When choosing to use technology as a part of classroom instruction, FIRST consider instructional goals and make sure that the technology you plan to use will enhance your ability to meet those goals. Technology is not always the best answer. Yet, when the purpose and use align, these tools can often make a significant, positive impact on the learning experience for students!
These are our staple recommendations, resources that can potentially be useful in every RCPS classroom. These tools have been vetted on a variety of levels and we are eager to help you apply them successfully in your work with students. Find our HELP resources linked in each resource's block. Access to the tools themselves are found at right.
We encourage you to contact an ITRT for assistance, more information, or with questions. Consult our Learn Platform link, too, for additional tools that are approved for use throughout Rockingham classrooms.
Note that we recommend that the board NOT be hooked up to a desktop. It works best as a huge, stand-alone browser and connecting to your Chromebook also provides some excellent features!
SUBS: Please see this resource for help as you navigate moving from classroom to classroom.
SCHOOLOGY (see NEW help website!) is a web-based learning management system (LMS) for use in grades 6-12 in RCPS. Teachers can deliver resources, create assignments, design assessments, and facilitate discussions for students.
SEESAW: The Learning Journal (see help resources) is a robust digital portfolio and learning system where teachers can create meaningful multimedia experiences for students. Teachers assign tasks that engage students with a variety of work in the form of videos, photos, text, images, files, and drawings. Teachers follow up by approving posts, offering feedback, and, if desired, making items accessible to families via the Seesaw Family app (available online and via Android or iOS).
GOOGLE WORKSPACE FOR EDUCATION (see help resources) is a suite of tools that can help you increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, while supporting the learning objectives that you have for your students. (description credit: ShakeUp Learning)
Learn about our new video streaming service for your classroom. RCPS has also purchased a public performance license to accompany this service in order for schools to use videos for instructional and non-instructional purposes.
"SWANK K-12 Streaming is a convenient and controlled streaming platform that makes it easy for teachers to incorporate high-quality films into lesson plans. The SWANK library includes thousands of films for educational support, including top feature films, documentaries and foreign titles."(website excerpt)
NEARPOD (see help resources) is the go-to tool for interactive presentations and assessments. Teachers use the site to create original multimedia presentations or draw from an extensive, growing library of pre-made offerings. Teachers can upload videos, images, audio clips, and PDF files as well as embed multiple-choice quizzes and polls. Draw Its (students write directly on a slide), collaboration boards, and open-ended questions provide plenty of variety to liven up presentations. Teachers launch the presentation and monitor progress either from the website or through the app. (description credit: Common Sense Media)
BOOK CREATOR (see help resources) is now available K-12 in RCPS. It is an amazingly easy-to-use digital book-making tool with limitless options. It's available for both iPad and the web (including Chrome). With guidance, even students in early elementary school grades can use this app to produce and publish their own simple books or comics with images, videos, and audio. But given the options for adding images and multimedia, even more sophisticated students won't feel limited. (description credit: Common Sense Media)
We recommend these sites to help you locate resources that are appropriate and legal to use in your work.
BRAINPOP (see help resources) and BRAINPOP JR (see help resources) are both for grades PK-8 in RCPS. Moby and Tim "host" animated videos on BrainPOP, a website that teaches students about a wide range of challenging topics such as genetics, geometry, and economics. It's easy to get lost in the mountain of videos, but the site is logically arranged, with most videos sorted by content. Themes range from standard academic fare like math and English to health, hot tech and engineering topics, and social-emotional learning units … The Tim and Moby videos are the bread and butter of BrainPOP, but each video comes with links to quizzes, deeper reading materials, activities, and sometimes games from BrainPOP GameUp (a featured video game section that forges further connections). Students can also demonstrate learning through concept maps with the Make-A-Map feature, or make videos or other content with Make-A-Movie, or through Creative Coding. Everything kids create is shareable. MyBrainPOP helps teachers keep track of learning, allowing them to see quiz results, do class-wide analysis, and provide feedback on learning. It also provides access to the Quiz Mixer, a custom assessment creator. BrainPOP Educators is a resource community available for lesson ideas, news, and training. (description credit: Common Sense Media)
To schedule use of STEM resources, teachers should contact ITRTs in advance for assistance in planning instructional activities using this equipment.
New initiatives include Dash robots for our elementary schools along with Sphero Bolts and Micro:bits for our secondary schools.
BREAKOUT EDU (see help resources) is a physical game kit and platform where students work together to solve various puzzles to open a locked box, similar to an escape room. You can use Breakout kits in every subject area and grade level. (description credit: Common Sense Media)
Find a thorough and vetted list of Chrome resources appropriate for students and teachers.
LOOM (see help resources) is a screencasting tool that lets users record audio, video, browser windows, or entire screens in Google Chrome … A short countdown precedes recording, and users have unlimited time to record as many screencasts as they want. Once you stop the recording, a link will automatically save to your clipboard, allowing for seamless sharing. Loom with premium features is free for educators. (description credit: Common Sense Media)
SMART LEARNING SUITE (see help resources) is a tool that transforms static lesson delivery with game-based activities, formative assessments, and student collaboration to enhance learning experiences on any device. (description credit: Google)
WEVIDEO (see help resources) is a video creation site (and Chrome and mobile app) that lets students create, edit, and share video content all in one place. It's cloud-based, which means that multiple people can collaborate on the same video from different locations, or students can work on it at school and finish it up for homework. (credit: Common Sense Media)
MYVRSPOT (see help resources) is a complete, customizable and affordable video and digital media management solution built specifically for K-12 education. In Rockingham, we use MyVRSpot to deliver YouTube videos in a safe, secure environment for all students, K-12. MyVRSpot makes it easy to upload video content and add caption files.