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WES Technology

Technology plays an increasingly important role in student learning.

 Williamstown Elementary is  committed to maintaining a robust network and updated computers and tablets.  This year we have upgraded all our switches, increased our bandwidth, and extended our wireless network throughout the campus. We also added short-throw, interactive projectors to the fifth and sixth grade classrooms.

Technology Coordinator is Tom Welch.  458.5707 x219

Lower Lab Teacher is Alison Foehl.  458.5707 x

WKZ News

WKZ News

Watch Ms Bitteker's Class 10.24.16
Williamstown Kids' Zone, is a teacher supervised student activity for sixth graders. The purpose of WKZ is to share school news and build school community. Students write and edit news stories under the supervision of their teachers. WKZ runs six to twelve minutes and is shared to classrooms on Monday mornings. Stories are limited to events taking place at WES or involving WES students in the community. WKZ is also broadcast on Willinet, Williamstown's community television station.

 

 

LEGO Robotics

The Robotics program is an after school club for fifth and sixth grade students.  Students work in teams to design and program either an NXT or EV3 robot.  The robots must solve challenges to score points in two and one half minute rounds. The First Lego League selects a theme each year and develops the challenges.  The theme for 2015-2016 is Trash Trek. 

We participate in the Robot Game Challenge.

Team members must master the rules and demonstrate the Core Values of First LEGO League.

Core Values

The FIRST LEGO League Core Values are the cornerstones of the program. They are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.

  • We are a team.
  • We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
  • We know our coaches and mentors don't have all the answers; we learn together.
  • We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
  • What we discover is more important than what we win.
  • We share our experiences with others.
  • We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything we do.
  • We have FUN!

Team tips, smart programming suggestions, and robot design are all explained at Mastering LEGO Robotics.

This site has googd information about designing a solid robot and also using the light sensor for navigation.


The Berkshire Robotics Championship is held each March in Lenox, MA.  This year's date is March 19.

Upper Lab News


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Fall Update 2015


The fourth and fifth grades have been progressing through their Lexia levels and have taken the fall Track My Progress assessments in math and reading.

Teachers can monitor their students at My Lexia.



Fourth grade students have also been programming with Scratch.  Scratch is a free programming application developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Team at M.I.T.’s Media Lab.


About Scratch

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.




All classes are learning to use their Everyday Math online accounts. They log in here to see their lessons, reference books, math tools, and math games.

Students are also using their google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts.  After signing in, they can use Drive to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets and more. In Google Classroom they can complete teacher created assignments.

The fifth grade is looking at government starting with the question, Why Do We Have Governments? and investigating the evolution from the Magna Carta to the Constitution to today. They are also researching and writing about the Age of Exploration.


Some students in Ms. Downey’s class are researching historic trees and creating  presentations for classmates using Adobe Voice.



The sixth grade classes are producing their first WKZ News programs of the year.  Students report on happenings all around WES.


The sixth grades have also visited Volcanoes with Google Earth and the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism pages and explored the earth’s interior with the Dynamic Earth pages from the Annenberg Foundation.

Sixth grade students also research world geography in the computer lab.


All students have also checked out their Accelerated Reader and Mathfacts accounts and  their IXL accounts.


The iPad cart and MacBook Air cart are getting more regular use.  Teachers can plan times to use these mobiles by signing up with Alison or Tom.  There are shared calendars for both carts.




Technology Planning

DRAFT

Williamstown Elementary School
Williamstown, Massachusetts
Technology Plan

Local Technology Plan Guidelines 2012-2017   TeacherAUP   StudentAUP

Benchmark 1. Commitment to a Clear Vision and Implementation Strategies

The district's technology plan contains a clearly stated and reasonable set of goals and implementation strategies that align with the district-wide school improvement plan. The district is committed to achieving its vision by the end of the school year 2014-2015.

Vision
Williamstown Public Schools will use educational technology to inspire in all students a love of learning while challenging them to grow in heart and mind.  We will fully integrate technology to empower all members of our school community: students, parents, teachers, administration, staff and community. We pledge our commitment to build a safe and enriching environment where all students are encouraged to grow into confident, caring, competent individuals capable of making ethical contributions to an ever-changing global community.

Williamstown Elementary is committed to providing students and staff members with the necessary technology tools and assistance to meet our technology mission and goals.  Technology is integrated throughout the entire campus. Students and staff members use technology to learn, teach, and communicate.  Our broad objectives to support our mission through 2015 are:

Continue to maintain at least 2:1 student to computer ratio. This includes desktops, laptops, and tablets.
All classrooms and workrooms will have high speed internet access.
All areas of the campus will be served wirelessly.
Continue to provide training for staff in using technology to integrate into the curriculum, communicate with the community, and increase personal productivity.
Increase the use of technology to communicate effectively and efficiently within our school, with our families, and within our community.
Explore mobile devices and student owned devices as a way to increase learning with technology.


Mission
To realize our vision, Williamstown Public Schools will use technology to support and involve all members of our school community.

Administrators will use technology to meet state and federal reporting regulations.  They will use technology for data driven decision making and to facilitate communications and campus management.

Teachers will be given the tools and training needed to grow as professionals and to integrate technology into all aspects of their classroom responsibilities.

Students will be given opportunities for successful learning across all ability levels and learning styles.  Students will be empowered to use technology for self-directed learning, problem solving, self-expression, and communication. Students will be educated in how to be responsible, ethical, and judicious users of technology.

Parents will benefit from open lines of timely, electronic communications between home and school.  Parents will continue to be involved in technology decision-making and planning.  Parents will have opportunities to connect to Williamstown Public Schools through technology.

Beliefs
At Williamstown Public School, we believe it is our responsibility to:

    *utilize the best tools available to help students learn,
    *follow state and federal guidelines when planning and implementing new
     technologies,
    *maintain and upgrade existing equipment and infrastructure as needed,
    *provide training for teachers, administrators, and support staff in using
      educational technology,
    * find innovative ways to fund and implement new technologies,
    *look for opportunities to improve technology integration,
     *model life-long-learning by learning to use new educational technologies.







B. Technology Team
Williamstown Public School has a technology team with representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups, including parents, administrators, staff members and teachers. The technology team has the full support of the school superintendent to implement the plan.

The technology coordinator reports to the superintendent monthly and the school committee twice per year.

Needs Assessment
The district assesses tools and applications necessary to improve learning and teaching.  A yearly formal survey along with less formal discussions with stakeholder groups are used to gather information.



Budget
Williamstown Public School recognizes that technology is an important part of achieving its educational mission.  The district has a budget for its local technology plan with line items for technology hardware and software/applications in its operational budget.

Evaluation
Williamstown Public School evaluates the effectiveness of technology resources with a yearly teacher technology survey.  Teachers and students give feedback on tools, applications, and professional development needs.


Benchmark 2: Technology Integration and Literacy
Technology Integration
1. Outside Teaching Time - 100% of our teachers use technology everyday for research, administrative duties, communication, lesson planning and teaching.  Teachers submit attendance, communicate through blogs, web pages and email, and work with our lab teachers to create lessons using technology.
B. Technology Literacy
100% of our teachers are working towards technology proficiency at Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations.  Our goal is for all teachers to be proficient by 2015.

Staffing
1. The district has a technology coordinator approximately .4 (FTE) is responsible for planning, purchasing, professional development,  school web site and reporting. The district has a technology integration teacher .6 (FTE) and a Lab Assistant Teacher 1.0 (FTE).  The district outsources its network maintenance.

Benchmark 3: Technology Professional Development

 WES teachers and administrators have participated in a variety of professional development activities.  80% of the classroom teachers have participated in an intensive week-long technology class focusing on technology integration, data, and personal productivity.  Throughout the year three professional development days and additional faculty meetings are dedicated to technology.  With the rapid development of cloud applications and mobile computing, our professional development is transitioning from a workshop style to a personal learning community approach where teachers get support to learn to use new tools and applications.  

Technology professional development is sustained and ongoing and includes coaching, modeling best practices, district-based mentoring, study groups, and online professional development.

The district provides Technology Professional Development to all staff in:

    Data and reporting
    Web Page Communication
    Blogging
    Google Apps
    Web 2.0 and 3.0 Applications for safely helping students connect with others
    Working with still photos and video
    Using iPads

      

Professional development planning includes an assessment of district and teachers' needs.
An annual locally developed survey is administered to gauge teacher competency and to plan for future professional development.  The Superintendent and Principal are committed to providing time and resources for trainings.


Benchmark 4: Accessibility of Technology
A. Hardware Access
1. By 2014-2015, the district will have an average ratio of one high-capacity, Internet-connected computer for every three students. (The Department will work with stakeholders on a regular basis to review and define high-capacity computers.)
2. The district provides students with emerging technologies appropriate to their grade level. The technology team keeps up with new devices.  Students have access to portable word processors. There are two portable laptops lab, one mobile iPad lab, two computer labs, and all classrooms have a minimum of three high-capacity, high speed internet connected computers.

3. The district maximizes access to the general education curriculum for all students, including students with disabilities, using universal design principles and assistive technology devices.  The technology department works closely with the special education department to ensure maximum accessibility and to use the appropriate adaptive and assistive tools.

4. The district is now on a five year replacement cycle.  We have over 180 computers and are working with Apple Leasing to keep our desk-top, laptop, and tablet computers up-to-date.




B. Internet Access
1. The district provides connectivity to the Internet for all computers in all classrooms in all schools, including wireless connectivity.
By 2015 we will have enterprise level wireless throughout the campus.

The district has a 50 x50 fiber connection contracted through Integrity by CELT.

Free internet access outside of school is available at:
    Mile Public Library- http://milnelibrary.org.  Hours are 10:00-5:30 daily and   
    10:00-4:00 on Saturdays.  
    Williamstown Youth Center,  http://www.williamstownyouthcenter.org/     3:00-5:30    weekdays.

C. Networking (LAN/WAN)
1. The district provides internal local area network (LAN) connections.
The district provides servers for file sharing, storage, data back-up and content filtering.

Access to the Internet Outside the School Day

1. Groups of students in tutoring, clubs, and special courses have access to computers after school.

The district disseminates an up-to-date list of places where students and staff can access the Internet after school hours.

E. Staffing
The district provides staff or contracted services to ensure that its network is functioning at all times. The technology coordinator is a full time employee and the district contracts with network specialists to plan improvements and troubleshoot problems.
The district resolves technical problems within 24 hours, so that they do not cause major disruptions to communications and curriculum.

Benchmark 5: Virtual Learning and Communications
A. The district encourages the development and use of innovative strategies for delivering high-quality courses through the use of technology.
B. The district deploys IP-based connections for access to interactive web site video learning on the local, state, regional, national, and international level.
C. Classroom applications of virtual learning include courses, collaborative projects, field trips, and discussions.  The District has the ability to support all forms  e-learning.
The district maintains an up-to-date website that includes information for parents and community members.
The District has an updated web site at http://williamstownelementary.org.  The District web site includes a variety of information pertinent to the school and grade levels. In addition, the school uses group email systems and alert calling systems to inform parents and other members of the community of school news and events.

Benchmark 6: Safety, Security, and Data Retention
A. The district has a CIPA-compliant Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) regarding Internet and network use.The policy is updated as needed to help ensure safe and ethical use of resources by teachers and students.
The District has an AUP for both students and staff that is posted on the WES homepage.The District employs a web content filter and monitors the Internet usage of students.
B. The district educates teachers and students about appropriate online behavior.Topics include cyberbullying, potential risks related to social networking sites and chat rooms, and strategies for dealing with these issues.
C.  Several teachers have been trained with the “Train the Trainer” Cyberbullying program at the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center and have presented to district staff and parents.  Required computer courses for students in the grades 4-6 have specific curriculum related to cyberbullying and the safe, ethical use of online applications.
D. The district complies with federal and state law, and local policies for archiving electronic communications produced by its staff and students.The district informs staff and students that any information distributed over the district or school network may be a public record.
The District provides archiving of  email for staff. The AUP signed by staff and students indicates that their communications may become part of a public record.

Links For Home

Common Sense Media is a great site for parents. Have a question about a video game?  a movie?  Thinking about lettting your child get a cell phone or join YouTube?  Common Sense Media can help.

Lexia at home

Lexia Reading Core5 provides personalized learning on fundamental literacy skills for students in grades pre-K-5 and delivers real-time performance data without testing.

Lexia Stategies is used with students in grade 6

Lexia info for parents can be found here.

Our school access code is: 7173-7701-1016-4757.

IXL

IXL is a website where students practice math skills.

Type To Learn 4

TTL4 is a keyboarding program. You have to download the program for home use. Here is the link for getting started at home. Once downloaded, students can log in the same way they do at school.  Our school code is 142809.

Everyday Math

Students can log in to use their textbook, reference book, online tools, and Everyday Math tools.  Login here.

Google Apps For Education

Students can access their files from Google Drive here or they can connect directly to their Google Classroom accounts here.

 


LEGO Robotics 2016-2017 Season

This year's theme is Animal Allies.

The Berkshire Robotics Challenge is on March 25 at Lenox Memorial High School.

Here is our recess "Mannequin Challenge."

   

More Photos of the Challenge Here. (from Ms Brookner)

The FLL program emphasizes "gracious professionalism." All designing, programming, and problem solving is to be done by the team members.

Helpful Links:     About First LEGO league

                                    Info For Parents

                                    Team Resources

We meet after school on Thursdays.

Important Date!  This year's Berkshire Robotic Championship will be Saturday, March 25, at Lenox Memorial High School.

 

115 Church Street Williamstown, MA 01267 T: 413.458.5707 F: 413.458.3287
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