Thursday, May 24, 2012

Interested in trying a new tech project with your students? Read this first!


In order for us to create 21st century learners, we are looking to the Internet more and more for tools, resources and project ideas.  The Internet is full of great free resources for us to use with our students.  Whenever you begin a new project, it is important to follow these steps:

1.      You need to make sure you read the PPSNet User Agreement and review it with your students. This is something you should do before beginning a technology project as a reminder to students of the expectations. Each student should have this on file already. If you have concerns, check with your office staff. Here is a copy of the agreement: http://www.portageps.org/departments/technology/acceptableuse/aup_revised_2012.pdf
2.      Before starting your project, you should contact Jessica Winstanley and/or Kelly Jensenius to help you solidify your project and/or provide tips and tricks.
3.      As with any project you introduce for the first time, you should always contact your building administrator so they are aware of your plans and aren’t surprised by parent calls.
4.      Next, it is in your best interest to contact the parents to let them know your intentions. This will give them the information they need and alleviate possible concerns. Here is a letter about Google Docs you can personalize, as well as an additional voluntary contract to the PPSNet agreement to help communicate expectations for Google Docs. Feel free to adapt these as needed for the program you are using.
5.      Know your age group.  If you teach students that are under the age of 13, you are not going to want them using websites that require an email address to register for an account.  Free sites that allow us to use them without registering are best for young students - just make sure you check out the site completely for appropriate content and advertisements.  Our Google Apps products are also great tools to use with our younger students.
6.      Start small – you don’t have to use ALL the features of Google Apps or ALL the resources on the web.

If you don’t know WHERE to start but want to, ask for our support! Jessica Winstanley and Kelly Jensenius are available to help guide you. 

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