Click HERE to read the questions on the Student Survey.
There don’t seem to be any rules regarding Extended Hours/Unusual Work Shifts, but here are some guidelines:
Source: Extended Unusual Work Shifts
Schools and teachers to be graded on what kids say
Originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on October 18, 2017
The tables are turning and students will begin passing out the grades in every Idaho school this year.
That’s because student feedback will become an important part of the state’s new school accountability system.
- How often do your teachers seem excited to be teaching your class?
- How often do you worry about violence at your school?
As part of the effort to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, state officials chose to create a student engagement survey to help measure school quality and climate.
All public school students attending third through 12th grade will take short, online surveys this spring using the same technology they use to take online tests, State Board of Education Vice President Debbie Critchfield.
And what students say will actually matter.
After the surveys are complete, state officials will publicly share the summarized and aggregated data —without identifying students — broken down to the district and school level.
Local schools will have access to more detailed reports with all students’ responses.
“As policymakers and legislators (the survey data) will help inform decisions on general education topics,” Critchfield said. “But the real value will be in the (students’) local building, where the data can impact student achievement. There, (the data) are more than just number, they will be able to make adjustments.”
State officials are developing a similar parent survey that they plan to roll out the following year, in 2018-19.
The student survey questions will cover several different themes:
- School safety.
- Student-teacher relationships.
- School climate, meaning a student’s perception of the overall social and learning climate of the school.
Additionally, students in grades 9-12 will receive another set of questions on the topic of “grit,” or the ability to persevere through setbacks to achieve important long-range goals.
Questions will also be geared toward a students’ grade level.
“You’re not going to ask a 12th-grader the same questions as a third-grader,” Critchfield said.
Karlynn Laraway, the State Department of Education’s director of assessment and accountability, said launching the survey this year would cost the state less than $20,000. She said the state has permission to use the already-developed Panorama Student Survey and administer it to students using the American Institutes for Research technology platform that Idaho students already use to take assessment tests each spring.
That saved the state money not having to develop its own survey questions or develop a new mechanism to send the survey out, Laraway said.
Students in grades three through six will answer 12 questions, while older students will receive 15 questions.
Some of the questions an elementary school student will receive include:
- How often do your teachers seem excited to be teaching your class?
- How often do you worry about violence at your school?
Students may answer “almost never,” “once in a while,” “sometimes,” “frequently,” or “almost always.”
Some questions students in grades six through 12 include:
- How often do you stay focused on the same goal for several months at a time?
- How often do you worry about violence at your school?
Critchfield and Laraway said they wanted to publish and disclose the survey well before it reaches students to add a degree of transparency to the project.
“This isn’t secret; we don’t want anybody’s first exposure to this to be when their child takes the survey,” Critchfield said. “There are no right or wrong answers, and it is not there to trick anybody.”
Members of the State Board of Education chose to include student and parent surveys in the state’s ESSA plan, while officials from several other states chose other metrics, such as chronic absenteeism or teacher attendance.
Click here to read the questions that will be included in the Idaho Student Engagement Survey.
Once, I read a story:
“Intelligent Architect Story:
“When I was in college a professor told us a story about an architect (Developer) who would build all of his buildings, but put down no sidewalks. He would just plant grass. Six months later he would come back and put sidewalks down where all the paths were worn. In this way, he assured that the walks would be where the people were mostly [sic] likely to walk. The point of the story was that we should observe how people do whatever it is we are trying to model in software and then build it to work that way, thus creating ‘user friendly’ software” (Khadaji, 2005).
This past week we were able to delve into an overview of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and explore several, highlighted as the top fifty, as well as other LMS (Barrish, 2015). I use WordPress (n.d.) which is built on open-source software, so I was immediately drawn to Moodle LMS (n.d.) which is also open-source software.
“Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner” (Wikipedia Community, n.d.).
Moodle was created before cloud computing was popular, so it is a harder to set up than the current cloud-based systems, but should not be a problem for the tech specialist of the district. Because of this layer of complexity, I did not set up a Moodle account for myself. However, Moodle LMS is full featured and used by many schools and universities.
John Haire, the principal of Potlatch Elementary School graciously made time to meet with me and discuss educational software that the district uses. The district is served by one technical specialist and so there is coordination between the two buildings (Potlatch Elementary School and Potlatch Jr./Sr. High School).
Potlatch Elementary School uses Edmodo (n.d.), Class Dojo (n.d.), and Google Apps for Education (Google, n.d.). Additionally the Jr./Sr. High School uses SARA app (Dass, 2016) to keep parents aware of team scheduling programs and changes; and a program called FamilyLink by SchoolMaster (Tyler Technologies, 2015) whereby parents can subscribe to school announcements.
Comparison Chart of Several Programs:
|MOODLE||EDMODO||CLASS DOJO||GOOGLE APPS 4 ED.|
|Who Uses||Schools, Universities, Non profit||K-12||K-12||anyone|
|Target Customer Size||1000+|
|Starting Price||one price/user||n/a|
|Free Trial||yes||always free||always free|
|>Cloud, SaaS, Web||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|>Mobile – iOS||yes||yes||yes|
|>Mobile – Android||yes||yes|
|>Build In Course Authoring||yes||yes||yes|
|>CC standards integrated|
|>Live Video Conferencing||yes||Google Hangout|
|>Integrates with other systems||yes||yes|
|>Testing/ Assessments||yes||Google Forms|
|>Tin Can API||yes|
|>24/7 (Live Rep)||yes||yes|
Class Dojo is used mainly for monitoring and enhancing classroom behavior, and as such is not an LMS, but rather an app created for a particular purpose. However, the other three (Moodle, Edmodo, Google Apps for Education) are true Learning Management Systems and have various strengths. Google Apps for Education can become Google Classroom with a school account. Google Classroom is a free LMS but may have drawbacks regarding student privacy (Kamenetz, 2015). Edmodo does well for how we use it, and though it may seem limited compared to the others, some of the features that are missing are not critical to our deployment.
Moodle seems the most secure as it can be installed on a district server. It is very configurable as well, but this may require coding and maintenance after installation that could be overly time consuming for a district with just one tech specialist. Furthermore, its target audience is 1000+ which is too large for our purposes.
The district seems to be doing well with what it has been given regarding budget and student security. Like paths intelligently created in the Architect Story, teachers, administrators, and students are discovering what works for us regarding educational technology. Teachers are serving our students with innovative techniques. They teach digital natives to exercise Digital Citizenship. Teachers are enjoying technical applications for the classroom as they leverage higher order learning facilitated by the readily available information found on the web.
[Disclaimer: This information was researched with time constraints imposed by an assignment deadline. If you find that I have left out important information, please LEAVE A REPLY below so that it can be corrected.]
Barrish, J. (2015, June 3). Best LMS (Learning Management System) software: 2015 reviews of the most popular systems. Retrieved from Capterra: http://www.capterra.com/learning-management-system-software/#infographic
Barrish, J., & Capterra. (2015, June 3). Moodle vs. Edmodo: Best LMS (Learning Management System) software. Retrieved from Capterra: http://www.capterra.com/learning-management-system-software/#infographic
ClassDojo. (n.d.). ClassDojo: Happier students, happier classrooms! Retrieved from ClassDojo: https://www.classdojo.com/
Dass, R. (2016). SARA. Retrieved from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sara/id903509669?mt=8
Edmodo. (n.d.). Welcome to Edmodo: The safest and easiest way for educators to connect and collaborate with students, parents, and each other. Retrieved from Edmodo: https://www.edmodo.com/
Google. (n.d.). Google for Education. Retrieved from Google: https://www.google.com/edu/
Kamenetz, A. (2015, December 8). Google hit with a student privacy complaint. Retrieved from NPRed: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/12/08/458460509/google-hit-with-a-student-privacy-complaint
Khadaji [screen name]. (2005, May 25). Intelligent architect story: Urban legend? Retrieved from Straight Dope Message Board: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-318296.html
Mattina, K. (2014, October 8). Google Classroom vs Edmodo. Retrieved from The Tech Lady: http://thetechlady-km.blogspot.com/2014/10/google-classroom-vs-edmodo.html
Moodle. (n.d.). Moodle; Community driven, globally supported. Retrieved from Moodle: https://moodle.org/
Tyler Technologies. (2015, January). Schoolmaster FamilyLink; Family Web Portal. Retrieved from Schoolmaster: http://www.schoolmaster.com/pdfs/FamilyLink.pdf
Wikipedia Community. (n.d.). Open-Source Software. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software
WordPress. (n.d.). WordPress. Retrieved from WordPress.org: https://wordpress.org/
Please be forewarned that the audio lags on this screen-capture and so audio finishes before the references and end of the video. I think it’s still useful, but let me know in the comments. Thanks.
During my reading, I noticed that there is an emphasis on Professional Learning Networks or Personal Learning Networks (PLN) as I like to call them. An article posted on 21 Things 4 Teachers (Professional learning networks: Using technology to enhance professional learning networks, n.d.), highlighted ways that technology is assisting PLN. I was intrigued to see that one of the paragraphs was about using social media to enhance your PLN.
I have a Twitter account as well as a profile on LinkedIn. I like to have a LinkedIn profile so that when people want to know what my interest and skills are, they can go there and see what I’m about. LinkedIn has more of a professional aspect than Facebook, so I make sure that anything I post there is especially pertinent to my interests and professional development.
The Twitter account has been a lot of fun these past three weeks. I used it mainly for business before this class and had heard that teachers should not get involved in social media. I was expecting to have to delete it at some point, so was pleasantly surprised to learn that social media can be helpful to educators.
The one thing we know is that social media can draw you in and take all of your time. You get instant feedback in many cases, so it seems like a new friend who loves all the same things you do. Eventually, you realize that this is a virtual friend, and they are very needy! You can be on social media any time of the day or night and observe people posting, requesting, chatting, etc. So to incorporate a little more sanity to my day, I use a social media manager.
The one I’m going to talk about today is Buffer App (Buffer.com, 2016). I have found that this interface is much more intuitive than other social media managers that I have used. I have been using the free Buffer App account. There is a paid version with many more features — which is entirely worth the price — but we’ll talk about the free features today.
When you post to Twitter, you might feel like you are standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon and talking to the world. All of your wit is going out into the ether and falling down a black hole. At least on Facebook you can have a conversation. I liken Facebook to chatting over the backyard fence. If there’s something you want everyone to know, you write it on the wall of your house; visible to the world. If you want to have a conversation, that is visible to some, but not all, you set up privacy options. If you want to slip someone a note, you do it through the Facebook Messenger.
Twitter, on the other hand, is like walking down the school hallway and saying “hi” to everyone as you pass. Maybe you’ll tell your history professor that you are reading “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood” (Gleick, 2012). “Let me check that out,” s/he says, and that’s the end of the conversation. Folks seem less engaged, so my aim on Twitter is to post things that I’ve found interesting so that when others follow my posts, they will get content that is worth their time. I never post just to say I did it. The twist is: “If you have nothing worthwhile to say, say nothing at all.” However, with your PLN in place, you will find plenty worth sharing.
Buffer allows me to integrate three social networking accounts, which I’ve done. They allow me to set a schedule. I’ve decided that twice a day six days a week is enough for me. Now when I sit down and start reading about things that interest me, I can put them in my Buffer queue right then, but know that they will trickle out a couple a day during the week. I am therefore freed from having to check my social media accounts every day. What a big time saver!
I can also cross-post if I want to, highlight the same article in my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, for example. My Twitter and LinkedIn audiences seem different to me. Sometimes my Twitter audience seems just to be gauging what they can sell me while my LinkedIn audience seems more dignified and interested in me professionally. If I find an article I want to save for later, I’ll “pin” it to a Pinterest board,– but that’s a subject for another day.
Be proactive about getting content that has not been shared a million times. I subscribe to some newsfeeds that are a little bit off the edge, but whose writers consistently find little-read news stories. Another tactic is to search your topic in Google, but navigate to the 3rd or 4th page. Being on the first page of Google is an exacting art, and the competition is fierce. There are many worthy stories buried in the beyond. When I decide to share an article I make sure that I have read it thoroughly. Make sure you agree with the author’s conclusions (or lack thereof). It’s as easy as cutting and pasting the URL into your Buffer App. Buffer will automatically schedule your posts into the program grid you have created.
Buffer will shorten the URL. I like to include a headline because the “buf.ly” will not be descriptive. I add an appropriate headline (sometimes from the article itself) and any other handles or hashtags I want to include. Then click “Add to Queue” and you are set. As I continue to study throughout the week, I can add a bit more to my Buffer. There are apps for your phone and extensions for your browser. Since I share my iPhone and my computer with a six-year-old, I have not installed these. Instead, I choose to log in every time I want to use the Buffer App.
During the week as people “favorite” or “retweet” my content, I can look into their profiles and find like-minded professionals who may post articles and insights that will help me grow. Here is a short video link (same as above) about this blog post via screen capture software (Cattura Video, 2016): vimeo.com/163884175/d876dbcf47
Please note, that the video begins to lag at some point. The video continues through to the last screen that says “The End” even though the audio has decided to end early!
21 Things 4 Teachers. (n.d.). Professional learning networks: Using technology to enhance professional learning networks. Retrieved from 21 Things 4 Teachers: http://www.21things4teachers.net/21-things/pln/
Buffer.com. (2016, April 22). Buffer: A better way to share on social media. Retrieved from Buffer: https://buffer.com/
Cattura Video. (2016, April 22). cattura. Retrieved from catturavideo: http://www.catturavideo.com/
Hootsuite. (2016, April 22). Hootsuite: Get serious about social. Retrieved from Hootsuite: https://hootsuite.com/
Millheim, J. (2016, April 22). @cabincricktweet. Retrieved from Twitter: https://twitter.com/cabincricktweet
Millheim, J. (2016, April 22). J Millheim [profile]. Retrieved from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/j-millheim-87723640
International Society for Technology in Education. (n.d.). ISTE standards for computer science educators. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-computer-science-educators