Technology in the classroom
Technology is an integral part of any Barron Park classroom. In terms of hardware, each classroom has a SMART Board. Each student from grades 1-5 has their own dedicated iPad. In addition, there are two Mac laptop carts and some Macs, all for student use.
More info about the following topics:
- 1:1 iPad program
- Use of Schoology in the classroom
- Use of Google Apps in the classroom
- Other Resources
1:1 iPad Program
What does 1:1 mean?
1:1 means that each student has his/her assigned iPad for class work. The iPad is not shared with another student.
Is this the first year for Barron Park for 1:1?
No, this will be the second year that we have 1:1 iPads schoolwide. This is the fifth year for 1:1 iPads in fifth grade and the third year implementing 1:1 iPads for fourth grade. This year, we have expanded the program to include kindergarten.
Can my student(s) download an app?
The iPad is a learning tool and teachers welcome great suggestions from students. The apps are installed through school accounts. Even if your student(s) wants a free app, he/she must check with his/her teacher for approval.
The iPad is a highly portable and versatile device with individualized educational apps and protocols for downloading already in place. We already had 1:1 iPads in fifth grade. To maintain consistency as well as based upon teacher and student input, we have been expanding upon the program.
Why do I need to sign an agreement?
The iPad technically belongs to the Palo Alto Unified School District. It is a learning tool for class work. Students are learning lifelong skills such as responsibility, care, appropriate use and independence by being assigned their own device. It is similar to any agreement one would be responsible for if one was using someone else's materials. That being said, we do realize that accidents do happen.
How are the iPads being used in the classroom?
The iPads are being used in a variety of ways in the classroom including but not restricted to: reading, writing, research, use of images across various subjects, use of videos across various subjects (both consuming and creating), coding (computer programming), explaining student work/thinking, as a reference tool for a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator and online databases.
How will having an iPad benefit my student(s)?
The iPad benefits the students immensely in terms of learning, but most importantly life skills in terms of digital etiquette and citizenship.
Can my student bring his/her iPad home?
Yes, for grades 1 through 4 but each teacher will decide when to send the iPads home. Please ensure that you have Wi-fi set up. If not, please contact your student’s teacher or Smita Kolhatkar.
Does my student have to bring the iPad home?
No, students are not required to bring an iPad home; you may let your child’s teacher know you would like to opt-out of the take-home program. However, the students do use the iPads as their Master Notebook as also a Reference Tool and you may want to discuss this with your student(s) before making the decision. If you do choose to not let your student(s) bring the iPad home, please ensure that he/she has a device at home with internet access for the tools specified by his/her teacher for homework.
What are the apps being used in the classroom?
The most frequently used apps are: the camera, Dictionary, Calculator, RAZ Kids, BrainPOP (various versions), Schoology, Google Drive, Explain Everything, Green Screen & iMovie, Tynker, Blockly, Spelling City. In addition, other creative apps such as Doodlecast Pro, Sock Puppets, Beedocs Timeline, Stop Motion animator, Koma Koma, Khan Academy and more are used. There may be apps that change through the course of the year. Please keep in mind that the focus is not on the apps as much on the learning objectives.
How can I help support my student at home?
You can support your student at home by setting ground rules and expectations with regards his/her use of digital devices. It is not wrong to play educational games on the iPads. However, reading is the most critical, followed by explaining their thinking through creative ways. There needs to be a healthy balance of screen and non-screen time.
What if my student already has an iPad at home?
This year, we are not implementing the BYOD program(Bring Your Own Device). However, this is something that we are looking into implementing and will send out a survey later in the year.
How will Barron Park ensure student appropriate use of iPads?
Each teacher along with Rusty Tooley, the teacher librarian, and Smita Kolhatkar, the Educational Technology TOSA, works with the students on a daily basis, guiding them with appropriate uses of the device. It is a community effort so the teachers would really appreciate your monitoring and following up at home, while maintaining a healthy trust level. Together, we will learn and have fun!
- Find more information on the 1:1 iPad Program Blog
Here’s what the students have to say about the 1:1 iPads (these responses are based upon student surveys in May 2015 of 4th and 5th graders who had their own iPads).
"I did't have to ask the adult all of things that I don't know."
"The translator was very cool and it helped me a lot in the beginning"
"My favorite aspect was to be responsible."
"The iPad is not too big and not too small. Also, my favorite aspect is the iPad can shut down quickly."
"My favorite aspect of having an iPad is that it gives me a chance for responsibility and freedom. Because I have to earn the right to take home an iPad and take care of it properly."
"Because we are able to access the world around us."
"Like I said iPads are amazing and and you can basically count on it for anything."
"1. I used it to search things on the web for our Social Studies assignments or whenever I needed to research something. (It is easier to quickly research it than to go to the textbook and find the topic and then read about it.)
2. I used it for educational and helpful apps like Explain Everything, Splash Math, Khan Academy, (it is easier than going on the web), Math Mateer, etc..
3. I used it for fun (but iPads can help you in different ways) like Comic Life, Paper 53, ChatterPix, etc.. My favorite part about having my own iPad 'was that I didn't need to run and get a computer and I could make it mine for a year."
Yes because it helped me a lot in research."
Please contact your classroom teacher or Smita Kolhatkar.
Use of Schoology in the Classroom
Schoology is a Learning Management System, K-12 across PAUSD. The use will vary across various grade levels. Schoology is used for posting assignments, uploading media (iPad creations as well as pictures and videos that students capture), discussions on various topics from digital citizenship to classroom norms to current events and curricular topics amongst others, and for students to have a truly collaborative classroom outside the four walls. As parents, please ensure that you create a parent account to access your student(s)’s course. For directions, please refer to the Schoology help page
If you are stuck or have additional questions, please contact Smita Kolhatkar.
Use of Google Apps in the classroom
The primary app used is Google Drive and Docs. Students maintain Google Docs for writing, revising, publishing, collaborating, getting quick feedback from their teacher.
Every classroom (2-5) is set up on a Tynker account which can be accessed both through an iPad and through a computer. For more resources, please check: Read more on the Hour of Code Resources page
For all the resources below, the userid and passwords cannot be published online. Please check with your student(s)’s teacher(s) or Smita Kolhatkar.
BrainPOP/BrainPOP Jr/BrainPOP ESL/BrainPOP Smart Up
By far, one of the most popular resources for students.
Reading OnlineRAZ Kids
Use RAZ Kids to listen, read, record and take the quiz. Use the same Teacher and login as you did during the school year.
Non-fiction reading online
Palo Alto Library Catalog
Scroll down and find Summer reading for K-12
For Math Games and Student Math Journal Online
Go to my.pausd.org
Select Google Apps
Go back to the main window (my.pausd.org)
Select Khan Academy.
Login with Google
World Book Online
Use this for research. Use World Book Kids for Grades K-2; Use World Book Students for Grades 3-5. World Book Advanced for Grades 4 and 5.
Other Useful Links
Dedicated Educational Technology Specialist
Smita Kolhatkar is the Educational Technology Specialist at Barron Park who helps integrate the array of technology with core curriculum across K-5. Given the ever changing technology landscape, a dedicated specialist helps teachers use the cutting edge technology in the classroom. "Ms. K" also teaches noontime coding programs to students and heads the Maker Studio.