Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I've been pretty busy at school the past few weeks!

For several weeks it was all about ACT Aspire testing.  As it was the first round of online testing for our kids (around 600 9th and 10th graders), we put in a lot of work to prepare. A good solid two weeks was spent getting directions together to check kids' devices, bringing them to the media center to go through those directions, organizing the school devices that needed to be issued, tracking down kids who were avoiding us, etc

And then came the two days of testing.

Day 1 was a mess. Student devices that we thought would work with the test didn't. Settings on the school network didn't allow some students to access the test. Kids didn't read the directions that the had previously gone through and got confused.

Day 2 was much better. We didn't have the network issues, planned ahead for kids who had previously borrowed a school device, and things ran much smoother. One thing though, was that we loaned out over 200 school Chromebooks for the test... and we were lucky to have that many!

We got some major props from our administration in how we prepped for the test, which was nice. And it's also nice to be done with the online testing. For a few months, anyway!

I've been somewhat busy with teachers; there's a new math teacher at school that is actually interested in what I have to share with him (he's loving the class openers from Bob Lochel!), and another one is going to use the Desmos Carnival today in class. The big kicker is that he's being evaluated and chose to use it; I think that's pretty gutsy! I'm going to his class to help troubleshoot his first time through before he's evaluated.  My fingers are crossed!

I've done some organization in the resources that I'm sharing with the staff. I know it's not the best way, but it'll work for now.

So those are my two steps forward.  And back?
I was told today that one of our teachers doesn't allow devices in his room. He said there's too much cheating going on. So how to get around that?  I need to get better versed in using Turnitin.com... and maybe find some workarounds for him to use. That is, if he'll let me.  That remains to be seen (I've offered before and gotten a big fat no.).

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