Sonoma County Office of Education

Technology for Learners

Blog: Technology for Learners

This blog focuses on the effective integration of technology in K-12 schools with special emphasis on Sonoma County. It offers ideas and resources to support purposeful use of technology in relation to the Common Core Standards and 21st century learning.

Author | Rick Phelan | Email | Follow on Twitter
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New Accountability System Seeks to Align State & Federal Requirements
The California State Board of Education has been working diligently over the last several years establishing a new K-12 school accountability system for California. Efforts have focused on developing metrics that provide useful information on how schools are addressing student needs within the guidelines of legislative statutes. Known as the ‘California Model,’ measures from eight Local Control Funding Formula priority areas are used. Board members are continuing a thoughtful and deliberate process to integrate accountability requirements from the Federal government’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into California’s system. This blog post provides an update on the evolving accountability system as the 2017-18 school year begins. Read More...

Discover Chrome Music Lab
Chrome Music Lab is an engaging resource for people of all ages to learn about music. It was was created to be part of, ‘Music in Our Schools Month.’ Engineers founded the music lab on two key premises: 1) music is for everyone; and 2) technology can make learning about music more accessible. This blog post offers information on the Chrome Music Lab. Read More...

Smarter Balanced Assessment Reporting
Over 3 million California students took Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) end of year tests this spring. The SBAC measures California Standards achievement for grades 3 through 8 and 11 in English and mathematics. The annual state tests are one measure districts, parents, and communities can use to check school achievement. This blog post offers information on 2017 SBAC reports including report elements, types of reports, and timelines for release of information. Read More...

2017 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge Results
Over 400 elementary and middle school students from grades 4-8 took part in the 2017 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge on May 6 at Elsie Allen High School. This blog post offers video excerpts from the event and summarizes results. Read More...

Information Literacy and Critical Thinking
The world has never had as much news and information as it does today. Sources of information include traditional print materials (books, magazines and billboards) and electronic resources (web pages, blogs, social media and videos). We are constantly receiving information of one kind or another—and so are young people. Teaching young people to think critically about information is a job for both parents and educators. This blog post offers resources to help promote information literacy and critical thinking. Read More...

Apple K-12 Technology Forum
Apple Computer is teaming with SCOE on April 13 to offer a free educational technology forum. K-12 learning specialists from Apple will be at SCOE for a day focused on how Apple technologies can support 21st century learning and the effective integration of technology. A range of different topics are being provided specific to iPads, the latest Macintosh operating system, and wireless device management. Read More...

Preparation for the 2016-17 CAASPP Administration
The 2017 testing window will be opening soon for California State summative assessments. Tests for 2017 include: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test for English and mathematics involving students in grades 3-8 and 11 California Science Test pilot for all students in grades 5 and 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for intellectually challenged students administered among students in grades 3-8 and 11 This blog post offers resources and information to help support schools in preparing for the 2017 assessments. Read More...

Launch of California School Dashboard
A new electronic tool called the California School Dashboard is being viewed by educators, parents and communities across the state. The 'dashboard' aims to provide metrics that will help parents, educators, and the public evaluate schools and districts, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide targeted assistance. Indicators on the California School Dashboard are based on elements of California’s new K-12 school accountability system. Read More...

High School Coding Contest Results
The Sonoma County Office of Education sponsored a high school coding contest that culminated on Saturday, December 10. The contest challenged students to use programming and creativity skills with low-cost credit card sized computers known as a Raspberry Pi’s. This blog post shares information about the contest and its outcomes. Read More...

Breakout EDU- Activating Collaboration & Critical Thinking
Critical thinking and collaboration are key skills for 21st century citizens. Working to promote these skills, McKinley Elementary School teacher Matthew De Lucia-Zeltzer (Mr. D-Z) has been providing ‘Breakout EDU’ activities with his 4th & 5th grade students. Breakout EDU is a new game based activity where students collaborate to solve puzzles and unlock codes within a 45 minute time period. Finding answers to ‘Breakout EDU’ activities requires brainstorming and teamwork to arrive at solutions. This blog post describes Mr. D-Z’s Breakout EDU game efforts with students at McKinley Elementary School. Read More...

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