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School Spotlight

Calvin McConnell, Kindergarten Teacher at Cottonwood Plains shared some classroom jobs he has created for his students to use technology in his classroom.

I.T.S. has created collaborative professional learning opportunities with our Digital Learning Cohort this year. We would like to highlight Calvin McConnell, a Kindergarten teacher at Cottonwood Plains Elementary. Calvin has empowered his elementary students. Read his story!
Looking for a way to empower your students?

Meet Calvin McConnell, Kindergarten Teacher at Cottonwood Plains Elementary. Calvin shared with K teachers in TSD some classroom jobs he has created for his students to use technology in his classroom.

Encourage Ownership

Students take ownership of their class by controlling a teacher-created slide show.  These students have practiced daily routines and take turns controlling videos, timers, slides, and other educational tools.

Two students controlling a presentation on a laptop
Teacher and student looking at a laptop

Students apply their presentation skills by reciting transition expectations from their classroom slide deck. Students even use this opportunity to access offline structures like a whiteboard schedule.

Curate tools for Easy Access

Teachers could also use Classroom Screen to provide a desktop of various classroom management tools. You could keep your classroom transition songs, a timer, a stoplight for noise, or even check boxes.

Screenshot of various widgets for classroom management

Nearpod contributes to the culture and climate of our classroom by providing integrated opportunities for student voice and choice. Student work is authentic to their thought process and understanding of the concept. Nearpod makes formative assessment easy, and intuitive, allowing me to target my interventions in a timely and efficient manner.

By using Nearpod in math, the following standards are addressed while increasing student engagement. 1.1: Eliminate disparities in student achievement, growth, graduation, behavioral outcomes, and educational opportunities in student groups 2.1: Ensure learning environments support a positive culture and climate.

"Nearpod has allowed us to structure our math lessons and introduce 21st century readiness to an antiquated but quality curriculum line." By Andrew Shumate, top Nearpod TSD user at the elementary level, 4th grade teacher at Centennial

Big Thompson Elementary has created an innovation space for students and teachers to use technology to increase student voice and have students create using technology. 5th grade students worked with their innovation coach to create a news story to highlight learners in Big T Elementary.

"Our fifth graders have been learning to use a green screen to film and edit videos for our school. 5th grade students self-select news stories that they write and record for this publication. Once finalized, our new stories are released to all our classes, Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. This project covers many of the technology standards for Content Creation and Digital Literacy. Finally, it gives students authentic audience and purpose and provides a meaningful application to Research and Informational Writing Standards." By Leah Witt, Instructional Coach

As a STEAM school, High Plains students are involved in at least two Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Units each year. Problem-based learning is a total approach to education; it’s both a curriculum and a process. PBLs consist of carefully selected and collaboratively designed problems that require students to obtain critical knowledge, use problem solving skills, become increasingly self-directed in their learning and develop team participation skills.

In the Fall of 2021, our 1st graders solved the problem: High Plains students need a way to build meaningful friendships and relationships with peers because conflicts outside of the classroom are taking away from instructional time. They decided a Buddy Bench would be the best solution to the problem. They wrote letters to CDE asking for money to build a bench. They asked Bikers Against Bullies to build the bench. They also worked in small groups to write rules for the Buddy Bench and film a commercial to demonstrate how it works. With the help of our Innovation Specialist, Mr Waido, STEAM Coach, Lindy Jones and Instructional Technology TOSA, Dave Dellwardt, we used our newly installed Multimedia Lab to film, edit and produce the video.