How To Instructions on the left navigation bar.
Communicate, Collaborate, and Celebrate
New technologies are being introduced to our Mountain Brook learning community to help students learn and teachers teach! We believe these new technologies, in tandem with existing technologies, will enhance our students’ abilities to effectively and efficiently solve real world problems and collaborate using engaging learning approaches. Students using these technologies will learn technology skills that will prepare them for future learning and living in the 21st century. These new tools are helping us to expand learning beyond the classroom walls.
Existing Tools Available for Mountain Brook Classrooms:
A Minimum of 1 multi-media desktop computer, Fast Internet Access, Microsoft Office 2007, Classroom WebPages, Network Printing, Mobile laptops--Grades 4-12, InterWrite pads/tablets, Sound Enhancement Systems, Digital Data Projectors, Digital Cameras, Digital Document Cameras, and Grade/Age Appropriate Instructional Software.
Moodle: Mountain Brook Schools, like thousands of educational institutions around the world, plan to use Moodle to provide an organized interface for e-learning from any computer with Internet access outside the school walls or for learning in class.
Moodle allows educators to create an online version of their courses, which students can access as a virtual classroom. A typical Moodle page will include a list of participants (including the teacher and students) and a calendar with a course schedule and list of assignments. Other Moodle features include online quizzes, forums where students can post comments and ask questions, glossaries of terms, and links to other Web resources or documents.
MBS Anywhere Anytime Access Portal: After the bell and beyond the bricks, students and staff need access to school technology resources. The MBS “Portal”, as we refer to it, provides all students with the ability to access educational applications, their files, and their school email account from anywhere, using any device. Leveraging this webNetwork, Mountain Brook Schools have created their own private cloud that provides students with a Virtual Web Desktop (webOS) of applications and services that follow them anywhere - home, school, lab, library, or local and/or vacation Internet “hot spot.”
VoiceThread: With VoiceThread, group conversations can be collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world.
A VoiceThread is a collaborative tool centered around multi-media. A voicethread may consist of pictures, documents, and/or videos and allows students to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). A VoiceThread can be shared with other students from Mountain Brook or from around the world, parents, and/or experts for them to record comments too.
Students can doodle (write on the screen with a digital pen) while commenting, use multiple identities (commenting avatars), and pick which comments are shown through moderation (allows voicethread creators or editors to pick which comments are shown to everyone else).
Google Applications-Educational Accounts: Google is currently offering schools a hosted solution for student email, calendar, and docs through Google Apps Education Edition, their integrated communication and collaboration solution. Through the MBS Portal we are offering students Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. The Gmail will be filtered using the Mountain Brook Schools’ McAfee webshield.
Google Apps Education Edition includes:
- Gmail: Email storage and search tools that help your students find information fast.
- Google Calendar: Students can organize their schedules and share events and calendars with others.
- Google Docs: Create and/or share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google docs allow students to collaborate in real-time with their group or with their whole class.
We hope to add Google Video and other new Google tools for education in the future.
- Google Video for education: A video hosting and sharing solution that enables schools and other organizations to use video as an effective medium for internal communication and collaboration.
Dell Mini Laptops—Grades 2-3: During our 2008-2009 Technology Education curriculum adoption process, it became apparent that a sub-committee should be formed to study the keyboarding habits of our students. Based on the recent findings of our teacher led keyboarding sub-committee, we requested and the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation funded a cart of Dell mini 2100 laptops for both the second and third grade levels at each of our elementary schools.
“Research shows elementary students are able to learn keyboarding skills. Students interact with keyboards from an early age and have many opportunities to learn bad habits with keyboarding. To discourage these bad habits from forming, keyboarding instruction should begin at an early age. Beginning in kindergarten, students should focus on understanding that there are specific finger positions. By third grade, at the latest, students should focus on practicing using correct fingers to keyboard. In older grades, students should focus on reinforcing/increasing accuracy when word processing.”
These mini laptops have 10” screens, rugged cases, and smaller keyboards but are configured to run Microsoft Office 2007, many of the grade appropriate software packages, and to access the Internet.
|We are excited about the possibilities these new technologies will afford our students and staff and CELEBRATE the opportunity to work with each teacher as they ..Rethink and explore by "tooling up" and incorporating new innovation into teaching! Creative collaboration, critical thinking and solution forecasting with these new tools will help weather any "brain" storm!
Please contact Joani Kay, MBHS Technology Coordinator, if you have any questions.