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
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2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge Events Announced
Students in grades 4-8 have an opportunity to apply ideas from math, science, and engineering as they respond to challenges in the 2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge. Now in its 16th year, this dynamic project engages teams designing, building and programming robots using Lego Mindstorm sets. Competitors create autonomous robots which carry out actions relevant to challenge demands. Challenges for 2018 were released on February 1. Read More...

Linking SBAC Accessibility Tools to Daily Learning
Accessibility tools are for everyday learning and testing. For the past three years schools have acknowledged the value of SBAC accessibility tools to help students understand and express themselves on test questions. In many situations learning about the tools has been limited to the last part of the spring semester and work related to SBAC test preparation. Actions to help students learn about and apply accessibility tools throughout the school year can yield results for both daily learning and summative assessments. This blog post provides details on a process underway in a number of Sonoma County schools making SBAC accessibility tools a part of everyday learning and testing. Read More...

Guiding 2017-18 CAASPP Activities
As schools advance work in the 2017-18 school year, it’s wise to plan specific actions focused on California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance (CAASPP) tasks. Along with delivering the Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics tests for grades 3-8 and 11, schools will also be field testing the California Science Test. The California Science Test field test will be administered to all students in grades 5 and 8 along with one assigned grade at the high school level. This blog post shares steps which can support readiness and positive student outcomes. Read More...

Sonoma Valley Schools Respond to Community Needs in Wildfire Emergency
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
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
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
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...

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