School Districts are as varied as the students they serve….running the gamut from large organizations serving hundreds of thousands to small entities working with student numbers in the thousands. Change – the kind that really makes a difference to kids – doesn’t come easy to districts, large or small. One organization demonstrating how to accomplish this trick is Mooresville Graded School District – a small, but mighty district in North Carolina.
In turns out, Mooresville Graded School District is in the process of a systemic digital conversion. This conversion, driven by the school system, parents and the community, has focused on improvements in teaching and learning – increasing student engagement via technology, content and methodology. This massive shift in the way teachers teach and students learn is proving extremely effective – putting policy into practice in ways that directly impact each student, every day.
netTrekker has been proud to partner with Mooresville in their digital conversion efforts for several years now – providing digital content that drives engaged and personalized learning at the student level and transforms the instructional focus away from the fixed and inflexible approach offered in traditional materials and methods.
Last month, Mooresville did something that even we were surprised by – the usage recorded by the district (with less than 6,000 students) earned them the 15th largest number in terms of subscription activity in our entire base. That means that this small district was utilizing powerful, engaging content to benefit students at the level that much larger districts are striving for – the company they were in for the top 15 using districts was pretty impressive.
UPDATE: Shortly after reading this, our friends at Mooresville sent us an update about other ways they are using their ‘heavier’ content……
This REALLY ACTUALLY happened in Mooresville…..check this out from a HS Geometry class!
Fwd: Cool Project
Check this out. See below. This is how we use textbooks. :)
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: Cool Project
For the last 4 weeks my students have been working on a popsicle stick bridge project. First researching different types of bridges, practicing with toothpicks, and finally building the bridges that they presented today. The picture I have attached is a group that built a bridge that was able to withstand 37 geometry books! Too cool not to share!
A cohort of 10 educators from Canton School District in Connecticut is close to becoming one of our largest NT101 Alumni Groups. Two of these participants, Kelly Conway, a Library Media Specialist and Melissa Cook, a Special Education Teacher, posted some great comments to the course discussion board for the 21C module. Shared below are Kelly and Melissa’s strategies for using resources from netTrekker’s 21st Century Skills Channel to transform classroom lessons.
“As a Library Media Specialist, 21st Century skills and learning is what drives my Information and Technology lessons as they directly correlate with our state standards. This module most directly related to what I do already and will enhance my ability to design/refine lessons.
In a media literacy lesson which I’ve done in the past, fifth graders analyze the “tricks” which advertisers use to influence us as consumers. They have to think critically about the messages being sent. This year, I will incorporate the interactive game “Cybersense or Nonsense” as a subsequent lesson. This opens the conversation about website validity and cyber etiquette – again reinforcing the idea of thinking critically about messages and information presented online.
I plan to use Alpha Smarts so that this can be a whole group activity with discussion points emphasized. The Alpha Smarts allow kids to be interactive on an individual basis as they answer the questions and see group results. netTrekker supports my efforts as a school resource person for both students and teachers by providing not only high quality informational sites, but also lesson plan ideas and articles to support the 21st century skills initiative. The refinement feature allows more students to easily access the exact information they need.”
Library Media Specialist
Canton Intermediate School
“I especially like this final project! With the resources in the 21C Channel, I was able to enhance a mission statement assignment that I do each year with my students, thus creating a much more comprehensive project. I found resources/articles to help my students further develop their self-awareness skills. In the Life Skills section of the 21st Century Skills, there were two topics, personal responsibility and self-direction that contained various websites that I have now added to my mission statement project.
These websites will not only help my students understand the importance of becoming personally responsible and self-directed learners but provide strategies and opportunities for hands-on practice of these essential life skills. I also plan to incorporate a VoiceThread, a great tool that I learned through netTrekker 101, as cumulating activity for students to reflect on the importance of developing personal goals and as way for students to share their individual mission statements with the rest of the class. As a Special Education Case Manager, I am very excited about the resources available through netTrekker. I will be able to work with general education teachers to find resources and reading material at my students level. This is great feature because it is not always easy to find appropriate alternative text. I also love the Read Aloud feature for my students who may be reading below grade level due to decoding and fluency weaknesses but have average reading comprehension skills. Finally, I look forward the endless possibilities to engage students and improving student learning that can unfold with the ability to create an arena for teacher collaboration through netTrekker.”
Special Education Teacher
Canton High School
Thanks to Kelly and Melissa for posting such great comments and to the entire Canton group for your dedication to professional development and the successful implementation of netTrekker Search!
To learn more about netTrekker’s 21C Channel, view Using the 21C Skills Resources video tutorial.