Virginia Public Schools
Community Education Meeting Wednesday, April 13, 2016 Goodman Auditorium 6:00 P.M.
The public is invited to an information session at Goodman Auditorium on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 6:00P.M. A panel of professionals will provide facts and information about gender identity, transgender students, state and federal laws and guidance to schools and how school district policy is about ensuring that all students have access to educational opportunities and activities, so they can be successful in school.
The Virginia School Board is developing a policy to include all students and provide them with a respectful and safe learning environment. Please join us at the informational session.
The Virginia Minnesota Public School District is in it’s third year of implementing a 1-1 iPad program. This year each student in grades 6 – 12 have an iPad that they use during the school day for blended learning. At the end of the school day student bring their iPads home which provides an extended learning window for students and teachers. Some classes are phasing in a flipped classroom approach where students are able to watch videos provided by the teacher to help them gain insights into the next days lesson, or to provide support for difficult assignments.
Here is an example from Mrs. Lebeque’s 6th grade science class where she has students watch a video about lab procedures the day before they do the lab in class. This provides students the full class hour to work on the lab instead of taking up a portion of that time going over rules and expectations. Since this video is on their iPads, they are able to not only watch it the day before, but also use it as a resource during the lab to more efficiently work through the problem sets.
In the arts students are using the iPads to to research imagery and quotes for use in murals being created around the school. Having instant access to the internet for quick research allows students to get more information on topics as they come up in discussions.
Some students are using the iPads to watch demonstration videos on specific techniques in a variety of art projects. Here students are making coil pots in the Art 1 pottery unit. Being able to rewind and re-watch specific steps really helps.
In Music classes, students are using the built in cameras to record themselves singing and playing instruments. This allows them to critique their practices as they prepare for concerts. They also have assignments where they use an app to work write sheet music for songs they are creating.
Math classes have found some great graphing calculator apps that have replaced the calculators they used to require for their courses. Students also create tutorial videos showing how to work through core concepts they are learning.
Foreign languages are using the iPads to record the students speaking and for creating mini commercials or movies where the students speak only in the language they are learning. These creative projects require a higher level of thinking than a traditional paper based assignment and in most cases are more engaging for the students.
Along with the uses you’ve seen above we are also continuing to transition our textbooks over to the iPads. Many of our current textbooks have already made this transition and we plan on getting the rest moved over in the next two years.
We are excited to see how this is impacting our students learning and continue to look for new ways to bring our students the best education possible.
A new program through the Virginia High School gives students the opportunity to work in a technology support role for both students and staff. The students are based out of the technology office and work in conjunction with district technology staff to provide a wide variety of services including facilitating the iPad 1-1 program. Students create tutorial videos on many common iPad programs and procedures. They also help staff troubleshoot problems they may run into when using technology in their instruction. The students set up and deploy lab configurations and work on every aspect of setting up iPads for student use. This is all done during their normal school day as the VSTS is taken as one of their classes. They only spend one class hour a day working on tasks like Proofreading, but often volunteer time before or after school to complete projects and earn service learning credits. This has really allowed our district to provide a high level of support for our students and staff. The common problems are often quickly resolved by the students and the bigger tasks are tackled by the team of students and adults. The technology department can’t imagine reverting back to a system where students weren’t involved in a support role.