphere among fans at an important match, to broadcast an unfolding news story, or to experience what it’s like to walk down the streets of Pickerington or New York City.

What parents should know

  • The premise of the app is that it allows you to live stream video, direct from your phone or tablet.
  • Aside from just watching video streams, Periscope allows for real time interaction. Viewers can “heart” the streams they like and can interact with the person streaming the video through the comments/chat function.
  • You can explore the videos being broadcast in different parts of the world through the interactive map feature. This allows you to search for videos by location and find streams of particular events taking place.
  • All Periscope accounts and broadcasts are public for anyone to see, unless you adjust the settings. The integration with Twitter makes it easier to reach a worldwide audience very quickly.

 

Tumblr

This is like a cross between a blog and Twitter. It’s a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or videos and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or “tumblelogs,” that can be seen by anyone online (if made public). Many teens have tumblelogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.

What parents need to know

  • Privacy can be guarded but only through an awkward workaround. The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they’re able to password-protect.
  • Pornography is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.
  • Posts are often copied and shared. Reblogging on Tumblr is similar to re-tweeting: A post is reblogged from one tumblelog to another. Many teens like — and, in fact, want — their posts reblogged. But do you really want your kids’ words and photos on someone else’s page?

 

Twitter

This is a microblogging site that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages — called “tweets” — and follow other users’ activities. It’s not only for adults. Teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.

What parents need to know

  • Public tweets are the norm for teens. Though you can choose to keep your tweets private, most teens report having public accounts. Talk to your kids about what they post and how a post can spread far and fast.
  • Updates appear immediately. Even though you can remove tweets, your followers can still read what you wrote until it’s gone. This can get kids in trouble if they say something in the heat of the moment.

 

Vine

This social media app lets users post and watch looping six-second video clips. This Twitter-owned service has developed a unique community of people who post videos that are often creative, funny, and sometimes thought-provoking. Teens usually use Vine to create and share silly videos of themselves and/or their friends and families.

What parents need to know

  • It’s full of inappropriate videos.
  • There are significant privacy concerns. The videos you post, the accounts you follow, and the comments you make on videos all are public by default. But you can adjust your settings to protect your posts so that only followers will see them, and you have to approve new followers.
  • Parents can be star performers (without their knowledge). If your teens film you being goofy or silly, you may want to talk about whether they plan to share it.
Self-destructive and "Secret" AppsToggle content

Burn Note

This app erases its messages after a set period of time. Unlike many other apps of this sort, it limits itself to text messages. Users cannot send pictures or video. That may reduce issues such as sexting, but words can hurt, too.

What parents need to know

  • It allows kids to communicate covertly. To discourage copying and taking screenshots, a spotlight-like system that recipients direct with a finger (or the mouse) only reveals a portion of the message at a time.
  • It may encourage risky sharing. The company claims that its “Multi-Device Deletion” system can delete a message from anywhere: the device it was sent from, the device it was sent to, and its own servers. But it’s wise to be skeptical of this claim, and it’s always possible for anything sent online to be copied as an image via screenshots.
  • You don’t have to have the app to receive a Burn Note. Unlike other apps — for example, Snapchat — users can send a Burn Note to anyone, including others who don’t have the program.

 

Snapchat

This messaging app lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.

What parents need to know

  • It’s a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears. Snapchats can even be recovered.
  • It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.

 

TapTalk

After connecting via Facebook, this app lets you tap the image of a friend to take a picture. By holding their picture down, you record a short video of a few seconds. Using the front-facing camera, users can send a selfie or, as is often the case, a short video message to that friend. Click on the bottom half of the camera field and you can type in a short message.

What parents need to know

  • The app displays both the photo and a map of where you are when you upload the picture.
  • Talking a cue from SnapChat, any photo of video you send can’t be retrieved after you’ve seen it. You also can’t pre-take a photo and upload it. Everything you send to others is unique.
  • Because the app displays both the photo/and a map of where you are — in the case of sending a video — this means the app is turning into a sort of video walkie-talkie.

 

Whisper

This a social “confessional” app that allows users to post whatever’s on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings with the perception that they are free of judgment.

What parents need to know

  • Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post “confessions” of desire. Lots of eye-catching nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.
  • Content can be dark. People normally don’t confess sunshine and rainbows. Common Whisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
  • Although it’s anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the “Meet Up” section.

 

YikYak

This free social-networking app lets users post brief, Twitter-like comments to the 500 geographically nearest Yik Yak users. Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more. Plus, they’ll get the bonus thrill of knowing all these have come from a 1.5-mile radius (maybe even from the kids at the desks in front of them!).

What parents need to know

  • It reveals your location. By default, your exact location is shown unless you toggle location-sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location.
  • It’s a mixed bag of trouble. This app has it all: cyberbullying, explicit sexual content, unintended location-sharing, and exposure to explicit information about drugs and alcohol.
  • Some schools have banned access. Pickerington Schools has blocked this app on our Internet, but all students have to do is use their own phone’s cellular signal and they are online. Some teens have used the app to threaten others, causing school lockdowns in other parts of the country. The app’s gossipy and sometimes cruel nature can be toxic to a school environment.
Chatting, Meeting, and Dating Apps and SitesToggle content

Hinge/Tinder/Grindr/OkCupid

This is a photo and messaging dating app for browsing pictures of potential matches within a certain-mile radius of the user’s location. It’s very popular with 20-somethings as a way to meet new people for casual or long-term relationships.

What parents need to know

  • Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.
  • It’s all about swipes. You swipe right to “like” a photo or left to “pass.” If a person whose photo you “liked” swipes “like” on your photo, too, the app allows you to message each other.
  • It’s location-based. Geolocation means it’s possible for teens to meet up with nearby people, which can be very dangerous.

 

Meet Me

“Chat and Meet New People,” says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a “Match” feature whereby users can “secretly admire” others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.

What parents need to know

  • It’s an open network. Users can chat with whomever’s online, as well as search locally, opening the door for potential trouble.
  • Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens’ mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.

 

Omegle

This is a chat site (and app) that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or video chat room. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its “interest boxes” also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.

What parents need to know

  • Users get paired up with strangers. That’s the whole premise of the app. And there’s no registration required.
  • This is not an app for kids and teens. Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Some prefer to do so live. Others offer links to porn sites.
  • Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they’re often much more explicit than those with an identifiable user might be.

 

Skout

This is a flirting app that allows users to sign up as teens or adults. They’re then placed in the appropriate peer group, where they can post to a feed, comment on others’ posts, add pictures, and chat. They’ll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points. They receive notifications when someone “checks” them out but must pay points to see who it is.

What parents need to know

  • If your teens are going to use a dating app, Skout is probably the safest choice, if only because it has a teens-only section that seems to be moderated reasonably well.
  • There’s no age verification. This makes it easy for a teen to say their older than 18 and an adult to say their younger.
Secret Apps to Hide ItemsToggle content

The following apps were all created to hide things away from others. Many of the apps require additional PIN numbers to access the “hidden” material. Some of the apps even go as far as calling itself a calculator and looking/functioning like a calculator, to only have a PIN unlock a secret hidden vault of items.

Parents should be wary and start asking questions if they see any of the following apps on their child’s device.

 

Private Photo Vault

This allows users to import photos into albums and hide them behind a PIN lock. Beyond basic password protection, the app has two other bonus features called “break-in report” and “decoy password.” If someone tries to enter the app, it will secretly take a photo of the person and log their GPS location so you can see who was trying to access your private photos. Users also have the option to set up a decoy password that launches a different set of pictures.

 

Gallery Lock Lite

Unlike other apps, Gallery Lock Lite lets you put the app icon in “Stealth Mode,” so it doesn’t appear on your phone. If you opt for this feature, you’ll have to access the app by typing in an asterisk, your password and pressing “Call.” Gallery Lock Lite will also catch a photo of any intruder with your phone’s front-facing camera after three failed password attempts.

 

Best Secret Folder

This app is used by people who don’t want anyone to know that they downloaded a privacy app. The icon is disguised as “My Utilities,” so no one will ever guess there are private photos tucked away in a phone.

 

Keep Safe

This is a simple app with basic password protection for photos and videos. Users simply type in a PIN and import photos to albums in the app.

 

KYMS

This app’s icon is disguised as a calculator with the label of Ky-Calc. When the app is launched, a fully functional calculator appears. All a user has to do is punch in a 4-digit PIN number and the equal sign, and they have access to hidden contents. Along with hidden photos, you can store PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and text files. KYMS allows you to import media from your computer, camera roll, the web and more.

 

Vaulty

In addition to password-protected galleries, Vaulty allows users to edit photos, sort and filter files, and create multiple vaults with different passwords. It hide photos and videos. Like similar apps, Vaulty includes a “mugshot” feature, with which it snaps a photo of anyone who enters the incorrect password.

 

PhotoVault

Specifically designed for hiding photos, PhotoVault differs from other apps because it has public and private galleries. The Private gallery is password-protected for hidden photos, and the Public gallery is accessible to anyone on your phone. Users can choose to set the app to open in Public mode, so it appears to be like any other photo app.

 

Bonus “Hidden” Album in iOS8 and iOS9

Although this isn’t the most secure way to hide photos, it is an alternative to downloading a privacy app. With Apple’s iOS 8 update, users have the option to “hide” a photo from your Collections album. The hidden album is not password-protected, so anyone can still access it.

Social Media in the ClassroomToggle content

Social media, when used correctly, can a powerful tool for students and teachers in the classroom. There is a myth that if students are allowed to use social media in the classroom, then students will do nothing but tweet, send messages and chat while we are trying to teach. Social media if used properly can allow students, teachers and parents the greater ability to communication, collaborate, and think critically.

Here are a few ways in which some of our teachers are using social media in the classroom:

  1. Tweet or post status updates as a class. Teachers let students propose nuggets of learning that are posted for parents to read. Many teachers and administrators are tweeting about the positive things going on in the District.
  2. Connect to other classrooms through social media. Teachers have connected with other classrooms in other countries to discuss social studies and diversity issues.
  3. Students are creating videos and sharing them via YouTube.
  4. Teachers are using social media to connect with other teachers around the world to create personal learning networks (PLNs) that allow teachers to learn from each other.
  5. Numerous teachers and administrators have blogs in which they post updates for events and activities in their classroom or buildings.
  6. Numerous teachers have created Facebook groups that are specifically for their classes, in which students can communicate in forming study groups or project groups.
  7. Teachers are using Pinterest to find creative projects to use with their students.
  8. Teachers are using Skype to communicate with authors, business professionals and people of interest.