Sonoma County Office of Education

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
Guidelines | SCOE Blog Protocols (pdf)

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Sonoma Valley Schools Respond to Community Needs in Wildfire Emergency
10.19.17
Wildfires have impacted many areas of Sonoma County over the last week. Nearly one tenth of the county’s one million acres have burned involving over 5,000 structures with losses estimated at $3 billion. In Sonoma Valley, the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Aqua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, and the city of Sonoma were severely impacted. Heroic efforts were manifested by firefighting strike teams from around the world. In addition, notable efforts were provided by Sonoma Unified School District staff rallying resources in response to community needs. This blog post shares my perspective as a resident of Sonoma Valley offering a view on SVUSD’s response to the emergency and their work with other community members. Read More...


Fun & Simple Coding Projects with Scratch
09.30.17
Scratch is one of the world’s largest free coding platforms for children and teens. It was created by the MIT Media Lab to help young people learn to, “… think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively.” This blog post offers an overview of Scratch and shares some fun and simple projects to get started using it. Read More...


Math CUE Rock Star Event in Petaluma November 4 & 5
08.24.17
The Sonoma County Office of Education, Petaluma City Schools, and Computer Using Educators (CUE) are pleased to announce a Math CUE Rock Star event at McKinley School happening the weekend of November 4 & 5. This post offers information about the event. Read More...


New Accountability System Seeks to Align State & Federal Requirements
07.16.17
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
07.03.17
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
06.06.17
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
05.15.17
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
03.21.17
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
03.18.17
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
03.10.17
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...

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