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!
- Are you new to netTrekker Search?
- Do you want to connect with other netTrekker teachers?
- Are you looking to deepen your understanding of netTrekker Search?
- Do you have limited time to devote to professional development?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, consider enrolling in NT101.
NT101 is one of the Online Learning offerings from netTrekker. NT101 is a facilitated online course to explore netTrekker Search features and tools, to share best practices for implementation into teaching and learning, and to create standards-based projects, all in the context of differentiated instruction. Discussion boards, an interactive webinar, and a variety of 21st Century learning resources are included in this collaborative learning community. The course work is completed within 7-one week periods at the participants own pace while fostering collaboration and by building a learning network among netTrekker users that continues past the end of class.
Professional development enriches teaching and improves learning for all students. It is an essential link to higher student achievement. Our NT101 Alumnus’s testify to the effectiveness of the class:
“Using NT101 to develop units that were immediately usable was a big plus. However, the reason I could develop them to the degree I did was because of the steps we were taken through, week by week, in incorporating more and more tools as we considered various educational issues/formats. As I moved on from this to begin my ISTE Capstone certification, I continually referred back to ideas learned from nT101. I sincerely wonder how I could have handled starting the Capstone without the background we gained from nT101. If I ever find myself in a teaching situation without access to netTrekker, I am going to have to write grants until I can obtain funding for it! Period.” Alice Sather, Teacher, St. Bernard’s School, Theif River Falls, MN
“netTrekker 101 was definitely worth the time. I’d heard about netTrekker for years, but never knew all of the possibilities that exist and probably still wouldn’t know if I hadn’t taken the course. The aspect of the course that has been most meaningful to me were the opportunities available via differentiation. I was truly impressed with the wide array of tools that meet the needs of diverse learning styles, levels, and languages. Differentiation can often be challenging and time consuming. netTrekker makes it easy” Ryan Evans, Technology Teacher, Wanaque School district, NJ
“NT101 has been amazing! I have learned so many great features of Nettrekker and how to use them to improve student achievement. The most valuable resources to me are the Multicultural Pavillion and the 21st Century Learning Channel. Both of these tools offer hard to find resources that are so helpful in planning instruction. These also will be great tools for my students to use!” Charlotte Wheeless, Teacher Center Educator, NE Arkansas Ed Co-Op
“My experience with this training has left me feeling confident to use netTrekker to enhance my teaching and to also help other teachers at our school get excited about using this tool.” Maxine Schmidt, Teacher, Los Alamos Public School, NM
“The reason you learn more with this course is because it is ‘inter-twined’ with your everyday teaching. You learn a lesson, you complete the homework and you can USE the lesson immediately with your class(es). I found myself teaching teachers as I was learning, especially the ESE/ELL teachers. Being a Technology Teacher on the Fine Arts Wheel, I see every teacher/class over a 7 day rotation. NT101 is the only place to be!! I feel like I am in a classroom environment not an on-line course! As I am learning, I am opening another ‘window’ and creating folders, classes, saved searches and so much more for my school on our netTrekker subscription!!” Ellen Budish, Technology Teacher, Palm Beach SD, FL
“As a computer lab teacher I was highly motivated to see all the benefits of Nettrekker through this course. I have had no formal training and have been wading my way through the site with simple searches. In the last 8 weeks of learning I feel like a pro getting around the Nettrekker site. I have been able to write lesson plans, create classes and gather materials beyond the average search. I particularly like the 21st century learner. I will be able to take simple classroom projects that require searching in my lab and teach students transform them into creative digital projects that will encourage students to share work with enthusiasm. My students can transform a simple biography into a timeline tour with EarthTrekker lit-trips! I would say 21st Century Learning Skills is the highlight for my job as a computer lab teacher.” Missy Sepulvada, Technology Specialist, Carmel Unified SD, CA
“The activities we engaged in helped me get into the details of how all Nettrekker components work which is what most teachers won’t or can’t take time to do. I now feel equipped to develop Nettrekker professional learning courses for teachers in our district.” Gregory Odel, e-Learning Specialist, Hall County Schools
“Before taking this class I would wander around Nettrekker murmuring “Oh, nice!” but never really grasped the many possibilities, particularly for differentiating instruction. Also as a librarian, I know that instructional materials are difficult to come by. Midway through the class, my response is now “WOW!” I know our subscription will get much better use as a result of the district paying for a few of us to take this course.” Holly Adams, Library Team Leader, Los Alamos Public Schools, NM
NT101 Alumni – your Personal Learning Network (PLN) for netTrekker!
• LEARN to differentiate digital resources to meet students learning needs
• CONNECT with other netTrekker teachers to share best practices
• BUILD projects and lessons for use with your students