An Exciting Year of Innovation

Today’s Contributor: Erica Reyna
Hello! My name is Erica Reyna. I am the school librarian at Walnut Creek elementary school. This is my eleventh year as an educator, more specifically my third year as a school librarian and CIC.

It’s been an exciting school year here at Walnut Creek! I have seen a positive shift in the school culture regarding the use of technology.

During my first year as a CIC, there was a requirement that a certain percentage of the school’s teachers work with the CIC. Even though this is no longer a requirement, my principal has allowed me to continue forming a technology committee to help meet our campus technology goals. Every year more and more teachers want to participate in this committee. It has been wonderful.

Our teachers participating in the technology committee have worked together to create and organize professional development opportunities for our staff. We have had professional development sessions on how to use Makey Makey, green screen, Ozobot, Scratch, DreamBox, Prodigy Math, and Imagine Learning. We have also worked on creating BLEND courses and instructional slide presentations for our teachers. They have included a lesson in BLEND on using an elementary level research model with AISD digital resources to guide teachers and students through the science fair season and slide presentations on how to use Makey Makey, Scratch, Class Dojo, and using a stylus pen on a computer trackpad with PreK students.

Every school year, our technology committee plans and implements a STEAM Family Night. This year’s activities included Ozobots, Makey Makey, green screen, laptop deconstruct, robot building, coding, math games, and art activities.

We have also partnered with the Microsoft Store to provide our students with opportunities to learn how to utilize various technology applications. Our students have learned how to code robots, measure the velocity of hot wheels traveling on a track with the use of a computer program, identify volcanic hotspots and visualize tectonic plate movement with an interactive digital world map, create mixed reality videos using Paint 3D, and code in MineCraft. FYI, the Microsoft Store is available to partner with any school through their community outreach program. You simply call the Microsoft Store and ask to speak with their Community Development Specialist. However, you must call early in the year as their calendar fills up quickly!

We have encountered challenges throughout the school year, but, overall, it’s been an amazing year. I love seeing our scholars’ excitement in learning new technologies and experiencing our school’s increasingly positive attitude towards integrating technology with academics.

2 Comments

  1. There are so many exciting things going on at your school! Thank you for sharing about the Microsoft store partnership. I’ve heard about it, but only in vague terms. Definitely putting this on my to-do list for next year!

  2. How cool! We have so many wonderful resources in our communities- thanks for the reminder to seek them out!

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