The Compass leveraging resources to support self-directed learning to communicate, create, collaborate, and think critically.

November 2016

Be a Creator...

The Hour of Code™ is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.

Next week (December 5-11) marks a global education event with the The Hour of Code™. This movement "started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify 'code', to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.... This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide." (

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs, but only 400,000 computer science students. -US News and World Report (Dec. 27, 2013)
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ― Thomas A. Edison

Hour of Code™ activities are planned in each school throughout Becker Public Schools. Some events are taking place after school with enrichment opportunities while others will be taking place throughout the day in computer labs and in classrooms with student iPads. The purpose of the Hour of Code™ is to give students an introduction to what it takes to create the resources that we all use everyday. It gives students the chance to be more than just consumers of technology. They can be creators as well. It also gives young people the chance to challenge themselves within the the 4Cs, especially as it relates to creativity and critical thinking. If you are interested in learning more about how you can offer your students the Hour of Code™, please contact your building Digital Learning Mentor (DLM), Media Specialist, or Ryan.

ThingLink is a tool that allows the user (students or staff) the chance to take images and embed interactive media. For example, a student can take a map of the United States and embed text and video outline key components of each region. Another example could include students in a science class working with a diagram of a cell. Students could "label" each part with both text and a short video that outlines key features of each part of the cell. Likewise, a teacher can provide students with learning material (eg. short video) embedded within a learning map.
Google Keep is a tool that allows users to document, organize, share, and collaborate any information or ideas. It is part of our G Suite (formally Google Apps for Education) and can be accessed via the "9-dots". This is a great tool for students who are taking notes in class (easily organized by category or class), completing study notecards, organizing projects, or sharing ideas. Images and voice audio can also be embedded and organized. Google Keep is available as an app for iPads as well as available online using any computer.

Supporting Reading Fluency and the 4Cs

A number of teachers have explored the benefits of the Daily Five and Reading Cafe where students are able to: Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Listen to Reading while focusing on both fluency and comprehension. We also know that students learn when they are engaged within the 4Cs because it allows them to communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically. One way we can combine the pillars of the Daily Five with the 4Cs is by students creating reading journals with either Book Creator or Seesaw. The premise behind both apps is that it allows students to record their own reading using their iPad, and easily listen back to how they sound when they read paying attention to pieces like pace and voice inflection. By creating journals, students can creatively track and monitor their own reading while also sharing their work with others (eg. teacher, parents, etc...).

Technology can be used to help students not only hear themselves read over time, but also share their readings with others.

The process is very easy. With Book Creator, students can create their journals, take a picture of the book cover or passage they are reading, and record their voice. When students are done, they will have a fully interactive journal of readings that show their growth and areas that still need improvement. Before the end of the school year, their journals can be exported as a movie and shared with families; movies that contain all of the recordings of their reading. Likewise, Seesaw allows students to allow include pics with their recordings (5 min. or less) which can be shared with both their teacher and families minutes after they are done reading. Creating a partnership with parents through Seesaw has already had a positive impact on communication with families and for many, changed the focus of school conferences. Learn more about how to explore both Book Creator and/or Seesaw for fluency at

HS STAC Visits Apple Retail and JAMF
Preparing self-directed learners to thrive in a changing global community


Created with images by vasile23 - "Useful compass"

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